I’ve had a bunged up nose for most of my time in Canada this summer, but it reached a nadir in the last few days, leaving me speaking like a caricature of a man with a cold, and gradually growing dumber and deafer. Fortunately one of our friends gave me a nasal rinse and today I tried it out for the first time.
It’s a wonderfully simple device – a squeezy plastic bottle with a nozzle that you stick up your nose. Then you gently squirt a solution of Epsom salts in distilled water into one side of your nose, and it flows up, and then out the other nostril, washing all the gunk that’s in your nasal passages with it.
It’s a wonderfully cleansing, utterly revolting process. As I did it, gouts of green snot were expunged from my nose. A sticky, eight inch tendril of mucus protruded from my right nostril and finally fell away into the sink. The solution of Epsom salts doesn’t taste or smell of anything; there’s just this strange sensation of liquid going in, and then coming out of your nose.
After a very long time, when no more disgusting slime exited my nose, I swapped nostrils and did the other side. Disappointingly, that ran clear; I had been expecting a Lovecraftian array of pseudopods, ectoplasm, pencil erasers, garden furniture and so on to issue forth. I wiped, and I dripped a bit, and I wiped again, and then I cleaned up the bottle and left it to dry.
There are various warnings on the packaging to only use distilled or boiled water. Wonderful though tap water is, it’s not sufficently devoid of creatures or substances to be the sort of thing you want to spray up your nose. For a layman’s guide to why that is, just watch Slither. Fortunately, I’d been gifted a half gallon of distilled water along with the nasal rinse bottle and the Epsom salts, so I could safely clean out my nose without fear of provoking further incursions.
As a result, my nose now feels lovely and clear. This is just the sort of thing I’d like to employ while on a plane, but unfortunately you can’t get the requisite amount of distilled water through security, and I don’t think Boots in Heathrow sell the liquid I need. Still, I’ll make sure I have a clean and shiny nose in Singapore as quickly as possible.
Also, it was my wife’s birthday today, although she didn’t celebrate by spraying a solution of Epsom salts up her nose. Why not, I’ll never understand. We had a party, we ate lots of cake, and then I fell asleep at 7:30 in the evening, which is pretty much par for the course these days.