The Pros and Cons of Illness

Between flu, pneumonia, and now some kind of killer, sinus-assaulting virus, this winter has just plain sucked for me. It all started with a fever on Saturday, progressed to sinus headaches, and now is a combination of both, complete with the occasional fat blob of ugly, brown-green snot streaked with red. This has given me plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons of being sick.

Pro: Another day off work.

Con: Too frickin’ worn out or lightheaded to get any work done at home, either.

Sadly, the latter includes writing. The fever just kills my concentration, so my planned three days of writing became three days of vegging out in front of the tube. Which brings us to the next set:

Pro: I’ve been able to eliminate a lot of old programs from the DVR

Con: Boredom.

Yes, I cried like a baby at the fade-out to the Rescue Me season finale, and I’m glad to have finally burned through the second half of Damages. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was better than I expected, and The Brothers Grimm was worse than I expected. There’s only so much TV I can watch in a stretch, though, and I far exceeded that limit and got bored. Boredom in creative types leads to:

Pro: Learning about things like nasal irrigation.

Con: Actually trying things like nasal irrigation.

Oh yes. I tried it. The Wife was thrilled to see me using her fine China creamer to do it, too. This created its own subset of pro and con, so I’ll indent them:

Pro: It actually works.

Con: Salt water across a nose you’ve rubbed raw over the weekend burns.

I’m thinking less salt next time. Or maybe something besides coarse kosher salt… But hey, it did work. Flushed loose all kinds of nasties. Gross.

Pro: Being home for the arrival of the iMac.

Con: Being too damn fuzz-brained to set it up.

Yeah, the iMac’s here. Big, sleek, white box. Unfortunately I never had the time to set up the office for it, and I’m still too worn out to do anything about it tonight. Heck, I can hardly stay focused on this simple blog post.

In the end, the cons have it.

I hate being sick.

My nose smells salty.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.


  1. Clark says:

    There are over-the-counter products out there to avoid the chances of discomfort. They are balanced to match the salt content of the body like the saline solution that doctor’s use to irrigate wounds.

    After a fairly serious sinus surgery, my doctor made me do the sinus cleansing. First, let me say that it is a very surreal thing to do – it is the feeling that you get when you jump into the pool and get water in your nose… but then it keeps going and going. Once you get used to that, it is the best remedy/treatment for sinus congestion. What you wash out the first time you do it with a head cold is unbelievable – probably enough that guys will want to call in their wife/girlfriend to view the trophy and hear her man proclaim “THAT came out of my body!”

  2. Jon says:

    Did you use table salt for the irrigation? If so, that’s the problem, use the iodized (or whatever) salt. I looked into this too for my allergies, haven’t tried it yet.

  3. Mike says:

    I probably wasn’t clear, but the interior of my nose felt fine. Great, even, after the flushing.

    It was the outside of my nose, where I’d rubbed it raw with tissues all day, that burned. All around the nostrils and at the base of my nose.

  4. Jon F. Merz says:

    Dude, I had the nastiest of nasty sinus bugs earlier in the Fall and went and got myself a Neti pot. I love it. It has successfully kept me flu-free (despite the rest of the fam being infected) and cold free all winter long. I was doing it up to four times a day when I could tell the various bugs were trying to get at me (dull sore throats, the “spaklies” at the back of the nose feeling, etc.). It is a weird thing to start making somewhat routine, but I’m a diehard convert now. I usually do it once a day as practice and if I start feeling crummy, that count goes up to four evenly spaced as needed. There’s a good kit called “Sinucleanse” I picked up at a CVS that actually comes with its own neti pot and salt packets. But I’ve used pretty much every kind of salt with good results, although I prefer the kosher salt.

  5. Mike says:

    Good to hear from you, Jon! Been a while.

    Next time I’m near a real pharmacy, like say a Walgreen’s, I plan to pick up a neti pot. The squeeze bottle gets the job done, and I still feel better afterward, but it’s a pain. A couple local friends recommended Sinucleanse as well, so that’s what I’ll be looking for.

    I also used kosher salt. Worked like a champ, other than on the raw external skin. Even that was tolerable, though. I’ll use that if I run out of packets, as I’ve read in a few places that it’s not a good idea to use iodized table salt.