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Friday, March 7

Going Cold Turkey











No Loyal Readers - it's not what you think! I gave up the filthy cancer sticks years ago by going cold turkey and am now a rabid anti-smoker. No, this addiction has been far more insidious. I have been, for the past 20 odd years, addicted to nasal decongestant spray. Ever since a nasty sinus cauterisation back in high school I have had issues with my nose, and became heavily reliant upon nasal spray to keep the passages open, so to speak. At various times over the years I have stopped, but have always managed to fall back into the habit. Well, the past few months I have noticed that my habit has become increasingly pronounced. The 12-hour spray was only lasting about four hours, and I would feel panicky if I left the house and forgot to take my 'snort' with me. Did I mention that I cannot ABIDE having a blocked nose???? Anyway, the last couple of weeks I have been waking during the night to 'snort', and I woke up yesterday morning, snotty and congested, knowing that I had to stop. That's the thing about these sprays - once you use them for more than a few days, you get what is called 'rebound congestion' and basically you become dependent on the spray. So I did a bit of research on the Net and found out that my problem has a rather big name - rhinitis medicamentosa - and that there was a safe way to wean myself off the evil spray. I took my info, managed to get a doctors appointment at lunchtime (a miracle in itself) and snottily explained my situation to the doc. By this stage I hadn't had any 'snort' for 13 hours and was feeling incredibly crappy. He agreed with the research I had done and prescribed a cortisone based spray to reduce nasal inflammation during the 'cold turkey' phase. He did mention that the spray would take 24-48 hours to work, so I gritted my teeth and saw the day out. To cut a long and very snotty story short, it was a pretty crappy day. Thankfully the cortisone spray kicked in at about midnight and I managed to have a reasonable night's sleep (did I mention that I cannot ABIDE trying to sleep with a blocked nose???) and I am feeling quite chipper today. Nose is a little snuffly but nothing compared to what it was this time yesterday. Apparently it takes the nose about 5-7 days to recover from perpetual nasal decongestant abuse, so I have my other, non-habit forming spray to help me through this period. I am VERY proud of the fact that I didn't succumb to the temptations of the 'snort' yesterday 'cos boy did I consider it long and hard!! Anyway, here I am, almost 36 hours cold turkey and doing well. Let's hope I continue to do so - next job is to go and chuck out all the bottles of spray I have secreted around the house and in handbags, lest I am tempted again!!

2 comments:

OziMum said...

Only in Tasmania, hey?!!!

I cannot abide in sucking anything up through my nose (other than air!!!) I'd rather deal with a blocked nose for a few days, than jam that thing up there!!! Gives me the willies just thinking about it!!!

mumma to many said...

Oh poor you!I hate snotty nose too! Have you seen the nose declogging nasal baths they are meant to work really well! So maybe a new habit to replace the old one!:) look at this article on Oprah!
http://www.oprah.com/health/oz/oz_20070426_350_106.jhtml
Hugs Ruth in NZ