Meridian Star


February 28, 2014

Living a sniffily life in sinus-ville

MERIDIAN —  Whine … Whine … Whine – I know most of you can relate to my sniffily dilemma. A sneeze here, a sniff there – life goes on. We stash tissues and cough drops in each pocket of each garment we wear, also the car, throughout our houses, our church pew, and if we happen to sing in the choir, well, you know, we have them there as well.

         We hound the over-the-counter sinus and flu med aisles of our favorite drugstores, hoping against hope for the miracle drug that will finally end all of this eye-watering, gasping for breath, coughing, croaking, and the clogged nasal passages. It’s madness.  

         On rare occasions we find something in the store that helps, but alas, only temporarily. Then, we begin the home remedies. Someone asks – “Did you try bla, bla, bla?” Even if it sounds odd, we might try it just because we are so desperate for a breath of fresh air, without a hacking cough, or a sneezing jag, which always happens at the wrong time.

         You know the drill – holding the telephone line, it seems, hours waiting for an important answer of some type. Finally the important person says, “May I help you?” and all we can do is strain a few words through a voice too clogged for the important person to comprehend. Sigh.

         Or perhaps after many months of getting up the nerve, we are scheduled to sing a solo for a very special church service, and on that fateful morning, the voice is in the tenor mode, when the song is really for a soprano. Yikes!

         Yes, living a sniffily life in sinus-ville.

         Years ago, before the sinuses were a major entry on my daily planner, I remember some astute person stating that Meridian could easily be named Sinus-ville, that we live in a little valley of sinus- infection-making-stuff. I laughed heartily at the little joke – not laughing so much now.

         As I consider the plight of sinus-sufferers, I realize for most of us, the sinus thing is not really seasonal, but a weekly, and even sometimes, daily event. Some blame ragweed, others dust, food allergies, and even, yes, cock roaches (Yuck). I believe the sinus-blaming-varmint is just living life — breathing dirty air, eating contaminated food, spraying those abusive fragrances, and gosh-knows what else.

         Years ago, I decided to be tested for allergies – don’t we all, at some point? As I sat listening to the test results, the doctor said I was more the victim of irritants, rather than allergies. On the way home that afternoon, the husband asked if he was my irritant. I laughed at the time, but now … hmm.

         What to do? What to do?  I’ve stood on my head, it seems, sniff, sniff, sniffing the latest/newest nose spray, even tried warm salt water, stood over a vaporizer, strapped the heating pad across my face, gargled with just about everything, tried every throat lozenges on the market, sinus pills by the gazillion, the shots, and even granny’s special Vicks Rub concoction.

         I’m still sniffing and sneezing.

         I have a new idea. It’s all about attitude. I shall accept it all as if the cough and gaggy throat are wonderful gifts. The sneezes shall be worth a million bucks each. I shall wear my Vicks Rub as pricey perfume and the heating pad as a high dollar accessory. I shall … I shall. The vaporizer shall be my claim-to-fame, color coordinated with the heating pad, of course.  At least it’s original – not many hanging in public with vaporizers these days.

         Yes, I am living a sniffily life in sinus-ville. Now aren’t you jealous?


    Anne McKee is a writer and storyteller. See her website:

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