No. 27 – How to Water-Board Yourself at Home !

WARNING – Brain-Eating Bacteria can KILL YOU using a Neti Pot.  FYI.

One day I go into the bathroom and I find my wife water-boarding herself over the sink with this little blue watering can. She’s almost choking for air as she’s literally pouring water into one nostril and allowing it to flow through her sinuses and out the other nostril. I would be more concerned except that she’s also beaming at me, with tears in her eyes. But not so much tears of joy, more like the tears that form when you have running water pouring through your sinuses.

ME: “What are you doing?”

WIFE: “Non’t talg to meh.”

ME: “What?”

WIFE: “Non’t TALGK to MELK!”

ME: “Oh OK…”

She was also unavailable to explain herself at the moment. But later she forced me to try it. Having secretly always wanted to get a colonic, this appeared to be the next best thing. Picture washing the inside of your body, with water. All those weird bad feelings inside, just washed out. Glorious.

The actual experience of using a Neti Pot (as I later learned they were called) is actually less glorious than I imagined and much more like being water-boarded. You really have to fight the feeling that something VERY VERY bad is happening to you, and it’s important to fight this reflex because if you don’t you will likely lose the carefully angled flow of water through your nasal system and have some work its way back into your throat and lungs.

The trick here is to keep your mouth open and gasp for air like a fish out of water. Don’t close your mouth for any reason, not even when drool begins involuntarily spilling from your mouth. You’re already over a sink and much worse is coming from your nostril (it’s not really something that you want an audience for).

But once you get to that place where you can still breathe and break past the feeling of torture, it is kind of cool. Not cool like you want a picture of yourself doing it on Facebook, but cool that you can put something into one nostril and have it come out the other, like something you’d see in a cartoon.

One major downside on this though is that people have died doing it. How is that possible? Turns out the ‘yea old sinuses’ are right next to your brain. All those snots are keeping bugs and bacteria from getting into your brain, so when you flush water through there you’re taking a risk in bringing whatever is along for the ride in that water really, really close to your brain. A couple of people have, unfortunately, used bad water with a bit of brain eating bacteria in it, not good.

KEY LIFE SKILL: Don’t pour brain eating bacteria up your nose.

So I guess the way around this is to boil the water first (for several minutes probably?) and make sure any bacteria are dead before passing it through your sinuses. And just in case someone out there doesn’t know any better: Let the water cool back down before pouring it into your nose.

KEY LIFE SKILL: Don’t pour boiling water up your nose.

Or you can use distilled water, etc.  Basically you want to avoid tap water.  I think I’m going to put that big red disclaimer here again at this point:

WARNING – Brain-Eating Bacteria can KILL YOU using a Neti Pot.

Oh not that we were using boiled water though when we did it. No, I had to watch those reports on TV with slack-jawed horror.  I think we took a time-out from flushing our sinuses after that…mainly, now the Neti Pot gets used for pouring stuff into our ears, and no I don’t want to talk about that.

I’m tired of doing posts about ears.



I demanded to know what I had just eaten and my wife confessed the recipe. I subsequently banned the recipe from our home, “For the sake of the children…” I muttered to myself.