It's that November week when everyone gets sick for the first time: Rapidly changing temperatures, dry heat in apartment buildings, the dry cold outside, and germs, germs everywhere. Your sinuses are clogged, your headaches are splitting, your prognosis dire. How will you survive?
Everyone here at Gawker is sick, too (except News Editor Taylor Berman, who is maybe just dead inside). We all have different ways of dealing with the sinus pressure. And because there are things in life worth living for—root beer floats, swimming pools, rental car smell, and finding money on the street—we're sharing our methods for managing our brutal sinus pain. How do you do it? Tell us below, please.
I hate my Neti Pot and I do not want to use it anymore because it is a pain in my fucking ass. I don't know if this is normal for a human, but it seems that the passages between my sinuses and my eyeballs are free and open like a goddamn New Jersey water park, so when I pour warm saline solution into my nose with my neck bent at a light angle, my eyes begin to burn like one of my many enemies has splashed arsenic into them. I am not sure how to cure this problem, but I will say this: when I use this torture instrument every night for an entire week, I generally wake up each morning with clearer sinus passages and a will to live. I become as serene as this instructional video wants me to be, just with slightly redder eyes. —Dayna Evans
I cannot have a pet because I am allergic to everything and I hate animals, so I have a humidifier. My humidifier, Hugh, gurgles in the night and pisses hot steam all over my apartment and makes it so I don't get electric shocks from my sweatshirts. Hugh also helps me breathe, which I sometimes have trouble doing because I have one of the most deviated septums my ENT has ever seen in the history of septums. The fucking thing is like a zigzag path down the Alps. Why even bother having a nose? The doctor said, paraphrasing that great scientist Lady Gaga, that I was "born this way." Despite the challenges life may hand you, no one should ever have to experience dry air. Humidify and moisturize. —Leah Finnegan
Saline Nose Spray
There's nothing cool about being the person with a Neti Pot on the bathroom counter and a humidifier on the bedroom floor. And if there's one thing I am, it's cool. Besides, humidifiers are a bitch to store in small city apartments. Enter saline spray: a great semi-cool invention for those of us with stuffy noses. According to the bottle I have next to me right now, it sprays at any angle and it's "non-habit forming and non-addicting." A can of shit you can snort up your nose and it's non-addicting? Perfect. Bonus is that it can easily be hidden so no one knows how gross you are. I use this to clear my sinuses and it helps a lot. Anyone who suggests non-snorting treatments like eating spicy food or going outside is an idiot. —Lacey Donohue
A Hot Shower
The simplest way to evacuate your sinuses is to close your bathroom door and turn on a hot shower. You can take a shower if you like, or you can just sit in the bathroom as if it was a spa (it's not a spa). I would recommend taking a shower, though, because you get the added bonus of blowing your nose with reckless abandon—and even if you don't do that (you should), the mucus being dislodged from your head must go somewhere (down the shower drain). You will feel like a new person up until the exact second when you re-open the bathroom door. But for that 30 minutes it's really worth it. —Jordan Sargent
Hot and Sour Soup
Once at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco I took a drunken, idle bite of a dried Szechuan pepper, and five agonizing minutes later, my head was entirely free of snot. The fact is, Szechuan food is the single most efficient way to expel that mucus from your body. Combine it with the chili-inflected rising steam of hot soup and you are good to go. When you are plagued with sinus headaches and dull, throbbing pressure, there is no better feeling than bending over a bowl of Szechuan hot and sour soup, gobbling up the delicious food and weeping viscous fluid from your nostrils, breathing freely for the first time in days. There are many ways to decongest; there is only one way to decongest that also involves eating Chinese takeout. To solve your sinus pressure problem, order hot and sour soup from your local Szechuan Grand/Gourmet. —Max Read
Cut Your Head Off
You've tried the other options with degrees of success, but the relief was only ever momentary. You're tired. You're in pain. You might wonder, "Should I just chop off my fucking head?" Ah, and the answer, you poor sweet thing, is yes. Chop off your head and throw it out the window. I guarantee there isn't another method of relief as long-lasting and beneficial as chopping your head off, throwing it out the window, and letting your body follow after it—tumbling to the ground like a tissue leaving the hand of a struggling sleeper. Do be careful, however, to make sure your head and body land in either a pile of leaves or a pile of snow. It will be spring again soon, friend. —Kelly Conaboy
As a child, I had sinus problems. Chronic headaches, too. Not anymore! A wonder of aging? Perhaps. But I—unlike the rest of the Gawker crew—feel great this week, in large part I think because I spent most of the weekend outside. If you're sick, go outside! Run around. Play a sport. You don't need a neti pot or nose spray or to chop your own head off. Speaking of sports, if you're a good QB and would like to play two-hand touch football on Saturday mornings in Prospect Park, please get in touch: email@example.com. —Taylor Berman
[Illustration by Jim Cooke, photo via Shutterstock"]