The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 28, 2013

Does the nose know?

By Brian Graves, Staff Writer

Monday, January 28, 2013 — The website WebMD makes the following statement about what role sinuses play in the body:

“The purpose of the sinuses is unclear.”


So, I guess that puts them in the category of mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and houseflies.

There is one thing I do know from experience. They are just as aggravating as any of those pesky insects.

In my home area of East Tennessee, it is commonly referred to as “East Tennessee Body Rot.”

That’s because pretty much everyone suffers from it and when it is at it’s worst, it feels like your body is indeed rotting.

There are days when it’s tolerable, but there are times when it hits you like a load of bricks dumped on your head.

Oh, it starts out sneaky.

You might feel a little tired. But then, your face starts feeling warm and an imaginary weight hoists itself under the eyes.

Then, there’s a headache that makes you not want a sound and amplifies any irritation by what seems like thousands.

I am at the tail end of my latest bout with this malady and it struck me that sinus problems are one of the few things I’ve never written about.

Now, that could be because my description of it would not fit into a family publication.

I have never really looked up why we have sinuses.

Now, after reading from a professional medical website that no one really knows why they are there, I’m even more irritated.

The difficulty in writing this is there are certain things you deal with when being a sinus sufferer that are, to put it mildly, maybe a little gross.

I’ll just mention the word “drainage” and move on.

That’s something I have to be careful of because when that stuff gets in my chest and stays there then, boom, hello pneumonia and I’ve already done that in recent months.

My problem is I am sort of like a bull in a china shop when it comes to not stopping to let the old body cool off before starting the next great adventure.

I just can’t come to grips with the fact I’m not as young as I used to be.

Most days I really don’t feel my half century.

But, those pesky sinuses keep coming back and unplugging my natural life charger forcing me to come to a dead stop.

I have been sort of busy the last several weeks and, frankly, I would rather be busy when it comes to work because it makes the time go by faster.

But, for the three days I have spent prior to setting these words and thoughts to paper, I found myself sweaty and unable to sleep.

Comfort is not a word that is in sync with sinus.

I guess I’m learning that sinuses feast on a tired body, but they also love it when the weather goes from 70 degrees to 20 degrees and back again.

For years, I have searched for the best cure for sinus problems.

I remember several years ago one of my former publishers had surgery to correct his problems.

Without being graphic, it didn’t go all that well.

I have taken everything legally sold over-the-counter only to find they either make me so sleepy I can’t function or so hyper I can’t function.

I’ve tried inhaling warm salt water which doesn’t cure but inflicts a pain that must be equivalent to injecting boric acid.

And when it comes to the home remedies, I don’t know of one I haven’t tried.

My beloved grandmother would mix vinegar and honey for me to drink.

I’ll say this about that mixture, it may not have cured the sinuses, but the taste was so bad it caused me not to think about it for awhile.

I guess I’ll have to resign myself to the fact I am a chronic sinus sufferer and press on.

If it gets bad, it’s a couple of days in bed with aspirin, comfort food and antibiotics.

That’s really the only thing I’ve ever found that works.

There is one thing I know for sure.

Everyone has that one question they want to ask God about when the day comes to meet Him.

Some want to know why certain things happened in their lives. Some want to know if there were UFOs or aliens.

I’ve got those questions, too. But, there is one question to which I have to know the answer.

“Lord, why did you create the sinus cavities?”