alan little’s weblog

my new toy – preliminary results

6th August 2004 permanent link

Even a Condition Red project sometimes has spells where you’re sitting waiting for perfomance tests to finish and have done everything else you can find the motivation(*) to do. So, on the basis that making yourself write something while you’re waiting for a test run to finish is better than (more) surfing the web – but that “something” needs to be mentally unstrenuous – here is a Grossan Nasal Irrigator Interim Experience Report.

This summer so far has not been a rigorous test of an anti-hayfever system – we just had the official Coldest July For Ten Years in Bavaria. (Superstitious people will doubtless attribute this, like last year’s Hottest Summer Since Records Began, to Global Warming. Aka sunspots.) Nevertheless we have had a few of the hot thundery afternoons we tend to get in Munich, being so close to the Alps. In the past, days like that have been absolute nightmares for me – the approaching thunder (static electricity?) seems to make more pollen hang in the air, or something. Normally just before a thunderstorm I’m a sneezing, wheezing, eyes-streaming-so-I-can-barely-see wreck, no matter what drugs I’m on.

Not this year. I still feel it, but it’s well under control and very mild. That’s how it ’s been on more normal days, too. With strong antihistamine drugs you don’t feel the imminent hayfever (or very much of anything else either: do not drive or operate machinery …). Whereas with the Grossan, a lot of the time in the first few weeks I felt like I was on the edge of a hayfever attack but just not quite having one. Strange feeling. In the last couple of weeks even that has gone away and I’ve been better than I’ve ever been in summer. I hope it isn’t just the weather.

Another strange feeling: I seem to perpetually have a slight sweet taste on my palate and the back of my throat. It’s not unpleasant and is, I suspect, probably something to do with a returning sense of smell. Which is another thing I’m not used to having in summer.

So I’m impressed with the machine. I’m impressed with Dr. Grossan himself too: he hangs out on the internet in the newsgroup; I posted a question there about using the Hydropulse for hayfever relief and he replied with a long message full of sound advice about how to control dust and pollen as part of an anti-hayfever regime, some of which I have been following in addition to using the machine.

More credit where credit’s due: I forgot to mention that I first heard about the Grossan Nasal Irrigator from Jerry Pournelle.

Maintaining the machine continues to provide the odd frisson. The handbook recommends sterilising it from time to time by running some diluted bleach through and then rinsing thoroughly. I did wonder when I did it for the first time whether I rinsed throughly enough: "What if I’m about to pump bleach up my nose? I wonder how much that would hurt". I wasn’t and it didn’t.

(*) This month’s life lesson: motivation levels are different when you’ve worked the last four weekends, and had your sleep patterns determined by sharing a bed with a sick baby for a week, than when you haven’t. Athough baby’s illness turned out to be not measles but something less serious that the German doctors call Dreitagesfieber. I haven’t been able to find an English name for it that I recognise.

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