my very own aladdin’s lamp

whenever i feel blue, i start breathing again.

l frank baum

i have recently acquired a wonderful new piece of kit which is making a great positive difference to minor but nonetheless significantly uncomfortable and preoccupying symptoms.

for several years i’ve experienced a condition with an amusing name – it is called euston tube station malfunction, or eustachian tube dysfunction, or something along those lines (geddit?). it means that the passages connecting my nose and ears get bunged up, and that air bubbles press against my eardrums, causing moderate hearing loss. in more recent years i’ve also had adjacent overall mucousy congestion, sinus headaches, clogged nostrils and so on – suffice to say, i’ve been blockaded on all sides.

a couple of weeks ago, when perusing the internet in search of home remedies for these ailments, i discovered an odd little pottery item which resembles a miniature gravy boat with an elongated spout. you put warm salienated water into it, press the opening of the spout against one nostril, and tip your head into a horizontal position. rather miraculously, the salt water you pour up one nostril drips more or less simultaneously out of your other nostril. magic! even more magically, i am now a lot less phlegm bound and blocked up than i’ve been in years.

it goes without saying that there are many far more disabling symptoms which i’d much prefer to conquer than those aforementioned cold-like ones. however, one of the lessons that long-term illness has taught me is to celebrate small mercies. to be grateful for each battle won, no matter how tiny.

we are so endlessly goal oriented that we forget to bask in a temporary sense of achievement when we get to cross one small accomplishment off our to-do list. rather than wallow for a while in well-done-ness, we rush with impatience headlong straight onto the next as yet undone task.

so i’m taking a bit of time to celebrate my chance discovery of such a beneficial tool. i am  counting my blessings.


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