It’s so warm...but I feel so awful!  

Spring brings a lovely breeze, and also lots of lovely allergens. Here’s what I do when I have to play with sinusitis. If I do it right, I can usually kick it in four days.

Breathe Deep

A shallow breath yields unfavorable results for me in general, but when my throat is raw and irritated it can start a coughing fit. I try to make sure that I focus on feeling my rib cage expand when I breathe, and leave plenty of time to do it. Maybe it inadvertently warms my air so it doesn’t feel so jarring when I inhale, and maybe it just gives my clogged-up lungs more time to expand, but it helps. 


When I’m feeling sick, the LAST thing I want to do is take in fluids, regardless of the fact that it’s the universal medical advice. But slamming a liter of water really does help me because it keeps my system moving. When there’s a bunch of gunk clogging my horn, I flush it with water, and my body is no different. If water is too irritating, I try something more viscous, like a smoothie or juice. And of course, soup and tea!

Soothe the sore throat

Liquids, especially licorice root and marshmallow root teas, are probably the most effective way for me to soothe my fiery throat. Menthol cough drops and a humidifier are great things, too. Sleeping with my head elevated is definitely a must-do, but I skip the salt water gargle and the cough drops with benzocaine. The salt just makes my lips inflate like balloons, and the numb feeling on my tongue from the heavy-duty lozenges is not helpful for me AT ALL. I take Ibuprofen, but it doesn’t help as much as just drinking water does.

The Wet/Dry Method

When my sinuses act up, the reality is that there’s a bunch of stuff that just needs to come out. Before I have to play, I take expectorants so I can cough up and blow out as much as I can, and I’m meticulous about the timing of the doses (it takes about 20 minutes for them to take effect). Right before I leave to play a service, I take a medicine that will dry up all the nasty stuff so I can play and focus. When I get home, I take a nighttime medicine that will let me sleep, drink some water or tea, and wake up feeling better, even if it’s just a tiny bit!


What do YOU do when you’re not feeling great and you have a busy week of playing ahead of you? Comment below!