Harvard Medical School Guide to Healing Your Sinuses

 Author: Ralph B. Metson, M.D., with Steven Mardon

Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2005

Pages: 256

Genre:  Personal Health

Rating: ***1/2


As a chronic sinus sufferer I wonder if in a past life I unknowingly created cable news and am now being punished for it: slowly and stealthy.  My sinus infections seemed so lame that people implied I was a hypochondriac; I wondered if they were right. Sinus infections sapped my patience, creativity, and energy.  This book helped clear my head.


This Book:

1) Describes the autonomy of the sinuses.

2) Explains what happens during a sinus infection.

3) Tells the difference between an acute and a chronic sinus infections.

4) Gives clear explanations on medications from Sudafed to nasal steroids to antibiotics.

5) Explains how to do nasal irrigation and why it’s helpful.

6) Gives an overview of sinus surgery and explains the pros and cons of surgery.


What’s Helpful:

1) The easy-to-read explanations of everything helped me better understand my sinus infections and what medicine could and couldn’t do for me.


2) The nasal irrigation information changed the way I’ve handled sinus infections. Now I clean out my nose two to four times a day using salt water and a nasal bulb.  While not a cure-all, the technique has cut down on the number of infections I get, the number of days it takes me to clear an infection, and most importantly how much medicine I take daily. (I’m off everything but allergy meds now.)


What Could Be Improved:

Since Dr. Metson is an ENT – not an allergist – there’s only a limited discussion on allergy management. Allergies medicines are discussed, but not shots or ways to reduce allergens in your home.


Overall Verdict:

Recommended: All the basic information is explained clearly in an organized way that will help most chronic sinus suffers understand and manage their condition.


February 2008: In Brief


1) The following math problem describes my 1st three weeks in February:

School holiday + Snow day or delay + sub job = 2 writing days = frustrated writer


I’m glad my kids enjoyed the time off though. Thankfully, my sub job for the last week of February was cancelled and I had 5 straight days of writing. Whoo hoo! (Also thankfully, my sub job was rescheduled for March.  Subbing for the music teacher is fun. We’re going to learn to play, “There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” on xylophones.)


2) Four nasal irrigations a day keeps the sinus infection away!

Fiction Books Finished:

**** Heat, by Mike Lupica- I don’t even really like baseball and still couldn’t put down this kid’s book about a twelve-year-old Cuban immigrant living in the Bronx and striving to make it to the little league finals. Excellent read for 3-6 graders or for a classroom read aloud.

Non-Fiction Books Finished:

*** Literacy in America, by Edward E. Gordon & Elaine H. Gordon -Finally finished! Long but interesting history of teaching in America, from the colonial times until now—heavy on the colonial & frontier times, light on the now.

Still Reading:

Dreams Underfoot, by Charles de Lint


**1/2 Wuthering Heights (1992)– Maybe the book is better, but in the movie, Cathy and Heathcliff were pretty unlikable.

Sub Jobs:

1 day- Kindergarten

½ day- Music

1 day- 2nd grade

1 day- Music

TV Enjoyed:

**** Supernatural– I loved the “Groundhog Day” episode.


*** Friday Night Lights– Finally finished watching all the current episodes.  Not bad, though Smash’s storyline seemed to come from nowhere and lacked credible build up, for me.


*** Ugly Betty (finished season 1 in Spanish)- Cute, cute, cute, then sad.


** Smallville, season 1 in French- Mediocre show with enough pretty people and cute wholesomeness that it’s worth using to practice French.


** Sopranos, 1st episode- I don’t get what is ground breaking about a show that could be called, “It’s Hard to be a Rich Patriarch.” As a guy friend said, “When almost every character in the show annoys you, it’s hard to keep watching.” Exactly.  I did like the shrink but it sure feels like something bad will happen to her. Maybe I’d have liked it better if I watched when it first came out, before the hype. Bye Sopranos. I wished I liked you better.