I feel a bit sheepish to admit what I’m about to admit because I consider myself to be a very self-aware person. My body is my temple and I take care of it. My mind needs to be taken care of daily, which I do. I feed my soul with daily doses of self-care. However, I have missed some important and obvious issues that I am only now becoming aware of, specifically in the way of sensitivities and allergies. I’m going to talk about just one of them in this post.
As I sit here with laryngitis and an immune system worn down to nothing, I think about how silly I have been. My whole life keeps flashing before my eyes – colds and illnesses. Training that has had to be postponed because of various illnesses, causing inconsistency and injury.
I have yet to be diagnosed by a doctor, but I am extremely certain that I have a chlorine sensitivity. This explanation is one that seems to make a lot of sense to my situation:
“The chlorine in pools can cause inflammation in the lining of the sinuses—sinusitis—as well as inflammation in the lining of the nasal passages—rhinitis. This can last as long as one to two weeks.”
This has been my situation for pretty much my whole life. This article is the best one I have read on this subject; I’ve also read a number of forums that have so many people complaining of the same ailments.
HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS EXISTED?!
My experience with this sensitivity is so obvious: the immune system becomes compromised and fighting off illnesses becomes difficult. I am quite certain that this is part of my many sicknesses over the years. When I was a kid I had so many colds and ear infections, especially when I was in swimming lessons in the summer. I loved swimming so much! I still do. To not swim is completely unacceptable in my world.
Of course, now that I know the problem I’m ready for a solution. Last week I wore nose plugs last week, but here I sit with my sinuses in distress once again. The week before I swam twice and I was so sneezey, but it didn’t turn into a cold. However, my immune system was compromised making me more susceptible to getting sick. That’s exactly what happened!
I am now a guinea pig of my own making.
I have heard many good things about salt-water sinus rinses after swimming; for many people a salt rinse stops the problem all together. The article I mentioned before is from a company that makes NetiPots so I made note of the fact that it’s an advertisement as well as informational. However, I’ve heard numerous accolades for their products (and other sinus rinses) and it can be found in most drug stores. I bought one this weekend and am going to start using it today. I also plan to use it in my next swimming experiment. Of course I have to wait until I fully recover from the illness that I have right now.
I know that this will not automatically make me a super-consistent and awesome triathlete, but I’m sure it will help a lot. Being run-down is one of the main reasons why I’m not consistent in my training. This may be one of the main factors! I am excited to try this and see if I can stop getting sick and start training again!
While I’m excited to try it, I’m also worried that it won’t work. If this doesn’t work I may have to forgo pool swimming and just swim in the summer in lakes. That’s down the road though. I’ll try this for now.