Issue #33 – Our Personal Experience; Green Nose and SSS (Simple Saline Solution)

Posted on Posted in All Articles, Down Syndrome and Congenital Heart Defects, ENT

Our Personal Experience

Green Nose and SSS (Simple Saline Solution)

Sarah Sander


While Moishey beat some of the odds that are part and parcel of Down syndrome, he couldn’t win ‘em all. Chronic strep throat and sinus infections plagued him for a lengthy part of his toddler years. Those 2 bacterial infections often went hand-in-hand, with one bringing on the other, accompanied by raging fevers. We practically paid the rent for our pediatrician’s and ENT’s offices, became closer-than-relatives with our pharmacy delivery persons and turned into experts on the different anti-biotics that were prescribed for Moishey.

When Moishey was four and a half years old his pediatric ENT suggested we remove his tonsils and adenoids, which were abjectly diseased from re-infecting time and time again. Hopefully the surgery and its after effects would finally restore his health and quality of life.

We agreed; we were ready for radical intervention.

Moishey had surgery and endured a pain-filled two-week recovery. And then we held our breaths and he was fine…until six weeks post-surgery when he developed a sinus infection again, replete with the green nose and a fever of 105 degrees.

I was crushed beyond belief; what now?

We visited the ENT. She was disappointed too, pondered the next step and then made a suggestion which seemed so understated and under-rated after all the hi-tech medical and surgical interventions Moishey had already experienced. The good doctor suggested we start doing nasal saline rinses with Moishey several times a day. The saline washes would clean his nose and sinuses of all stagnant particles of nasal debris, which were likely bringing on infection. I tried to keep a straight expression, whilst I felt doubt written all over my face. THIS?!?! After all we tried and had been through? A couple of schpritzes of salt water up Moishey’s nostril would eliminate his raging infections, would do what anti-biotics and surgery couldn’t accomplish? Were we going back to the Dark Ages and resorting to what cave men did? But, alas! this was our last hope.

When the closer-than-a-relative pharmacy delivery person rang in with the prescribed carton of 100 vials of saline solution, I held the box close to my heart and whispered a prayer.

And thus started the beginning of the end. Initially, it was a struggle to get Moishey to tolerate the nasal washes, but after a short while he got the hang of it and even did the washes himself. This continued for years, into his teenage-hood and his sinus infections stopped completely!!

In addition to his new lease on good health, it was also enormously satisfying to receive calls from Moishey’s teachers and therapists over the years, inquiring how we keep his nose clean and ‘green free’. His peers at school were struggling and many of them couldn’t keep their heads up, awake and alert. As an adult, I know what it’s like to have a sinus infection; all I want to do is climb under the covers and sleep. No way do I want to sit in a classroom and learn! Yet, this is what children with Down syndrome contend with if they suffer from chronic sinusitis. I was over-joyed to share with Moishey’s educators and other parents our new lifeline.

Aesthetically, our children also gain much from having clean and clear noses.

Moishey has stopped the saline washes years ago and his sinuses are healthy and clean, thank G-d. It’s been thrilling to close that particular chapter of his life.