A few weeks ago I was sitting at my desk, working on something
mundane for this site. Just like every back-to-school season I seem to catch a cold or the sniffles thanks to the germs my kids bring home each day. I reach for a tissue to blow my nose, and when I pull it away it is full of red stuff. Then I feel a warm sensation in my nose and blood comes pouring out. Not just a little, but a full-on gusher (I really hope you’re not eating while you’re reading this). In a short time I have a heavy stream of blood running down my upper lip and around my mouth. What am I going to do about it?
Like any good husband, I casually walk out of my office, bloody face and all, and through the kitchen where my wife is at her computer. I purposely stroll by her slowly so she can get a good look at me and FREAK OUT! But I’m not sure what she was more upset about – the fact that I was bleeding badly or that I was dripping blood across the floor. Either way, I continue on to the bathroom, shove some toilet paper up there to stop the flooding and wait for my body to take over and heal itself.
Bloody noses happen, so I really didn’t think much of it (other than to gloat over how much it scared Nicole). But then, it happened again the next day. And then again two days later. Now I was a little concerned. I had my annual physical scheduled in a few days, so I made of point of asking my physician about it. Of course what is an emergency to us is every-day to him. He commented that it is the time of year when the humidity drops quickly and if I’m getting them in the middle of the night or shortly after awakening, then it is simply a matter of the nose drying up and when I blow it, something breaks.
He had two solutions. First, cauterize the offending veins. I view this as a last resort since I don’t like the idea of sticking a hot poker up my nose. His other suggestion was to put Vaseline on the inside of my nose before going to bed to help keep things wet in there. I don’t know about you, but the thought of adding a greasy lump of ‘stuff’ inside of my nose wasn’t appealing at all. Especially when I tend to sneeze at least once in the middle of the night and the prospect of having to clean up that gooey mess was not something I wanted to do. So with the doc’s suggestions out the window, about the only other thing I could think of was to increase the humidity in the house. My old vaporizer wouldn’t do, so we got a hold of a Holmes Smart Humidifier.
And by smart, I mean SMART. This thing is WeMo enabled. If you’re not familiar, WeMo is a Belkin product that allows you to control various home electronic devices from your smart phone!
Setup was much easier than I imagined. After downloading the WeMo app from iTunes, we began the process of hooking the humidifier up to our home network. But first, new firmware was needed. At first I thought this to be an inconvenience, but then realized that in today’s age, the ability to update the software of any appliance is a huge plus, and much better than having to pay a technician for an in-home service call.
The WeMo software allowed us to do so much more than just turn it on an off. We could set custom operating schedules, change the humidity levels and be notified on the status of our filter – all remotely!
Of course we could also set most of these manually via the digital control panel on the front of the machine. But why would anyone want to when they can do it easier by using the app. I am curious though, and didn’t see any mention of this in the included literature – which takes precedence? The app or the manual controls? If someone changed the settings manually, would the schedule be interrupted just for that period? Would it stay set manually until you told it to run the schedule?
Make no mistake, this is a large unit. Finding a place to put it where it wasn’t the center of attention was going to be an issue. Because humidity tends to sink (your basement is more humid than your 2nd floor) we elected to put it upstairs behind a sitting chair.
Don’t make the same error I did though. Pick your location BEFORE filling the two tanks! Moving it with full tanks is not fun.
So does it help? Time will tell as winter grows closer. Today the humidity in the house is only 41%, so I’ll be running the humidifier until we get back to a comfortable 50%. Hopefully the bloody noses are a thing of the past. I’m not willing to start putting Vaseline in my nose, nor going the surgery route. At under $200, this unit is cheaper than one outpatient procedure and should make winter more comfortable all around. And less painful.
You can purchase directly from Holmes with free shipping or pick one up on Amazon. Either way, you can’t put a price on comfort (or relieved wives). Seeing how easy the WeMo app was to use, I’m now eyeing other compatible products. There’s even a WeMo-enabled slow cooker!