Hello, I’m Matthew and I have played professional soccer for five years and have been goalie for two. My nose spray addiction to Afrin gave me a big nosebleed and a migraine headache in the middle of a game and I passed out and had to miss the rest of the game.
My nose spray addiction started last year when I was having what I swear was the biggest congestion problem on earth. Last year, they apparently started experimenting different chemicals being sprayed onto the field grass and it made my nose swell to the point where I just couldn’t breathe worth a toot. My team, our coaches, Hedley and Rolfe were aware of this and made an exception for me to carry my Afrin hidden in my sock out in the field.
Within a week, it got to the point at which I was “sneaking” in a spray if I felt what I thought was the slightest sign of a nasal clog. Then it also got to the point where I was doing it off the field as well and going through at least three bottles a week. It didn’t exactly go unnoticed by the coaches or my team and a few of them even tried casually to warn me to be careful but you know how easy it is to get used to things working a certain way.
I remember the day my Nose spray addiction finally caught up to me as if it were yesterday instead of four months ago. We were playing against Los Angeles Galaxy that day. It was just before half-time and I remember that the moment suddenly seemed as if it had gone into slow motion and yet they were all aggressively barreling down towards me like a bunch of angry bears and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I remember feeling this very sharp pain and throbbing in my head and I was so scared that my head would explode. I remember feeling this trickly liquid running down from my nose and leaking into my mouth only I got a trickle of the taste of that familiar salty taste before everything suddenly went black.
The next thing I knew, I was lying in a hospital bed hooked on IV’s and my whole team was surrounding me, still in their uniforms. Trainers had stepped out to notify the nurses and doctors that I was awake. Apparently, I had fainted because my nose was just gushing out blood like a small waterfall and they’d had to cauterize it.
“We warned you to be careful with that stuff, man. Now we’re going to have find someone to sub for you until you can come back.” My teammate, Jesse told me.
At that moment, I was too tired to do anything but smile. St. Luke’s kept me overnight after that to make sure that the work of the cauterization wouldn’t severe and when it didn’t, they sent me home with a saline spray. Although to ensure that my recovery would go as well as it possibly could, they told me that I absolutely could not go back on the field until the end of May, which is only about a week before soccer season ends. My coaches, team and I were not happy in the slightest about it but we knew it was necessary or it could’ve gotten worse.