Those Dog-Gone Allergies Are Back
So, I’m sitting on my porch. I can hear the chirping of birds. I watch as two squirrels chase each other. Wait! Over there a crow and a robin look to be playing. What’s the deal with that? And then I notice that the trees are budding. I see lots of green. And I feel the itching of my eyes, the stuffiness in my chest. Yes, the joy of spring has finally arrived. But so too are those dog-gone annoying allergies.
I know what “they” say about avoiding allergens. But, say it all you want, you can sit in the house all cooped and they still find there way in. And I can work all day in the clean air of the hospital, and still my eyes itch and they water and I sneeze. And, sometimes, my chest gets tight too. It’s just how it is.
Allergies don't have to stop us
But no matter what, no allergies are going to stop me from living my life. No allergies are going to stop me from having all the windows open this morning. Man, that cool, refreshing spring breeze is so awesome. The sound of birds chirping is a sound I enjoy.
The beautiful buds on the trees are a tell-tale sign of the season. But, the pollen (the invisible pollen) they send off into the air are easily aerosolized. They land on the conjunctiva of your eyes. They enter your nose. And to 90% of people, they are innocuous. But, in my case, they initiate an immune response. My immune system is all messed up. It thinks they are harmful like viruses.
And, what happens when your body attacks viruses? You feel cold symptoms. In my case, it’s not much different than a seasonal cold. So, it makes sense that it was initially called hay fever. But, more properly, it could easily have been cold pollen fever. But they didn’t know about pollen back in the day. Why? Because most pollen is invisible.
Yep! Just like asthma and allergies are invisible.
You cannot see the pollen. You cannot see this culprit. You cannot see how they make me feel.
My eyes itch. They itch like crazy. They burn, almost. My nose feels stuffy. I sneeze. My chest feels slightly tight. I feel sort of stuffy. I can scratch my head like crazy, but the itching never subsides. Ah, the joys of spring.
This does not stop me from living a normal life. As noted above, I keep the windows open. I sit on the porch. I go for runs in the early mornings in Cartier Park. Later today I will sit outdoors while my daughter plays soccer. It will not stop me.
But, so you know, I’m feeling kind of stuffy and itchy. I”m not gonna say anything. It’s just the world I live in. And you will have no clue unless you’re observant and see that my eyes are red. Or, unless you remember what I told you last spring. But, because you don’t have it, you will probably forget. Well, unless you also have it.
And I have worked with my doctor. I take my asthma medicine every day. And I take Singulair. Singular helps but does not prevent. Claritin does nothing for me. My allergies are way too powerful for Claritin. Benadryl works nice, but it makes me feel groggy. And that’s where I am this morning, groggy due to the hangover effect of taking a nighttime Benadryl. Sort of like your damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
And this is how I was feeling the other day as I entered Mrs. Smith’s room (fake name). She was a patient of mine at work. She is a friend. I entered her room. I started her breathing treatment. I gently placed the mask on her face, the white mist swiftly billowing from the openings in the mask. And I sit down.
She says, “John, you know all I’ve been through. And guess what?” (story changed slightly so you won’t catch on to who I’m talking about.)
I was not really feeling in the mood for a talk. But, she is my patient, and I make attempts to shut my mood off at the door. So, I say, politely, “What?”
She says, “Well, just when I finally got the nerve to get a divorce. Just when it’s finalized and I’m finally feeling good, I’m diagnosed with cancer. So, I got treated for it. And it went away. And, I’m feeling good again. I’m finally able to enjoy my life. And then, yesterday, I was diagnosed with another cancer. And this time the prospects don’t look so good.”
So, we have a nice long talk about life.
And that’s when I started thinking about writing this post. It’s moments like this I realize how good I have it. My asthma is well controlled. My allergies annoy the crap out of me. But they don’t stop me from living my life.
Plus, it could be far worse. There are far worse things that can happen to you than those dog-gone annoying allergies. At least that’s my take on it. What’s yours?
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?