an open heart shaped window to the outside spring day

I Love Spring (It Just Doesn't Love Me Back)

I love spring. I look forward to it all winter long. Yet spring does not love me back.

I live on the northwest shore of Lake Michigan. It rarely gets down to zero degrees here, but we do get lots of lake effect snow. So this creates a lot of work for a homeowner like me. It means I have to get out and blow the snow in the mornings. Or, if my snowblower won't work, I have to get my shovel out. This can be an arduous task, especially if you're experiencing asthma symptoms. And I wrote my experience about this in my post, "What Scares Me Most About Winter."

Winter is okay

And winter is fun initially. You get that first thick winter snow and it's perfect for balling up snow in your hands and tossing it at your kids. It's fun having an early winter snow fight. This kind of snow is also great for crafting snowmen.

And who doesn't want a little Christmas snow for Christmas? Christmas snow is softer and great for making snow angels. And any snow is great for sledding. Then there are trips to my parent's house so my kids can sled down all the hills there.

And a nice thing about winter is there are fewer asthma triggers. The cold air can sometimes be a trigger. This is especially true when it gets down close to zero, and you have to shovel snow. But the biggest winter trigger is respiratory viruses, and even those were easily avoided this year by wearing masks.

Yet then cabin fever sets in - this happens about two days after Christmas - and then I'm ready for spring.

I love spring more

I love it when the weather starts warming. I love the long rainy days that cause the snow to go away fast. And I love it on that first day you can go outside and play catch with the kids or take them for walks to the playground on the first warm and sunny 45-degree day. Yeah! I know that sounds cold to you folks in Florida. But here in Michigan, 40 is almost shorts weather. Fifty IS shorts weather.

I love the smell of spring. I love the new flowers and the fact that trees are budding. I love to hear the birds chirping as they come home from the south. I love that the first day it gets around 55 degrees. And I can sit outside and write articles like this. Sure, I have to use a blanket to stay warm, but it's still nice. I love it.

I love baseball. I love turning on the TV and watching that first spring training game. I love getting outside on the first day there is no snow and playing catch with my kids. Or perhaps today it's frisbee. So many things we yearn to do that we were unable to do during the cold winter months. And there are those first walks to the playground and me watching as the kids have a blast on the slides and swings and monkey bars.

Ah, and then those walks along the shore of Lake Michigan. I do walk all winter long. But it's hard to get too close to the water when there's lots of snow. Springtime means you can walk along the lake. And you can get right up close to the water. And you might even be able to walk down the pier if the waves are not too high.

But spring doesn't much care for me

Those budding trees I mentioned I love above. Those things set off pollen into the air. Some pollen you can see as it floats through the air, but most are invisible yet just as airborne. I inhale them and, sure enough, they trigger my asthma. They create mild asthma symptoms for me. It's more of an annoyance than anything these days.

They set into my eyes and my eyes get itchy and miserable. And I do resist the urge to itch them. But as the day goes on, this gets hard to do and I start to feel utterly fatigued. And then I break down and rub my eyes. They get all red and puffy and my kids tease me that I need not rub my eyes. They say such things based on their own experience. After all, they are my kids, and half their genes are mine. And I have to take a Benadryl. And this makes me even more fatigued.

I broke down and went to my asthma specialist. The specialist I see is an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor. He looked into my nose with a scope and said, "Your nose is terribly inflamed. How has your breathing been?" And I give him a report that I've been using my rescue inhaler a lot lately. And so he places me on a burst of systemic steroids.

Still, this is my life

I love spring. I love everything about it. I have not yet, nor ever will I, let the seasonal allergic asthma challenges stop me from enjoying this great season. I will keep the windows open and enjoy the cool, refreshing breeze. I will do this while listening to relaxing music while I do my spring cleaning. And when my kids get home from school, I will have fun outside with them. And maybe I'll catch a Tiger baseball game before taking another Benadryl as I turn out the lights.

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