As I’ve previously shared with you, I’m an allergy sufferer. That’s how they always refer to it in the commercials, no?
“If you suffer from allergies… ” “If you’re an allergy sufferer…”
I’m one of those people that is allergic to basically everything. Not foods, thankfully, but somehow, my immune system rejects the majority of the physical world around me. The list is long:
- MOLD (just gross)
- DUST (oh, SO easy to avoid… if you’re NOT ME.)
- CATS (oh, cruel fate!)
- TREES (note to self: move to desert)
- GRASS (God’s carpeting…. REALLY??)
- COCKROACHES (uh… huh?? Ew.)
Unfortunately, most of my allergies tested on the more intense end of the spectrum, requiring a strict regimen of allergy medication, nasal sprays, and weekly allergy shots. In short, it would have been better to just do THIS:
For someone who grew up with five cats and a dog, it’s safe to say that I suffered in allergic silence. And when The Captain and I got engaged, of course we immediately adopted a kitten, because, that’s so sweet! And then we adopted another, because breathing is SO overrated….
(And have I passed on these superior wimp genes to my kids? You betcha. Only to my boys, poor guys. Both were born allergic to dairy, and then one to wheat, one to almonds. Can you imagine DAIRY? My cheese-loving heart fell…)
I adapted to my allergic environment. Or tried to, anyway. I unwittingly sacrificed my sense of smell, in favor of constant nasal congestion, ear itching, and attempts to clear my sinuses upon awakening with sounds that are something like THIS:
(You’re welcome for that fantastic visual; isn’t The Captain a lucky man??)
This nasal sensory deprivation has continued through the years. I’m sort of like a drug addict in terms of how I approach my allergy treatment.
The nose seals itself off. My ears itch, my throat flutters, and I become scratchy and grumpy. In a desperate bid for help, I head to my allergist, and do the following:
Me: “Doc, you’ve gotta help me. I can barely breathe, I can’t smell anything, I’m miserable.”
Doctor: “Ok, try this nasal spray EVERY DAY, take this medicine EVERY DAY, and come in for allergy shots EVERY WEEK.”
Me: “Oh, thank you, Doctor! I will! I will!”
(And then I don’t, because life gets in the way.)
I live in denial for awhile, until I run out of tissues, and the taste of coffee goes bland. And then finally, I creep sheepishly back to my allergist, begging him for more. More spray. More medicine.
And so on. The struggle is real….
Image Courtesy of www.kappit.com
I’ve lived like this for a long time. Other things come up, life gets busy, the kids’ needs coming first.My kids have grown accustomed to being my personal “sniffers”, as in having an item thrust under their nose with my grumble: “This milk… is it bad? SMELL IT!”
I had a random day or two after an ENT appointment where I could actually smell things (though I also realized that maybe in this house, a lack of smell is a blessing… just saying…), and it was like a whole new world was waiting out there, just on the fringes of my narrow, clogged nasal tubing.
I’ve managed to live with it, perhaps not QUALITY living, at least until recently. Because recently, my allergies decided to go on the offensive.
Allergies: “Remember when we used to make your nose stuffy and your skin itch?”
Allergies: “giggling* “Well, check THIS out!!!”
One night I was petting our cat, Mittens. Her and I typically have a working relationship: I feed her when she whines, and she lets me drink my coffee before she whines for more food. But this night I decided to give her some love, & spent a few quality minutes petting her. She bounded off, and I rubbed my eye. Once.
ME EYES… ARE ON FIYYYYAAAAA!!!!
Ten minutes later, I’m writhing on my living room floor, slobbering and scratching my eyes.
The end result:
Which drew more than slight resemblance to THIS (minus the blood):
Image Courtesy of www.comicvine.gamespot.com
It wasn’t pretty. The next day, they were still so swollen that I had to wear sunglasses to the school morning drop-off, despite the snow… because showing up to your kids’ school looking as though you’ve gone ten rounds with the champ just isn’t socially acceptable, you know?
So I finally ended up at the allergist’s office. And did the treatment help? Of course it did.
But more than that, it reminded me just how easy it is for us parents to deny ourselves even the basic necessities as we focus on the needs of our children first. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with putting others before yourself, BUT– when your sense of smell becomes something negotiable, well…. it’s time to reassess your priorities.
It’s all about creating balance, and keeping yourself healthy and intact while doing the same for the wee ones in your charge. I’m glad to be taking a proactive step towards maintaining good health…. but there is a slight drawback to being so proactive….Six Pack Mom