This week our resident hound asked about springtime allergies.
Growing up, I suffered greatly from those seasonal maladies. I’d take all sorts of medications for sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and runny nose. I accepted these conditions as a fact of life and attributed them to heredity, since my mom and youngest brother also suffered. Dad used to complain that he should have bought stock in the facial tissue company.
As a child, playing outdoors never held any attraction for me, partly because proximity to plants made things worse. It was much more comfortable to stay indoors. My hobbies and passions were all things I could do indoors: music, reading, sewing, and teasing my baby brother.
When hubby and I bought our first house, we planted a garden. I’d never done that before, and I wanted to try. But taking care of it meant I had to go outside, which I didn’t like. There were bugs out there, and stuff that made me sneeze. The venture wasn’t successful. Occasionally, I’d have plants inside the house to spiff things up, but they didn’t survive either. Every time I remembered to water them (which wasn’t often), I’d sneeze, and then I’d have to grab a tissue. By the time I finished emptying my nose, I’d forget about the plants.
While I was pregnant with our second daughter, we experienced an unusually hot spring, which led to an unusually hot summer. She wasn’t due until the middle of August and I guess I kicked up quite a fuss. We had central air put in so that I was easier to live with. But in addition to being less cranky, I noticed fewer problems with the springtime sniffles.
Several years ago, my doctor prescribed a low dose of an allergy medication as a maintenance drug to take year-round. I faithfully swallowed those pills twice a day. That seemed to work quite well. When the next spring came around, my symptoms were much less severe, and that encouraged me to embrace the idea of “maintenance.” I continued on that plan for many, many years. I also took shots after enduring tests that told me I was allergic to most plants and several foods.
Eventually, the doctor weaned me off the shots. And somewhere along the line — I honestly can’t remember why or when — I stopped taking the allergy medication. And for some reason, I’m not suffering like I used to. Maybe I outgrew my allergies. Or maybe the shots and the pills cured me. I have no idea what happened and I really don’t intend to pursue an answer. I’m just choosing to be thankful that I can breathe through my nose and don’t have to keep a box of tissues handy all the time.
But I still can’t handle plants. They don’t make me sneeze any more, but they need more attention than I’m willing to give them.
Does spring time give you the sniffles?