We are asked to discuss Spring Allergies this week and, well, I don’t suffer from them.
Never mind, I do suffer from them because everyone around me suffers from them.
[I do have medication and food allergies which are a real problem, and allergies can come out of nowhere. Pain meds never worked well on me, and then I became allergic to them. I have had to go through post- surgery, kidney stones and injuries with no pain meds. I have had to turn down procedures and surgeries. Besides narcotics, I cannot take ibuprofen and Macrodantin. I am allergic to brown rice, but not white. I became allergic to amoxicillin and eggplant late in life. I am allergic to all forms of artificial sweeteners, which is a real pain now that I am a diabetic. Thank God for stevia!]
But back to seasonal allergies:
My brother was the only one in my family when I was growing up who had seasonal nasal allergies. My mother made the mistake of picking wildflowers and bringing them into our apartment and found out the hard way.
My husband gets hit pretty hard with them, as do my sons. #1Son got socked so hard when we moved to KY that he had almost continual nosebleeds for months the first year. Our family doctor said he would become acclimated to the allergens and the bleeding would stop. It did, but he still suffers, as does his oldest daughter, who has been known to get nosebleeds as well. #2 Son also has seasonal nasal allergies, as does his son.
It has been a real battle for us all, finding medicines for them that will keep working without knocking them out.
I constantly tell the kids to blow; I can’t bear sniffling. The Locals here sniffle and snuffle all the time. They seem to think it is less rude to do so than to give a quick ‘blow’ in public. Newcomers, including our late priest from Boston, offer tissues left and right to no avail. Father Christ used to say he wanted to take tissues, hold it to the people’s noses and say, “Blow, blow”, like most Easterners do with little children.
So coping with seasonal allergies for me includes:
Keeping nosebleeds to a minimum: [wet, cold washcloths across the bridge of the nose helps; in extreme cases, another one across the back of the neck will usually stop the flow.]
Keeping a large supply of decent tissues: I prefer Kleenex brand, with Puffs a close second. If noses are raw and the kid can tolerate it, I go with a box or two of the ones with lotion. (There is always a picky kid who doesn’t like the feel or the smell!)
Finding a non-drowsy daytime medication: Their doctors have had to switch them between Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra. Often, one will work for a while and then lose it effectiveness. One or another has been helped by the addition of Flonaz or Nasonex.
Realizing that hard-hitters (‘makes ‘em drowsy’) meds are acceptable, indeed, preferable at night: Benedryl for some, Chlor-Trimeton for others. My mother thought that anti-histamines were terrible for a person and they were outlawed around her. I used a sample of a children’s formula on my first son when he was very little, and was suffering greatly. He slept soundly and felt so much better when he woke that I came to believe that the break from sneezing, blowing and coughing relieves the irritation, which makes the body less susceptible to the irritants.
Clean air: Running the heat pump, air conditioner or air cleaner, (which we bought out of desperation).
When the a/c or heat pump aren’t running, a dehumidifier helps to keep the mold and irritants down when it is damp.
Of course, it is paramount to keep any and all filters clean.
Keeping the lawn mowed, (despite how much I love the wildflowers and groundcover flowers).
And, as much as I love them, not having bouquets of my flowers in the house. (#1 Son and his oldest daughter nearly choked on the perfume of the vase of lilacs I brought in last year. The bush is on the far side of the house, where I cannot readily see the flowers, but where they cannot bother the allergy sufferers.)
So, my nose does not suffer in the Spring and Fall, but my heart does for those around me.