We had a terrible winter here in Utah this year. Meaning: We didn't get one. Barely any precipitation of any kind. And a lot of warm weather, particularly in February. Which means things started to bloom much earlier. Which means those bloomin' things that trigger allergies which don't normally come until mid-May started in March. At least for me.
Now, here is my little personal background to allergies. Growing up, I did not suffer from them. At least, not enough that they left an impression on me. It's possible that I may have had an occasional day or two of hay fever, but it never brought much attention to itself. Especially as my father always suffered terribly from his allergies. What I had, if anything, was a sneeze compared to his days of watery eyes, sniffles, etc. Literally. I must have sneezed a few times and then it was all over. And then when my precious Little Bug ended up being allergic to everything as a child spent years of shots and daily allergy pills, yeah, I certainly had no comparison.
One spring in late high school, I helped lay mulch at our new house. AHHHHH-choo!
What a miserable couple of days! I hadn't a clue what was going on. Went in for one of my regular doctor visits (I already had enough other things "wrong with me") and asked her about it. She said mulch carried some powerful yuckiness and I was probably allergic to something in that. She gave me some free sample allergy pills. I took one, and voila! It was over with for the year. Since then, I noticed that every time I would move to a new state (5 times now), I spent the first couple of years having a few days of hay fevery allergies. If it felt a bit too miserable, I took a sample allergy pill and was fine. The sneezing et al. never lasted beyond 2 or 3 days. And within a couple of years, my body had adjusted.
But not here. Not in this different part of Utah that I moved to. I blame it on the cottonwood trees. For the last 3 years, around May, all of the sudden I'd get my sneezy, hay fevery symptoms. Within a day or two, I'd start to notice all the white stuff floating in the air, and my car being covered in green dust. Yep. I figured I was stuck with hay fever in this part of Utah for as long as I lived here. I also didn't have any allergy pills by this time, but within 2 or 3 days, it would pass.
Not. This. Year.
Wow, have I ever learned sympathy for those--like Dad--who have suffered so much from allergies for many repeated lengths of time. I am going on 6 weeks of sneezing, itchy eyes, watery eyes, and sheer exhaustion. A vast difference from 2 or 3 days. And I caved and bought no-frills allergy pills. Which didn't seem to help much. And then tried a well-recognized name brand of allergy pills--which seems to have made things worse! I know what I've been sneeze suffering is still nothing compared to Dad. But the shock and frustration of being so tired has left me the tiniest bit whiny about the whole thing. It has eked over to other aspects of life. I've certainly been a little less patient than I would wish. And the emotional roller coaster has chosen to have more lows than highs. All of which could easily be resolved if I could just get some decent nights of rest.
Lessons can be learned. As I mentioned before, sympathy. But on Sunday as I was coming home from a date, and had yet another one of my body-racking sneezes, my moment of brilliance came.
Allergies are like being single!
They are! Here are some similarities:
*It's rather a nuisance--some times are worse than others.
*It can come with a great deal of pain, but I'm not going to die from it!
*It's not romantic.
*It sometimes draws attention to me.
*Most of that attention is unpleasant, but it isn't harmful. And it often comes with sympathy.
*I'm not the only one who suffers from this.
*It can be harder for others, it just depends on the season and the situation.
*I some times lose sleep from it.
*Tears have resulted.
*It can bring a lot of frustration.
*Some things/situations make it worse.
*It doesn't rule my life. Moments it seems it does, but overall no. I have my life and it is wonderful. It just has this which is some times inconvenient. And annoying. But it's a part of life!
*It brings its own humor.
*It can be fun....sort of.
*(At least this time around) medication won't solve it. But I still need to do all I can to take care of and deal with it.
*I have to remember and work at being patient and cheerful in a situation that is certainly not one I'd choose, but it's my lot right now and I can grow stronger from it by doing my best to be as Christlike as possible in spite of everything.
*It will be over when it's over.