Thursday, April 1, 2010

Allergies and Me

Hey, Y'all,
Often I have heard or read the statement, "Write about what you know" and that is what I will be doing over the next 30 days. I deliberated for some time and discarded many different subjects for this first day of "the challenge". I finally decided that allergies in my life are something I am quite familiar with.

My first awareness of allergies was hearing my dad go "WhaChoo! WhaChoo!" and seeing him snatch his handkerchief out of his pocket. He was a lifetime sufferer of hay fever. He would quite often sneeze fifteen or more times before getting it under control.

I soon realized how difficult it could be when I was in school and the same thing would happen to me. It quite often occurred in class and those around me would laugh because they thought it was funny. I was embarrassed, of course, but there was nothing I could do, except sneeze.

Spring and fall are the worst times for this malady, because of the many pollens which trigger the sneezing. I have heard that East Tennessee where I live is one of the worst places to live when it comes to allergies that cause sneezing. Well, that is just too bad, because it is one of the most beautiful and friendly places anywhere in the world to live. I reckon I will just put up with it, because it is worth it.

When I was sixteen, I was diagnosed with asthma, which I suppose goes hand in hand with hay fever. This is one gene that I inherited from my dad and passed on to my children and hence to my grandchildren. Sorry, guys! It was out of my control to do anything about. My first husband was a smoker, and we didn't know enough back then to realize that smoke triggered asthma attacks, so for about nine years I had several trips to the emergency room for the shots to clear my airways and help me breathe.

Another allergy that I have dealt with over past years is the allergic reaction to the use of some of the "caines" that are used as numbing agents. I refuse the use of them as long as I can do without them. The resulting of their use can cause swelling of my throat and difficulty swallowing. When I was having a central line placed in my shoulder in preparation for gall bladder repair surgery in Vanderbilt Hospital last year, they gave me a shot of morphine to help dull the pain of the insertion of the line. However, it would have been easier if they could have used a numbing agent.

Another example is that when I had a heart catheterization done, I had told the surgeon that I was allergic to some of the caines, he said, "Okay, this will sting a little" and within two seconds, he had inserted the catheter into my groin. I hardly felt it, and asked him what he was going to use. He said, "Oh, I've already inserted the catheter." I said, "Wow! You're good!" and he replied, "Ha, you're a tough little lady."

Fortunately, I have a high pain threshold.

Are you one of those people who read all the side effects on the medicine sheet that comes with medications? I am. I believe one should be quite aware of the things that could happen when taking a new medication. I have had enough experiences that go along with medications.

Back to the sneezing ... this Spring has been one of the worst for me in a while. Many evenings, my nose begins itching, along with the back of my throat about where my sinuses drip into it, and the next thing I know, I am grabbing for a box of tissues I keep in every room, and it begins: WhaChooo! WhaChooo! Yep, allergies.

I am allergic to housedust, and every time I begin a round of housecleaning, out come the kleenex; when I get too close to composite flowers (those with centers full of seeds, like chrysanthemums), same thing. Whine! Whine!

As I was saying earlier, I passed this gene on to my children and they to their children. Several of my grandchildren have asthma and have had a tough time dealing with it. I know that many people in the world have this same malady. It ain't easy to live with, but there are many worse things. I have dealt with it all my life.

East Tennessee in the Spring is so beautifully gorgeous! The early flowers are in full bloom, the trees are beginning to leaf out, my roses are putting on new growth leaves, and I am getting the urge to plant new flowers in the pots on my front porch.

Well, that is about it for today about allergies from Blabbin' Grammy. Yesterday, Gramps and I went to the beauty shop to get our hair cut, and I happened to be his Aunt Lula yesterday. (Some days, in his dementia state he thinks I am his aunt) and he confided in me that he really doesn't want to make the trip to Texas this year and I have to respect that. It is not that he doesn't want to go to Matt's wedding, but that he just doesn't feel like making the trip. So, I am investigating the possibility of taking him up to stay at Terrace Estates, an assisted living place, for the month of May. I asked him about the possibility, and he said, "it is just like home". As you (my readers of some time) may remember, we spent a month of my recuperation time at Terrace Estates in Morristown. They are lovely people and he will be well cared for there, and I won't have to worry about him.

I will then be able to take a plane out to Texas and back and not have to drive the 900 miles out and back. That is a blessing, and even though I was looking forward to the drive, it will certainly be less wear and tear on this old body of mine, especially the eyes.

More later on this last item of news. Today is "movie day" in Knoxville with my two sisters-in-law. We will be going to eat and then to Imazo's house to watch a DVD movie. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. More later. Much love to each of you. Can't wait to read the other "blog challenges". Bye for now.



What a wonderful start to the Challenge Ruby. Allergies are not nice things to have to deal with. I am allergic to some medication because I'm on medication for Epilepsy which don't always agree with others, so yes I do read the leaflets on medication.
Look forward to your next challenge blog.
Take care both of you.

Lisa said...

Sorry you're having to deal with the allergies right now. I hope you enjoy your movie and time with the sisters-in-law.

Have a blessed day!

Unknown said...

I have horrible allergies too. The allergist told me to pray for rain to wash all the tree, grass and weed pollens out of the air. lol. Of course, then the rain would trigger the mold, so I'm still not out of the woods. I should move to Arizona.

I keep mine under pretty good control by taking a Zyrtec every night before going to bed. If that's not enough, I'll get a steroid nasal spray from the doctor.

If you have asthma, your allergies are probably contributing to the bronchospasm. If you can control your allergies, it's a good bet your asthma will be less severe.

Ginny the Sock Monkey said...

Oh, how I know what you mean!

I actually have to deal with a lot of food allergies. I'm entirely wheat and gluten free because of a wheat allergy that makes me all congested... very strange. But the sneezing is definitely annoying!

Good luck with those seasonal allergies. Hope you can make it through the spring!

Carmen Klapper said...

My family and I are in Mid TN and we're dealing with the (Achoo!) allergies, too.

Love reading your blog!


Arlee Bird said...

I don't envy your allergies, but I envy you being back in my home of East Tennessee. If West Virginia is "almost heaven" then East Tennessee is heaven. Springtime is beautiful there. I guess it's about Dogwood Festival time in Knoxville by now isn't it?

Flying to Texas will be faster, but like you I'd much rather do the drive. Too bad Gramps can't make the trip, but maybe it is better if he just relaxes in familiar surroundings. Tell him we said hello.


Grammy said...

Hey, Y'all,
Thanks for all the commiserations for the allergies. Like all things, I have the good days and bad days as concern allergies. I do take a benedryl tablet (antihistamine) at bedtime. It helps with the allergies and also helps me to sleep.
Thanks for the encouragements on my blogging.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Allergies out the wazoo here too! (Northeastern Oklahoma) We do read potential side effects on Rx medications. Some times have to wonder which is worse ... the ailment or the cure!

Cathy said...

Hello Grammy
Its not nice to be have to be prepared for the sneezes. Luckily I have no allergies (although I have been known to say I'm allergic to housework lol) but pollen season here can be a bit gross for those who do have them
Looking forward to moreof your posts

ModernDayDrifter said...

Allergies is actually something I debated about blogging about for my A letter. I can relate with the asthma, hay fever, and allergies! Welcome spring time! It's my favorite season but I can do without the congestion!

Unknown said...

Hello Ruby (I picked up on your name by reading Yvonne's comment over here)...I am please to make your acquaintance through this blogging challenge! I am also always thrilled to meet other Christians in the blogging world.

I am sorry to hear about all of the allergy problems in your family, especially for you since it seems to be a bad year. I don't seem to suffer from them but my husband does have a bit of trouble in the springtime.

I look forward to getting to know you more through this big challenge we have in front of us!

May God bless you and your family!


Anonymous said...

Hi Grammy, I know exactly what you are talking about in this post. I suffered so bad with hay fever as a child they had to keep me out of school. School started back then in September and I was allergic to rag weed. My eyes would swell completely shut and I sneezed all day. I would just die every fall until the first frost. For some reason this spring has been terrible here in Kentucky, too. I just got off antibiotics Monday after 10 days with a terrible sinus infection. I am much better this week and the weather has been beautiful here. I had the windows open yesterday with 83 degrees.
Hope you and your family has a wonderful Easter weekend. Love and hugs, Judy

Margaret Hall said...

First, Ruby, let me say that finding your blog was one of the highlights of my Saturday morning with a cup of coffee~!
I began reading here from the A-Z challenge...((Glad to find you~!))
Seems that allergies and you and kleenex go "hand in hand", bless your heart! I have been lucky with nature allergies, but have an aversion to some chemical products that set my eyes waterin' and sneezin', too...
Best of luck with your trip!!