Sunday, April 12, 2015

A-chooo!!

by Leann

This is my second spring in South Carolina and the yellow dust that clouds the sky for weeks and weeks is taking its toll. When we moved from New York to Texas, I had two years where I was allergy free. The humidity there makes a lot of difference. But allergies, especially grasses, caught up with me eventually and I did 3 rounds of shots over the span of our time there. It helped for the grasses and trees but not so well for the mold and foods.

This yellow pollen we have to endure here--I think it's oak?--is absolutely the worst allergen ever for
me. It coats the car, it swirls in the air and there are pools of the stuff floating on the water. It really does look like the picture above. Rosie, our little water-loving dog, was having fun splashing around on the shore and got covered in the stuff. My husband had to throw her off the dock into pollen free water to clean her off. Don't worry. She LOVED it.

Among the million allergies I have, this one has my asthma acting up like crazy. If any of you have asthma you know how tiring it is to fight to breathe. I have used so many tissues I fear the trees are screaming at me. I want to say, "You stop your pollen poison and I'll stop sneezing!" It will pass and
the air will clear--for a few weeks that is. Then something else comes in as I recall. We are getting ready to landscape and I asked the contractor who visited to teach us what we can grow. Very fragrant plants, no matter how pretty, are not for me.

The trade off is okay, though. The sun on the lake, the beautiful view, the tall trees and the lush green grass are super fine by me. Meanwhile, it's inhalers and tiny doses of antihistamines. The medications make me weepy, though. When we were visiting family in Seattle, I warned them when I had to take an Allegra that I would turn into someone they might not like. (Allegra-Lady cries a lot. But at least she doesn't sneeze all over people.)

What about you? Allergy season get to you? And do any of you get all cranky and weepy if you have to take an antihistamine?

32 comments:

Robyn K said...

I have always had allergies and used to get weekly shots until I got immune to them. I can't take allergy medication because it puts me to sleep and that wouldn't go over too well at work. :) I suffer through it.

Anonymous said...

Antihistamines just cause me to fall asleep. I generally don't suffer from allergies. I really feel for those that do.

Lynda Turpin said...

I am allergic to just about everything (although I fortunately don't have a lot of food allergies). I used to have "allergy seasons" - my worst were fall and winter. In the fall, something happens when the leaves start to change that really bothers me, and the fact that there is usually a lot of wind just makes it worse. Winter is always bad because of the molds and mildew. But for the past few years, EVERY season is allergy season. Right now my allergies are so bad that I am exhausted all the time. And, like you, if a plant/flower smells good, I can't be near it. When I had thyroid surgery a few years ago, some friends got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, but I had to put it outside where I could see it through a window. I also have major problems with incense and potpourri. When I even walk by the open door of a shop that sells them, I get a headache. No way can I actually go inside. In my house, I have a potpourri pot that I combine cinnamon and cloves with water and heat it (I use a cinnamon stick to stir it). It is a little messy but it smells awesome and doesn't bother my allergies.

Whalehugger said...

From what I've heard, the yellow dust is pollen from pine trees. Oak pollen, however, is the one that's been triggering allergy problems.

mary kennedy said...

Leann, I can totally relate to your thought on allergies. They are awful! My situation is complicated in that I wonder how much is pollen and how much is cat fur in my house!

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

Grass, Trees, weeds and house dust are my triggers. Also when I sit near someone who is loaded up on perfume. Why don't they know that you spray the air and then walk into the mist. I am much better than I used to be. For many years I got weekly shots for my allergies. Then I stopped and the Dr said I could go for 5 years maybe. Well it's been over 45 and I'm still not bad. I used to take an over the counter pill. Cloro-Trimeton or something like that. That worked the best for me but now they have a lot of new things out that might have helped me too. So far so good, just the sneezing when the sap is running in the maple trees. Grass was my worse. Timothy ( sp?) is really bad for me.. Hope you feel better soon. BTW for the house dust Dr said "just don't dust" so I don't, much! LOL

Leann Sweeney said...

I totally understand. My allergist in Houston told me that once you have had several rounds of allergy tests and shots they just stop working. I am sorry you suffer through this too!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Up here we blame the birches. The yellow pollen makes me crazy, but it makes my daughters really sick.

For me it's ragweed and hay fever.

Hope this passes soon for you, Leann. XOXO MJ

Leann Sweeney said...

I have a prescription antihistamine called xyzal and I take 1/2 of a pill. It doesn't make me sleepy, but like the other meds, I can get very depressed. Sneezing is better than depression! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Lynda, as I have said before, we HAVE to be related! No smelly candles, no potpourri and then there's all the "scented" stuff they try to sell us. It really creates so many problems!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks. I am SUCH an indoor person. We have far more oaks than pines on our lot but that yellow swirl in the lake must be pine!

Leann Sweeney said...

I can tell because it's seasonal for me. This is the WORST time and that yellow stuff is everywhere.

Leann Sweeney said...

I like the "just don't dust" advice! Ha!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks MJ. The sneezing I can handle, the asthma is a bigger problem!

Karen B said...

I'm not sure what all I'm allergic to - fragrances YES - but most OTC put me to sleep. About 15 years ago a doctor prescribed Claritin. It doesn't make me drowsy but does take care of the itchy runny eyes, sneezing, congestion,etc. Now I take Walitin (Walgreens brand) or Equate (Walmart). Does wonders for me and works fast.

Anonymous said...

I'm very lucky not to have allergies to nature because I live on the western side of the Cascade Mountains and have so many pollen producers around. Lots of my friends are allergic so I feel for you and everyone else who is. I am highly sensitive to certain smells so buy fragrance-free lotions, soaps, detergents, etc . When I was practicing law, I always asked (probably more like ordered) my clients not to wear perfume or after shave if we were going to be in court for a lengthy amount of time. Otherwise, I would get a headache and nausea.

By the way, Leann, I was going to ask you about the landscaping project. Sounds as if you prevailed over your husband in contracting someone. Please keep us up to date. Cordella

Leann Sweeney said...

The non-drowsy ones are great except they make me depressed. So, I took 1/2 yesterday and today, I just hope the asthma doesn't act up. So far, so good!

Annette N said...

Live Oak trees here in Austin - I live under tons of them - it is yellowish light green. It is here for several weeks. I love live oak trees or any trees. I am allergic to those oaks, and in our winter we have cedar trees putting out their pollen....it truly hurts my psyche to know trees are having more sex than I am. Moving right along. But my biggest allergen is mold. You would be amazed - mold is everywhere. I have an inhaler when my allergies get very bad - because they induce asthma. Leann, I know my allergies have made me change some of the things I do in my life. What I try to normally do - is sleep. There are times having little or no oxygen makes me very tired so I sleep. I hope you find ways to landscape that give you joy.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Cordella. My sister lives north of Seattle and she has a HORRIBLE time with allergies. She's suffering right now, too. The first landscaper who seemed so nice proved very unreliable. On Friday, another man came out. Very knowledgeable and he is doing a job two doors down and will probably do ours, too. He also lives on the lake so he knows what works here. Fingers crossed!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Annette. I feel for you! Know exactly what you are going through!
When I had allergy testing the mold reaction was so large it obliterated all the other results on my left forearm. The reaction went from my wrist to my elbow. They had to repeat the other tests on that arm and when they did, dust mites did almost the same thing. That is why we live in a "Sealed" home. We also have an electrostatic precipitator. As long as I don't open windows or doors, I'm fine. But gosh, you have to leave the house some time!!! I went to bed an hour early last night because I was so tired.

Anonymous said...

Didn't used to, other the tree resins...I know, weird one...but we had the same problem with pollen here in AK. Everything bloomed at once, couldn't even hang my clothes out to dry all summer due to that blasted yellow pollen....swirling all over everything! Usually, up here, its volcanic ash we have to worry about ;-) Kathleen Bylsma

Anonymous said...

My sister lives in South Carolina and she said it's so bad, this year, you have to shower if you've been outdoors for more than a few minutes!

Lynda Turpin said...

It is definitely a smelly world. I hate being around people wearing perfume. I won a raffle for a facial and massage, but they use scented products, so I don't know if it would be worth the headache afterword. When I get my hair done, I have to tell them not to put any products on my hair. Sigh....

And don't even get me started on medicine allergies. I have to be pretty miserable to agree to take a medicine, and it would have to be really drastic to cause me to take one I've never taken before. My doctor is not happy with me because I won't take cholesterol or BP meds. I prefer to keep then down with diet and exercise (which I am). I do have to take thyroid meds (my thyroid was removed because it was what they called pre-cancerous and really painful) but fortunately I don't have a problem with those meds.

Yep Leann - we HAVE to be related.....

Leann Sweeney said...

And that pollen is so fine. No wonder it causes so many problems! (I went to Tacoma right after Mt. St. Helens erupted. There was ash everywhere. I saved some, but then I finally threw it out. What can you do with volcanic ash? :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

I feel the same way, Patricia! So I'm staying inside as much as possible!

Leann Sweeney said...

I even take along the only shampoo I can find that doesn't cause me problems when I get my hair colored!

ceblain said...

I have suffered with allergies all my life and on allergy shots and medication for about 70% of my life. Not only do I have food and oral medication allergies, I am allergic to cochineal extract/carmine dye which is put into so many things and it triggers asthma. It is a red/orange and yellow dye made from ground beetles, yes, it is, and it is put into medications, candies, drinks like juice drinks and in blushers and lipsticks too. I played sleuth for a few months a long time ago to figure out what the common thread was for me and found it to be this darned ground up beetle that is labeled as a "natural" coloring. I am allergic to ragweed, all pollen, dust, mites, mold, cat, dog, birds, etc. etc. and even a grass that grows near the beaches here in MA called mugwort. I have been on allergy shots for 45 years and went off of them after all of our pets died and those of our daughter. Figured I was safe with no animals and then they got two cats and another dog, so I am back on the shots again. I take three oral medications a day and one is an antihistamine as I get hives so bad and itch so much that I sometimes cannot sleep for a total of one hour a night. I cannot open windows at all during pollen season which is just beginning for us as we still have snow on the ground, but soon it will be no open windows and no sitting outside to read. Then when our grandchildren go out and play, I have to have them change their clothes from the pollen if they are playing on the lawn or sitting in the driveway to write with chalk or something as they have the pollen and chalk dust all over them. My asthma is controlled most of the time with oral inhalers as I need them and that is usually spring and in the middle of winter when it is windy and the cold air triggers the attacks. Our poor little four year old granddaughter also has asthma like I do and what is so interesting is that she is adopted and yet we are like two peas in a pod with our allergies. Right now, tow of the most troubling allergic reactions that I have that I cannot do much about but to be very vigilant, is eating anything with canola oil and/or artificial sweeteners of any kind. I end up with anaphylactic reactions from both, esp. the artificial sweeteners. I have to take all brand name medications as none of the ones I take use the artificial sweeteners (or the sulfur/sulfites that I am also allergic to) so that is a big expenses and challenge but you do what you have to do. Until this past year when I was hospitalized for a near death infection I had not been able to take any antibiotics of any kind for over 20 years without a bad reaction. I HAD to take some while hospitalized so it took two days and at least 11 medications were tried on me before they found one IV medication which I had to take for two weeks in the hospital and then for six weeks afterwards on a daily basis as an IV infusion. I then had another infection and it took many many tries in the hospital to find one more to try to cure me with one of the meds that I was not allergic to, and luckily I was able to take three or four courses of treatment as it took a lot longer than the exact medicine for my infection would have taken. But life sure is a challenge every day with asthma and allergies and I have sympathy and compassion for everyone who does. And I have my box of tissues and my medical masks all ready as we leave for SC coast next week and so I guess I will spend most of the time at the beach where I was told that the pollen was at its lowest levels. Hope that is accurate. :) Good luck and good health to everyone who has these same problems.

Anonymous said...

Artists in the NW used it for very pretty jewelry. Cordella

SAD said...
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Leann Sweeney said...

I am so sorry you have to go through all this. I have a very over-active immune system, too. I have cold urticarial, and any kind of hand held massager for aching muscles will cause hives, too. My children had so many allergic reaction when they were little and no doctor believed me that the food dyes were causing severe problems. I'm with you. I get it. It has been a life-long fight. but the good news is that when you have an over-active immune system, you might just live longer--or so a very smart doctor told me. My daughter had a severe allergic reaction to the cold in NY this winter. Her hands swelled to twice their size. Both my parents were very allergic and that is a doubly whammy, I guess.

Aurian said...

O I know exactly what you are talking about Leann. I do hope it gets over soon. I take my anti-allergy pills as little as possible, as I really suffer from the side effects. But getting emotional is not one of them.

Vicki W. said...

It probably is the pine pollen - it is much bigger and heavier than the other pollens. But if you haven't had much rain then just the sheer amount of pollen in the air, will make yellow puddles.

I judge how bad it is if when you are driving down the road the air is a gray/green/yellow color. Or you walk through the grass and puffs of yellow come up to cover your shoes and pants.