Saturday, April 07, 2012
Sometimes You Just Got to Try Whatever You Can
It's officially Day...urm..well, I've lost count. Another day I'm suffering with the allergies from hell. It sucks!! In case you were wondering. Being that allergies is all that's going on with me right now - you, again, get to hear another woeful tale of what my life's like living with them. You're welcome!
I'm not sure how much I've shared this about myself - but I HATE taking medicine. With a passion. I'd much rather opt for herbal, "natural" remedies before I put any form of man-made medicine in my body. Because of this, I have an overactive immune system. Meaning my body fights off viruses and infections much faster than a lot of people. I get much milder versions of illnesses. It takes A LOT to get me to take any form of prescription or OTC medication. I'm not a "tree hugger" or anything like that. I just have an aversion to medicine, and truly believe I'm healthier because of it. Get the mental picture of me walking around with tie-dye shirts and hemp headbands out of your head - it's not like that.
The only time I don't fight as much with taking medicine is when it comes to my allergies. I've been told by doctors that because my immune system is so "overactive" when it comes to fighting off illnesses - it is weaker when fighting off allergies. Although the problem is, allergy medicine just doesn't work very well for me. I've tried almost everything. My allergy doctor was basically at his wit's end a few years ago when I was in the hospital with pneumonia after having a week long major allergy attack - pretty similar to what I'm experiencing now. He'd prescribed so many different types of allergy medicine - he just didn't know what else to try. I was released from the hospital with a nebulizer and breathing treatments, and told I'd probably deal with seasonal asthma for the rest of my life. YAY for me!
The nebulizer does offer immediate relief when I'm having an asthma attack - but it doesn't help with the rest of the crud I deal with. I've been so miserable, lately, I've been taking OTC allergy medicines, using an inhaler, and trying to find some relief with some more natural remedies.
Last night, I felt like a lab rat trying out different "at home" remedies to try and ease some of my suffering.
First, I made a soothing cup of hot tea and honey. Hot tea with usually lemon and honey added is my usual first stop on the at home remedy train. It's what I use when I have a cold or a sinus infection or anything else that makes me feel cruddy. It's soothing and relaxing. I felt good while I was hugging the cup and drinking it - but after, I was right back to a sneezing, sniffing, snotty mess.
I then dug out my Neti Pot. If you don't know what that is - it's a tea pot looking thing that is filled with water and a sodium solution. You then pour it up your nose, and it pushes the water through your sinuses to help clear out any allergens that are hiding. It didn't work though, because my nose was too stopped up to get the water to run through my sinuses. I ended up swallowing a nasty mouthful of the solution, and feeling like I was underwater for the rest of the night.
Then, I tried a steam bath. I ran a bath with nothing but hot water. I'm sure it would have helped a little - if I didn't have a hot water tank the size of a milk jug. Or a bath tub the size of a small pool. Or a bathroom the size of a bedroom. It's almost impossible to capture the steam in a bathroom that's so freakin' big. Either way, the steam bath - that was more on the verge of very warm rather than hot - was relaxing, but didn't help my sinuses whatsoever.
Realizing that heat wasn't working - I grabbed a bag of frozen veggies from the freezer and stuck them on my face. I was surprised at how soothing the coldness felt on my swollen, sore nose. Of course, it didn't really do a lot for the runny nose... but it did take away some of the pressure and soreness I was feeling in my face.
Finally, it was Hubby insisting that I go to bed and try and rest that put and end to my suffering. Duh. I hadn't thought about that. Maybe sleep was exactly what I needed - if I was able to get much. So, that's what I did. I slept pretty well. I woke up a few times in the night to blow my nose or take a few puffs of my inhaler - but for the most part, I was out for the count.
This morning, the runny nose is gone. It's been replaced with a completely blocked, can't breath through, no smell or taste nose. My head also feels about 8 sizes bigger than it's supposed to. The cough, however, has subsided considerably - got to find some positivity, right?
Yesterday, one of my teacher friends made a recommendation. She mentioned that her doctor had told her to get more Vitamin D to help with her allergies. It got me thinking. Last year, I had hardly any trouble with my allergies. I truly believe it was because I was outside almost every day running. My body was getting much more Vitamin D than it was used to from the sun. Of course, this year, I haven't ran in months.
My usual way of dealing with allergies is to become a hermit and lock myself up inside an air conditioned building. Last year, I was outside almost every single day running - all the way from the summer before, through the winter, and in to the spring. Before I even stopped to think about not having any allergy problems - I was already in to the summer. This year, because we didn't really have a winter - and I haven't been out to run since last summer - I didn't have that benefit.
So, I'm going to try taking some Vitamin D supplements to see if that offers any relief. And, as soon as I'm able to breath normally again, I'm going to get back out and start running/walking.
It's amazing how I look back now and realize the added benefits that running gave me. Not only did it blast away the fat, and helped with all the stress I was dealing with - but it also helped keep away the allergies. I should have remembered that this year - but I didn't. I have to learn the hard way, apparently.
All this misery I'm going through does have the slightest benefit. It's making me miss the gym terribly. It's making me want to go out and run. Of course, I can't do either right now - but maybe I needed to feel what it was like not being able to do them to really make me realize how much I enjoy and miss them.
Next week is Benchmark week. I'm not sure how much better my allergies will be - but I do know that being locked up in a room for 6 hours is going to take it's toll on me. I'm really hoping that by the time the bell rings at the end of the day - I'll want to literally run out of the building and not stop running until I've burned off that captured energy. I may not go to the gym - but I might just go out to the track behind the school and walk...and walk...and walk some more. Yes, my allergies might have a different plan - but I'll be sure to take some Kleenexes with me.
Alright - have you had enough reading about my woes? I'm sure you have. I'm going to take my miserable behind back to bed and try and get some more rest.
Till next time. ;)