Denial is my sword and shield

My daughter has just had a week long holiday from school and I? I won the extreme delights of a respiratory infection. I can’t remember the last time that I was this, antibiotic requiring, ill. And it is hideous, but the somewhat odd thing was, that it took me a really long time to realise that I was actually ill in the first place, and I wondered why I went through this level of denial.

To start with I get intermittently terrible hay fever. It would likely be fine if I consistently remembered to take the tablets (I don’t), use the salt pipe and Rudolph machine (see my previous blog ‘my glorious ailment’ for a truly sterling picture of me!). However, for some reason, I have decided that I am quite clearly invincible, so daily usage is not required. Until I start to seriously suffer, which is what I thought was happening, so I started taking some meds. Then the cough began.

Now I don’t usually cough with hay fever, but with denial as my sword and shield, clearly, this was hay fever extraordinaire! A mighty beast of hay fever to be slain! So the coughing continued, and I risked using the salt pipe.

Then the tiredness crept in. Rather than attributing this to anything illness related, I simply surmised that I had been having a few too many late nights and needed a catch-up, and likely it was all just related to my hay fever. The monstrous beast was fighting hard.

Then maybe around ten days later I decided to hedge my bets. I went to see my doctor. He got the stethoscope out and put it on my back as I breathed in and out. He then told me that he needn’t have bothered with the stethoscope as apparently me breathing a little deeper than normal, he could have diagnosed me from across the room. He gave me antibiotics and told me that my hay fever was likely bad too (I knew, I knew!).  But why the denial in the first place?

I think it comes from having very many chest infections in my late teens. I had bronchitis three or four times, once it then exciting developed in bronchial flu (cue laying on the carpet, curled into a ball, making the tiniest clearing my throat sound instead of the big cough that I wanted to do, as I had shredded all muscles over my ribcage, coughing seriously hurt!!). I just no longer perceive myself as an ill sort of person, whereas back then, the onset of winter appeared to always bring cough. That lasted for, well, pretty much winter. I also rocked ordinary flu a fair few times too. I have not been doctor requiring sick for such a goodly while, I think I just forgot that it was an option. Or I was scared to acknowledge the truth.

I think that sometimes the memory of what was before can feel so similar to the present. Realising that just because something has happened before, doesn’t mean it will be identical if it happens again. In fact, it could never be identical because so many variables will be different. Including me.

But anyways,  am mid antibiotic course and now no longer need to sleep during the day in order to recharge enough to keep going. Am considering this a massive win! And clearly, this means I am better?

Map Point. Where am I expecting the past to reoccur?

My glorious ailment

It is hay fever season. Actually, for me, there is rarely a time when it isn’t hay fever season. Mine starts when the trees blossom and ends when they have finished spawning whatever they spawn when the leaves are dropping off. A few years back I was tested at the hospital with multiple drops of things on my arm. And officially, it’s trees that cause me mischief, and also very slightly, dogs.

My hay fever didn’t emerge until I was nineteen, I escaped childhood blissfully unaware of the horrors that itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy throat and all the other delights that hay fever would soon bestow upon me.

I was offered at the time a genetic therapy as my hay fever can get pretty bad, but for an assortment of reasons, I decided not to go with it. ‘There must be a better way’ I thought. Am not sure if better has ever truly cut it, but it has been an exciting sort of journey!

Antihistamine tablets. I have tried almost every variety of these. And mostly they work, sort of, for a few hours. However don’t take more than one each day or your doctor will get excited and send you for blood tests to see if you are frying your liver. My liver is still happy. Apparently, some will work in different seasons dependent on what’s in the air. I have no idea how true this is, but I find this method to be massively frustrating. I muchly dislike things that I am snot free and then a couple of hours later discovered that this is very much not the case!

Then there were the nose sprays. These I have never got on with, despite various assurances from the pharmacists who have sold them to me. The most scary of all was Prevalin. It smelled like minty clay, which wasn’t particularly a bad thing, what was a bad thing was that after application, I sneezed. Whilst looking into the bathroom mirror. What sprayed all over said mirror was strings of white gelatinous goo. It also landed on me. This could most utterly be the best product for hay fever ever invented, a panacea for all things allergic and I would still never use it again. The memory still triggers a slight sense of terror.

Possibly the most amusing device I have tried was something that turned me into a Christmas reindeer by the name of Rudolph. This marvellous device (its the photo with this post) has little led bulbs that you push into your nose and then after a couple of minutes, you remove said light bulbs and all is well. It was strange, It causes mass hilarity from all who see it, and it was curiously effective.

I have tried local honey, which had almost no effect, but the honey was tasty! And then I went for this pollen. This was a new one for me, but I started adding it to morning smoothies, and despite a slightly weird taste that I have got used to, this one appears to be reducing my symptoms.

I have also tried herbal type tablets. I am currently using them in conjunction with the pollen. I have no idea which is working most, or whether it is a combination of the two, but am very much enjoying a lack of hay fever currently, so am going to go with these are a good thing!

Something that was recommended to me by a friend last year was a salt pipe. It is calming to use, completely no idea as to whether or not it actually works. But I do like using it!

Any allergy complaint I have ever had in my life has always been deeply irksome. Apparently, it is when the body thinks non-toxic things are suddenly toxic. Sometimes I think that my hay fever is a manifestation of all the times that I have not been happy with myself. I have caused my life to be more difficult when actually dealing with things would have made my life easier. So all of the amusing remedies above are ways I have been treating the symptoms, and now it is time for me to address what hay fever is maybe trying to teach me.

Map Point. What am I putting off doing?