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?

Tomorrow’s gratitude

‘Do something today that your tomorrow self will be grateful for’. I have read many inspirational quotes over time and this is one that has really resonated with me, so I considered how far I have actually applied this to my life.

There is the utter glory of a ‘to do’ list. ¬†When everything is checked off, I feel proud, and then I can make a fresh list. It is a perpetual cycle of work. A’ to do’ list reminds me of all the things I might otherwise forget, thus wherever I am in the list, it feels that there will always be more list. But this does sort of keep me on track, mostly.

The flip side of the list of many, many things is it creates guilt. It sits quietly on my desk mocking me, passively judging the game of colour matching that I am playing on facebook because the mental weight of the list has reduced me to apathy. And when I tick off ‘washing up’ both myself and the list know it was a five-minute task. And there is a fifteen hundred word proposal to write (the list knows this too). However, in terms of the things actually on the list, there is utter equality in the pen that crosses through them.

The list is most definitely a mixed blessing, but being grateful for what I do today doesn’t just extend to a list of tasks. I am grateful for the interactions I have with both people and places. So many things inspire me to feel grateful, and when I experience this, I shine.

Practicing gratitude at a personal level has been transformative for me. Acknowledging all the amazing things that surround me (even when they have been few) has been vital in building my self-esteem. More recently I have started practicing gratitude for the things in my life that have been harder and these are helping me to learn. And this is allowing me in turn, to let past traumas go.

And my tomorrow self is always grateful.

Map Point. What am I most grateful for?