Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Getting Worse

By the end of the summer when I was 14, my allergies were getting really bad.  I'd wake up sneezing many mornings, my eyes were itchy, and I'd need alot of tissues for my nose.  There would be a few nights where I couldn't really sleep because my allergies would bother me so much.  My allergist game me more meds, suggested I also use over-the-counter meds, and wanted to start me on allergy shots.  Some days I would feel really worn out all day long and not having the energy to go out sometimes.  I was starting to feel pretty down and I was discovering most of my friends really didn't care to come and visit me/hang out at my place instead of going to the mall or the lake or whatever.  I was getting told that I was making a big deal out of nothing, and that it really couldn't be that bad.

In the fall, with school starting, I was very embarrassed for people to see me with red eyes and nose and sneezing so much.  I stayed home on days I looked really bad.  I kept trying to get away from people or run off to the bathroom when my fits of sneezing would start up.  I also started having huge amounts of congestion almost all the time.  My nose would be all stuffed up and I couldn't smell very well and I couldn't sniffle or blow my nose very well most of the time.  I was feeling sinus pressure when I would bend over or move my head down.  My allergist sent me to start seeing an ENT too.  I ended up having to quit soccer because being out on the grass for so long was making my allergies too bad for me to play.

This kept up into the winter, which seemed to me to only be mildly better than the fall.  In spring things got even worse.  My allergist did allergy tests again and I was testing positive to almost everything!  I was asking why it was getting worse since I was taking allergy shots and he told me they can take a while to start working so I stayed taking them.  During this time, the ENT was really unsure why I kept getting worse so he did all kinds of tests and had the allergist do some too.  The things they found were that my blood levels of certain things having to do with allergies were very high (eosinophils, basophils and IgE) but they didn't know why.  Also, my ENT told me that my nasal and sinus passages are smaller than they should be, and also that my sneezes aren't very forceful.  He said that maybe because of that, I was getting congested easily and once allergens get up there the congestion and the lack of force in my sneezes makes them stay up there longer, making my allergies worse.  He said that was just a guess though.

Because I was very congested all the time, my singing voice just wasn't sounding good, so I quit singing.  I also wasn't swimming as much because being under water was bothering my sinuses, and I think I was starting to react to chlorine.  At the same time, my allergist was pestering me about my cats (my cat allergy was getting much worse by that time).  Because I was giving up so much, I really didn't want to give up my cats too, so I told him it wasn't that bad and I was keeping my cats for now.  In school I was getting really shy because of my allergies and because I was giving up so much stuff in my life that i liked.  I was feeling pretty sad some of the time.  Some of my friends were being pretty supportive, but alot of people wouldn't take my allergies into consideration when they went out or planned things.  Many times I ended up having to go home early because something was bothering my allergies so much I couldn't really do anything.  I was also starting to get comments like "hey aren't really that bad", "You should be able to control that better", "your sneezing is getting annoying", etc.  I really didn't know what to do, and I totally didn't want to talk to anyone about my allergies.  I was trying to hide them as much as I could.

During the spring and summer, I kept wondering what I could do to make them go away.  I even though maybe I just needed to get used to them, so I spent time trying to be around things I was very allergic to, but that obviously didn't work.  My nose was also starting to be very runny pretty often.  I still don't understand how I could be so congested yet so runny all the time.  I was getting really worried over people seeing my nose being drippy or people seeing my sneezes being really messy.  I started using my tissues even more to wipe my nose very often and using tissues all the time when I sneezed if people might be around.

Fall that year I ended up admitting that I had to get rid of my cats.  I couldn't be anywhere near them without my allergies going crazy for a long time.  I was very sad about having to do that.  We gave them to a friend and for the next few years, I would still visit them when I could, even though I could barely function around them from my allergic reactions.

By that fall, my allergies were about as bad as they are now.  My nose and sinuses seemed to react to everything possible.  I was completely congested all the time, I had to carry lots of tissues with me and have some everywhere I went.  My nose felt itchy inside all the time and my eyes always felt at least a little weird.  I would have lots of these really long sneezing fits many times each day.  I felt sinus congestion and pressure most of the time too.  I wasn't going out or doing nearly as much as I used to and I was discovering that many people could be really mean to me.

Mornings by this time were the worst.  They still are.  I stared having to set aside at least 20mins when I woke up.  I wake up sneezing and I just have to let it keep going until I get a break to grab tissues to clean up my nose and any runniness that would happen in the night.  I'd have to wipe my eyes too.  After all that, with a few sneezing fits in the process, then I shower.  During the shower I usually sneeze a ton and my nose runs like crazy the whole time.  I tend to feel a little better after, so that is one good thing.


  1. I see how that could be very annoying and I understand why it made you so sad. It isn't anything to be ashamed of.

  2. Great so far, hope to be reading more soon *hugs*

  3. Sorry to hear people were mean to you over your allergies. I think you're very special.