Monday, September 24, 2012

Something people don't get, and some Q+A

Whenever the pollen count starts to go low, I always get people saying to me 'Oh you must be fine now that the pollen count is down'  or 'why are your allergies still so bad?  The pollen count went down'  It gets kind of annoying after a while.  There are a number of reasons why my allergies don't go down the day the pollen count does.

1.  I react very strongly to many kinds of pollen.  So even if the count is low and most people don't react, I still do.

2.  The more I am exposed to something I am allergic to, the more over-sensitive all my allergies get.  Like right now since this ragweed season has been going on for a while, everything is setting me off really intensely. (since I started making this post a few weeks ago, now things have been low enough for long enough that things are starting to lessen for me)

3.  As I talked about before in this blog, things bother me for longer than they usually should.  So even after I am away from what is setting off my allergies, its still going to affect me for a longer time.  Some people are fine after a few minutes of being away or maybe a few hours.  for me its anywhere from hours to days unless I am exposed for just a moment.

4.  I am allergic to many other things.  People seem to think its only possible to be allergic to pollen!  I have so many other allergies that at least one thing is going to be bothering me most of the time.

I have gotten two questions for the Q+A.

Q: What are some of the everyday tasks that are hard to do when your allergies are really bad?
A: Eating, drinking, sleeping, shopping, reading, and really any other activity that needs focus or extended effort.  My allergies do interfere all the time, but the above can become almost impossible when my allergies are really bad.  Eating and drinking is hard to do when I am all stuffed up so can't breathe out of my nose because I can't chew for long without needing to breathe.  Sneezing lots also makes it difficult because having a sneezing fit when you have a mouthful of food or liquid is not good!  I have to take little nibbles and little sips, and I tend to lose my appetite anyway when my allergies are bad.  Sleeping is hard cause all the sneezing makes it hard to fall asleep, and my nose and sinuses bother me when I'm all stuffed up and my head is lying down.  Also, a very runny nose is annoying when trying to sleep.  Reading gets hard because all my symptoms bother my ability to stay focused.  A constant drippy/runny nose is hard when leaning over reading.  Also, when my allergies are bad, my eyes are all watery and itchy and stuff so it makes it hard to actually read the words at times.  Getting intimate is hard because of the congestion/breathing and needing to sneeze when kissing, etc issues.  Shopping is hard more because of the potential of getting exposed to things I am allergic to without realizing it.  All those scented things, detergent and laundry isles, flowers and such.  Some stores I just can't go into.  For some reason all Macy's and JC Penny's I have been to really sets off my allergies and I have no idea why.  It makes no difference what part of the store I go into, or where the store is.  Shopping with Allison is a help because she usually has a great sense of smell and can sometimes be able to let me know if something is starting to be around that i will react badly too before it gets too bad.

Q: What is the worst thing people have said to you about your allergies?
A:  I don't think these are the worst, but 2 things have been on my mind lately.  The first is some variation of: "You would be gorgeous if it wasn't for your allergies".  I have been hearing that on and off for a number of years.  Often times its not right to my face (occasionally someone has said it to me, either being clueless or thinking they were being complimentary, something like 'without your allergies you can be really hot'), but I overhear it, or someone tells me they heard someone say it.  It can be upsetting because I do think that my allergies ruin how I look.  Its been on my mind because recently a guy gave me his card and said something like 'Contact me if you can get your allergies under control.  Then I think I can make you a model'.  The other one that bothers me is people telling me to blow my nose.  I get told these things so many times: "you sound like you need to blow your nose", "You should blow your nose", "If you blow your nose, it will make your allergies better", "you wouldn't sneeze so much if you blow your nose"  Then most people just don't get the idea that I can't blow my nose.  When I try to explain, I get "you must be doing it wrong", "you need to try more", or "you just don't want to blow your nose"  Its like blowing my nose would be some magical thing and I just refuse to do it.  Believe me, if I could blow my nose I would do it!

Thanks for listening to me rant again.  Please feel free to post comments, or contact me if you want to chat.  Please ask more questions so I have some Q+As to write!


  1. With stores, a lot of them seem to pump scents to subliminally encourage one to make purchases (supermarkets seem to to this particularly with the smell of fresh baked bread). I'd guess Macy's and JC Pennys may well do that, plus the fact that they've got a lot of floor space taken up with displays, which could well mean more dust.

    People really can be clueless sometimes can't they?

  2. I've always thought that JC Penney had a strong scent! Glad to know it isn't just me :-P I'm sorry to hear it's such a pain for you though :-/

    As for people who say that you're unattractive because of your allergies...well, they clearly are fools. That's ridiculous. It's a medical issue that cannot be entirely helped. It may not be the best analogy, but I'd look at it like a person saying an amputee is unattractive because of a missing limb. Anyone who would say that is a jerk and therefore anyone who says anything similar to you is a waste of your time!

    I'm glad ragweed has let up a little bit for you. Hang in there <3

    As for more questions for Q+As...I can't imagine sneezing as much as you say you do! Do you tend to basically have to sneeze full-out, or is it more rapid, weaker sneezing for prolonged periods? Either way, I imagine it's exhausting.
    And what kind of precautions do you try to take at home? Do you have air filters, etc??

    1. Thanks. Does Macy's have a strong scent to you too? and yea, shopping can be a pain. Sometimes the worst is when I am going to a store and I can't help but pass by things I am allergic to.

      I guess. Its still hard to look pretty when allergies are really bad.

      I'm still suffering pretty badly, but not quite as bad, thanks :)

      Those are great questions! I'll answer them soon. I want to see if I get a few more first.

      BTW, I really appreciate your comments and feedback *hug*

  3. I've been reading a few of your blog posts and I can identify so much with how you feel. Like you I am allergic to so many different things and feel like allergies have really messed up my life. I always feel so stressed and tired at work but I've come to realize that about 75% or more of my problems is due to allergies making me feel so miserable all the time. This past week has been awful. I guess it's ragweed. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

    1. *hug* Thanks. Yea I feel alot like that myself.

  4. Have thought of another question Kate, if it is okay to ask? If you were visiting a friend and they said "tell me what I can do to make things better for you while you're visiting", what action or actions would help the most make things more bearable with your allergies?