Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spring allergies, dream, and modes of transport

My allergies this spring seem to be coming on quicker than usual.  I don't know if it will end up being a worse spring, but it feels like its been coming on about 2 weeks earlier than usual.  Like right now my allergies feel like they usually do in the middle of April.  Maybe everything is just 2 weeks early this year.

I had a weird/interesting dream a few days ago.  I was a consultant for a video game about allergies.  The dream got very detailed, but mainly it was a game where you played someone with allergies and had to get through daily life and other things for a set amount of time - like a day or an allergy season or a year or something.  There were different difficultly levels, what things you are allergic to, and other settings to choose from.  Winning was based on what version of the game you played.  I think one was based on finding a cure for your allergy, or a way to keep them totally at bay.  Another was minimizing how much resources you needed to use on controlling your allergies, and another was limiting impact your allergies had on your social life.  I never saw the actual game in the dream, but it was some game developers talking to me about what they wanted the game to be about and me giving them information on how it would be realistic for someone with allergies, what the challenges are, etc.  If you are interested in more, message me and I can probably remember more about it if we chat about it.  The dream and game was actually kinda cool.  I sort of wish a game like that was being made.  I sure could consult on it, lol!

Someone suggested a blog topic to me I want to try.  It was talking abut modes of transport and the advantages and disadvantages they have for my allergies.  I will mention a few here, and if people want, I can add a few more/talk about ones people suggest.  Just note, I am putting the ones down I think have the biggest impact, so off the top of my head, I am not sure how interesting others may be.

Airplanes:  This is probably the worst for me.  I have mentioned plane trips before.  Its not that planes themselves make my allergies bad (I can run into random thing that make me allergic, but that can happen anywhere), but the altitude changes can get very painful for me.  My sinuses get really intense pressure and pain and my ears can hurt so badly.  The intense pressure and congestion makes me sneeze less, but the sneezes are pretty painful from it.  After a trip across the country, I need about a day to recover and feel better.

Cars:  This really depends on time of year/pollen season.  In the winter I am usually fine.  Some days in pollen seasons my allergies are too bad to drive.  I also have had times where I have had to pull over if I feel a bad allergy attack coming on.  As a passenger, again if pollen isnt an issue, everything is fine.  During pollen season, the longer the car ride, the worse my allergies can get.  If I am just with Allison, its not that bad, but if I am in the car with other people, its very embarrassing because I can't go run off anywhere, and my bad allergies can become the center of attention in the car. 

As I mentioned above, if you want to know about other modes of transport, let me know.  For ideas, these are some the person suggested:  walking, riding a bicycle, travelling by bus, train, boat/ship.

I will keep trying to make posts more often, so please keep coming up with questions/ideas for me.  As always, feel free to contact me to chat.


  1. I have really bad allergies in the Spring and when I'm too stuffed up to blow my nose (and I'm sneezing and my nose is running profusely) I take a few tissues (one is not enough) and I hold them under and around my nose. Then I tilt my head down slightly and pinch my nostrils until I've pushed everything into the tissues and I carefully wipe my nose as I take the tissues away.

    It doesn't make any noise so you wouldn't have to feel self-conscious or excuse yourself to do it.

    Anther thing that helps is to wash my nose (inside and out) with ice-cold water. It's soothing and it gets rid of some of the allergens.

    I hope you'll find relief and feel better soon.

  2. I re-read my comment and I wanted to edit it but I don't know how! Sorry about that.

    What I wanted to say is that I don't just squeeze my nostrils into the tissues (that would not really do the job). I meant to say that I pinch and squeeze the sides of my nose in a downward motion and then push it all out through the nostrils.

    I also meant to say that if you do wash your nose with cold water do it as many times a day as you can and do not use soap.

    Sorry I was not specific enough before. Good luck.

    1. Thanks for the tips! I am not sure if they will help, but I will give it a try.

    2. Hi Lisa, this is interesting. I've never heard or read of someone dealing with a stuffy nose that way, pushing it out in the way you described. Do you do that often when your allergies are bad, or just occasionally? And do you succeed with that every time (i.e. get your nose cleared) or does it happen that it doesn't work?

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. GW,

    If I am able to blow my nose the regular way then I prefer to do that. But when I'm too stuffed up (either from my Springtime allergies or from a cold) I have to squeeze/push it all out the way I described.

    If I'm so stuffed up I need to do it in the first place it doesn't really clear up my congestion (which is largely caused by inflammation).

    But I do it right after I sneeze and/or when my nose feels really full because if I didn't squeeze it all out into the tissues my nose would drip all over my face (and even further if I let it...I had some embarrassing moments as a kid).

    Sometimes I have to do it pretty much all day but it's still better than leaking.

    Sorry if that was TMI but whatever works, right?

    1. I have similar issues with my nose trying to drip all over like crazy.

      If you want, I'd like to chat to commiserate about our allergies. Are you on yahoo or skype?

    2. There can never be TMI. ;) Thanks for replying!

  4. Kate,

    I'm not really comfortable chatting online (with anyone) but if you'd like to ask me or tell me something here that would be okay.

    1. I understand, no problem. Would e-mailing be ok? I feel a bit weird having a huge one-on-one chat on the blog, lol.

  5. Lisa, a few more questions, if it's ok: As you said you have allergies in spring, I guess you have hayfever. Which kinds of pollen are you allergic to? And are you allergic to other things than pollen too? Which months are the worst for you allergy wise? And do you get other symptoms apart from sneezing, runny nose, congestion?

  6. GW,

    I'm not sure exactly what pollen I am allergic to. I saw an allergist ages ago, when I was a kid. I saw him in the Spring and he wasn't terribly helpful...he just told me to take OTC meds and I was already doing that!

    I just know my allergies start up in the Springtime when everything is in bloom. This year it started really early (maybe two weeks ago) and I was starting to feel itchy and congested but I'm feeling much better now, I think because it got kind of cold again and all the blooming has been put on pause.

    It's usually worst in April and May but every now and then I'll encounter a cloud of dust or something "off-season" and it will set me off but just for a little while.

    It's not such a big deal when that happens. But when I catch colds they always go right to my nose and that can happen anytime.

    But I take OTC meds for colds and allergies. My favorite allergy pill is called Zyrtec and I use a prescription eye drop called Pataday when my eyes are really bad (my eyes act up, too).

    I'm allergic to certain foods (a lot of fresh fruits) but I'm not allergic if I cook them. I know that's weird and I've never met anyone else who has that problem.

    I am also allergic to some cats but not others. I really wanted one and I looked online first and found out that dark-colored cats can have four times the allergens as light-colored ones, so I got two light-colored cats and I'm fine with them.

    I think that's about it. Lisa, I'm sorry I took up so much room!

  7. Kate,

    First of all, I'm sorry I called you by my own name! I hadn't had any coffee yet.

    I'm really writing because I read some of your older posts and I was dismayed to see that people have made mean comments to you about your sneezing and allergies.

    Unless you are someplace that requires total silence it really shouldn't bother anyone and no one should make comments unless they're asking you if you're okay.

    I mean, I know your case is extreme but a lot of people know how miserable allergies make you feel and what it's like to have a bad cold or the flu.

    I don't know why people can't be more understanding. If someone is rude enough to tell you you're being gross or disruptive or anything else you could simply say "I can't help it and that's a really mean thing to say."

    (If you can't catch your breath maybe just go with "That's a really mean thing to say.")

    I'm kind of sensitive about things like that because I got teased a bit when I was little. I always seemed to get sick or to have an allergy attack in the middle of the school day and I never seemed to have a tissue when I needed one, which is one of the reasons why I always, always have some now.

    Anyway, instead of running to the bathroom when you have a sneezing fit you could try just staying where you are...why should you have to be the one to leave when you're not doing anything wrong?

    If you wanted to try maybe you could do it when you're with friends or other people who you know won't react badly, just to get used to it.

    I'm no telling you what to do. It's just that I used to be so self-conscious and I actually felt better when I stopped worrying about what other people think.

    You seem like a nice person and you shouldn't have to take the kind of crap some people like to give out. When they do that it is a reflection on them, not you.

    1. lol, ok - that 'lisa' now makes more sense. I am happy to have activity on my blog :)

      Thanks for the support. As you read, I got teased a lot about my allergies, especially back in HS. I always need to keep tissues on me too. I use them a lot!

      Its way too embarrassing for me to not run-off. I just don't like all the looking and attention and stuff. Even with good friends, its hard for me to not hide. Only 2 people I am ok enough with - my GF and my best friend. Even then I still feel embarrassed.

      I have been trying your ideas. The cold water seems ok, but I am not sure if it is helping much. The pinching and squeezing of the nostrils is not working. It makes me sneeze and makes my nose feel irritated. Maybe I am doing it wrong? My nose is extremely sensitive though.

  8. Kate,

    Well, maybe one day you won't need to run off but for now, just do what you're comfortable with. I just want to repeat that you really aren't doing anything bad or wrong.

    It could be that your nose is more sensitive than mine. Maybe try squeezing/pinching more gently?

    And the cold water is just to make your nose feel less sore and to rinse away allergens. I use a paper towel to dry off because I can just throw it away and I don't like fuzzy towels. I do it a lot as it can be done really quickly.

    I hope that helps at least a little bit. Have a good weekend.

  9. Kate,

    There is something you could do instead of pinching/squeezing that won't irritate your nose: wrap a few tissues under and around your nose and lean forward a bit and tilt your head forward.

    Then you could just let gravity take care of it and then wipe your nose super gently as you take the tissues away (sorry if that sounds gross but you won't have to worry so much about your nose leaking or people seeing snot).

    I also drink hot coffee after I wake up and then I drink hot herbal tea with lemon and honey in it the rest of the day. It won't make your allergies go away but it feels nice and soothing.

    I hope this will be more helpful.

  10. I do something like that already. I try to do it when people can't see, and I do it often. Tilting forwards without tissues definitely can be a bad idea.

    I always use tissues too when I am sneezing because when my allergies are bad my sneezing can get very snotty.

    Yes, teat is sometimes just nice.

  11. Hello! I have a question if you don't mind.

    When you're in the middle of a sneezing fit, how many times would you say you sneeze per minute? And when you're not in a fit, do you sneeze often anyways? If so, I have a kind of strange idea. Answer other questions, but every time you sneeze type a symbol or something, just to give us the idea of how often you sneeze in real life.

  12. Why not make the video about allergies yourself? For children diagnosed with allergies, it would be a great resource for them to learn more about what resources are available to treat severe allergies. Also, I believe that you would be fine on a ship since there is no pollen on the ocean, although it is a much slower method of traveling.