Nature, how I love thee, let me count the …

SNEEZE.

My husband thinks I need a bubble. You’ve seen the kind, on the bug spray commercials. In fact, he calls me Bubble Girl if I so much as sneeze outside.

Too bad I love the outdoors.

I love to kayak, canoe, raft, sail, boat, ski, hike, camp, and swim…and I’m blessed to live in an area surrounded by national and state parks (Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Big South Fork, Cherokee National Forest, Frozen State Park, Big Ridge), plus a lot of water (Lake Loudon, Norris Lake, Douglas Lake, Tellico Lake, Indian Boundary Lake, Cherokee Lake, Watts Bar Dam). So there’s plenty of opportunity and not a huge amount of competition to explore these amazing areas of East Tennessee.

But if you’ve paid attention to the news and official ratings–I happen to live in the MOST allergy prone area of our country. Seriously. If you don’t have allergies where you live, please come here and suddenly discover “ta da” you are a sneezing, coughing, wheezing, stuffed up, tissue-ball in need of NyQuil. So you can rest better.

As a child I was regularly sick with strep throat and ear infections from my allergies to the outdoors. I missed about 1/3 of kindergarten from repeated infections and sickness. Then finally I was introduced to allergy shots and it maintained my outdoor problems for 10+ years, then I quit in high school for the easier oral meds.

And I was doing fine, until the last 3 summers of humid, pollen-infested, allergy medicine-overiding weather. This year has definitely been the worst, with February being 80 F, turning March into a tree pollen and rag weed fest. Allergenpalooza. After being sick for two weeks, I was finally able to manage the outdoors with a combination of cough drops, hot tea & honey, Mucinex, Allegra, and a humidifier.

June was fine, July was ok…until Monday. Even spending all last week at the lake, I had no problems. Then I woke up Monday with a dry, sore throat. By noon, I was a drippy, tissue-ball. That I can deal with. However, out of nowhere, each night I suffered the most painful attacks I have ever had. Ever. The worst were around 11pm, when blinding pain would shoot from my right temple, down my jaw and cheek bone. I couldn’t make them stop and poor J felt helpless. I wanted to pass out, the pain was so excruciating. When it finally ebbed, I tried to sleep. 5 total attacks on Monday night.

I searched Google for what could be causing it–ya know, since I wanted it to go away. Bad idea, all sorts of disorders and diseases. I’m a teeth grinder, so I was hoping it was at least TMJ related.

J made me go to the Dr. on Tuesday, and boy how glad am I? Antibiotics and steriods for my sinus infection and swelling. I was uncertain the meds would work quickly enough to eliminate the painful attacks at night, so I took a painkiller. I just didn’t enjoy the still-groggy feeling I had when I woke up yesterday, so I braved it with only my prescriptions. And ya know what! No pain! And I can breathe! It’s a double-whammy!

I would just like to thank all the products that helped in this quest to defeat the outdoor allergen enemies. Thank you for coating my throat, draining my nose, easing my pain, and improving my immune system. If I could, I’d give you all an Oscar.

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Allergen defeaters!

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