Posts Tagged ‘allergies’

What a picture perfect day it is here in Northern California. I would be celebrating the glorious spring weather was it not for the wind rustling through the freshly sprouted tree leaves, distributing a fine layer of dusty golden pollen now covering my freshly washed car. I am an allergy sufferer, so each spring I pay the price for enjoying all the lovely early blooms popping up in my garden, and reveling in the happy dance of the bees hovering over my azalea bush. Last year I went in for a series of skin tests to narrow down what, in fact, was triggering the endless bouts of sneezing and perpetual drip, drip, drip of my nasal passages when April and May roll around on the calendar. When the results were in, it would appear I have checked all the boxes. Cats, check, dogs, check, mold, check, trees, hay, check. Check, check, check and on and on.

The doctor’s first suggestion, one which I have already implemented, was to use air purifiers. I put one in the living room, and the other one is happily humming away in my bedroom. Unfortunately, a full-nature model covering the planet at large isn’t available on the market as yet, so this only alters the indoor environment. Also, he told me to be sure my heater/AC vents are properly dusted, and to replace the filters often. Vacuuming and dusting regularly will help as well, something I already do, and keeping the cat outdoors if possible. Done, done and, um, not done. These suggestions have been a big help, up to to the outdoor cat situation, which simply which isn’t doable. Noticing I ignored the outdoor cat invitation, my doctor took a different tack, this time pointing a finger directly at my cat. He felt it would be better if Boo slept somewhere other than my bed and if I wished to keep a pet, I should keep her out of the bedroom entirely. Right, Dr. M., you tell Boo. She’s pretty sure that’s where she is going to be. As for me, I’m not comfortable sleeping with both doors shut to my room, nor am I inclined to get up twenty times in the wee hours to remove a reluctant feline from the bed. I’m already up three times for other reasons, if you get my drift. I mentioned casually to Boo she might consider using the lovely fleece lined cat bed I purchased for her last winter. I can’t be certain but I’m pretty sure the extended paw I got in response had only one middle claw pointed upward for emphasis. Let’s say I was getting a lot of cattitude. In her defense, this is a standard of behavior we have established over some thirteen years, and neither of us is looking to change it any time soon. The third choice he gave me, which I liked the best of the three, was for me to begin a series of allergy shots. Apparently, these shots can prove very effective in lowering a persons allergic response to irritants. That is, of course, unless I prove allergic to shots, which isn’t entirely off the table. Where do I sign up? I start in two weeks. Have to wait until the Covid shot effects are completely out of my body. So, Miss Boo, the Queen of Cats, will continue to sleep on the pillow next to me in my new bed, and I will continue to regale her with her much needed belly rubs and brush her eternally molting coat. Life is good.

Aside from the allergies, I have asthma. Essentially I signed up for the whole litter of the breathing spectrum kiddies. I went to pick up my inhaler the other day, my first refill of 2021. $285 lighter, I received my teeny tiny small bag from the pharmacy clerk for my donation and went out in my car to weep in private. My deductible allows for one whopping price tag at the beginning of the year, and this was the one for 2021. Don’t get me started on drug prices. I pay a small fortune for health insurance to fill in the gaps that Medicare doesn’t pay. On top of that, I pay a prescription drug plan costing another third of a Hamilton to cover my medication, and yet still lay out $285 for an inhaler. It is not like this is a face cream where I have a choice on which one I select, or the option to not to select one at all. I need my inhaler to breathe. What do people do who do not have $285 to lay down on the counter? Gets my Irish up.

As I said one can choose or not choose how much to pay for beauty products. My mother, for example, always did her shopping at the Lancome counter at Nordstrom’s. If we were shopping of a day we’d often drop by to pick up her latest batch of high priced beauty products as well as the little gift bag usually handed to her by the copiously fragrant and perfectly put together sales girl at the end of her hefty purchase. You can tell you are in the high rent section of a store when you get a gift bag for buying something at the counter. In my case, I generally get my beauty products at the local drugs store where they charge you $ .10 if you wish to have a bag for your items, and it is plastic not pink or lilac, and doesn’t come with a little fabric tie. What I’m saying here is I could live nicely without any beauty products, though undoubtedly I would live alone, but an inhaler isn’t an opt in or opt out kind of decision I can make. The drug companies have us backed in a corner and they know it. It’s like the oil companies. Unless everyone is going to run out and purchase a Tesla, we are going to continue to have to pay whatever the price is at the pump that the traffic will bear. It would make me nervous I think to have an all electric car. What if you’re driving in the middle of the desert and you can’t find a place to recharge? A bad memory I have is going over the grapevine once in the dead of winter across snow packed highways. I had borrowed a friend’s diesel Mercedes to make the trip as my car was in the shop. At the time diesel wasn’t sold as readily as it is now and I found myself on a steep grade late at night with the gas gauge needle pointed directly at E. Thankfully, a huge amount of commercial trucks travel that particular route so I located a station with a diesel pump before I had to pull over to the side of the road and wait for my extremities to begin to go numb.

Well there’s my hump day hump. I’m done now. Thank you for allowing me to vent. I hope your week is without frustration and running as quietly as a Tesla on a deserted country road (hopefully with a recharge station). Talk soon. Stay safe.

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I’ve felt a little discouraged this past week because my asthma, a problem that had supposedly resolved itself some seven years ago, has decided to act up again. For those of you who have suffered with asthma or know someone who does you will know anything effecting your breathing can literally take the wind out of your sails. Walking, something I try to fit in every day, has had to be shelved until I get my breathing in check. Don’t want to scare the neighborhood children on their was to school by walking by with my mouth hanging open gasping for air like a recently hauled in wide mouthed bass.

If you knew me at all you might be aware that asking for help is not my strongest suit. However, yesterday I was struggling with the wheezing to the point I made an appointment with urgent care and showed up at the allotted time. The doctor was both attentive and conversational, discussing my problem with me in detail and offering a number of suggestions for treatment. I know! One of his suggestions was to have the air quality checked in my house for contaminants. Secretly I had been thinking about this myself. This is a rental. I sold my home nearly a year ago to move down out of the mountains to be closer to more accessible shopping and farther away from fire danger. The first month I was in here a tree branch punctured the sewer line causing an sewer overflow in the master bathroom and master closet that required the county and a hazmat team to become involved to remedy the situation. Somewhere in the back of my mind, though I was told it was completely abated, I have been wondering if perhaps they missed something. Sigh. The expression “jumping from the frying pan into the fire” comes to mind here. I will have to speak to the owners. Not my favorite job. My landlords live in huge restored Victorian right across the street. It is my understanding they have seven additional rentals scattered about the area so though I have never seen their financials I am pretty sure they are not stressing where their next meal is coming from. That being said they are not easy with a dollar. The husband does all the repairs while the wife manages the properties, and though he is always very helpful she tends to get an expression like she’s just sucked a lemon every time I mention something that needs looking after.

There are days when it feels like I take two steps forward and one step back. Each morning I begin my day either with affirmations or by reading something positive from the variety of motivating reading material I keep next to my bed. Rather than dwell on what isn’t, I try very hard to focus on the positive of what is. However, sometimes I just want to throw my hands up in the air and indulge in a full on out of control temper tantrum complete with obscene language and foot stomping, exactly what I gave into yesterday while the cat huddled under the bed. My therapist once told me I was not good at releasing anger.  Last night she would have been very proud of the progress I’ve made.

So, today I will research how one goes about having the air checked in your home. I know there are monitors available for doing it yourself or there are professionals who will do it for you. Being on my own has taught me a lot about being proactive. When you have a partner there is always someone there to shoulder part of the load. When they are gone it is up to you to do what needs to be done as things show up on your plate. Have to admit it is a little unnerving not to be able to catch your breath when you are alone.  Trusting that things will turn out as they are meant to be is a lesson I am working on. All I can do is do my best and have faith life will unfold as will. Another test I intend to pass as I learn to travel this new road I am carving out in my life.

On a high note my replacement green card finally arrived in the mail last week. It took just a little over a year for it to come. Wow. A turtle traveling from the Florida Keys could have gotten it here faster. Next I am going to explore getting dual citizenship. At the moment I only hold Canadian. I have lived here since I was in pigtails so I believe it is long past time. Even my dear mother who believed Abraham Lincoln to be the first president of the United States passed the test so I believe with a little cramming I could make this happen too. The biggest problem for me is the expense but I have included it first on my to do list for my 2021 budget under PRIORITY.

Nova Scotia was my point of origin so I hold tight to it. Being a rolling stone most of my life “home” has been an elusive element for me so my Canadian heritage has filled the gap. Still in my dreams I’ll find myself walking down the street towards my Grandmother’s house where I spent my childhood. I can picture it now as well as I could when I was small. Nine when I left, certainly I have wandered far and wide since then but still when asked about my roots Nova Scotia is always incorporated in the answer. Truly it is a lovely province with so much to offer if you’re planning a trip. Always I am surprised the picturesque fishing villages remain much the same from visit to visit, and the sea surrounding the peninsula on three sides still calls my name.  Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had I remained there but that was not the plan for me. Had I not come to California my children wouldn’t be who they are and I wouldn’t trade them for anything so I’m glad my life laid down the way it did. Still, the craggy rocks and abandoned lighthouses seem as familiar as if I’d visited yesterday. Guess I’d better add another trip to my bucket list now that I have the documents to allow me to travel.


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