Spring is here! Isn’t it wonderful? Do you happen to have a tissue? My nose has been running for like…TWO MONTHS. Ugh. Spring is here. Wonderful.
Listen, I get it, I really do. There’s more sunlight, the grass is green, and the flowers are beginning to bloom. I love all of those things too! It’s absolutely gorgeous here in Iowa.
My kids are excited. My husband is excited. The dog is excited. I am…stuffed up.
I’m not a little stuffed up. My issue is not mild congestion. I would give my right arm for mild congestion. I literally cannot breathe through my nose. (How hot is that?). When I’m not completely blocked up, my nose is running like a faucet (Even hotter.) The Pollen Monsters have descended upon me in full force, and they’re angry, my friends.
The other day, I was talking to my mother on the phone, sitting at my desk in my office. It was a beautiful spring day, the kind that makes you want to rush outside and lift your face to the sun. We were casually chatting, when I (thought that I) quietly sniffled. “Oh,” my mother said, stopping in the middle of a conversation. “What are you making?” She asked. “What?” I asked. She repeated, “what are you making?” I had no idea what she was talking about. “I’m not making anything.” Pause. “Then what are you doing with the blender?”
That’s right. My mother mistook my allergy/sinus sniffle for a running blender. That’s what I sounded like. A freaking blender.
The thing was, I actually felt pretty good that particular day. I was at the office, but I had not even been outside. I woke up, got in my car (in my garage), and drove to my office (where I park in an underground garage, then take the elevator straight to my office). I had not picked flowers, or done anything else to “trigger” my allergies. If I thought sounding like a blender was good, what did I sound like when I was really suffering? I don’t even want to know.
It’s the same dance every year. Spring snot. I’m stunned by the sheer volume of snot my body can manufacture.
I’ve tried all kinds of things. Prescription drugs, shots, allergy testing (“You’re allergic to pollen. That will be $200.00”) No real change.
I watch the commercials for allergy medicines with hope. You know the ones…a woman is all stuffed up, her face is a ridiculous shade of red to illustrate the pain and pressure she feels. But wait! There’s a fabulous new medicine that has just been released, and once she takes it, she is free. Free to frolic through fields of flowers and snuggle with animals and dust bunnies alike! Run, don’t walk to the drugstore, and snatch up this modern miracle. It’s not like the ten thousand other meds you’ve tried, really it’s not. And it’s only $50.00 for ten pills. A bargain at twice the price!
Except that it’s EXACTLY like the other things I’ve tried. It goes into the “failed allergy medicines” drawer in my bathroom. I should buy stock in a tissue company.
So, I have come to accept what I now lovingly call “Blender Nose” as my lot in life. There are just some times during the year that I’m going to be congested. That said, I have found a few things that ease my symptoms a bit. If you are watching spring pass you by from behind a window pane too, maybe they’ll help you too.
- Peppermint/Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Just a drop on a tissue, or a drop or two under my nose can make a big difference! I’m not very knowledgeable about essential oils, but I have a few that I keep around, and these are two of them. I also put a drop out two in a diffuser at night.
- A Salt Lamp. These things are WONDERFUL. They’re pretty, they come in all shapes and sizes, and they really do help purify the air. I wish I had one in every room.
- Nasal Strips. They’re not just for snoring. I’m actually shocked that they don’t advertise these things more for allergies. They are not all that attractive (but more attractive than sleeping next to a running blender, I imagine) but they do help open things up, and help me sleep.
- A Cool, Wet Washcloth. Old school, but Heavenly on the really bad days. I lay one over my eyes and nose for a few minutes to relieve swelling. Mom really does know best.
- A Hot Shower. Steam, Baby. Breathe it in! Bonus points for using a couple of drops of Eucalyptus or Peppermint essential oil (see #1)
These aren’t CURES, I’m still searching for that. These are tools that help me get through allergy season. I hope one of them can help you.
Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Has the sound of your breathing been compared to the noise created by a kitchen appliance? How do you cope? Let me know in the comments below!