My First Post
Welcome to my blog about my life with both allergies and asthma.
I have a range of food allergies [tree nuts, salmon, nightshade veggies, some melons, tropical fruits too], food intolerances [gluten/wheat, diary, soy and processed sugar], environmental allergies [mold, trees, dust, etc.] and allergic asthma.
I know, I know, I'm a very lucky girl. I've got all that to deal with: bunches of allergies AND allergic asthma. But contrary to what most people would imagine, I am a lucky girl, and I hope that in joining me on this bloggy journey some of that "lucky" feeling, especially in the face of any level of chronic illness, may rub off on you.
Just so you know, I didn't always feel that way: lucky.
Sometimes my childhood felt like an endless stream of watery eyes, runny noses, itchy ears, hives, a tight chest and wheezing. There were colds, flu, infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. The pneumonia happened at sleep-away camp. I spent a whole week in the infirmary with a young girl who had scarlet fever and mono, but we did get to watch TV. There were all types of inhalers, shots, pills and viscous syrups. Ugh. There was even an asthma mint; it didn't work.
During a trip to Boston that turned into a hospital visit in Boston there was a woman doctor, less common in those days, who showed my mother how to "cup" my back, i.e. hit my back, behind my lungs, with her hands cupped in order to loosen the mucus. It worked. A few years ago during a particularly pernicious bronchitis I asked her to come over and cup my back and it still works.
What I recall most of all, and what perhaps had the most impact upon me, was the missed play dates with friends who had dogs or cats. And the many missed school days because I woke up wheezing. I was always behind in my work. Most of my middle school years were spent home sick, especially when I became stressed about midterm and final exams -- I was Miss Make-up Exam.
Did I mention that I knew the school nurse by her first name? Most times she gave me a Vick's lozenge [remember those?] and sent me on my way. PS. I always had my inhalers with me at all times.
It felt like a childhood of "I can't do that, eat that, go there". My childhood was filled with "No."
However, as an adult, I have filled my life with an increasing amount of "Yes!"
Yes to new foods: I tried quince, yum! Yes to yoga and relaxation techniques: meditation really helped with that closed MRI. Yes to gracefully advocating for my needs: there's an art to getting what you need -- honey really does work better than vinegar.
As an adult my life is about saying "Yes" to as much as I can. Yes to all the things I can do, eat, be and experience versus the things that I can't or shouldn't.
These asthma and allergy blogs will chronicle life as an adult living, loving, reading, thinking, dining, dancing, traveling and eating: An allergic asthmatic life of YES! Whether it's dining at a new restaurant and having a heart-to-heart with the Chef about what I can and cannot eat; explaining how to use an Epi-pen to a new beau; worrying about the flu that hits the city with a thud and how I can avoid it; wondering what just made my mouth itch and my eyes water; or confusion about the new inhalant in my rescue inhalers, it will all be chronicled here and shared with you.
Additionally, there will be some tasty treats in the forms of interviews, book recommendations, allergy-free cooking tips, allergen-free food product reviews, travels tips, heads up on interesting and relevant events -- fun!
So, sit, relax, have some tea and gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free cookies and stay awhile. We have a lot to discuss.