Monday, May 6, 2013

Why Suffer When You Don't Have To?

I love this time of year.  The sun, the soft grass, the temperature – I pretty much become addicted to the outdoors.

Unfortunately, I have really bad allergies.  I know there are people out there who have worse allergies, but being allergic to just about everything outdoors plus dogs, cats, dust and mold…well… let’s just say, allergies are a major part of my life.  Even as I type this I can hear a wheeze in my chest and my eyes are itching like crazy.  I was first diagnosed with allergies when I was around 12 years old and have been learning how to handle them ever since.
I never used to be very good at maintaining my allergies; I’d sleep next to an open window; I would ignore chores like dusting and vacuuming; I’d go ATVing on dusty trails; and I’d play outside all day and go to bed without showering the pollen off.  Hell, I’d even forget to take my daily allergy medicine and would let myself suffer instead.  One summer I got pink eye at least 10 times. (If you ever take your eyes for granted, a summer like that one will really really make you value them!)

After 16 years, I’ve finally let go of the denial and have learned what to do to maintain my symptoms.  I’ve learned that I can enjoy the outdoors without getting myself super sick in the meantime by remembering a few simple things.  I religiously take my allergy medicine; keep my windows closed on high pollen days; wear sunglasses to avoid getting allergens in my eyes; avoid eye makeup on the really bad days; and I change my clothes or shower as soon as possible after a day outside. 

Sometimes you have to put in a little extra
effort to be where you want to be.
Remembering to do these very simple things has allowed me to enjoy my love for nature but not have to pay for it the next day. Sure, sometimes it’s a pain in the neck to have to fit a shower into my evening routine (naturally curly hair does not ever look good when it’s been slept on, least of all if it’s been slept on when wet) or to dust and vacuum every other day – but I know the work is worth it in the long run.

Because I have become proactive, my misery has eased.

The same principle can be applied to living a contented life. 

I can choose to sit back and complain about what’s wrong, or I can take steps to actively improve my outlook.

If you aren’t happy, take some time today to really think about why.  Is the problem something that you can fix? If you can fix it, what do you need to do?  If you can’t fix the problem, can you find a way to live with it and change the way you react to or think about the problem?  If you can’t find a way to live with it, then there is a way to fix it, you will probably just have to look a little harder. 

Nothing in your life is completely outside of your control.  Do research.  Make a plan.  Set a goal. 

Most importantly – Take action!

As I’ve said in the past, sometimes I really suck at being an adult, so I know some things are going to be difficult.  If you need support, I’m here for you and would be happy to listen or give you a boost up.  We’re all living the same life in different ways; we can help each other to live better.

Today, I love you.  Today, I know you are capable of working for a life without misery.

Hugs n kisses,
Annie Jay


  1. Brooke has terrible allergies as well, but loves playing soccer and running around outside with her friends. She's usually okay as long as she remembers to take her claritin. Glad you're able to enjoy nature nearly symptom free now :-)

    1. It's good that she's able to stand it with just the claritin. That's how mine used to be, but once I hit about 18-20 they started getting more severe. And that was after years of allergy shots...

  2. Two other things I've seen suggested: daily probiotics (that does seem to help me, along with Claritin) AND tossing the bed pillows every 6 months.

    Except I can't afford that...good GOD pillows are expensive! so I wash them in hot hot water with a smidgen of bleach every couple months to kill anything in there and de-dustify them.

    1. I haven't heard of the use of probiotics for allergies, I'm going to have to research that!

      And I know, the pillow problem! I do the same thing with mine. Although I AM at the point where I need to buy new pillows anyway haha.

  3. My allergies are horrible. I feel like a curmudgeon because everyone always wants to be outside during this time of year and all I can think about is the pollen is slowly trying to kill me. Nose sprays help a little bit and I take an Rx allergy med daily but I don't think it does crap. If you come up with a magic cure, please share!

    1. The only thing like a cure I've found is prevention (sunglasses, medicine, Air Conditioning, not riding on ATVs - haha) and emergency tactics after exposure - namely stripping down, putting my clothes immediately into the washroom, and showering as soon as I get home after playing outside. Get that pollen off right away before you dust it all over your home. That's been one of the best ways I've found to help relax my symptoms. Also washing my hands - even just pouring water from my water bottle on them - frequently when I am outdoors to keep myself from inadvertently touching a tree, then touching my eyes or something.

      Also, washing bedlinens and pillows frequently is a definite must for this time of year!

  4. Ugh, I hate allergy season! People who don't have allergies have no clue what it's like. I'm not even sure what I'm allergic to - for some reason, being outdoors doesn't make it any worse. I just keep myself armed with an arsenal of Zyrtec and Claritin. :)