I unfortunately struggle and have struggled with asthma and allergies since I was young. As I look back on all these years that I struggled it didn’t keep me from going to camp, having a dog, or living on a farm. Allergies can be very debilitating, but thankfully I managed them so they didn’t keep me from enjoying my life.
When I was a child I had eczema behind my knees, and thankfully there was a cream to manage the itch. I was diagnosed with asthma after not being able to breath at Girl Scout camp, and thankfully there are inhalers so I could breathe again. At the time I didn’t know what the triggers were, but over time I learned it was worse different times of the year, or when I was around or touched cats or dogs.
In my early 20s I got the allergy test done and found out for sure that my allergies are centered around specific trees & grasses, dogs, cats, shrimp, pollen, and mold. I began the allergy shot treatment, and stuck to it for 2 years. After the two year period I was done being stuck with a needle every week or two so I quit the treatment. I will say though my allergies seem to be better and I attribute that to not only the allergy shot treatment, but also to getting older as well as the continued exposure to my allergens that have enabled me to build up a resistance.
The eczema ended when I was in my teens probably because I wasn’t rolling around in the grass anymore. My asthma is at a minimum these days, and I remember the Dr. saying to my Mom that I will probably grow out of it. I still carry an inhaler with me at all times, because not being able to breath properly sucks and inhalers are wonderful.
In my single years I also adopted two cats that lived with me in my apartment. Yep, I was allergic to cats, but that didn’t keep me from welcoming them into my home and heart. I believe dealing with their dander directly enabled me to build an immunity to them. As of now I don’t think I’m allergic to cats anymore, because I have been in homes with cats and there’s no sneezing. Whoo Hoo!
Dogs unfortunately are a bigger challenge, but here on the farm our dog Cody was an outside dog. I would pet him occasionally, but wash my hands after doing so. My Farmer had to wash his face and hands after loving on Cody before he touched or kissed me. However I will say my allergies didn’t stop me from loving him just as much as anyone else loves their pets. It seemed to me that Cody understood, so just acknowledging him without a pet on the head was fine with him. He rarely tried to kiss me, but I remember the last time he did and I was surprised I didn’t break out in hives. I do know however that is mainly the dander of a dog or pet that is the allergen, not their kiss.
Being allergic to animals doesn’t mean you can’t love one with your heart. – Sherry Martz
I will say I do take Zyrtec daily to manage my allergies, and I’m mindful of the allergens that cause my attacks. Around the farm there are plenty, but that doesn’t stop me from helping with the farm chores when needed, petting our dog, seeing the new pigs in the barn, or even taking a quad ride. Some of those things are worth a runny nose. Especially when they’re with the ones who have stolen my heart ~ my family.
How have allergies effected your life?