Posts Tagged ‘allergies’


May 2, 2017

That thing when you get back from vacation and you know that reality is going to smack you in the face and (other than seeing your oldest girl-child again), it’s going to suck. But then it really happens and not only are you dealing with sucky reality, but you’re sick?

Yeah. That.

Double sucky.

I’ve gone through approximately two boxes of tissues in two days and I’m about to commandeer the nice ones, with lotion in the them. Anything to make my nose stop hurting.

This all started the day before I left San Antonio, and I thought it might have been a reaction to the new allergens in a new city, but now everything’s the same, except for my rather unique stopped-up-ed-ness, and I’m ready for that to leave me now. Although It could have been worse and I could have been sick (or allergic to the air or whatever it is) the entire time I was there. Infecting everyone – or exposing them to germapalooza – would have been worse, definitely.

So I’ll take my mountain of tissues and emails and laundry and play poor pitiful mama for a few days and see how far that gets me. And when that’s not very far, at least I know there’s a weekend right around the corner for me to sleep through.

Huzzah? Huzzah.



It’s okay; I probably don’t need that eye.

October 5, 2015

My day is now officially derailed, and all because of my stupid eye.

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that my right eye was constantly leaking. No matter – I’d wipe it with a tissue, or catch myself swiping at it with a finger (bad, I know!), or, in a pinch, wipe it with my tshirt. Probably not the best idea, given that we’d been cleaning out the last few things from Jeff’s (old) house. I figured it was allergies, because that sort of thing has happened 100 times before, and Gracie, after all, had gone through two boxes of tissues already. It’s Fall. It’s allergy season. My eye was leaking. Not any big mystery.

Until last night when I got out of the shower and noticed what looked like a flippin’ grape sitting under the skin of my eye. I mean, the swelling was ginormous! It wasn’t hard like a cyst, more squishy like the duct was blocked or something. My eye was a bit red and black-and-blue, too, but that’s how my eye always looks during allergy season. The swelling though – it was bad. I put a warm compress on it and the swelling went down enough so that I had to point out what was wrong when Jeff came home from watching the Cowboy’s game with the neighbors. We both figured that I’d sleep on it and my eye would be fine(ish) come this morning.

My eye is not fine.

When I woke up, I couldn’t even open my eyelid. It was now so swollen that the entire upper lid was puffy and creased and looked like it was on steroids. In fact, my entire eye looked it was involved in ‘roid rage gone bad. The grape-sized lump was back, my lid was swollen, and the entire thing looked bruised and disgusting. My eye itself wasn’t red, though. No easy pink eye diagnosis here.

So I slapped a warm compress on it in between yelling at the girls to get ready and debated whether or not to go into work. Responsibility won, so I threw the washcloth in a bag so I could keep heating it and applying pressure throughout the day. It’s working so far – I can almost open my eye all the way! And now I’m starting to think I might not need the doctor right away anyway. Maybe let’s see if this resolves itself on its own. It’s responding well so far…

Fingers crossed, you guys. I have too much going on to add Turning Into A Cyclops into the mix.

Poor little cuddlebugs.

March 11, 2014

The girls are sick. Not sick-sick. Not communicable diseases. Not get-the-heck-away-from-me! Stuffy and coughy and generally miserable, laid low by the rush of the allergy season. I might not be the most sympathetic mama on the market, but when it comes to suffering from allergies, I’m your man. I am the queen of allergy sufferers everywhere, so you’ll never find someone more willing to fetch you tissues, draw you a hot bath, make you a hot mug of whatever suits your fancy, and read to you until your ears fall off. I’ll tuck you back into bed a hundred times, too, because I know you can’t sleep, it’s not your fault, and who doesn’t like a bit of comfort when they’re not feeling well?

I don’t know if the fact that this week is Spring Break makes it worse or better for the kiddos. I mean, who wants to be “sick” for Spring Break? They want to run and jump and glory in slackened bedtimes and pushed-back wake-ups! They want to play and whoop and holler…not nestle into the couch and watch “just one more movie, Mom.” Then again, the fact that this week is Spring Break might be a blessing. There’s no pushing through homework assignments, not having to tough it out through one more day of school, and – you guessed it – a little bit of extra sleep in the mornings. Not to mention all the pajamas they can handle. It has been proven with science that wearing pajamas instead of scratchy school uniforms helps you recover from allergies faster.

So we’re spending the week giving out lots of cuddles. My 10-year-old, who is nearly as tall as I am (sigh), has climbed into my lap for a hug nearly every time I’ve sat down (which may or may not have been more often than was strictly needed, just to create some cuddle time). Even my can’t-stay-still eight-year-old has been hanging off of me – and that never happens. Today is the only day the girls have to get dressed in “real” clothes and venture out into the world, for a daycare-sponsored outing to the bowling alley; the rest of the week they get to hang with their BFFs at Camp Corrie across the street. Gracie told me she was glad, because Miss Corrie is good at giving cuddles. (Bee thinks Corrie’s best thing is that she says “booty” a lot. This is why we are friends.) Hanging out at one of your second mamas’ houses for the week does indeed have its upsides.

It beats the heck out of hanging out at work all day, I can tell ya that for sure. So these allergies better not be catching after all, or there’s going to be heck to pay. Heck, I tell you.

The codebreaker strikes again.

April 19, 2012

Oh, Gracie. Gracie, Gracie, Gracie. As Grandma frequently told us when we were little: some days I just don’t know what to do with you. Thank god for loving undertones, because we heard that a lot.

So what has my parenting sensibilities all in a dither? My eldest girlchild has been playing us to get out of school. School that she loves. A classroom she loves. With a teacher she loves. It’s quite maddening.

Last week Gracie visited the nurse a few times in the middle of the day, complaining that her stomach really, really hurt. One of those days she even conned the nurse into calling. I was out at lunch and never heard my phone ringing in my purse. But no worries – her dad picked her up. Except that when I picked Gracie up from her father’s house later that afternoon, he commented that she was absolutely fine after an hour and hadn’t complained all afternoon.

That night Gracie complained after dinner and during the night and all the next morning that her stomach hurt. “Can I stay home with you?” she begged. Um, no. “Can you come get me if my stomach hurts?” Sure, I told her, but I was on my own at work, so she’d have to come with me and read her chapterbook all. day. long. I guess that didn’t sound like much fun because the stinker stayed at school all day.

A few days went by without any calls from the nurse. I figured out – or thought I had – what was causing the tummy aches: Gracie is a sniffler. Her allergies have been acting up big time and when a tissue isn’t handy, Gracie will just sniffles the drippies away. Except it’s never a graceful delicate little sniffle; we’re talking great big man-snorts. No wonder the crackhead’s stomach hurts – it’s full of all the congestion that used to be in her head. I started medicating the heck out her and withholding dairy products. I thought I had it beat. And then this week struck.

Gracie again ended up at the nurse’s office and again the nurse called when I was away from my cell phone for an hour. (Seriously?! I never get calls on my cell phone and the two times I do get calls this week I’m away from my phone. That does not look good to the Ex, I’m sure.) Again Gracie was picked up by her dad…only this time he made her stay in bed all afternoon and asked for extra homework from her teacher. I called the nurse and had a nice, long talk with her (including why she wasn’t calling my work number). I also emailed Gracie’s teacher and had a lovely conversation – and between the two of us, we discovered part of what’s going on.

Gracie has been getting into a tiny bit of trouble at school. Part of the reason, I’m sure, is because the poor kid really doesn’t feel good because of the head full of allergies. That would make anyone cranky. The cranky leads to poor choices and the Gracie-girl ends up in a wee spot of trouble. Nothing bad, nothing big, usually just a 5-minute time-out at recess. So, in order to circumvent her teacher’s rules for Frequent Complaints About Tummyaches (first get a drink of water, wait a few minutes; try the bathroom, wait a few minutes; have a cracker, wait a few minutes; then the nurse), and/or the time-out at recess, Gracie has figured out that she needs to complain about her tummy at lunch. Not the beginning of lunch – she waits until after she finishes her snacks and her sandwich. Then the lunch monitor, upon hearing how dreadfully much Gracieswears her stomach hurts, sends my little subverter straight to the nurse. It’s brilliant, really, when you consider it took an 8-year-old all of two weeks to find the weakest link.

Meanwhile, between the piles of extra homework, coming up with a plan of action (Gracie has such a weakness for coming up with A Plan), and taking away any and all privileges on days she comes home sick, I think the grown-ups have cracked our own code. Gracie hasn’t gone to the nurse even once since that latest escapade.

I’m sure the battle isn’t over – allergy season certainly isn’t – but with such a worthy opponent, it’s rather difficult not to anticipate the next move with equal parts Please-god-no and Go-ahead-make-my-day.

Feeling Seussical for all the wrong reasons.

February 28, 2012

A haze has descended over Casa de Katie. A big toxic haze. I imagine it looks yellow-green, that oft-ignored Crayola color, too light for anything useful. I bet it could color a dusty, toxic haze of allergens, though. Big, spiky pollen balls the size of elephants crashing around the house. Bouncing off the lawn and setting off car alarms.

Yeah. The allergy monster has come a’callin’.

It’s been so warm here (75 today, 80s by the weekend) that those silly trees, they thing it’s spring! Warm weather, sunshine, plenty of rain each week. Why, they think it’s time to blossom! Time to bloom! Time to throw some pollen at my nose! The weeds have been reaching for the sky, frozen in a perpetual stick’em-up pose. City workers have been busy cutting the grass. Stop!I yell at them in my head. You’re going to make it worse! Make the sneezes bigger! And louder! And…and…damnit KERCHOO!

At night, you can hear trumpeting coming from Casa de Katie, a Seussical musical accompaniment to the thumping of the oversized pollen bouncing around the house. Gracie and Bee have struck down, too. We all fight over the tissue box, often all three grabbing for a sneeze-trapper at once. It’s about as pretty as it seems. Sniffle. Snort. KACHOO! Sniffle. Everything has a cartoon-track playing along in my head, seemingly “normal” under the circumstances, but maybe that’s the OTCs talking.

Maybe I’m not supposed to feel like I’m starring in my own slapstick comedy. But while I sort all that out and try to tune back to an allergy-free everyday existence… Bring on the drugs. Bring on the lotion-laced tissues. Bring on the tea and the early bedtimes. Because whatever makes this more bearable (delusions and all) is good enough for me!

There were words coming out of his mouth, but I’m not sure what they were.

May 19, 2011

Just before everyone at Casa de Katie started doing the Happy Dance of Joy over one of our own being declared officially Wicked Smaht, Bee and I had gone on a small adventure to the Hivey Doctor to see what could be done. Because after two months of never-ending hivies, Bee’s pediatrician thought we should call in the Big Suits. So an appointment was made at the specialists’ office 45 minutes away and all was good.

And then Bee’s new specialist walked into the room and things were even better, because great googley moogley he was hott! I mean….just hott!

He drilled me about Bee’s history, our family history, the symptoms, the timing of the hives; he asked about Bee’s environment, whether anything had recently changed – all the questions one would expect when trying to rule out the obvious (and not so obvious). There was a short exam of Miss Bee (during which I unfortunately spotted a ring. Sadcakes) and then there were more questions. I hope I answered them all correctly; I’m quite sure I was paying attention to Dr. Allergist, but I’m not quite sure I was speaking proper English by that point.

After stepping out a second time, Bee started growing impatient. We had been at the office filling out forms, waiting in the waiting room, waiting in the patient room, and answering questions for almost an hour and a half. I was all Dude, what’s your rush?!, but apparently Bee wasn’t digging the whole experience quite the same way mama was. Finally, Dr. Allergist came back and said he thought that Bee’s hivey-diveyness was just some sort of weird anomaly that would be gone in a few months, hopefully. (Yeah, did you catch that “hopefully” too?) In the meantime, though, he wanted to send her for some labs and schedule a follow-up. The labs will check for allergies and also some weirdo 1-in-a-million diseases that sometimes present with hives, just to be sure. Dr. Allergist also approved doubling her allergy medication so she wouldn’t have the infrequent nighttime hives that Bee sometimes gets on her face and arms.

So, our NeverEnding Adventures in HiveyLand keeps on continuing. I feel like every time I get closer to the Candy Palace at the end of the board, I draw a Lollipop Fuzzy and get sent back to the beginning. But hey, with such good eye candy along the way, who am I to complain?!

Whispering the Hallelujah Chorus

March 28, 2011

(I feel like an idiot for not thinking of this sooner, but Thursday night I got it into my head to try to give Bee some Zyrtec to see if having a continuous amount of allergy meds in her blood stream would be more effective than something like Benadryl that peaks after two hours and wears off every 4. And then I tried to give her some, and realized why I might have stuffed that idea way down at the bottom of my unconscious, under that dirty, mismatched sock.)

(Bee – she don’t like no pills. No way, no how, uh-UH she is not taking that pill. It has to do with what I affectionately call her alien gag reflex. It took that kid months longer to learn to eat baby food because any sort of texture made her gag. She couldn’t eat spaghetti until she was four. Any time she has a hair in her mouth, I’ve learned to just believe her and give her some water to drink to flush it out. If I don’t believe it, I usually end up washing the throw-up off the floor and giving her water anyways.)

(Pills trigger the same gag reflex it turns out. But! Bee hadn’t tried swallowing one in almost a year and she’s grown up so much this year. So Thursday night I gave her half a Zyrtec and asked her to try. I gave her half a cup of orange soda to do the dirty deed and bribed her with chocolate if she succeeded. After negotiating the number of chocolates, she gagged once, twice, three times and she was done. And most of her orange soda had been spewed all over my kitchen floor. I threw the soggy, slimy pill away, gave her a hug, and cleaned the floor. Then I had a brilliant idea: I could crush the pill! I poured more soda, dumped in the powdered Zyrtec and told her she had to drink the entire thing. A few slurps later…she dropped her glass on the floor I had just washed. Soda was everywhere. “At least the glass didn’t break, Mom!” Gracie piped up. Indeed. And that was the end of the Zyrtec experiment for that night.)

(Friday was a bit of A Morning and so I didn’t mess with it. Saturday morning, I crushed up another Zyrtec, dumped it in some orange soda [I absolutely forbid you from judging me 17 days into Hivesapalooza and after the week I’d had. She had half a cup of soda for breakfast – deal] and fed it to her. She drank the whole thing.)

(Not a single hive all. day. long.)

(She didn’t break out mid-morning when her Benadryl wore off, or that afternoon when she pitched a fit and got overheated, or that evening when she spent two hours outside at her friend’s party, jumping in the bounce house. I did find three teeny tiny stray hives at 7p, so I dosed her with Benadryl before she went to bed because night time is always the worse. She gets hundreds of hives on the side where she’s laying – something about the heat draws them out. But wouldn’t you know – not a single hive popped out all night. I was so happy I almost wept.)

(Sunday came and she stayed hive-free all day again. So I did a quiet little happy dance in my head – where the hives couldn’t see, you understand – and just watched her all day. I made the mistake of not dosing her with Benadryl last night and she had some hivies on her leg when I woke her up for a potty run at midnight. But still – that’s far fewer than she would normally have. I dosed her with Benadryl and sent her back to bed. This morning she had one or two teeny tiny hives and that was it. I gave her some Zyrtec and sent her off to school.)

(I think maybe…possibly…that Bee’s hives might be gone. HOORAY! Now shoooosh – I don’t want the hives to hear from whatever rock they crawled under and come back to the party.)

Spring has sprung.

March 16, 2009

Spring, she has sprung. Actually, spring arrived a wee little bit ago. A few weeks, at least. But it’s been chaos and bedlam over here at Casa de Katie and, shoot, it’s hard to fit in a post about the blooming of the flowers and the leafing of the trees! Thank goodness she wasn’t waiting for a break in my schedule.

No, spring opened the door and let herself in. And my, has she made herself comfortable. The trees they are abloomin’! In fact, the Bradford Pears, the ones whom I love above all others, have already dropped their delicate white flowers and have sprouted tiny little green pointy things…leaves, I think they’re called. I’m only guessing because I am horrifically allergic to Bradford Pears. Otherwise I would have about a half-dozen of them planted out in the yard. Instead, I admire from afar. The curvy backroad I live off of, there’s this one bend in the road down towards the main street. It seems you’re turning ’round the bend for a country mile, at least. There are Bradford Pears lining the road and at the very first of spring it’s like Anne of Green Gable’s White Way of Delight come to life. It’s the one time of year I purposely drive slower than I need to, just to drink it all in.

Of course, not everything is as beautiful with the coming of the spring. The weeds, they are also a-growin’. My yard is full of them. In fact, if it weren’t for weeds, I wouldn’t have a yard. The girls cry when I mow all the pretty yellow “flowers” that will grow back in a day or two. And one of these free weekends I’m going to borrow one of my neighbors’ weed-spreader-on-wheels thingies and put out some weed and feed. And then, if I get really adventurous, I might put down some grass seed and see if I can get something to grow before June (and the scorching season summer) hits.

Another sign of spring I noticed just the other day: the mockingbird is building her nest in our front tree again. Usually that front tree is the very last in the neighborhood to grow leaves. Every other year it’s waited until weeks after I was sure it was dead before it started doing anything. Either this year it got with the program…or else I was a bit busier than I thought and just never noticed. I’m glad the mockingbird is back. We might get dive-bombed a few times when we go out to get the mail, but I’m happy to have a bird nest for the girls to watch. If we’re lucky, we might even get some baby birds floundering around for them to see.

I wonder if my bluebird will be back this year. The first time I saw him was on Mother’s Day, 2006. Last year I saw him quite a bit, him and his lady friend. He will sit out back on a fence post and puff himself up for the ladies to admire. I’ve named him Jeremiah. (You know…”Jeremiah was a blue bird/Was a good friend of mine…”)

And last weekend, when I was mowing the weeds back yard while the girls watched from the patio, I scared up a small bunny. She ran hippety-hop down the fence line before she got scared and froze. The girls and I were able to get about a foot away before I made every one stop – all I would need to make my life complete right now is to be attacked by a rabbit, of all things. The girls and I stared in awe and talked to the bunny forever, it seemed, before she felt brave enough to run down the rest of the yard and scoot under the fence. Thank goodness it wasn’t into Mr. MacGregor’s garden.

Spring does seem to be all around us. It has been for awhile, or so say my allergies. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Unless we could adjust the pollen count down, just a tinge.)