I’m Not Down with the Sickness

If you’ve been with me for a few years, you know I’m in good company on Thursdays. Check out this fantastic group of ladies,  giving insight on various topics.  Click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

Given the week my fellow bloggers and I have had, I decided to give us creative license in venting life’s frustrations.  

Moving to Arizona had been a dream of mine for many years. It always felt like this proverbial carrot dangling precariously in front of my face, just within my reach yet unattainable.

And now, here I am! Right where I want to be! But I haven’t been able to enjoy it, not nearly as much as I’d like to, because in the nearly ten months of living in this beautiful, sun-filled state, I’ve been sick five times.

I’m not talking about cute little sniffles, either. Sneezes, a cold. Something I can breeze through. I’m talking about down and out nasty viruses, which always leads to a near and dear friend of mine, Mr. Bronchitis.

The first time it happened, I figured it was a fluke. We’d just moved, there was a lot of transition. A long drive, sleepless nights at random hotels. A breeding ground for germs and illnesses. I caught a cold. It always starts out innocently enough, and then BOOM!

That first time (and like all the others times following it), within a few days the cold moves into my chest. I can’t breathe. There’s a lovely rattling sound emitting from the depths of my lungs. Breathing hurts. Coughing is imminent. I go to the doctor,  who tells me nonchalantly that I’ve got bronchitis. (Of course I do. I knew it before I even stepped foot into the urgent care clinic). Sometimes I leave with a script for an antibiotic, depending on how long I’ve let the bronchitis go, and whether it’s bacterial. Other times I leave without a script, having to wait out the virus, but it’s always the same.

I’m sick. Yet again.

The fourth time, the urgent care doc (a different one than the ones I’d seen before) recommended I try to manage my allergies. He felt there’s a direct correlation between my allergies, my exercise-induced asthma (another lovely new side-effect to moving to a new climate that my body seems to reject) and the viruses that are insistent on kicking my ass.

I left with a recommendation to up my vitamin C, D, take zinc, keep using my loratadine, use an organic desert specific allergy spray, spin around three times and then clap twice, nod my head four times while dancing a jig (he never really said that I should do any of those things, that’s me being sarcastic). Anyway, I had this new regimen in place to keep myself healthy, and then guess what?

I got sick. Again!

The fifth time. You know, it’s a long process in getting healthy after you’ve been sick. Really, it’s like a two week period of healing, because you figure you’re down due to a cold, that turns into bronchitis, with a cough that lasts for a long time, sometimes up to two weeks. It’s annoying, it’s obnoxious, it’s depressing. Enough was enough! I was ready for answers!

So, last Friday I sought them out at an allergist/immunist office. I figured if anyone could help me, an allergist/immunist could. The doctor who assisted me (the cutest thing, by the way, in a polka-dotted short dress, heels, jean jacket and a summer hat) tested my lungs, heard my sob story, and was certain that I have allergies that have sprung up from my move here.

And why wouldn’t I have that problem? Arizona isn’t really known for its air quality. It’s one of the worst, actually. My doctor theorized that when I go for morning runs (something I haven’t been able to do much of, given how sick I’ve been, but when I can, I do), I’m opening up my lungs to all that’s around me. The blossoming trees and flowers. The bad air. The dust. The pollen. Which probably explains why I usually end up wheezing during or after a run, blending into my asthma, which then leaves me vulnerable.

Very vulnerable. Add the allergies, and you’ve got a breeding ground for trouble. Throw in a virus, and I’m all out screwed.

I’m now the proud owner of a sinus rinse bottle, to flush out the toxins and allergens from my nose. I’m also on Flonase. I have an inhaler, to be used at least thirty minutes prior to a run. I’m still taking my vitamins, and the loratadine. I never thought I’d have to use this kind of stuff to manage my health, yet here I am.

The doctor wants me to have an allergy test done, to see what’s troubling me. I’m still on the fence, since it’s obvious what’s troubling me are outside allergens, and I can’t really control that, no matter if I pinpoint what exactly I’m allergic to. What am I going to do, live the rest of my life indoors? I can’t have that. I won’t have that. I’m hoping by trying to control the way my body reacts to the allergens, with the new tools (medicine) I’ve been given, I’ll keep trouble at bay.

She also mentioned the possibility of my becoming acclimated to the environment out here, that my body will get used to the world around me. I really hope that will be the case. In the meantime, I’ll be diligent in doing everything I can to keep myself healthy, because I swear, if I get sick one more time…. I may try spinning around three times, clapping twice, nodding my head four times and dancing a jig!

My first marathon
I miss these days…




2 thoughts on “I’m Not Down with the Sickness”

  1. Ah, I feel some of your pain. Within hours of moving to Tennessee, I discovered I’m allergic to it. I’d always had mild seasonal allergies but nothing like this. Did allergy testing and I’m allergic to almost every single type of grass — and here I am in a semi-rural community (which sits in a “bowl,” meaning allergens hover above). Thankfully I’ve not had bronchitis but I take Flonase and use a saline spray to flush the system. So hoping you become acclimated and can really enjoy your new home. Great post!

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