Wednesday, February 15, 2012

am i a hypochondriac?

First things first.  I want to know why I have written "until next time..." on like three of the past five posts and no one has called me on it.  Talk about cliche.  I'm thoroughly disappointed in my writing.

Okay.  Now.  On to my post.

It is February.  So that means spring is on its way.  That also means that my least favorite time of year is also on its way.  It's the "Noel is sick for months on end because of pollen and mold" season.

For most of my life, I have had to suffer through springs and summers with seasonal allergy symptoms.  It started when I was a toddler and my mom said I always had a runny nose.  Then when I was a preteen I had chronic headaches.  As in all the time.  By the time I was a teenager, it typically just manifested into cold-like symptoms once or twice a year, usually at the beginning of spring and end of summer.

But as I have gotten older, it has gotten far worse.  First, I have noticed that I can physically feel when I'm having an allergic reaction almost as soon as I encounter an allergen.  It takes no time as all to feel my eyes burning and watering, my ears itching, my nose running, and my throat swelling up.  Second, I am now allergic to dogs and cats.  I love animals and I actually have a dog, but read hives to see what that love has cost me.  Third, and most crucial, I have actually experienced the cold-like symptoms for months at a time, costing me dearly in sick days at work and fun days outside of work.

Spring of 2010 was the worst season; I was sick all the time, eventually just trying to power through because I did not want to use all my sick/vacation days, I lost my voice several times (which sucked in particular because I was scheduled to sing the national anthem at the U.S. Airways Center for a Phoenix Mercury game that June), and I generally felt miserable.

So now it is February 15th and I am nervous as ever that I will be getting sick this spring.  I already had a cold in January that lasted about a week and left me with no voice for over a week.

Add to that: I work in some pretty questionable environments.  Since I do home-visitation social work, I sometimes start to experience an allergic reaction as soon as I walk into someone's house.  One client called me last week to tell me that they found mold in their apartment.  I was nervous to go, but I did not want to go to my boss and say "we can't bill for this family because I haven't seen them because I'm afraid of their mold spores."  That seemed like a reflective conversation that I did not want to have.  So I went as planned to the appointment.

But later that day and the next, I had a wheezing, gasping cough.

I wanted to write this post because I feel like that cough may have been in my head.  Like I was so nervous about breathing in mold spores and being sick that I made myself sick.  Plus I am still getting over that cold.

This is such a beautiful season in Tucson, yet it is so miserable if you have a swollen throat or runny eyes or are sleepy all the time.  I hope I'm not a hypochondriac.  It is just one more thing to stack on a heaping pile of emotional issues that I just can't handle.

1 comment:

  1. Talk to your doctor- my mom used to get a horrible cold every year at this time, and then a doc put her on a stronger asthma med and an allergy med in preparation and it kept it from happening. Also, Netti pots are amazing- they feel a little weird at first (be sure to get the water temp and salinity right) but they clear out your nose, keep it moist, prevent sinus crud, and help a lot with preventing colds/allergies. I have also heard of people having success with acupuncture, chiropractic work, removing gluten (and sometimes other stuff) from their diet, and I would recommend a good pro-biotic. I hope you feel better- that seasonal allergy stuff sucks :/