It's February, but it's been a very warm February. We've had days and days in a row of weather in the 50s and even 60s. Every now and then we get some 30s or 40s for a day or two, to remind us it's still winter. But it's been very warm overall.
We've been having allergy symptoms, but every time I checked weather.com for the pollen forecast, there was NOTHING there. No data recorded.
Until Sunday. Suddenly I notice the flashing sign across the top that says our area has HIGH pollen. So I click on the pollen forecast, and yep ... tree pollen is HIGH right now, and forecast to continue to be HIGH.
I doubt it SUDDENLY became HIGH. It's probably been creeping up for the past couple weeks, which our bodies have been telling us here in the ElCloud home ... but because it's February, no one was paying attention to it.
I wonder which allergy sufferer finally said "you know, maybe we should be checking the pollen around here, because I'm feeling yucky!" It had to be a fellow allergy sufferer who would finally think to check the pollen, in February.
But I'm glad to have the confirmation of what I was suspecting. My own nose has felt tingly and stuffy, some of the kids have had drippy noses, and a few have had some red puffy eyes. But what I notice even more is their behavior. They whine and argue so much more when their allergies are flared up. My Dad says it is from a decrease in oxygen making its way through their bodies, it makes them tired. He's a paramedic, so I certainly won't argue with him. All I know is that the next few months won't be fun, then we'll get a break in the summer, only to have another miserable set of weeks in the fall.
But, we'll survive. And we'll consider buying stock in over the counter loratadine. We'll limit stresses and outside commitments to some extent, and we'll just "circle the wagons". We'll turn our focus inward, on supporting the family unity during a time of stress.
Maybe we're the only family that has behavioral issues that go along with allergies. I certainly don't read about that side-effect very much, but it was the first clue with 12 yo R. Spring when she was 3 and 4 were terrible, before we finally got a clue and had her tested when she was 5. She's allergic to trees, grass, weeds, mold, and penicillin. Not highly allergic, she's not going to have an asthma attack or anything. But it's so many different allergens that we just can't get a break. Trees may stop, but then the grass kicks in.
We haven't had the other children tested for allergies, but we know the signs now. Not just the drippy noses, but the whininess, the temper tantrums, the tears. I only wish the chewable loratadine wasn't so expensive. My kids don't particularly care for liquid medicines, but oh well. When you're doling it out to 6 whiny kids on a daily basis, you opt for the less expensive route. Actually, most of my kids take it daily for awhile and then reject it. Fine, feel miserable, but if you start making me feel miserable with your whining you've got two choices ... take a nap, or take the medicine.
I'll be cherishing my early mornings alone for the next few months, because the children's allergies do wear on me. It's tiring trying to keep the children emotionally steady. My current 5 year old is often "on the edge" of a meltdown anyway. When he's sick, he's just one meltdown after another. Um, I think I'll go to the library alone on the weekends for awhile. We've had too many meltdowns, or near meltdowns, in that quiet zone already.
It's time to really start doling out vitamin C, as well. Vitamin C helps the body deal with allergies, too. And you may find me sipping lots of chamomile tea, to reduce my own stress, for awhile. Strap on your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride ... Allergy Season 2009 is upon us.
Trusting in Him,