I haven’t had these symptoms this severe in years! What happened?!
Most of you who know me, know that I am strict with diet and lifestyle expression and use herbs in my every day life. Those many years of taking Zyrtec and Nasonex (prescriptions in those days) to survive the elements ended in 2004 after I had worked hard to get my health in excellent shape. Without the pharmaceuticals I roamed the country for years living in my motorhome and experiencing the environment without fear, relying on my herbs and lifestyle to keep me breathing and healthy. I visited National Parks, State Parks, and Corp of Engineering Parks without even a sniffle.
But then it started. An awful cough – hacking, sometimes like whooping cough. Nose constantly running, except when laying down in which it then clogged with congestion. Eyes itching. Face hurts. Throat clogged and painful. And oh sooooo tired…. So what happened?
Well, could it be that every single day for several weeks this area (middle Tennessee) has had, and is still having, the highest levels of pollen? Especially from oak which is the most abundant type of trees I live among on these 18 acres of timberland. Or could it be that I have not dealt well with the stress from all the repairs I had to do as a result of the polar vortex? I went without water for several weeks and even longer without hot water. I had to replace the well’s solar panels, charge controller, and pump controller, as well as have burst pipes replaced – including every copper pipe from the wood stove that gives me hot water in the winter. Or could it be that for over a year I have not been in the sun enough, spending most of my time in the shop or on the computer, or when cutting, splitting and stacking wood have been well covered either to keep me warm in cold weather or to protect me from the biting of bugs during the warm weather?
Any one of these may not have triggered this severe reaction by itself, but combining pollen, stress and Vitamin D deficiency, it is very possible.
And perhaps the biggest trigger is a toxic (for me) manmade pollution – a detergent used by my well meaning father whom I was visiting. He washed the badly soiled dog travel crate pad. And then he washed one pair of my jeans. With All Oxy Plus. The pad stunk up the car all during the six hour drive home causing a dull headache. And I could not get away from the smell of my jeans enough to even be able to wear them. So I washed, and washed, and washed both items. I hung them up for a week in the wind and sun. And washed again. They still stink. And as the symptoms of allergies increased, I made the mistake of sniffing my jeans as they hung, hoping that the smell was gone and, instead, felt a horrendous rush in my head that culminated into a headache and even more congestion.
Once I realized that this really was a severe response to allergens, I started drinking cups of thyme tea. Years ago before taking pharmaceuticals and before it was known that I had allergies, I spent seven months with chronic bronchitis. That was the symptom that finally led to the discovery that I had allergies. Thyme tea will help to treat bronchitis and perhaps even prevent it from happening. And it did give me some relief. As I spent another night in bed, propped up on pillows in order to be able to breathe and using my Anti Congestion Mist to open breathing passages, I realized that I need to take this serious and guide myself the same way I guide the people who come to me for help. So I brought out the Elderberry Syrup to help the respiratory issues. I brought out the Wild Cherry Bark Syrup to soothe my throat, stop the cough, and act as an expectorant. I put a light touch of Cayenne Ointment at my temples and at my throat to help release the inflammation and pain. And then I, for the first time, made me a tea from my Hay Fever Tea formula. I had never drank it before now, never had needed it. Until now.
But now I am starting to feel better. I can breathe! My throat doesn’t hurt as much. And I think I might finally get some sleep. I know that it will take awhile to get my immune system functioning correctly again. After all, herbal therapies are about helping the body heal itself, not about just quickly getting rid of symptoms.
I don’t think I will get near those jeans again. They are just going to hang there. Maybe forever.
Oh, please don’t tell my Dad about this reaction I had to his detergent. He so enjoyed being able to do something for me when I visited him. I can’t ruin that joyful memory. But between you and me, he isn’t going to wash any of my stuff again….