The Anonymous Widower

My Allergies and Me

I seem to be getting no relief from the hay fever at all this summer. Just as it seems the pollen level gets to a low level for a day, it then rises back up again. I had lunch with a friend yesterday and he never suffers, but he is this year.  It’s a story that I’ve heard so many times in the last few months from others. No-one seems to have any idea about it either.

I don’t get any luck with it either.  On Friday I was to see a consultant about it, but for administrative reasons the appointment was put back for a few days. Any sane person, would think that the Devil has it in for them, if they had suffered the last three years I have. To make matters worse, the sale of my house in Suffolk, seems to be moving slowly and Ipswich lost by seven goals to one last night. But I’m still here, which is more than can be said for my wife and youngest son.

I also had a good lunch yesterday with friends, essentially to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday.  Even Ipswich contrived to lose six two that night.

I know it’s only a small thing, but I slept well last night and got up feeling fresh.  So I thought, it might be a good idea to go to perhaps Brighton or Southend and get a bit of sea air. But after checking the pollen levels, I decided against it as levels were moderate in all the places I checked.  And the excellent Met Office web site, says that it’ll be Tuesday before the levels get better.

So I think I’ll go and see my therapist today.  I’m not sure where I’ll explore, but because it is so easy and fairly close, I think I might go to Bruce Castle Museum this afternoon.

What I will do is reflect on my life and especially this dreaded hay fever.

I will start with my ancestors.  I’m certain that it’s my father’s line that has the really bad genes and has brought me the allergies.  From what I know now, I’m certain that he was a coeliac like me.  He certainly had more wind than the Outer Hebrides.  He was always choked up with catarrh and  ate menthol catarrh tablets like others eat sweets. He was also a heavy pipe smoker and that couldn’t have helped.  His father had died young of pneumonia and my father had told me, that my grandfather was a heavy drinker and smoker, who suffered from asthma.  My father told me graphic stories about how he would pick him up in a terrible state from places like Wood Green Conservative Club. One of the strange things about my father’s family, is that there is very few women, who have ever given birth. Could this be the coeliac gene, which doesn’t help women carrying a viable foetus to full term.

Unfortunately, I don’t have my school records, but it would make interesting reading, as I can remember taking endless time off because I just wasn’t up to it. I seemed to be coughing all the time and spent many nights with my head over a jug of Friar’s Balsam. At one time I supposedly got a case of scarlet fever. How I ever got to a Grammar School I don’t know! Luckily, we had television and I had my Meccano to amuse myself with.  And that is what I did, when I was at home.  Most weekends I would be off to my father’s print works, where I did useful things. To say, I was an indoor child would not be an understatement. And we worry about kids spending too much time on their computers.

So what was it that made me so ill? Unfortunately, my medical records are incomplete and start in 1970. If only they were on a central database, that I could access!

My GP, one Dr. Egerton White, thought I was allergic to eggs, and so I was rationed to one a week.  Did it help?  Not at all.  My father thought it might be the paint in our house, which he thought contained lead and I can remember him stripping it all off and using modern lead-free paints.  It could also have been his smoking or the coal fires we had in those days, but I didn’t really improve much.  I suppose it might have got better, when my parents bought a house in Felixstowe, but we only went for the odd weekends. But at least I used to walk a lot by the sea.

I think in some ways, I just grew out of the worst times and what finally killed it in some ways was going to Liverpool, where I spent the next three years at the University on top of a hill with the wind in the west.

So perhaps it was just hay fever of a particularly persistent form, as from what I can remember, I don’t feel much different now. The only difference, is that now I’m on a strict gluten-free diet after having been diagnosed as a coeliac ten years ago. That cured a lot of my problems, like chronic dandruff.

All of my levels like B12 are spot on, so it’s not as if I lack anything.

Since C died, I’ve started to get a few problems, like tight shins, difficulty in breathing and spots on my chest, back and legs. I scratch them a lot, when I’m alone.

I have been told on good authority by an academic I respect, that widows can suffer high cortisol levels and the Internet indicates there may be a link.

So has all the stress I’ve suffered in the previous three years, brought the hay fever back?

I sometimes think, that my mind learned how to control it and the stroke knocked out that knowledge, but that is just a feeling not based on any fact.  I have been told by a serious doctor, that stroke patients sometimes have pain return from previous injuries.  He did find problems in my neck, which are improving through physiotherapy.

August 21, 2011 - Posted by | Health, World | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Allergies . . . I have suffered a similar story with so called Hay Fever, however about 12 months ago, I read about all the new Allergy Triggers {chemicals, dust, dust mites in old buildings, etc etc } . . . the solution suggested was to use anti-hystermine tablets daily {Claratyne or whatever is safe considering other tablets taken} . . .

    This seems have to improved my Quality of Life, and reduced what I blamed as Hay Fever {now I think as some allergy trigger}. I aslo need some cold tablets {like Cold Eze, if my allergy starts my nose dripping like a tap } . . . check these tablets also contain anti histermines {so don’t double up . . . I don’t take Claratyne on those days} . . . its one or the other and a Better Day {need a tablet only occassionally now}

    Comment by Steam Lover | August 21, 2011 | Reply

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