Saturday, August 11, 2007

Allergy Eyes

In this pic, they're already doing much better than they were this afternoon.

I ran out of my Ester C. I realized I'd been out of it for some time. Vitamin C makes a significant improvement in the allergies, arthritis, and fatigue. The *ester c* is a less acidic formulation, much easier for my beleaguered bloody gullet to handle.

Yesterday was a bad pollen day. Pretend you're a weed. It's been dry, but it finally it rained on Thursday. Friday the sun came out. If you're a weed, wouldn't you go hog wild on the reproduction side of life?

Of course. Water and sun? Most plants just love that stuff. The net effect is a big fast pollen spike.

I ran into that spike yesterday doing errands. So I should have been on guard. I wasn't.

Today it rained again in the morning, then the sun came out midday.

By then, the pollen began to build. Fast. It always does as the day progresses, but add that triple whammy of first dry weather, then rain, then sun, and boy oh boy it goes nuts out there.

So. Back to the Ester C. Sure it would help with that pollen spike. But waiting until Sunday to get some wouldn't kill me. I could have been safely weeding here today, which is what I really WANTED to do. At Livey's place there are mostly woods, very few blooming weeds, so I'm in a little micro environment of relatively lower pollen. Even the weeds I pull here are almost never polleny ones.

Did I wait until tomorrow morning to go to the store? Nice and early, when the air is still relatively clear?


No, I just HAD to go to town RIGHT NOW, and get the silly Ester C, driving past all kinds of roadside weed fields on the way. Livey came too; she needed a few things herself.

By the time we were done with this very short errand, and sitting in the car in the Walgreen's parking lot, I was reeling. Blasted. Dizzy, no sense of balance. Shaking like a leaf. High pitched voice like a little kid, eyes burning, gooping up in my nose and sinuses and eyes and throat and lungs and ears. Itching all over. Throat spasming inside, it feels like it's closing up completely. It gives me some cognitive dysfunction too. Trying to talk and think can be very difficult.

I plugged my 12-volt car ionizer into the cigarette lighter. Usually after just a few minutes, the ionizer gives me enough allergy relief to safely drive back home.

Not this time.

Livey was watching me. She does this with a wonderful comforting attitude of complete professionalism. Matter of fact, non-intrusive, just being there - but completely aware of what's happening, and completely ready, willing, and able to take the reins. Watching my back, you know? Finally she said,

--Do you want me to drive?

And I said, --Yes please.

And wobbled my way out of the driver's seat and into the passenger seat. I took the ionizer off the dashboard and held it in my arms, breathing its cleaned up air, all the way home.

Once home, I slammed that nasty histamine with some nice Ester C and extra Benadryl, and turned on the air filter in my bedroom and lay down. Hours later, my swollen eyes were better enough to be able to see a bit again.

If I'd thought of it earlier, you would have gotten the really dramatic Allergy Eyes pic. But this one should at least give you a general idea.


Jan said...

Oh, absolutely awful for you. I have allergies which make me miserable, but there is just no comparison, so I can only imagine how horrifying that is for you.

I didn't know that Ester C was so effective for allergies, but I'm glad to know that Just make doubly sure that you never run out of the stuff...and feel better, soon!

Nancy said...


Take care K, and save the weeding for later. Sigh, if it's one thing I'm sure of, there will always be weeds to pull.

Kenny said...


k said...

jan, nancy, kenny - thanks. I'll be okay soon. In Florida I'd be much worse right now, so I don't want to complain too much here.

Jan, there's one thing I know for absotively posolutely sure:

There's no such thing as *minor* allergies.

Believe me, I feel for you.

This is old stuff for me. Not news. I almost forget sometimes, with these other newer health problems, that my initial disabling condition was simply allergies. I'm one of those hyper-hypersensitives you hear about sometimes. I'm literally allergic to almost everything.

The good news is, I take loads of measures to help me with them. So days like this, I'm somewhat protected. And - it's never really a surprise. I mean, yeah I forgot and went out when I shouldn't have. But when it happened I knew what it was. Nothing surprising or scary, you know? Ordinary stuff at this point.

Vitamin C can do wonders for me, and it's one of the common *alternative medicine* treatments for superallergics. I've heard of people who use IV Vitamin C, as much as 20,000 units at time, and it makes the difference between their being able to function, or not. (That is NOT FDA approved, btw!)

I used to use powdered Vitamin C, from a good place with much lower rates if you bought it in non-capsule form. But it's an acid, and I couldn't take it any more. The *Ester C* is just Vitamin C with some other ingredients to make it easier for people with acid reflux, etc.

Nancy, you're right. No weeding today either. Drat! I know the weeds will still be there. But the ground will dry out and make it harder. argh!

I need too much sleep when it gets bad out. I shouldn't have stayed up until midnight either of course. So I stayed in bed until it was too late, the pollen was already up.

I'll try again tomorrow morning...(plan plan plan!).

pepektheassassin said...

Hmm. Remember those old pictures where they blacked out the eyes with a black rectangle to make the person unrecognizable? Is this sort of an opposite thing where everything but the eyes is missing to make the person unrecognizable? D'you understand what I'm saying here? Is this a cruel teaser? Are we ever going to see a picture of k entire?

k said...



I'm hiding some scars there.

I probably have some of the best *befores* and worst *afters* in the blogosphere. When I get home I'll email you some if you like.

Jean said...

dang, girl! Hope you are much better today. Take it eeeeasy.

sue said...

I'm with pepe... we've seen Livey now, thanks to your camera, but when are we gonna get to see YOU? (Not just the eyes...)

Take care. You look miserable.

prettylady said...

I want pictures too! I posted mine, finally! I'm allowed to ask!

My sweetie was up all night with allergies, too, and he's relatively low on the sensitivity scale compared to you. It was a Bad Allergy Day all over. Me, I just set my system on 'low air intake quiescence' and sleep until it gets better.

k said...

Eeek! Sorry, folks, no pix. When I started this blog, that was one of my little Stipulations to Self - hands and feet, isolated boo-boos, and maybe one day an *eyes only* pic, on a good Allergy Eyes day.

Bear with me here. I'm covered in Ick, from scars to huge permanent bruises to nasty gross draining sores, to hair growing where it ain't supposed to and falling out where it is supposed to live. I have a classic Prednisone *moon face;* my cheekbones have run off somewhere, and lots of other parts get all bloated too. I prefer to wear a little eye makeup since my eyelashes are invisible otherwise, but I'm allergic to it all now, so I can't.

So, I'm going to ask for your forebearance. Allow me to draw the veil back over this face and body now, okay?

It's not really mine, anyway.

The aliens from outer space came and took the REAL one away. And they never brought it back the same, even when they were done with all their obnoxious little medical experiments.


Anonymous said...

......but, don't you see...we love you...warts, bumps 'n all....we just need to 'see'...'heart see' the lady we love so much...
just YOU love YOU as MUCH as we do....honey, we've all got 'oops/glitch/alien' parts...

Livey said...

Oh yeah, she's really scary looking, especially when she's naked! Hahaha!

k said...

Oh, betsye, that was very good to hear! Thank you.

It's not that I think any less of myself because of all those glitchy things. But you see, often when I'm out and about in public, say over at Walmart getting my meds filled, there are always people who catch sight of some of the icky bits and turn away in horror and revulsion. Or step way back from me in fear of contagion. Sometimes little kids scream or point at me or cry.

I know it's them, not me; I understand that it's all just human nature. But here in the 'sphere I can show those things only when I decide to. I like that. It gives me back a small sense of control over it.

It's NOT because I don't trust my readers. They aren't the folks we see at Walmart! Quite the opposite, in fact.

As you just proved.

See what Miss Livey said? She was poking at me with affectionate fun.

But on the other hand...she's also right.

prettylady said...

That's fine, honey, you are and shall remain a Queen of Beauty in our minds. I will not post a picture of my butt cellulite, either.

k said...

I love you, Pretty Lady.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you and could pass as your twin, as this has been happening to me the past 3 months. they gave me steroids for a week it went away and boom it's back. Is this just ragweed or am I dying

k said...

Oh, anon, I feel for YOU. I'm used to this by now. It took 17 years this time. It started with an episode of anaphylactic shock when I was 22. Then I became allergic to everything, then after a couple years went into remission. That lasted 8 blessed years, until I moved to Shreveport, LA.

Sinus infections and hyper-asthma episodes started. Dizzyness, sleep disorders. After one year of work up there I was permanently and totally disabled from allergies.

I was unable to function. Couldn't work. Lost everything I owned.

That was 1991. My life is incredibly better now.

One thing I can tell you for true: Get those allergies treated.

More and more people are becoming abnormally sensitized. I don't want to scare you but yes, you can die from them. It doesn't matter if it's ragweed or grasses or trees or foods or cats or whatever.

The thing that matters is, your body is going into a type of allergic reaction that's debilitating. You didn't tell me any specifics, but if you could pass as my twin, then you must be feeling some of the incapacitating symptoms.

The good old standby Benadryl is far more effective than the *non-sleepy* meds out there. If it makes you sleepy, take it at night. If you try taking small doses during the day, just a little at a time, you may be able to adapt to it and not feel sleepy.

Another surprisingly effective one is Doxepin. Small doses - I take only 10 mg/day - are very helpful in a different way than Benadryl.

Flonase or another steroid inhaler is excellent, too.

Watch for asthma. 70% of asthma cases are actually started from an allergic reaction.

My point, basically, is throw everything you can at it. Being miserable is no way to live.

If you haven't been tested for specific allergens, do so if you can. The #1 treatment is avoidance. You can't *avoid* specific allergens if you don't know what you're allergic to. Tests can tell you that.

Then, you can take measures to get your home environment as clean-air as possible. That's a little more complicated and I've already talked your ear off! Hmmm. Okay, I'll lay out the basic program for your perusal.

Get some HEPA air filters, and/or ionizers. Toss out your carpets and draperies. Clean clean clean: use a HEPA vacuum cleaner, and unscented cleaning products. Luckily I can tolerate a weak dilution of ammonia. This is great, because it's really cheap, cleans like nobody's business, has no perfumes, and you don't have to rinse it. It completely evaporates, leaves no residue behind for pollen and dust to stick to and make you sick.

Email me if you like, at

Whatever road you choose, my best wishes are with you. Thanks for stopping by.

You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

thank you k for addressing me, I don't feel so alone in this now. to begin with Im a 47 year old female, who never had allergies until I moved to florida 5 years ago (although I just started with this for a coulple of months) My only health problem is thryoid disease. Im peri-menapausal, and so far they're connecting that to this. They checked my eyes themselves for vision and disease and nothing came up. They checked for lupus saying it resembled the "butterfly rash".. wasn't. I use compresses, vitamin c now (thanks to you I realized I must up my immune system) I have to watch what antihystamines I use as it affects my thyroid blood results, I Hate the way I look and know when its coming as first its red and itchy, then bloats, skin tightens and then I peel like an onion. I have limited insurance and not sure if they pay for allergist but Im looking into it now! thank you for your support and please keep in touch!