Sunday, June 22, 2008


We are both incredibly allergic here. The pollen counts are skyrocketing and Walter is getting the extreme symptoms I used to live with daily. Back before the high-dose steroids, that was.

Most people wouldn't understand these are symptoms of extreme allergies. I'm watching him and it's like looking into a mirror. I've talked with other superallergics, but almost never seen one in the middle of a bout.

We were walking through the house to the laundry room. He suddenly wavered, recovered his balance, tried to take another step, and his foot went way off to the side instead of in front of him. Like someone who's had too much Happy Hour.

I told him, --Put your hand on the wall. Something solid. Stand up as straight as you can: line up your bones. If you touch anything at all it'll help you balance.

Around his eyes, he's so swollen and purple it looks like he was in a bar fight after that too much Happy Hour.

He's sleeping constantly. Gets up for an hour or two, can't do anything, can't stay upright, goes back to bed. Taking Zyrtec helps some, for a while. It makes his nose leak like crazy.

Fatigue. Dizziness. Loss of balance. Extreme sleep. Weakness. I ask him a question and his mind goes blank.

Walter was always allergic. He gets these reactions to food, like eggs, where his skin makes huge patches of hives, nearly covering his back and thighs. But this? This is new.

Long ago I wondered if some obscure virus may play a role in this superallergic condition. If so? He caught it from me.

He's been getting more and more like me in his allergic reactions the past few years. I'm far more protected now than I was seventeen years ago. There's a reason I take all these pills. It's not for recreation, believe me.

He doesn't take those allergy meds, and most of them are barred to him because of his heart condition and the meds he takes for that.

Bear with me. I'm here. I'm sleeping too, most of the time, just not as much as Walter.

Right now we're contemplating running off for a nice recreational drive. If we pack the Isuzu with HEPA air machines, a drive will probably do us both a lot of good. Just going to another area, not even far away, can help calm down these reactions. Walter says whenever he leaves Florida he's normal again. I know this is a factor in his desire to go back to work.

Meanwhile...I've been hearing from some of you, too, about exceptional allergic reactions, hay fever, like that. Your dizziness and fatigue are part of it, yes.

And I've got a stack of unanswered comments and emails about other stuff. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

I'm okay. I'm used to this. Just slow, for now. I'll get there though.

I always do.


Desert Cat said...

It sounds like you could use another change of venue. I know you love south Florida, but if you're both hypersensitive now to Florida allergens...

Speaking of filters and allergens, have you had any experience with ion generators for knocking out pollens? Daisycat and I have had a combination ozone/ion generator for years, and recently it died. Her allergies at home have gotten much worse since then. This typically happened any time the machine got dirty and lost efficiency in the past as well.

We have new machines (separate ozone and ion generators) coming on order. I'm pretty sure it was not the ozone that was helping her, but rather the ion generator. The duct vents always required regular vacuuming when the machine was working, so we knew it was doing what it was supposed to (causing particles to aggregate and fall out).

k said...

Is that the same as an *ionizer?* We have ionizers for our vehicles; the Isuzu has a largish one in it running all the time.

We have HEPA air filtration machines in every room of the house, and a small one in the A/C closet for the A/C intake too. For the last several years, when replacing the HEPA machines, we've been careful to get ones that include ionizer settings.

They really do make a noticeable difference, as do the HEPA filters. Using both at once is great.

The only thing about the HEPA machines is keeping the filters changed. We haven't been able to afford that in way too long. We try to keep them (gently) vacuumed.

But doing that myself is seriously hazardous. I can't afford my housekeeper any more either. So I have to wait till Walter gets home from the road, and then he's often too exhausted to do anything but sleep till he leaves again. (I hate making *honey do* lists for him. Can't stand it.)

heh! He's doing a small machine right now - I just heard the vacuum cleaner go on. We need it for the Isuzu or we won't be alert enough to drive.

Jean said...

I hope the trip helps.
You've given me something else to add to my 'counted blessings list'... no alergies. Well, except for the one that's been developing at work :-)

Desert Cat said...

ion generator = ionizer, yes.

Not all ionizers are created equal though. I'll let you know how well ours works when we get it.

k said...

Jean, I hope so too. At any rate it should be fun. It's almost impossible for it NOT to be fun. I've been getting that *jailed in* feeling and I. Want. OUT.

DC, yes. Walter said an ionizer-machine alone could well be much more effective.

We're packing the HEPA he just washed into the Isuzu. This will be interesting!

Nancy said...

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

That's really interesting, I've wondered about some kind of virus being involved in all this too. I've been screwed up since a pesticide exposure in childhood, and everything has really gone mad since I've entered into my 30's. But my husband, a totally normal guy with no allergies, no sensitivities, no autoimmune stuff, has recently started reacting against some chemicals (ingredients in foods and personal care products) that he's never had problems with before. And they aren't even the most nasty types of common things, since we don't even have those in the house. I don't know what we'll do if he ends up as sick and disabled by the world as I am, God help us all.