Spring is here (or so they keep telling us, anyway) and for many families that means girding ourselves for seasonal allergy season as well as rejoicing in longer days, warmer temps and the glorious feel of the sun on our pasty winter-white skin (safely protected by sunscreen, of course).
In my family, my oldest daughter lost the genetic lottery and inherited my allergies/hayfever. Which basically means that while other kids are out smelling the roses (oh heavens no: the pollen!) and earning their spending money mowing lawns (good gracious – grass?) my teen is at risk of staying cooped up indoors with a Costco-sized case of tissues until the first snow flies.
And that’s something you can’t really understand unless you’ve suffered from seasonal allergies or hayfever yourself. The running nose and congestion is worse than any cold you’ve had before. The sinus pressure can put the flu to shame. These two complaints alone are miserable enough, but then you have to factor in the itch. Your eyes itch and water, the back of your nose and throat itches: it almost feels like the entire inside of your skull itches and there’s nothing – NOTHING – you do can relieve it. And that’s not even taking the hives into account. My daughter once suggested that chopping off her head is the only thing that would bring relief – which is, admittedly, a drastic solution (but as a fellow allergy sufferer, I gotta admit…the idea has some merit!)
Personally, I love to regale my kids with the horror stories of my youth – walking a mile to school, life before the internet and – worst of all – allergy shots. Back when I was a youngster, I used to take the city bus to my doctor’s office every Thursday after school where I would get a needle – the only thing to bring me a modicum of relief for my severe environmental allergies.
It was definitely a case of the cure being almost worse than the disease, but in the days before fast-acting 24-hour antihistamines (and – gasp – smartphones!) you took what you could get. It was either weekly allergy shots or take an antihistamine and fall asleep until your symptoms returned in four short hours.
But my children are so much more fortunate than I was. Whereas I had to miss out on many activities and field trips because I simply couldn’t tolerate the allergens I would have come into contact with (I desperately wanted to take horseback riding lessons, but the hay: oh man, the hay would’ve killed me), I can send my daughter out into the world with REACTINE® and know she’ll experience relief from her allergy symptoms all day long. This very week she’s out in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta enjoying Outdoor School with the other students in her Environmental and Outdoor Education class, and I’m enjoying a quieter house without worrying that she’ll break out in hives.
This post was generously sponsored by the makers of REACTINE®, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit reactine.ca