Hayfever update

Hayfever update

It feels like it has been ages since I wrote an update on how I’ve been doing with my hayfever. By now it’s been almost 2 years since I’ve been getting shots to battle my hayfever. This form of immunotherapy should  wipe away my hayfever in the course of 3 – 5 years. The first results should be noticeable within the first year and so I thought it would be a good moment to write an update. How am I doing? Do the shots work? Is there any difference compared to previous years? Curious? Then read the rest of this post.

Source: weheartit.com

First of all, I am doing great. I had a few bumps in the road this year that were hayfever related (you can read about it here and here if you’re interested), but those were not actual bouts of hayfever. It’s just that after years of suffering from hayfever my air ways have become a weak spot so instead of just getting the flu like a regular person I get hayfever induced illnesses such as infected lungs and vocal chords. It’s related, but it’s not actually caused by a reaction to pollen.

In fact, so far a really bad reaction to pollen has not happened yet this year. Last year around this time I was a complete and utter mess. I was on 4x the allotted the medication, 2 different nose sprays AND eye drops just to get me through the day and that only alleviated my problems somewhat. Now, however, the worst I’ve been suffering from hayfever related symptoms is when I forget to take my meds for too long or right after I received my shots.

That’s right: I forget to take my meds, because I’m barely bothered by my hayfever! I can go as long as three days without taking any meds and still be fine, provided the weather is cooperating. But even when the weather hit a very sunny spell a few weeks ago, nothing major happened. I’m used to having to take meds 2x a day every day and to only up that when things get worse, but now, I find myself using less meds and still feel fine. Oh and did I mention I can eat apples again fine? No more cross allergy for me! YAY!

The shots I get means an extra influx of pollen so it’s important to take my meds and maybe a little extra on those days. I definitely notice an increase in symptoms when my immune system isn’t working very well or when I have just received a shot, so it is by no means over, but I guess the process is well under way. It looks pretty promising, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed. Winter came late this year, so many plants and trees may decide to blossom a little later than usual. However, since I haven’t had anything major happening yet, I’ve got good hopes that this year will mean the start of more air, less itching and more time spent outside.

If you would like to know more about immunotherapy then I have posts pertaining that subject here and here. I also wrote a post on easy hayfever remedies that can help you without medical intervention.

Do you suffer from allergies? If so, which ones and what do you do about them?

Back to work & update on me

Back to work & update on me

So today is a break from all the travel logs and my life will be back to it’s boring normal self as work is starting again. Since this vacation is now over, it’s time to get back on track and since I have quite a few things coming up, I thought it’d be fun to write a post about it.

As I mentioned work starts back up today and this week will be the first full week of teaching classes, going to classes at uni as well as a bunch of meetings and course work that I still have to do. In other words: it will be busy and the same goes for next week. In fact, next week will even be busier as on March 10th the school I work for has another open day and since I help organize that these next two weeks will be mayhem if it’s anything like in November.

Uni work is also starting to become more intense now as our assignment is well under way. Today I will have to transcribe a one-hour interview and hand it in as soon as I can. I just hope I have enough time to do it else I might have to continue working on it on the train AND tomorrow morning. See the thing is: I don’t only have to write down what is being said word by word, but I also have to code the entire thing. And this is also something I’ve never done before so I’m praying that I can get it done on time.

I also have plenty of social engagements coming up: birthdays, visiting friends, my mom will drop in a few week time and my mom and I will be going to the ballet. Swam Lake to be exact. It’s the Dutch National Ballet’s anniversary and to celebrate it they are putting on a number of classic ballet performances. Swan Lake is one of them and my mom has always told me how much she would like to one day see Swan Lake and she decided to ask me to come along. Now, I’ve been to the ballet before, but I’ve never been to a famous one like Swan Lake. So I’m totally excited about that.

On another, more personal, note, I am actually doing really well. Since this time uni isn’t overly busy as I’m not taking too many classes, I want to get out more and be more social. I find I have more time to just chill and watch some TV without my mind working on overdrive. I have met up with friends who I hadn’t seen in ages and I have more plans in the weeks to come. It feels good to be hanging out with people again and I can now tell how much of a toll it has taken to combine work and my studies. Luckily for me this is the final semester where I’m actually taking classes so after summer I am hoping it will be less time consuming.

Health wise I’m also doing great. I found out a few weeks ago I do not have a gluten intolerance. Yet, after eating carbs for one week straight as it was vacay and I didn’t want to spend walking around all of London to find a suitable food place, I can feel the effect it has when I do eat them. Needless to say: I feel much better without them. So today I’m back to being a good girl and will be more careful about what I eat. My hayfever is not acting up as much yet, but I’m curious to see what the next few weeks will bring. Spring is almost here so now is the big test to finding out whether all those shots have actually helped.

All in all, I’m in a good place: the weather will soon turn nicer (hopefully). I had a great time in London. I have plenty of good things to look forward to and some of my applications for jobs have granulated into actual invitations for interviews. Next week I’m having my appraisal interview so then I hope to find out whether I can stay at my current job yes or no. All in all, the next couple of weeks will be busy, but good.

What are your plans for the next couple of weeks?

Double Double Toil and Trouble

Double Double Toil and Trouble

Yes, I have in fact used a quote from the one and only Will Shakespeare. I did study English language & literature, thank you very much. I may not have always cared for the endless classes on Shakespeare (I prefer Ben Jonson of the contemporary Elizabethan playwright era), but as an English student good ole Bill is hard to go around and since Macbeth is the one play I know best, I decided to put in the quote. Because boy, what a week it’s been.

Source: weheartit.com

The other day I already wrote a post about how my hayfever was acting up again. Well, it was indeed my hayfever, but I didn’t know it was this bad. I went to see my doctor yesterday and it appears to be as if my hayfever caused a bacterial infection in my lungs. No wonder I got winded after two steps or two sentences! So now I’m on antibiotics and extra meds for my shortness of breath. I picked them up immediately after I got the prescriptions and took them the same evening. I instantly felt better! It’s just a matter of keeping up with the meds and I should be fine in 4 -5 days time.

Last week I wrote about getting a new computer, as my old one is on the verge of dying any minute. It just needed replacing. Unfortunately for me it installed some weird update which made Windows view my video card drivers as corrupt and not allowing me to use my computer to the fullest. I tried solving it myself, but alas. I went back to the store, they fixed it for me, then 3 days later, the same retarded update was installed and I was back to square one. The boys from the store tried reinstalling everything for me and then it did it again. I went back and now I have a new one. It’s pretty much the same one, only with 6 GB of RAM (so 2 GB more), a 15.6 inch screen, a larger hard drive and NO updates that screw up my computer.

As you can tell, quite some stuff and with work added into the mix on Monday, it was just impossible to follow my regular blog schedule of daily posts. I simply didn’t have the means or the energy to do it. So here’s to feeling better (in progress), a computer that works (seems to have worked out) and more regular blogs. I already have a few plans for what I want to write about this coming week, so if I’m not too tired and my computer doesn’t go all funky on me we should be back on track again!

Enjoy your weekend, are you doing anything fun? I will most likely spend it on the couch recovering. I may hit up the gym today, but I will most definitely spend Sunday evening in front of the TV. The final episode of Sherlock Holmes will be on BBC 1 this Sunday at 10 PM CET. Can’t wait to see that one!

My hayfever is killing me

My hayfever is killing me

I know what you’re thinking: it’s only January. Yet, my hayfever has suddenly and quite vehemently reared its ugly head. I’m dizzy, have a sore throat, get headaches and worst of all: I can barely breathe at times.

Source: weheartit.com

Unfortunately for me, my meds don’t seem to be working and I have thus felt sick on and off for the past week. I don’t feel sick enough to stay in bed and hide under the covers for the next year or so, but it’s definitely bothering me. On Sunday I felt ready to fall over any minute, last week I couldn’t get over a sore throat and yesterday I had trouble raising my voice enough when teaching. After 2 hours I had lost my voice and was completely knackered.

Never have I ever experienced hayfever this bad. Let alone in January. However, it seems like this country has decided to skip winter and dive straight from fall (which didn’t start until November mind you) into spring. Birds are singing and building nests and the trees in my street are starting to get new leaves. And since that is happening, my hayfever is happening again too. Luckily for me, I have to see my allergy doctor on Thursday for my monthly shot so I can ask them what’s up and whether I can get some more prescriptions so I can get myself through this.

Do you have any allergies that have gotten worse because of this strange weather?

Hayfever update

Hayfever update

It’s been a while since I gave an update about my hayfever. The reason for that is because I’m starting to notice my allergies less and less. Seems like my immune therapy is starting to pay off!

By now, I’ve been getting shots for almost a year. I started at the end of August last year and have been getting shots ever since. I already told you that I can finally eat apples again for the first time in years. Now, for the first time in years, June & July haven’t been going by in a blurry haze of teary-eyed, locked up hours with a book on my couch. On the contrary, I have been able to drastically cut down my medicine intake and on some days I don’t even take anything at all.

Around the same time last year (and some years before that) I would have to lock myself into my room with all doors and windows closed and the curtains drawn because I was feeling so bad. It was in June when I got sinus infections caused by my allergies, or I just got really really sick. So what a difference this has been: hardly any meds, no sickness, just the occasional sneeze and itch.

I do notice that when I’ve been out all day I need a bit extra, but especially on rainy days I can go without meds. Here’s to hoping my hayfever will continue to lessen and hopefully it will also be less come spring time.

Q: How have your allergies been?

Hayfever Remedies: some quick tips

Hayfever Remedies: some quick tips

Ever since my hayfever became so bad that it actually made me physically sick (read: the flu and sinus infections), I have turned getting any type of relief into an artform. Here’s what I do to stay sane and not let the floral mating season ruin my life. Good luck to everyone going through hell right now and hopefully these tips can ease your discomfort at least somewhat!

1. ) Wear sunglasses/ glasses

Even when the sun isn’t out. Make sure the lenses are big enough to cover your eye area. This way, pollen has a harder time getting into your eyes and cause irritation. Just buy a couple of cool ones that you can wear most of the time. I just recently allowed myself to indulge on another pair of Ray Bans, so I’m all set!

2.) Take a shower before going to bed

This rinses the pollen out of your hair and from your skin. It also cleans up your sinuses, plus now your bed will at least stay pollen free.

3.) Dry your laundry indoors

This way, no pollen can get stuck to your newly washed (and now void of pollen) clothes.

4.) Keep all doors and windows closed as much as possible

Again, you don’t want a pollen infestation in your house. I like to keep at least one place that is ‘safe’.

5.) Rinse your nasal cavity with a saline solution

Or use a nose spray that is a saline solution rather than an actual antihistamine. This will prevent your nasal glands from drying out and become infected.

6.) Wear a different set of clothes every day (or at least change your shirt)

Pretty self explanatory.

7.) With long hair: pull it back into a pony tail or a bun

If you let your hair hang down, it will only be a fishnet for pollen.

8.) Don’t eat foods that can cause a cross-allergy

If you’re allergic to trees, there’s a good chance that you are also allergic to fruit that grows on trees. Apples are the most common, but allergies for kiwi fruits, pears, apricots, peaches etc. are not unheard of. Check with a chart or your doctor to see which cross linked allergies apply to you.

9.) Get enough sleep

If there’s one thing hayfever does, it’s draining you from all your energy. Your body is too busy fighting the allergies, leaving you tired and feeling like something the cat dragged in. Making sure your body gets enough sleep is therefore vital!

10.) Go see a doctor!

Seriously, even if you feel just an itch. Go to your doctor, get tested and find out what you are allergic to. This way you will know exactly what you are allergic to and you will know when to implement the tips written above. On top of that your doctor can get your referred to a doctor specialized in treating allergies and get you prescription meds which are 10,000 times better than over the counter ones.

Hayfever shots – Update

Hayfever shots – Update

On Thursday I had my last weekly shot in the immune therapy program I’m in to get rid of my hay fever. This last one decided to go out with a bang. My arm hurt badly all night and all throughout yesterday and it’s still a bit sore. But I am proud that I have successfully achieved reaching the desired dosage. Now they’ll start putting more time in between shots, so I’m sure it won’t be so bad anymore after this. At least my arm won’t feature a nice big bruise anymore. I’m really looking forward to that.

The worst part of it was having to go see my doctor every single week to get a shot and having to wait 30 mins after each shot. It’s just so much time and effort, but luckily that will now soon be a thing of the past. For the next 3 – 5 years, I’ll be going to the doctor’s once every 4 – 6 weeks. That should be pretty doable. As for the 30 minute time frame: my hayfever reaction is pretty weird, I never get allergic reactions when I should have them, but get them when I shouldn’t. Meaning that sitting there for 30 mins is pretty useless for me. For all the side effects I have so far experienced, they all didn’t come until later that night, the next day, and sometimes even 3 days later. I get that they put that time frame in to make sure you’re safe, but it’s pretty useless for someone like me with a notoriously weird reaction cycle.

Another thing I don’t like is that by the end of it the shots hurt so bad and I am now the proud owner of a huge bruise on my left arm. The shots started to hurt so much because the shot should always go into the same arm. Meaning that the tissue underneath my skin was in for a run of its money. I’m really hoping that will fade soon. I’ve had some trouble sleeping over the past few months since my arm hurt too much to lie on and guess which side I like to lie on most? Yes, my left side.

So here’s to hoping that I’ll be doing fine and this thing actually helps. I won’t know whether it’s actually working until August of next year which is when they’ll test me to see whether I’ve built up at least some resistance. Unfortunately for me, spring time could still be hell and it will be another 2 years until I can chuck out the hay fever meds.