Tag Archives: Allergies

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Least Favourite Chore and Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Person dusting a glass light fixture and a mirror. Dusting and sweeping are my least favourite chores. There is no carpet in my apartment, so these two chores sort of meld together.

Due to my environmental allergies, cleaning up dust often makes me cough and sneeze which can stir up more dust in a never-ending cycle of airway irritation and puffs of dust floating away.

This is the kind of housework that has no scope for the imagination in it. I can dance to music or listen to an audiobook while washing dishes, folding laundry, or even scrubbing a tub.

Dusting, though, requires such precise movements to ensure that I get every last irritating little mote of it that I struggle to make it amusing in any way.

This is also one of those chores that never ends.

I can hand wash a load of dishes or fold a load of laundry and see visual evidence that I’ve done good work and that it’s finished now.

Dust settles everywhere all of the time. You might think you’ve swept up the last of it only to find yet another corner of the house that needs attention. Everyone is shedding skin cells and hair right this minute that will soon clump up and create more dust bunnies.

It’s such a minor problem to have in life, and yet I still wish I could skip this chore forever.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Black-and-white photo of books hanging from a glass ceiling by pieces of thick string.I have a confession to make: my eyes are bigger than my stomach and my TBR list.

That is to say, I have the tendency to put more food on my plate than I can actually eat and to gush about more books that i can realistically read if I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing.

This is even more true if we’re talking about books from highly-anticipated authors or places that serve dairy-free meals and desserts. When you have food allergies (or any other dietary restriction, I’m sure), you get used to not being able to eat a lot of delicious-looking foods that others enjoy without a second thought. It’s simply part of life.

When I get the rare chance to pick anything on the menu at a restaurant, I often have the urge to over-order because of how unusual this experience is. The same thing can be said for when there are more attention-grabbing books than I have hours in the day to read.

Here are some books I am still excited to read but haven’t actually picked up yet. I’ve mentioned all of them in previous seasonal TBR posts for Tio Ten Tuesday over the past few years.

 

City of Refugees: The Story of Three Newcomers Who Breathed Life Into a Dying American Town by Susan Hartman Book cover. image on cover is a drawing of buildings in a town.

1. City of Refugees: The Story of Three Newcomers Who Breathed Life Into a Dying American Town by Susan Hartman

 

The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander Book cover. Image on cover shows a photo of a black child staring into the camera with a neutral expression on his face.

2. The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander

 

Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore Book cover. Image on the cover shows drawing of two teens standing in a lake with leaves on their heads.

3. Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Ask: Building Consent Culture by Kitty Stryker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

 

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi book cover. Cover image is of a woman's face.

6. Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

 

Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond by Lydia Denworth book cover. The only images on the cover are of stylized DNA strands lying on their sides at the top and bottom. They are behind green or blue backgrounds.

7. Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond by Lydia Denworth

 

Finna by Nino Cipri book cover. Cover image is of bent tubes and screws scattered around.

8. Finna by Nino Cipri

 

Book cover for Ghost Wood Song  by Erica Waters. Image on cover is of book title in the shape of curved pieces of wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

 

Book cover for Sara Seager's The Smallest Lights in the Universe. Image on cover is of an adult and two children walking outdoors at dusk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir by Sara Seager

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

I have a relative who isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box and who often speaks before they think. They have known about my milk allergy for 17 years, and yet we’ve had versions of this conversation over and over again.

“This is delicious. You should try this <food that is overflowing with milk ingredients>, Lydia!”

“No, thanks. You know I’m allergic to milk, Relative, and that food is filled with it.”

“Oh, a little bite won’t hurt you. You should take a break.”

“Yeah, that’s not how allergies work.”

“But it’s just one bite!”

Photo of a person's face half-covered in shadow. Their eyes are visible. The words "what part of no don't you understand" is written on the bottom half of their face.Needless to say, pressuring someone to eat something you know will make them ill is awful advice.

In case anyone is concerned, I stopped eating or drinking anything this relative offered to me many years ago unless I’ve personally removed it from it’s factory-sealed package and can double-check the ingredients to make sure that a little bite is, indeed, safe for me.

And, yes, they have had allergies explained to them in many different ways at multiple times by a wide variety of folks, This isn’t a case of an otherwise reasonable person accidentally mistaking allergies for a mild food intolerance or simply disliking a certain ingredient. I’m understanding of genuine errors like that.

My relative has been given all of the medical facts about how allergies work and why repeated exposures can lead to life-threatening emergencies with no advance warning even if all of your previous reactions were mild enough to be treated at home.

Their illogical refusal to listen is one of many reasons why this person and I are rarely in the same vicinity and why I always keep my guard up and my allergy meds close by when I must be around them.

On a positive note, it does make for a funny story now that I have some emotional distance from those experiences and that person. Can you imagine how much easier life would be if we could all just “take a break” from any medical conditions we may have whenever it’s inconvenient or we feel like it? If only!

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Strange or Useless Talent I Have

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Two orange cats standing and sitting on pavement surrounded by fallen leavesMy strangest talent by far is how attracted cats are to me.

Why is this strange? Well, I’m horribly allergic to them. Even hugging someone who has cat dander on their clothing will make me start wheezing and coughing. The more time I spend inhaling that dander, the worse my breathing becomes.

Therefore, I do everything I possibly can do to stay away from cats.

Yet I’ve had multiple experiences with cats who avoid the people who actually want to interact with them and move towards the one person who wants to stay as far away from them as possible.

I’ve actually started staring at cats on purpose on the rare occasion I meet them to see if a little eye contact will gently encourage them to pick someone else as their new best friend.

They’re beautiful creatures, and I’d pet them if I could. But being able to breathe is more important to me for reasons I’m sure you all can understand.

If only there were a way to somehow cash in on this strange superpower of mine!

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

Mindfulness and Summer Allergies

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about summer?

For me it’s seasonal allergies.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are many things I enjoy about this time of the year. Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably noticed my tweets about enjoying the sunshine and all of the local fruits and vegetables that are ripening now. It’s definitely not all bad news.

With that being said, this is still a pretty sniffly season for me. A field of flowers might look picturesque to someone who isn’t allergic to them, but I’d sneeze my way through that sort of experience if I were to go wander around in that meadow. Breathing in that much pollen isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.

Unfortunately, this has been a particularly bad year for my seasonal allergies so far. Whether it was the unusually warm periods of this past winter we had or some other factor, the plants in Ontario have been growing wildly since spring began.   I’ve been taking medication for my allergies as often as possible for the last couple of months, and I don’t see that ending anytime soon.

The beautiful thing about mindfulness is how it changes my approach to these itchy, sneezy days.

Acknowledgement without Judgement

Right now my nose is congested, my eyes are itchy, and I have a mild headache.

It took me a long time to learn how to acknowledge the things my body was feeling without immediately putting negative labels on them and jumping to conclusions about what would happen with them next. Honestly, I didn’t see how doing such a thing could possibly make a difference when I first heard of it.

The transition was so gradual that the only thing I can say about how it happened is that it started when I began to compare my assumptions about the future with what actually occurred.

Often, I was completely wrong about how a particular situation would turn out. A mild headache would fade away instead of becoming more painful. One particular itchy day didn’t necessarily mean that the entire week would pass by under a haze of sneezing fits.

This isn’t to say that acknowledging discomfort without jumping to conclusions is easy. There are still times I struggle with noticing molehills without assuming they’re going to turn into mountains any second now, but the more I practice this the easier it does become.

No Such Thing as a Perfect Time of the Year

My seasonal allergies activate during some points of the year and (obviously) cause few if any symptoms during those times when it’s cold and snowy outside.

Strawberries, one of my favourite foods, are in season and on sale at the grocery store from May to July. Other fruits and vegetables make appearances on my dinner plate when they’re in season. I relish the chance to eat as much of them as I can before the local supplies of those crops end for the year. As grateful as I am for the opportunity to eat fresh produce year-round, there is something special about the taste of a fruit or vegetable that was grown much closer to home.

Thunderstorms, snowstorms, and other types of weather appear and disappear throughout the year. If I can stay home and watch them subtly – or not so subtly – change the landscape, I can find a lot of beauty in the ways they soften the edges of a building, illuminate the sky with a bolt of lightning,  or wash away the small bits of trash that accumulate in every city eventually.

There’s no such thing as a perfect time of the year. Every season has its benefits and drawbacks. The more you can remain in the moment, the easier it is to see this.

This, too, Shall Pass

A few months ago, I was impatiently* awaiting the true beginning of spring. Toronto continued to receive snowstorms and cold weather long after the spring equinox had technically already occurred, and I was dreadfully tired of the short days and icy sidewalks.

Now that we’ve had a few days where the temperatures soared well into the 30s Celsius (90s Fahrenheit, for my American readers), it’s getting a little more difficult to remember what those  chilly times were like back in April.

Sometimes the world seems to change both slowly and all at once.

But this, too, shall pass.

*See! I told you haven’t completely mastered acknowledging sensations without judging them.

What helps you to remember to remain mindful? If you have seasonal allergies, how they are doing this year?