Athena in Progress

Overcoming seasonal allergies: a story of resilience

Overcoming seasonal allergies: a story of resilience

I suppose today’s entry could be filed under the “you’re nearly 40 years old and taking antibiotics for WHAT” category.

Identifying allergy symptoms

Last Wednesday, I woke up feeling like I was on the wrong side of an allergy attack.

No fever, a running nose, severe sinus pressure, post-nasal drip from hell, general aches and pains but all familiar symptoms.

As a year-round allergy sufferer, I get severe allergy attacks a few times yearly, but no biggie.

You deal with it whenever it comes knocking on the door and get on with your life.

Implementing allergy-proofing strategies

I knew the plan of attack.

Hit it hard with everything in the medicine cabinet: a round of the netipot, orange juice, hot broth, Theraflu, migraine meds and a can of generic Coke for the caffeine, and a lot of thoughts and prayers.

I woke up on Thursday, and it had somehow taken a turn for the worse.

I called off work, took a Covid test (negative, whew), crawled right back into bed and willed things to get back to normal.

The extra naps throughout the day helped me regain my wits, but not by much.

However, I was back at work on Friday, as I was slightly better than the day before.

I couldn’t shake the cough.

But coughs tend to linger after allergy attacks because of my asthma.

Treatments & medications

Saturday morning was about the same as Friday, but I didn’t have any urgent plans to fulfill, so I deferred them.

I quickly assessed that this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill allergy attack.

Run that intuitive sense under the “if you know, you know” headline.

Coughing gave no relief, not even for a brief moment.

At random times in my day, I swear I could hear my blood pressure pounding in my ears.

I booked an urgent care appointment for Sunday afternoon, the earliest I could get in.

Well, it turned out to be an ear infection.

What in the everlasting fuck.

The urgent care doc immediately noticed redness in my ear and touched around it, asking if I felt anything.

I didn’t.

Developing a treatment plan

I started the amoxicillin regimen as soon as I got the script, and now I’m suddenly hyper-aware that I’m fighting an ear infection.

I have a dull pain on the right side of my head.

It comes and goes.

This week will be insanely uncomfortable while my amoxicillin-boosted immune system fights the ear infection off.

Fun! /sarcasm

The urgent care doc also suggested I change my daily allergy regimen, including swapping in Claritin or Allegra.

The generic Zyrtec wasn’t treating the post-nasal drip, and that should’ve been the first sign to switch.

I probably noticed last week that my post-nasal drip was out of control.

I shrugged my shoulders and didn’t think twice about it because when am I not dealing with some random allergy symptom in my daily life?

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

You do what you can with what you have and hope for the best.

However, it doesn’t have to remain that way.

I’m glad she caught that, though.

It never occurred to me that drug resistance with OTC allergy meds is a Thing.

I mean, I know that happens with other medications.

I don’t know how it didn’t come up during past conversations with other medical personnel.

Staying positive through year-round allergies

The gentle as a hammer to the foot reminder I received this week that I’m eager to share with you is always listen to your body.

It’s probably telling you something for a reason.

I also think it’s easy to ignore the signs because it’s easier to deal with the not knowing.

However, I highly recommend going to urgent care.

I’m not a fan of hospitals, and though I love my doctor, it isn’t easy to see them when I want.

Have courage and be kind,

a computer generated autograph of my name, Guilliean

Published by Guilliean Pacheco

Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a Filipino-American full-stack writer by day and raconteuse by night. She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is an Anaphora Arts poetry fellow. She's also a member of AIR, ACES, IWW FJU, and Uproot. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally, if one could call living there normal, on Southern Paiute land. Virgo sun, Aquarius moon, Libra rising.

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