Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Five--allergies

It's been what feels like a hundred years since I played the Friday Five...but I'm starting a long weekend where the only thing on the calendar is to show up at church Sunday morning. Off today, tomorrow, Sunday afternoon, and Monday--it's like a pajama party for me and the kitties! Not to mention the sun is kind of shining, which makes everything better. Therefore today I'll join the fun over at RGBP, where Mary Beth says she is allergic to ligustrum.

Ligustrum is a type of privet hedge and it is very invasive. VERY. It's a spready green bush with leaves of various sizes and tiny white flowers of a head-piercing sweetness.
The house I grew up in had 14-foot ligustrum bushes on three sides. The house I live in now, 250 miles to the north, also has several...they are a different variety but the flowers still get me. Instant sinus attack, that's what these are. And: they are in bloom.
You can remove them, but they grow back. Forever and ever. My husband recently had his helper cut all the blooming branches off of this one, next to where I park my car. What a guy!

So, thinking about allergies:
1. Do you experience any seasonal allergies? Are you allergic to anything else?
I have lived almost my entire life with no allergies. I'm one of the lucky ones, I know. However, after living in Atlanta where the pollen is so thick it covers everything--even inside houses with closed windows--and then in Cairo where the air is basically made of pollution, I have developed some allergies of the sniffly type. I don't know exactly what I'm now allergic to, but it's something gross.

And, of course, in the realm of things-it-sucks-to-be-allergic-to-if-you're-a-pastor, I'm allergic to easter lilies. in a hardcore eyes-watering (and not because the service was so moving), can't breathe kind of way. Which I discovered my first Easter here, when the sanctuary was covered in lilies and I spent 4 services completely unable to see or breathe. There are some other flowers I have trouble with if I'm going to be up-close-and-personal with them (aka if they're next to my seat on the chancel or something) as well.

As a vegetarian, when I lived in Egypt I told people I was allergic to meat. "vegetarian" is a word but not a concept people understand. LOL.

2. What kinds of symptoms do you experience during your allergic reactions?
sniffliness mostly, except RE lilies, which also involve copious amounts of eye watering and itching.

3. How do you manage your allergies? (ie: medication, avoidance, alternative therapies, etc)
mostly I avoid avoid avoid. We no longer have lilies on Easter--now we have tulips and daffodils, which are beautiful and not nearly so difficult. I do take Claritin on high-flower-concentration Sundays, and occasional other days when I'm going to be out and about near flowers or pollution.

4. What is the strangest allergy you've ever heard of?
One of my dear friends is deathly allergic to oregano. (She also has allergies to eggplant and bell peppers...) I find this completely bizarre, and also a good reason to go out for sushi or Mexican food rather than the Italian/pizza places so popular around here....

5. How do you feel about school and social policies that banning peanuts and other allergens?

I have to admit I kind of like the no-peanut rules. We do have one teenager at church with a peanut allergy (thankfully just ingestion, not contact or airborne) and it's so much easier to just remind people we have a policy than to ask them to remember the one child with the allergy. It makes it safer all around. School-wise, if I were a parent of a child with an allergy, I would love the help on that front because it can be so hard if you're the one kid who can't eat something, or the kid who hasn't figured out how to ask/say no yet. (For example: vegetarian kids who are given hot dogs that look just like the veggie dogs they eat at home, and they don't know to ask, and they don't want to be the one kid not eating one...)


  1. I never even thought of anyone being allergic to Easter lilies! That is a problem for pastors; one that never occurred to me. This FF is helpful in seeing all the things that can cause people problems. Glad you played.

  2. I am not quite to the "banning lilies" stage, but the Easter flowers this year did cause me some discomfort. We had a variety of flowers and I felt like I was drowning in lily and hyacinth scent. Next year I might see about a little extra antihistamine premedication.

    But ... oregano! I would be sunk because I use that in Mexican food too.

  3. If I don't take an allergy pill BEFORE church on Easter, I'm going to be miserable for the rest of the day. Sigh. It does make life interesting, doesn't i?

  4. I can't tell you how GLAD I am that someone else is allergic to lilies! I dread Easter just because of those flowers! My throat is getting scratchy and my lungs are getting congested just thinking of them. Like your solution...personally like those flowers better anyway. :)