Monthly Archives: April 2006

Killing Ourselves with Protection?

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Killing Ourselves with Protection?

 

It is becoming more and more apparent to me that the numbers of people with allergies are increasing significantly in the past several years.  I being one of them. I developed hay fever in my early twenties. Excessive sneezing, congestion, trouble breathing through my nose, terrible sinus headaches are some of my symptoms.  Last year, I finally bit the bullet and visited an allergist. I now take zyrtec and Nasacort. My symptoms have virtually disappeared.

 

This past week I have noticed that my 19 month old daughter has unfortunately taken on my malady. Same times of year. Same symptoms. But on a small child, they seem so exaggerated. My daughter, Cassidy, has been home with me since she was born. I only just started bringing her to a daycare in the past 2 months for a few hours a week for socialization development. Other than that, she hasn’t had much exposure to other children and their ‘cooties’.  I am certainly not a germaphobe, and I am not constantly disinfecting everything. But I think that her lack of exposure may play a part in why allergies are affecting her at such a young age.

 

Seasonal allergy symptoms are basically our body’s reacting to elements in the environment that are not in themselves harmful. But because our immune system finds them to be inhaled strangers, it releases histamine to fight the off the strangers. And the histamine causes inflammation which is what causes many of the symptoms. 

 

When I was a kid, we played outside from morning to night. We never had antibacterial soap, hand wipes, or sanitizing gel. We sat in contaminated grocery carts, we ate off the tables in restaurants, and sat on public toilet seats. All of these things are quite foreign to children today. We, as a society, are constantly cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting…all of our products are antibacterial…and everyone is immunized and given antibiotics for everything that can or does ail us.

 

I sincerely feel that this over protection is weakening our immune systems. And I think it could actually be what kills the human race in the long run. If we react to these actions with allergies, I have to wonder what other problems we are creating or giving more power to with all of this armor. Cancers? Asthma? Lactose intolerance? I wonder if we didn’t avoid illness and discomfort to the extent that we do, especially with our children, perhaps they would be stronger to fight off the bigger, more dangerous illnesses to come.  I wonder if exposure to chicken pox, mumps, and ear infections may actually make us stronger individually and as a civilization.

 

Just something I am thinking about. I have immunized Cassidy for everything her Dr. suggested. I gave her antibiotics twice for ear infections. And I even keep her home when she has the sniffles. But I do have to wonder, am I really doing her and society a favor? Something to think about.

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Are All Men This…This…This…UUUGGHHHH

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Last night the baby went to bed around 8pm. She woke up crying and screaming at about 10pm. I tried to persuade Charlie into going in there to check on her, but he was seemingly sleeping through all the yelps and whines, or at least pretending to. I slithered out of bed having just fallen asleep myself and went into her room. The only apparent problem was a stuffy nose. I gave her some water and tucked her back in. As I lay back down, the screaming returned in a much louder and frantic fashion. This time I was able to rouse Charlie. He went in there and sternly garbled, “Back to bed right now, Cassidy!” And then he came back to bed, falling asleep immediately. Well, she had other plans. She continued her opposition until 1:30am. I tried everything. We even ended up taking a bath at 1am thinking that would help her congestion, as minor as it seemed to me. That was a big mistake. She was even more awake and proceeded to run around the house demanding Rollie Ollie (her favorite tv show) and climbing in and out of our bed.

 

Somehow through about 95% of the yelling, crying, screaming, pounding, water splashing, etc…Charlie remained asleep. And I am talking mouth open, drool running, fast asleep.

 

Finally, somehow…I think I was sleep walking so the details are fuzzy…she did end up going back to sleep between 1:30 and 2am. As I slide back into bed, sore and tired as can be, the cats start racing through the house. Back and forth, banging into things, they were causing quite a loud ruckus. They were chasing a mouse. What mouse comes into a clean home adorning two cats at 2am? Apparently they are not all as witty and astute as Mickey.

 

As I leaned over to see what they were doing, debating on saving the mouse from my darling predators, my husband slurs the following words to me. These words I will never forget. These words are the reason we will never have a gun in the home. These words WILL make him pay.

 

In a very annoyed tone, “Heather, I really need to get some sleep, just lay down.”

 

Needless to say, at this early morning hour…I am a force to reckon with. And let the heavens watch over this man tonight as I stand above his sleeping head with a pillow.

Another Day..Another Worry

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I swear, I will never be normal.  I am just a problem child to the core.  I went to see my family doctor today because of some discomforts and concerns I have been having in the recent past.  What, you ask? Alright, stop begging, I will tell you. It seems lately that I tire very easily with very minimal exertion. My heart will pound, my head will spin, I will be short of breath, and I will get unusually hot.

 

I take a medication referred to as a beta blocker. This is for a fast heart rate and palpitations. And while it works quite well for that, it also makes me quite tired and now may be causing this shortness of breath as it can bring about exercise induced asthma.

 

My doctor believes this is the problem, the medication that is. But to eliminate any possibility of heart problems because of my family history (my father had open heart surgery in his 30s), I have to take what is called a Stress Echocardiogram Test on Tuesday.  This basically has me freaking out especially since I cannot take my medication that morning before the test and I have to go alone. From what I understand, I will be hooked up to machines that can monitor my heart in several ways. Then I will have to run on a treadmill for about 20 minutes as it progressively gets more difficult. This is pretty much how I imagine hell to be.

 

If the test comes back normal – please cross your fingers – then my doctor wants to switch my medication.  No big deal you may be thinking.  Well, for me, it is.  It is extremely difficult for me to take a new prescription. I have great anxiety every time I have to do it. But in this case it is even worse. The possible side effects can actually be very serious. And the new medication could make my problem worse instead of better. I will also have to go through several weeks of adjustments trying to find the right dosage.

 

Needless to say, I am a nervous wreck. I am so afraid. And not just of one outcome, I fear all the possible outcomes!! I fear that damn test from hell. I fear being there alone and having a heart attack right there on the treadmill. I fear them finding a serious heart problem. I fear having some horrible asthma attack because my big butt cannot run for more than a minute – if that. I fear having to change medications. I fear I will never ever again feel healthy, happy, and normal.

 

I just need someone to put their arms around me and assure me that all will be fine. Assure me that my heart is young, healthy, and strong. Assure me that I will live until I am 100. Assure me that this will only improve my life and I will live happily ever after. Can you do that for me? Can anyone out there do that for me? Am I really asking so much?

 

Anyway. I am done bitching…for now.

Okay, we’re back…

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Well, we arrived into Milwaukee yesterday afternoon safe and sound. It was so calming to be back home, but I was amazed at how quickly the last few days had gone. I was hoping for some relaxing time away, but it was pretty much hustle and bustle the whole time. But it was a decent time all and all.
 
Charlie’s aunt, Jenny, was married on Saturday in a beautiful, yet consideratly short ceremony in the awe inspiring hills of the Connecticut countryside. Then the reception was in a huge, gorgeous ballroom in downtown boston. The meal was delicious and everything was like a scene from a movie. I wore myself out with food, drink, and dancing. Boy, my body is good and letting me know I am no longer in my 20s!! I was pretty much in a coma by midnight. I swear to you, my legs STILL ache from walking and dancing in heels. Pathetic!!
 
Sunday was a lovely brunch with Charlie’s maternal side of the family. More delicious food.
 
Then we drove to Boston. It was a nice drive, sunny day…great day for it.
 
In Boston we visited the North End (little Italy) for dinner on Sunday night with my aunt Sally and two of my cousins, Stephanie and Jami, Monday we went to the Aquarium, Fanuiel Hall, and ate at Legal Seafood for dinner. It was a nice time. I really love Boston. It was great to see Sally. It is now her turn to visit Wisconsin!!
 
We are now home recovering, relaxing, and hugging Cassidy. I cannot tell you how much I missed her. But her and Grandma Becky had lots of fun and I called at least 3 times a day!!!
 
I am glad I went. Though, if we are ever able to take another trip…I want warm sand, salty water under my toes, and a pina coloda in my coconut oiled hands!!! Next time. Yea…right…NEXT time…
 

Leaving

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It is 4:30am and I am leaving for the airport in about 45 minutes. Baby is fast asleep. Mom is snoozing on the couch. My stomach is in knots and I have yet to get dressed. I will miss my baby so much. Leaving her for this long creates such worry and anxiety inside of me. But I am trying to keep things in perspective and chill a bit. I wish I could wake her and give her a big hug, but that wouldn’t be fair to my mom I suppose 🙂
 
I hope the trip is restful, fun, and void of anything negative. I hope we are safe.
 
If anything were to happen…know that I love and care for you (you all know who you are) so very deeply. Take care of my baby. Remember me well. Talk of me often – I WILL be listening 🙂
 
Anyway…such a drama queen.
 
Love you.
 
Heather