Thursday, December 8, 2011

Honey, Honey

The dog and I ran in the pouring rain last night. We cut the loop short by one block after I landed in a puddle and soaked through my sneakers. Despite being sopping wet and therefore a little uncomfortable, I had a blast running in the rain. And who needs an iPod when you've got Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" or the Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" stuck in your head with every step?

As I crossed the halfway point and headed toward home, Cee Cee tried to shake all of the water from her. I laughed out loud. "We are silly girls," I said to her. But I loved it. It just felt good. And I knew there was a nice reward in sight: Ian was home cooking up some fat burgers complete with pickles and munster cheese, with sweet potato fries on the side. Yes, please!

I'm spoiled.

It's easy to run this time of year. The colder it is, the greater my lung capacity--at least it seems that way, anyway. As winter turns to spring, and then spring to summer, hopefully my running will have improved enough that I won't be too impacted by humidity and higher temps. Right now, my fall allergies (I'm mostly allergic to mildew, which is covering the leaves all over the ground) are quickly abated by a nice sinus-clearing run.

However, that's not the case for Sean in the springtime. This past spring was so bad for him, and Monday Sean went to the allergist to discuss a strategy for spring 2012. Unlike Sean's food allergy testing, which involves taking about five vials of blood from him, Monday's test was a simple skin prick. He was tested in about 16 spots up and down his arms. Fortunately, he was negative for dog dander, as well as all the allergies that plague his dear mother--mold/mildew, dust mites, and cat dander. But his allergies to pollen are through the roof. Like peanuts. And hazelnuts. And crabs. And all other tree nuts and shellfish. Jerk foods!

The allergist, for whom I have a ton of respect and who has been seeing Sean since he was only a year old, recommended Sean be put on Singulair in mid-March and started on Allegra a few weeks after that. Ian was the one who took Sean to the appointment, so when he came home and told me the recommendation about the Singulair, I balked.

Last year, as in past years, we've chased Sean's allergies in the springtime. We'd started the Allegra too late--once the symptoms had started. And every year, except last spring when pollen counts were at historic highs, Sean has required only a few puffs from his regular inhaler--if any. Two years ago, he didn't even take his inhaler during the spring. In fact, like his brother, Sean only requires his inhaler if he has a bad respiratory infection or virus.What's more, prior to last spring, he hadn't used his inhaler in a couple of years. Nolan is the one who requires it more often (again, only if sick; Nolan doesn't have any allergies whatsoever--knock on wood).

Yes, last spring was bad. But does that mean Sean has to be put on heavy duty Singulair this spring? I'm not convinced. I have a ton of questions for his pediatrician at his 10-year check up this January. I'd rather start the antihistamine in mid-March, and then see where the cards fall with the asthma. Last year was an exception, not the rule. I don't want to load up Sean with prescription drugs if he doesn't truly need them--especially prescription drugs known to cause severe mood changes in patients. The prednisone last year was bad enough.

I've also started giving Sean a few teaspoons of various local honeys that I've picked up at the farmers market. Every day, after he has his breakfast and vitamins, he has two or three teaspoons of the sweet stuff. It might not be a magic cure, but I've read several articles that indicate that consumption of local honey can improve an allergic person's tolerance to local pollen. If it takes the edge off even a little, I'll be happy. And Sean will be VERY happy. In the meantime, he enjoys his little honey regimen. It's like giving him a few teaspoons of sugar--except better.

Not sure I will manage my run tonight, as I need to feed my kids and then head out for a tour of our sleepy neighborhood firehouse with Nolan and his fellow scouts. But Friday morning I might do exactly what I did last Friday--head out for a run in the AM. Unlike last Friday, I'll take my little pacer dog with me. And I will cherish each clear breath I take. Never take your breath for granted. Never. Ever.


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