The past several days has been an experience in my morning walks. The normally peaceful and uplifting walk has been a challenge to stay upright in the windy weather that we’ve been having, and another challenge to see if I have enough Kleenex to get me through the sneezing and runny nose that seems to really flare up with the wind. When I get home, I am reminded with another sneezing session that the cat dander needs vacuuming.
Yes, you guessed it. The allergy season is upon us. Even pulling weeds creates a challenge for many. A verse in the Bible in one translation says, The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. (Ecclesiastes 1:6 NLT)
Many folks believe that allergens, those things that can cause a reaction, are specific to things like poison ivy or animals, but many other things can cause a “reaction.” Certain foods like peanuts, honey, wheat products, and strawberries to name a few. Scented candles can provoke serious stuffy noses, cough and discomfort in some folks. This time of year, mold and grass is a real culprit. The latex balloons at celebrations and the special perfume or cologne you wear could be a serious allergen to asthmatics, as are the beautiful lilies we buy at Easter.
How can we be considerate of others as we work through our own triggers and their discomforts? Some suggestions:
😷 Label food ingredients in those delicious potluck dishes so folks can avoid allergens that cause them problems;
😷 Consider non-latex balloons when you are decorating or adorning a gift, and make sure latex free gloves are always available in our food preparation areas and cleaning supplies;
😷 Pull the center blossoms from lilies to avoid the trigger caused by the strong perfumed scent of the flowers. Be aware of perfumes that can trigger asthma response and wear them with caution in places like worship and meetings where close quarters make them a problem for others.
I am sure you can think of more ways to be considerate and create a healthy environment. Let’s show our consideration for our friends and community as we enjoy the beauty around us in God’s creation.
See me if I can be of more help to you.
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace