Thursday, January 3, 2013

Moldy Cats

I didn’t have allergies growing up.  I had friends who suffered terribly during allergy season, but thankfully I was spared from that discomfort – until I moved to the Central Valley.  All of a sudden, at 28 years old, I started feeling stuffy every night.  Although I love living here, the air is horrendous and most people who were born and raised here have moderate to severe allergies.

Jayson has had awful allergies from infancy.  As a baby he was in and out of hospitals due to allergies and asthma.  Before he was one year old he started getting allergy shots twice a week.  Of course, this doesn’t bode well for our boys.

Last year we started noticing Silas sniffling and gasping for breath.  Not good.  We started seeing an allergist a couple of months ago, and decided to go for the allergy shots.  Today Silas got the skin test for allergens (non-food).

The poor kid didn’t know what hit him.

Lying shirtless on his stomach, he got 40 pricks on his back.  His skin reacted almost immediately.  Turns out he is allergic to just about everything:  tree pollens, grass, weeds, molds and environment.  He is most severely allergic to cats and molds.  The only thing his skin did not react to was the prick for cockroaches.  Hmmm.  That’s pretty useless.

In a few weeks we’ll begin his shots – twice weekly – for several years.  Despite watching him suffer today for a short period, I’m incredibly grateful that this is my biggest problem to deal with, and that my boys are otherwise healthy.  I’m grateful for modern medicine, for health insurance, for caring doctors, and for nearby pharmacies.

And I’m grateful that when suffering hits us when we least expect it, unannounced and without warning, and we cry and moan and writhe in pain, we can step back and remember that there is often a benefit to that suffering.  We may not see it now – we definitely may not feel it now – but the suffering will make us stronger, wiser, and possibly even healthier… in a mostly-allergy-free future.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

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