Monday, June 17, 2013

mystery ailment + a cleaning challenge

I've lost count, but  it's been close to 10 days or so that I've been waking up to terrible cold/allergy symptoms. What's odder still is that each morning is worse than the previous. I've never had an illness where I get progressively worse over such a lengthy period of time. It's miserable. It's also really obnoxious trying to figure out what is wrong with me so I can treat it and move on with life.

First I assumed allergies, all the discomfort was in my sinuses and the Willamette Valley is literally the worst place in the U.S. for seasonal allergies. I've lived here all of my life and didn't begin to suffer from pollen allergies until 5 or so years ago, but even still it was fairly mild. These symptoms are not at all mild. 

A few nights ago I woke with trouble breathing, my throat felt like it was closing up. I woke Ben up and we googled strawberry allergies. I'd been handling and eating fresh strawberries every day since I had gone picking 9 days earlier. I noticed that day I went that my mouth felt tingly after just a couple berries, which was uncomfortable enough to make me stop. I hadn't thought too much about it as I ate strawberries in my smoothies and ice-cream and made strawberry jam and sauce, until I woke up feeling so weird. 

Turns out strawberry allergies (like most food allergies) have a lot of symptoms and "levels" of allergic reaction. Some people get that slight tingly feeling so they limit their consumption but indulge once in a while, others break out in hives, and then there's always the extreme cases where you go into anaphylactic shock. It was hard to determine if I was having a mild reaction from too many berries, if I had developed a worse case of seasonal allergies, or if I was (am) just suffering from the worst cold I've ever experienced in my 30-something years. 

My awesome husband woke up the next day to scrub down the entire kitchen and freeze the remaining fresh strawberries. He's some kind of wonderful, that one. I've avoided strawberries for the last 3 days and haven't really felt any respite. In fact, I've still been waking with additional and/or worsening ailments. 

I'm now suffering from sinus pain/pressure, running and stuffy and dry nose and sinuses, headaches of varying types and severity, swollen glands and tonsils, sneezing, watery/itchy eyes, a sore throat (dry, scratchy, burning, tight) that has been worsening each day over the last 10-ish days, on and off ear pressure/pain, hot flashes, fatigue... and the list goes on.

{smiling through the discomfort b/c my boys were snuggly for 5 seconds}

Now I'm certainly not trying to whine about this, but merely communicate that I'm truly confused by what is wrong with me. In an effort to find some relief I've tried apple cider vinegar, local honey, Claritin, Benadryl (at night), tea, lemon, tons of water, resting, not resting and more. Nothing helps for long, or at all. I'm totally stumped. So I guess I'll just do my best to wait this out. Although if it lasts past 2 weeks I'll be sure to get myself into the Dr. to make sure it's not tonsillitis or anything that I should be taking antibiotics for. However, from what I've heard from friends it could be seasonal allergies and I could suffer this way into July! Say it ain't so!

I have been able to get a little bit done around the house in addition to the normal day to day. I'd been inspired by the Summer Simplify Decluttering Series by Ann Marrie over at White House Black Shutters. I did the first week's list of "what is good and what needs to change" and then took up a little decluttering each day.

On the first day, I started very small and just went through the kid clutter on the fridge...

Then I went after our desk, which is ALWAYS a problem...

I do admit, I still need to go through the "in process" and "to be filed" boxes you can see to the left. Another day's project for sure.

And here's what Ben did with the kitchen, which I affectionately refer to as "the galley"...
{He's a smarty and put away our coffee maker since we only use it for Small Group meetings, which are on summer break. I use a french press for my own morning coffee. }

Our BIGGEST project will be the garage. It's FULL of random projects and our laundry room is also in there. We had a garage sale a month ago and while we immediately go rid of 3/4 of the stuff that was left over, there is still quite a bit to be donated, stored, and otherwise reorganized. Then we also put in a new door from the garage to the garden area and that project isn't quite finished so all the tools and such from that are spread across a ginormous table. It's pretty scary in there and unfortunately I have to go through it to get to the garden, and in the midst of it while doing laundry each day.

Sadly I haven't done anything since Friday because I've been feeling so crumby and we kept pretty busy on Father's Day (I'll share our gifts to Ben a bit later). Tomorrow my mom is having surgery (yes again- nothing to do with her cancer, but please say a prayer if you think of us) so Ben is working from home to allow me to be with my dad during that. I'm hoping to feel better for that of course, and to get on with the decluttering starting Wednesday.


  1. oh yuck. This sounds like my allergies as well. They have gotten progressively worse, with this year being the worst yet. Im thinking I may look into shots.

    I hope you find some relief soon. I have NO idea if it works, but I am also thinking about trying bee pollen. Have you looked into that at all?

    1. You are the second person to say that to me. oh boy. I'm planning on going in this week to see if I can get better meds and to make sure it's not a sinus infection.

      I haven't ever heard anything about bee pollen for allergies. What do you know? :)


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