Friday, August 08, 2008


A box of Kleenex. Sometimes I think I am defined by that image. I'm a girl with allergies and my nose is the most affected part of my body.

I went through my high school years carrying a box of Kleenex with me almost every day. I sneezed a lot. I was known for having a red nose. I used to wake up in the morning, sit on the edge of my bed and sneeze a dozen times or more.

I moved to Albuquerque.

I had allergies in Albuquerque, too.

I got allergy shots for years and I suppose they helped some.

Then one day, Claratin became an over the counter allergy tablet.

My life changed.

I could breathe.

I still had Kleenexes in every room of my house and in my car, but I didn't have to have them on my lap.

Fast Forward to February, 2008.

My nose stuffed up. I mean it stuffed up so much that not even a hint of air could get through. It was hard to eat, it was nearly impossible to sleep and it was most certainly hard to breathe. I didn't have a sinus infection, just a very very stuffed up nose.

This situation has not really improved.

I can get my nose cleared up enough to sleep a few hours each night but mostly I'm running around each day in a fog. I'm just sleepy.

I've changed my diet, I've started vacuuming more, I've become very consistent with taking my vitamins each day, I learned how to use a neti pot, I've tried warm compresses and even over the counter nose sprays. All of it works for a few minutes to a few hours but nothing has helped for an entire day...or night.

The other day I went to my local Native Sun health food store and asked a lot of questions, got some answers and suggestions and came home with an arm load of goodness, I hope.

First off, I got a product called "Clear" -- it is a "soothing and moisturizing nasal wash with xylitol" and it can be used as often as I'd like without harming my nose tissue. The OTC stuff can really do some damage & I was starting to get nervous about using it anymore. The "Clear" spray is great. I highly recommend it.

The next thing I got was an herbal allergy system. It's called "100% Natural Allergy ReLeaf System" I've taken it for just one full day, so we'll see how it works. I've been suspecting for quite some time that my body has gotten immune to the Claratin, so I hope this will be a good replacement.

The final product is a probiotic called "Natren, Healthy Start." This product is supposed to contain beneficial bacteria that help with "internal wellness." I've only just started yesterday so once again, we'll see how it goes.

It's 4:20am right now, a typical time for me to be awake, but the good news is that I got 5 hours of sleep (5 hours in a row!) before waking up because of my stuffed up nose. The past few months I get about 2-3 hours of sleep, then am awake for several hours and then sleep a few more hours. None of it has been truly restful.

I just took another round of the allergy tablets and used the nasal spray - I can feel my head clearing up. I should be able to get back to sleep in a little while and probably get in at least three more hours of sleep.

I will be continuing to update on the progress of my new experiment to better breathing.

Have a restful sleep,


nottryingforaboy said...

I deal with a lot of allergies too. A friend suggested a neti pot to me. I haven't bought one yet, but it is tempting.

Kirby3131 said...

The neti pot is great but in my case, my nose is so stuffed up that the salt water from the neti pot can't cut through it. Once I'm fairly "unstuffed" the neti pot works great.

The Momster said...

Ah allergies - I hate them. I, too, became overjoyed when Claritin became an OTC item - I have to have a dose of "D" everyday or I'm miserable.
I wonder sometimes what will happen when I become immune. I have to keep a box of kleenex in my car - my husband laughs...but you never know when it's going to hit!
Glad to hear you're getting some relief...keep us posted!

Kirby3131 said...

I was combining regular claratin with the claritn D, too. Finally it all just stopped working.

I will be keeping this topic updated. I've added a label appropriately titled "allergies."

Anonymous said...

My mom has owned a health food store for 18 years, and I've learned a LOT over the years. I'm very familiar with those products and have seen them work time and time again. Just keep in mind it takes time with the herbs...

I have another suggestion. Because of the amount of swelling, Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oils) are good for all types of inflammation. My sister has taken them to control asthma for years (she hasn't used an inhaler for 5 years). Just a thought.

But definately go back to the health food store for those. Discount Fish oils are NOT a good idea. They don't filter them for Mercury and stuff...

thanks for stopping by my place!