Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's Allergy Season

Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was so lovely I opened windows around my house to let in fresh air. By evening, my nose was swelling shut, my throat was itching, and my eyes were swelling and irritated. It's definitely allergy season!

After a long winter I am thrilled to have a real spring this year. Every thing is growing, pollinating, and blooming.  I love it!

But. . .I am one of the many unfortunates who also have many allergies. That means that while I delight in the beauty of the season, can hardly wait each winter for spring to come, and love, love flowers and the flowering trees, I pay for time spent outdoors with allergies.

I have learned to mostly keep my house closed up and depend upon the air conditioner to cool it when temperatures rise. That way I can spend some time outdoors and then come inside to escape the allergens. That, plus Zyrtec, keeps me in pretty good shape. But, sometimes, I just want to open some windows. And then I pay for it.

Some of the swelling and outbreak on my face.
My worst allergy experience of recent years, however, had nothing to do with pollen. Last spring I irritated my back by moving heavy bags of potting soil while planting flowers in my numerous deck pots. It was very painful. I was prescribed a painkiller, Feldene, that was supposed to be better than Ibuprofen and longer lasting. It did warn it could increase sun sensitivity, like so many medications do. I am always careful of the sun anyway, because I am very fair-skinned and sunburn easily. But I learned that the sun sensitivity with this medication was beyond anything I had ever experienced. When I first developed a little rash, I quit taking it. The effects, however, did not wear off for more than a week. The rash kept developing, finally creating spots that I can only compare to the burns caused by hot grease splatters. When it reached that point, with the extra added attraction of generalized swelling on all exposed skin, I ended up in the emergency room. I still have several faint scars from the worst of the burns.
My right hand and lower arm. Thank goodness I was
wearing 3/4 length sleeves!

That medication is definitely on my "Never Take This Stuff Again" list!


  1. I was recently prescribed the same medication. My rash is spreding to my face, neck, hands, arms, and now my feet. How did you treat the rash and how long did it go away?

    1. The doctor put me on a powerful antihistimine medication, which, unfortunately, I don't remember the name of. I had to be extremely careful about going in the sun for several weeks. Altough the worst of the rash was fading out in a few days, I peeled deeply in the worst affected areas, some of the deeper burns left light scars that are still with me, and my nail beds were damaged and it has taken more than a year to grow out the bumps and ridges that grew from that damage.

    2. Thank you for repying. I've been looking on the internet to see if anyone else had a re action to it like me and you're the only one. I doubt the army will let stay out of the sun due to my rash but right now I look like a monster hopefully they will allow me a few days. I just woke up to see it's my face completely covered and it working its way up my arms and legs. Thank you very much for posting your story. It gave me hope this will eventually go away. God bless and take care!

    3. If you can't stay out of the sun, please use lots of sunscreen. The sun allergy effects don't go away immediately with stopping the medication. The very worst of it for me came several days after stopping the Feldene and were set off by only about 10-15 minutes in the sun. Good luck, God bless, and thank you for your service in the Army!

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