Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A New Summer Allergy, O Joy O Bliss!!

This spring I have noticed an ever increasing itch all over my body after mowing the lawn.  It starts on the back of my neck and works its way down my torso, but a good long shower immediately after mowing takes care of it.  I have been assuming that it is some kind of mild grass allergy and until today, when I discovered the real culprit, thought my "rest of the day" exhaustion after grass cutting to be a result of old age and general lack of fitness.

Today though I finally discovered the real problem and the source of the itch and the ensuing tiredness.

Today the itch started on the back of my neck within seconds of brushing my head and neck under the large oak tree in the middle of our front lawn.  It isn't possible to mow on that side of the lawn without coming into contact with that huge tree.  I had to spend a fair amount of time in contact with the leaves and branches in the course of my work and my back and stomach were so itchy I thought I was going to have to abandon the project 1/3 of the way through.

I persevered though and finished the lawn just before the arrival of a short rain.  The itch was driving me crazier than it ever had before and when I peeled off my work clothes to have a shower I could see why.  The mild rash I have experienced previously this spring had progressed to large patches of small water blisters.  Yikes!! Shades of childhood when blisters of all sized indicated various skin allergies to things I haven't reacted to since becoming and adult.  My husband confirmed it was as bad as it appeared to be.  Even the tops of my feet were blistered and they had no contact with the tree at all.

This explains the utter exhaustion I have experienced from the very first pass of the lawnmower under that tree.  It is a growing allergy as each year I have had a bit more itch than the year before.  Now that it has progressed to the blister stage I have to take serious precautions for future mowing.  Usually that part of the grass is among the first to be mowed.  Now that section will wait until the end.  When I get to that point in the mowing process now I will don my waterproof climbing jacket from MEC and zip the hood up over my head to keep my neck completely covered.

When I reach the blister stage of these sorts of allergies it is time to be very careful.  No wonder I have been so tired after one of these reactions hits me.  The histamines are going crazy, the immune system is running full steam ahead, so my body is in rebellion against the allergy symptoms.

So much explained now about why I can barely cope with the aftermath of lawn mowing.  It is all making sense:  'tis not old age....'tis histamines!

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