Ah, Springtime Allergies....

I can't believe I've let this blog languish, and I can't believe how long it has been since I've been out hiking. A myriad of excuses keep popping up-- first it was the cold that turned into a terrible deep cough that made my asthma nearly unbearable. I was taking my nebulizer before bed every night because I was waking up in the middle of the night needing my inhaler, and having to take my inhaler during the day even if I wasn't doing anything strenuous. My fear of being caught in the woods having an asthma attack did not make hiking seem like a clever idea.

Now, it is allergies. My asthma, surprisingly, has been very quiet and nearly non-existent (knock on wood), but it is no secret that spring is my worst time of year. Since grade school, my allergies and asthma get out of control, even though now I've been taking allergy shots for 3 or 4 years. I have a list somewhere of all the things that I'm allergic to, but in general it is maybe 4 different types of grasses, pollen, ragweed, mold, oak, ash.... you get the idea. In college, before the era of shots, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to hold down a job because there were days I would wake up with my eyes swollen shut and so miserable I couldn't get out of bed. Thankfully those days are mostly over. But the past two springs have been some of the worst in a long time, and I have been miserable.

I'm really disappointed that what must be the most interesting time of year to go hiking is the one time of year I can hardly do anything. This week I had trouble just being outside on the playground with my students, much less taking hikes. I'm afraid of how out of shape I'll be when it comes time for me to actually get back out there. One day, my hope is that the allergy shots will do what they're supposed to do, and I will be able to hike and see the flowers bloom in the spring on hikes. Or I will have to move out of St. Louis and somewhere where my allergies won't bother me as much! I really hope the shots do work. My dream of one day completing the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail seem farfetched when I can barely step out of my house during the months of late March through May. But I won't give up on them. Surely there have been people with health issues who have done more than that, and I know one day I will too.

Excuses excuses, but writing in this blog makes me feel like I can get it all out there, and then have no more excuses NOT to go out and hike once I'm healthy again. Hopefully that will be soon!