I was all set to do my "kids are back at school" happy dance this afternoon after the youngest is back at afternoon kindergarten later today, but it looks like that will have to wait for another day or even two.
Yes, it's that time of year again. The trees are budding like crazy, the green shoots are coming up and is that a flower peeking out of the recent Chicago snowstorm? Lots of pollen in the air combined with crazy cold temps and snow has created chaos in my household. Three of us, my food-allergic daughter included, are suffering allergy symptoms and are on allergy meds for the past few weeks now. In my case, I'm fine after the trees finish "budding." The other two have ongoing symptoms all season. Seasonal allergies and asthma often coincide with food allergies, so many of you will have the same problem I'm about to describe.
My daughter appears to be either suffering really bad allergy symptoms or has caught the head cold that's going around. It's now time to experience my yearly dilemma: is it allergies or a "real" cold? Symptoms like stuffiness, sneezing, fatigue are pretty much the same for either a cold or seasonal allergies. Then we've got the whole "Is your throat itchy or scratchy? (A fine distinction, trust me.) "Do you have a fever?" And the dreaded "How do you feel today?"
My daughter is sick of answering these questions as well as experiencing these symptoms. She recently switched to Allegra (the other stuff was making her too sleepy in the a.m.) and seemed fine. But then she was up all last night sneezing with "an itchy throat." Is it a cold or allergies? Up until about an hour ago, I truly had no clue.
I'm right about 50/50 on this question, which means sometimes she is home from school with allergies and sometimes she is sent to school with a cold (which, believing in "health karma" I try very hard not to do. You know, if I don't send my sick kid to school, you won't either. I know it doesn't really work like that but it makes me feel better to think about it that way.)
Today, it looks like I was right about the cold. My daughter is upstairs passed out which would definitely not happen if she were not truly ill. She just doesn't sleep during the day--during the daytime hours, in fact, she resembles Tigger. Extremely bouncy, literally and figuratively.
The "allergy vs. cold" dance is just beginning as allergy season is just now moving into its heyday according to our allergist. And since I'm in Chicago, head cold season lasts pretty much all year long.
It's a game of odds...today it looks like guessed correctly that my daughter has a true illness. Or it could be that Allegra doesn't work for her? Or it doesn't work for her AND she has a cold? Or the pollen count is just really, really obnoxious today? I better polish my mother's intuition skills because I'm really going to need them now!