Week 21 (March 23)

Posted: March 23, 2014 in Weekly update

Well, I survived St. Patrick’s Day unscathed. Actually it’s not such a big holiday over here except with the Irish expats, and since I can’t drink alcohol anyway I avoided all of the madness and focused on keeping my histamine levels under control. The pollen has hit my immune system with a vengeance, so I keep that mask tightly secured every time I head outside. I’m not sure if the antibiotics acerbate the problem or not, but I’m not taking any chances.

Being kooked up inside all day is not good for the conscious, so fortunately my trips to the office to teach English help me forget about my runny nose if not momentarily. Actually, some of my students also suffer from seasonal allergies so in that case I don’t feel alone. It is estimated that 30% of Japan’s population is afflicted with some form of cedar fever. Most years I evacuate to cedar-free areas in either Okinawa or abroad, but weekly nurse visits mean I must stay in Osaka and ‘grin-and-bear it’ as the old saying goes.

Friday was the spring equinox, and luckily for us it is a public holiday. We don’t prescribe to the clock-turning customs over here, which makes keeping track of the time much easier than back home (though it does make the time difference fluctuate). To herald in the coming of spring, Kanako and I headed out for a hike with a few friends. Someone forgot to tell mother nature that spring had arrived because we fought our way through fresh snowfall and blustery conditions that had us wishing we had packed the down jackets. While it was refreshing to get out in nature you can just about guess how my immune system responded. Upon returning I downed an antihistamine and let nature run its course. It usually takes a couple of days to recover from a spring outing and I can say my system has finally calmed down.

Nurse Yohara was busy last week so she couldn’t visit, which means she will have a lot of empty medicine containers to count when she comes this coming Wednesday. We worked out a schedule of visits for the remainder of my medication schedule (less than a month to go luckily). I’ll start working again from April which doesn’t leave my schedule very open except for Friday afternoons.

I’m ready to finish off March and enter my final month of treatment. Unfortunately that means there are only a few more blog posts left before I move on to another chapter in my life, so I’ll try to make the final few a little more interesting.

Suffering from the pollen but enjoying nature

Suffering from the pollen but enjoying nature

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