Sometime in late May, found me experiencing something totally new. It was an unusually daunting time because I couldn’t breathe properly. For those that aren’t ready to meet their maker you’ll understand why I didn’t like this state. Anyway, I really had a bad allergic reaction to…SOMETHING. I understood hay fever since I’d been subject to it in the past. It reared its ugly head during the rainy season and outside e.g. high concentration of generator fumes. Thankfully these incidents have lessened over the years, both in frequency and intensity.
So, one fateful day I woke up and discovered that both nostrils were totally blocked! I’m sure everyone has had a time when one was blocked and they had to make do with the other one. Not this time, BOTH were not letting air through and the only option left was found beneath my nose. Yes, I had no choice but to open my mouth and gulp air through it! Not pleasant I assure you and if it was funny the humour was totally lost on me at the time.
Not one that believes in self-medication I called a doctor friend for consultation. She’s quite familiar with my medical history and listened carefully as I gave the details of my unusual predicament. Her conclusion was that it was still an allergic reaction despite the absence of rain and the silence of the generators due to NEPA’s largesse. The prescribed treatment was steam inhalation, warm drinks and no undue exposure to the elements. To some it sounds like a harsh sentence, but the odd thing out was the first requirement, the closest I’d come to steam was in the kitchen and the only time I’d steamed my face.
This was a matter of life or death and one I couldn’t afford to be half-hearted about. I commenced the steam inhalation therapy with a vengeance! I inhaled steam twice a day, in the morning and night. I would have become addicted or high on it, if it had been possible, that was the ferociousness and dedication I put into it. I wanted to take in air like normal people so badly. After about two weeks of faithfully using the steam, warm drinks et al I discovered that the mucous in my nasal passages didn’t budge one inch!
There were periods I sneezed and blew my nose and with it came a modicum of relief but these instances were few and far between. The mother lode stayed exactly where it was. During this saga I got some respite during the day, when blissfully one airway would suddenly open and work for a while. This proved useful, since I didn’t have to work with my mouth open and thereby cause offence. By nightfall, both passages were once again congested and it was back to the status quo.
Totally demoralised and about to give up, I called my doctor friend and narrated my tale. She encouraged me and told me to hang in there. By this time I’d also had one or two close encounters with steam. If you’ve ever been scalded you’ll bear witness that it’s more dangerous than hot water and wrecks greater havoc. Gauging the safe distance to conduct my twice daily ritual was not easy and facial burns weren’t something I wanted to add to my current baggage.
To cut a long story short, I continued this way for almost three weeks and then one night a massive sneeze overtook me and out came the resident evil! I was ecstatic and thankfully, at the time I was in the bathroom. I didn’t even need to help it along in anyway. Once again my passages were free! This ordeal reminded me that life will always throw us challenges that require we persevere just a little bit more in some situations. At times it seems like everything is exactly the same no matter that we’re doing the right thing and putting in our best. The fact is things are changing although invisible to us. We must learn to stay the course and not give up…easier said than done I know but absolutely possible. We must pay the price.