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Monday, February 21, 2011

Life’s Obstacle Course

After I walk upstairs, I often think how blessed I am to ascend the stairs with little effort. I am all too aware of the perils that stairs hold for those with problems, with knees, a bad back, heart problems, or pulmonary problems. My knees may act up every now and again but I never experience severe pain of others that I know. In some ways, I hate the stairs because of how they affect people close to me and how that affects me. That obstacle is absent in homes without stairs and businesses with elevators. Obstacles come in many shapes but by their very definition they do create a barrier for the person or loved ones affected by them that are not known to those free of that specific obstruction.

Less than a handful of times in my life, I have had serious allergic reactions, which cause severe upper respiratory symptoms. I haven’t tested my sensitivity in recent years to farm fields or ice skating rinks where I had severe symptoms. I just have to get my country fix putting words such as “red barn” into a search engine or by watching an Agricultural show. Avoiding ice skating rinks is quite easy too.

There are serious food allergies that require label reading and precautions on a constant basis. For those whose throat closes after eating peanuts, they may even need peanut free zones at school or in public where other people will not consume items around them with such residue. Wheat or dairy may be the culprit for some. Fortunately, there are dairy and gluten free products.

Although it is rare, people can develop allergies to ubiquitous substances that are necessary to sustain life on this planet. Water in all of its abundance can cause reactions to people who have extreme sensitivity. For those with water allergies: bathing, holding a sweating child, brushing teeth, or going out on a rainy day poses a risk. Blistering can occur for some with water allergies after consuming juices.

Sunlight can be dangerous for people with photosensitivity. This is different than sunburn where a person has been in the sun too long for their melanin to protect them. It is an allergy where a person’s immune system over-reacts to sunlight and may cause an itchy red rash. Even light from a window shining indoors is a danger for them. People with this allergy may do best to switch their nights and days. Even dusk and dawn may make them too vulnerable. There are special schools online for these children and also camps where the children can meet. Parents have to decide whether they want their children to remain inside at dusk or if they want them to get a glimpse of the world at dusk, which may be dangerous in the long-term.

Someone told me a story about a pile of problems. It is said that if you picked different problems from the ones that you have that you would put them back and select yours. I don’t know if I am strong enough to face some of the obstacles I have heard about. Being aware that things could always be worse, makes me count my blessings. The obstacles that I have not overcome do continue to humble me. I don’t know how people handle severe emotional or physical pain. Fortunately, there is often ways to manage both through medication or therapy. Regardless of our limitations, we will be happier if we focus on what we can do in this bountiful world.
– population-weblog post by Barb Bohan

1 comment:

  1. Barb: Recently we dined at Round The Bend Steakhouse for our first-ever pop-we Dinner Club outing. I was quite sad because as you know I’m allergic to red meat. Sitting there watching everyone else enjoy their meaty delectable delights made me feel sorry for myself. However, your Life’s Obstacles Course post reminds me that others may and do have way worse food allergies. Thanks for the very timely and poignant post.