Allergic Reaction

“They have to get rid of their cat because their kid is allergic,” our friend told us.
If I had a loonie for every time I heard that line – well – I would have a lot of loonies.
The cat – the disposable cat – will likely once again fall victim to the effects of its dander.
Sneezing.  Watery eyes.  Itchy skin.
If we torpedoed everything on this planet that made us allergic – there would be no trees – no grass – no flowers.
I remember as a child being allergic to summer.  They called it “hay fever.”
I remember vividly as our family doctor injected me with “allergy tests” – multiple, painful needles injected up and down one of my arms – jabbing my system with various, highly suspect allergins.
The results showed I was allergic to various summer problems – namely pollen – and thus, I was subjected to weekly allergy shots.
They ever so slightly introduced into my system, small doses of the allergen I was allergic to.
The theory was that my body would eventually build up a tolerance to that allergen, and render me impervious to any “hay fever” symptoms in the future.
Well, it must have worked.
Now, I can say I really have no allergies that I know of.
Sure, I sneeze alot when I vaccuum or dust.  I blame that on being allergic to the act of cleaning.
I remember being very allergic to the very first cat I ever owned.
I would sneeze and blow my nose until it was red.
But I never once ever thought of getting rid of him.
That was because, to me, his value far outweighed the small inconvenience of allergies.
And that really is what allergies are; an inconvenience.
Yes, I know some allergies can be deadly:  peanuts, seafood, shellfish.
They all have the terrible reaction of closing airways and swelling blood vessels.
But even they, I believe, can be cured.
I watched a documentary where a small boy with a peanut allergy was slowly introduced to peanuts via injection – and sure enough, he overcame his allergy to the point where he could actually eat peanuts again.
So, to that end, I believe if we are slowly introduced to what we are allergic to, we can develop a resistance to it, and overcome being allergic to it altogether.
So let’s give our pets another chance, before we dispose of them because of the inconvenience of allergies.
The same goes for trees.  And grass.  And hay.
Because we can’t obliterate all of nature’s offerings.
And we can’t hide from them by staying indoors.
We need to get out and face our allergies – and by doing so, building up our tolerance and resistance to them.
That is one of the many good things about getting older – our bodies build up resistance to our allergies, so they become less and less bothersome.
And that’s nothing to sneeze at.

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