Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: echinacea

Brought low by such a little thing

The flourishing African violets and other greenery in our home are testimony of my wife’s green thumb.  She grows new plants from cuttings and often has African violets to give away.  When she has too many little succulents she will take a few to a store in our nearest town that sells antiques, home decor and succulents. Richard usually gives her a plant or two in return.

Last Friday she came home with a tiny little plant in a 10 cm pot. At supper time, Chris noticed a scent in the air and wondered where it was coming from. I couldn’t smell anything, but my sinuses were becoming congested and my throat sore.

Chris finally traced the scent to that little pot that she had placed on the corner of our table. The tiny plant in there was flowering, tiny, tiny little flowers, but with a powerful scent.  Chris put the plant in a different location and put a glass cover over it with just a little gap for air circulation.

I turned on our air purifier and started taking decongestants and echinacea. I made it through the weekend with their help, attending a wedding on Saturday, Sunday morning worship and taught the intermediate Bible study in the evening. But the effect of the decongestants kept me awake most of Sunday night.Yesterday I took care of some needed business in the morning, then took it easy the rest of the day.

Today I feel like I’m almost recovered from that allergy attack. That little plant carried quite a punch for someone like me who is susceptible to allergic rhinitis. I suspect that I may have run a little short on sleep in the days prior to this incident, which compromises the immune system and makes me more apt to react as I did. But I’m quite sure it was those flowers that triggered the attack.

My mind remained active during the time I was trying to rest my body. I pondered where I was going with this blog, what is it that I felt a need to share with my readers.  You will start to see the results of that pondering tomorrow.

Why Couldn’t I Be The Healthy One?

It was the morning after my father’s funeral and my cousin Dennis and I were sitting at a table with my mother looking at old photographs. Here was a school phot from when I was in Grade 2 in a one-room school. There were two little boys in the front row, one bright-eyed, smiling and healthy-looking, the other wearing a heavy sweater and making a feeble attempt at a smile. Impulsively, I pointed at the healthy looking boy and said “That was me!” Dennis gave me a funny look, then said, “No. That was David Harlton. This is you over here.” And he pointed at the sickly-looking boy.

Of course he was right. I think that I just wished that for one moment in my life I could believe that I was the healthy one.

I had frequent bouts of colds and flu as a child and was well-acquainted with Buckley’s White Rub and various other home remedies. I am a genuine phlegmatic; it’s not often that I don’t have some nasal congestion and a frog in my throat. My sense of balance has never been good either. I was probably about five when my parents put me on a merry-go-round, no doubt expecting I would be thrilled at the ride. My head began to whirl and my stomach to churn and they had to quickly take me off.

In later life, I realized that the “cold and flu” symptoms were almost all allergic reactions to dust, pollens and other stuff in the air. These reactions often led into sinus infections and recovery times were a matter of several weeks. This also affected my inner ear, giving me a poor sense of balance.

When i was in my twenties I discovered antihistamines and they have helped me cope with life. A little pill once a day, a corticosteroid puff in each nostril once a day, plus echinacea and/or decongestants when needed, keep me going most of the time. But I still can’t always escape those times when allergy symptoms leave me feeling wiped out. This time of year seems about the worst.

I have learned by experience that some occupations are best avoided. I’m just not the robust type who thrives on outdoor activities.

But maybe that’s alright. I’ve been coping with this for 73 years now and it hasn’t done me in yet.  Someone once said “A man show what he is by what he does with what he has.” That has inspired me to forget about what I don’t have and can’t do and to try and make the best of what I do have and can do.

I am even thankful that my frequent sicknesses facilitated my love for reading, and writing. Perhaps God has allowed these circumstances to help steer me in the direction He wanted me to go. In any case, here I am, with all the things I have experienced, observed and learned in life, and I want to use them all to His honour.

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