Finding Brittany

My life has been a series of unfortunate events, and up until recently, I have been quite lost. Scratch that, I’m still lost and every day I am finding myself. I am a full time student at Cape Cod Community College, earning a Business Major with the intention to transfer to UMass Dartmouth next year. I have a work study job here in the library, and I work part time in a restaurant as well. I am fully involved on my campus with planning events and leadership roles in Phi Theta Kappa. I have been raising my 5 year old daughter on my own up until recently. I started dating my boyfriend a couple of years ago (we’re not really sure when…) and we moved in together this past February. He has taken on the role as my daughters primary male figure and he is doing an amazing job. There are days when I’m not sure how I am going to get through, and others around me aren’t quite sure how I do it either. But I make it. Every single day, I get through. Each day leading to the next. I can’t help but wonder what is in store for me, but who really knows?

As I sit here and ponder how to start my first blog, I can’t help but think about the delicious chicken pot pie I will be ordering tonight from Centerville Pie Co. My mind drifts off to the smell of the pie bakeshop, as I’m quickly brought back to the reality of the clicking of the keyboards by the other students here in the computer lab at Cape Cod Community College. My hunger brings me back to why I started this blog…pain. The past 3 years of my life, I have been suffering from chronic, unexplained, scattered pain. Actually, as far back as I can think, my life has been about pain, all types of pain: emotional; psychological; physical; hidden; unknown; invisible; and sometimes I even think I’m imagining it. I’m certain you will hear more stories of my pain as I progress through my blogging but today, let’s talk about my allergic reaction to allergy medicine and my search for a homeopathic remedy.

Due to my chronic nerve pain which seems to be caused by chronic inflammation (cause still unknown, hypothesis: stress), my neurologist put me on a medication for nerve pain, and it’s working! Now here in New England, allergy season is upon us! I never had bad seasonal allergies up until a year ago and I started taking claritin daily. The claritin, however, didn’t work this year, so I perused my options and switched myself to Zyrtec D. Harmless, I thought, as it is an over-the-counter medication! After a week or so, I started getting angry, then anxious, then sad, and all-around extremely emotional (which my boyfriend has put up with rather well)…but after a few weeks, the emotions turned to panic and sheer terror. I chalked it up to end of the semester “blues,” aka hair-pulling, gut-wrenching, nerve-wrecking stress. I couldn’t breathe, I felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest, the world felt like it was spinning (and sometimes tilting, and losing it’s gravitational pull) so I thought to myself “this must be what a panic attack feels like…”

I went home to “rest” and my curiosity got the best of me, so I (finally) read the warning label on the side of my allergy medicine. Note to self: Always read the label first! It turns out all of these symptoms of a “panic attack” I was experiencing were side effects of my allergy medicine. Then the researcher in me started browsing the interwebs comparing the side effects of my allergy meds with my nerve meds and lo and behold, the two combined increased each others side effects! Now mind you, I am still in the middle of a “panic attack” as I am discovering all of this, my doctor is not in the office, and I have to be at work in 2 hours on a busy Friday evening. Then the fire alarms in my condominium complex go off! As freaked out as I was, I somehow calmly got up, grabbed my keys, my purse, and my phone and headed to the door thinking to myself, “of course my apartment would burn down today, of all days…” only to be greeted by the maintenance man apologizing for not telling me they were testing the alarms! It was quite a day for me, one I can fortunately look back on and laugh.

With all that being said, I have not taken the allergy medicine since, and I am now on a holistic search for allergy treatments. I should know by now that it is best to speak to a professional about this, someone who is familiar with holistic treatments and how they will interact with my current medication, but I chose to browse the internet and print an article instead. This very short, 7 paragraph article somehow turned out to be 106 pages, and well that’s just another bullet added to my series of unfortunate events. While I found some interesting natural ingredients that can act as a histamine blocker, I’m going to learn the lesson from my past, and not try any of it until I know it is safe and won’t interact with other medicine.

Well, that is all from me today! In the future look for articles on education, time management, mommy-ing skills, 5 year old superheroes, and other daily life experiences. Expect bouts of humor, sarcasm, emotions, and wisdom.

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