As we approach, or better yet, are in the middle of allergy season, do pay close attention to the early signs of vocal or breathing distress: more post nasal drip than usual, tightening of the chest, sinus congestion, headaches, and fatigue. I tend to suffer from all of these problems at least once a year and this year is no exception. I recently finished a short run of a theatrical production and full teaching schedule, so my body and nature decided to hit me hard. Just this past weekend, I felt that all too familiar “tickle” in the throat and a bit of sinus congestion. I began my never fail regimen of home remedies: flushing the nasal area with a saline and water mixture and gargling and swallowing an apple cider vinegar and water mixture for cleaning out all impurities.
Much to my chagrin, it wasn’t enough. Within two days, I was having trouble breathing as my lungs were filling with fluid. I thought this was just another seasonal problem I always have and can heal myself. Not so! Ironically, what made me finally realize a visit to the doctor was in order was having a phone conversation and not being able to even speak without gasping for breath. I put my pride in a drawer and headed to the hospital! I had contracted acute bronchitis within two days and had I waited, it would have quickly moved to pneumonia. As a teacher of voice, breathing, and taking good care of one’s instrument, I was amazed at how quickly my condition worsened. I have never had this experience in my life and certainly never want to again! I am on the mend, as I am on my second day of rest and antibiotics. Just having more energy and not panicking for every breath feels miraculous! It just goes to show you-we are always learning. So keep up the regimen of all things healthy, especially as you prepare for allergy season! Keep a humidifier running while you sleep, take immune building vitamins, drink fluids consistently, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and listen to the warning signs of approaching voice or breathing problems!
Let’s all give thanks for our blessings and enjoy spring as we should.