Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Very Unfortunate Allergy

Well, it appears as if G-man has developed a sensitivity to spruce. His asthma has been a bit rough the past few weeks and he's been sneezing up a storm. Turns out that the spruce is pollinating right now. Then, yesterday, he was working with our firewood and his whole arm swelled up and got super itchy rashy. So, it looks like he has a sensitivity/allergy to the pollen AND the sap... BUMMER since 90% of our 80 acres is covered in either black or white spruce (we are in the Boreal Forest after all).

The pollen respiratory reaction doesn't seem to be particularly severe as far as that sort of rhino-sinus allergy goes, but the sap dermatitis reaction was pretty intense. We're hoping that this reaction was so severe because he was actually scraped fairly deep with bark a couple times, allowing the sap to actually get into the skin, and it wasn't just simply handling the wood. Time will tell, but he's going to have to process firewood with long sleeves and gloves from now on, or else it's going to be another chore that I have to do alone when our Benadryl and Cortisone supply is low :(

Can I say again how thankful I am that I only have a couple mild allergies/sensitivities and they are primarily ingested foods or direct chemical exposures. Those are way easier to avoid and manage than environmental/airborne plant and animal allergies. Poor G :(

10 comments:

Geneva in MO said...

Yeah, he's got an allergy. My sister is allergic to evergreens. Not sure if all evergreens or not but it sure as hell sucked when the allergy started cause that was the end of live X-mas trees. Actually, that was the end of X-mas trees completely since my Mom refused to get a fake one.

There might be an allergy shot he can take that would help but, obviously, that would take a doctor and prescription.

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Wow that stinks... I hope if this is the case you all can still burn spruce. Hopefully that wont cause him to much grief.

Wash.

Plickety Cat said...

I'm hoping that as long as he isn't handling the spruce too much and we keep the stove closed that we'll still be able to burn it since it is our most available firewood.

At the very least we should still be able to burn the deadites since any sap in that spruce was burned out by forest fire over 40 years ago (and it's still standing!!) and we have a buttload of it on our acreage. It just might have to be me that has to bushwhack my way through all the live stuff to actually haul it out.

I think the FireWise clearing and thinning around the homestead will help him significantly since it's mostly spruce that needs to come down and out. We can use that wood and brush for fencing and such away from the house if we can't use it for firewood. But it's looking like that chore might become my responsibility unless he's covered head to foot!

Marybeth said...

Oh NO!!! I'm allergic to pine trees. It seems to get worse every year. We can't have live Christmas trees anymore, and now it's to the point that I can't even shop in a store that has them without wheezing. I also get a rash from touching them. Make sure you guys are careful with this because my doctor feels that at some point in time my reaction will become so severe I may have an anaphylactic reaction. It's a recent, within the past 5 years, allergy for me as well, and it started just like his. Make sure you ask his doctor next time he goes. I had to get a pneumonia shot this year because of my frequent holiday bronchitis due to the allergy. I was actually hospitalized this year with a pneumothorax after having a bout of bronchitis.

Plickety Cat said...

Hopefully it won't get that severe since we're *surrounded* by spruce back here so "Christmas tree" exposure is year round :(

In any case, I'll be taking over the brush clearing and making sure he's covered head to foot when he's helping me with any big logs. I'd love to be able to release him from all firewood activities, but it's too huge a job for little ol' me with everything else that needs to get done :(

Annnightflyer said...

Tell G to eat the local honey ,if he can eat it. It will build up his immune to the pollen:)

Plickety Cat said...

Ann, there isn't an abundance of native honeybees in Alaska due to the extreme climate; but we are planning on establishing our own hives and purchase local organically farmed honey from the farmer's market (although "local" is still a considerable distance from us). We're hoping he gets some of the immune system benefits that local honey can provide.

Annnightflyer said...

Thats what I did here in Texas,much better than sneezing my butt off but it took 3 years to get acclimated to the climate.We have these mesas with pine trees and when that wind blows just right here comes the pollen lol.Since you are having problems with critters and such you might want to get some cayenne pepper and sprinkle around your place,should keep a few things at bay.

Plickety Cat said...

My sister had terrible issues with the live oaks when we lived in TX... no fun.

So far, the cayenne hasn't helped at all with the carpenter ants (or the bears LOL) but it has made kept the more curious squirrels out of a few places ;D

Annnightflyer said...

My father-in-law mixed boric acid and honey to kill ants at their place,just a thought.