DEAR HARRIETTE: Spring is in the air, and like clockwork, my allergies are kicking in. I have asthma plus allergies, so I get all messed up until summer starts. I have medication and follow my doctor’s directions in terms of treatment.
My issue these days is my friends. Because I sneeze a lot and it can seem like I’m sick, they don’t want to hang out with me when I’m dealing with my allergies. I’m not sick, and I keep telling them that, but they get annoyed when I’m suffering with the symptoms around them. I think this is messed up, but I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t want to stay home for two months. How can I get my friends to lighten up? -- Allergic
DEAR ALLERGIC: Start with a trip to your doctor. Find out if there is more potent medication that you can take that may help to diminish your allergy symptoms. If you are constantly sneezing and coughing, that has to be uncomfortable for you -- never mind your friends. There are so many medications available today that chances are, you can get on a regimen that will better manage your health during this season.
As far as your friends go, do your best not to sneeze or cough when you are close to them. Maintain a bit of distance when you are especially vulnerable. While your friends may seem harsh, it is understandable that they are uncomfortable having your mucus flying all around them.