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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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woman sneezing

Something is Running (and I don't mean the exercise kind)


Oh, my. The weather is finally showing some positive signs – like temperatures above freezing! – and I'm feeling happier than I have in months. Ecstatic, in fact.

Yesterday, I was feeling so stressed from working non-stop days (and nights) that I promised myself I was not going to get through the day without doing my very favorite warm-weather thing: taking "the walk" through my neighborhood. And finally, around 3PM, I bid my desk a temporary adieu and laced up my sneakers and got myself outside.

Glorious! Not only did I see some signs of growth on the trees, but I was shocked to see the growth of the neighborhood kids who were out playing, rid of their heavy constricting winter jackets. They had sprouted a good four or five inches since the last time I saw them – which was probably around the time I brought my walks indoors and they started their winter hibernation, too.

But I digress. My walk was fabulous. I felt energized by the luscious warmth and the sun’s brighter energy. I returned, happy and ready to tackle my work. Only thing was, five minutes after settling down to work, my nose started running like a leaky faucet. I couldn't stop sneezing, either. I sneezed with such force I feared pulling my back out. On and on (and on) it went, continuing well into the night, so much so that it interfered with my much-needed sleep.

Huh? Where did this come from? I just had a cold – a really, really miserable one – only 3 weeks before.

I’m beginning to think it’s allergies. I kept telling myself, over and over, it couldn’t be…I’ve never had allergies. Never. And I always felt sorry for the people that did because, well face it, they look miserable with their itchy, watering eyes and non-stop sniffling and nose-blowing.

This Matters> Allergies, it turns out, can develop at any time, at any age. People are born with a genetic predisposition to allergies, but sometimes they don't develop until you're old and gray. (Ok, I'm not that old, and definitely not, at least not to your knowledge, gray). No one really knows that turns these genes on, although there is speculation that the more exposure you have to a potential allergen, the more antibodies you build up until finally, one day, they become a (VERY LOUD SNEEZE) – ALLERGIC REACTION.

Oh, no, I'm thinking. Not me. I wait all year for spring to arrive and it suddenly becomes an ALLERGEN??

So, I'll wait it out. Maybe it is just (another) cold. How will I know? A cold may come with a fever, an allergy rarely does. A cold leaves you after a week or so, while an allergy will hang around long enough to really drive you crazy; sometimes, all season long.

Do you have allergies? Maybe you can share your tips on how you cope!

Read what Dr. Pamela Peeke has to say about it all:

And an overview of allergies here:

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