When I’m busy, stressed, down, tired or disappointed, I always go to my music playlist to lift up my spirit. Whenever life throws rocks instead of lemons back at me, I make sure to listen to these songs so I can just build a house made of rock, and become stronger than ever before.
For the past week, I’ve been under the weather due to changes in season. Well, actually, this has become an annual thing due to my allergy (allergic rhinitis).
1) Allergic Rhinitis
What is allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis, otherwise known as hay fever, is an inflammation in the sinus that occurs when our immune system reacts to allergens. Symptoms include nasal stuffiness, sneezing, itchy nose, and watery eyes. If it gets worse, additional symptoms include dry cough, sore throat, headache and clogged ears.
What causes allergic rhinitis?
As someone with allergic rhinitis, when I breathe in an allergen like pollen, mold, animal dander, smoke or dust, my body releases a chemical called histamine. Histamine is a chemical my body releases that helps get rid of foreign matter inside — in this case, the allergen. Since the body is on defense mode with the help of histamines, inflammation then happens on the sinuses, which produces more mucus; thus, giving the vibe of runny nose, sneezing and other allergic symptoms.
Triggers for Allergic Rhinitis
It started when I was still in college. I have weak immune system and during ber months, changes in season make the trees and flowers release more pollen into the air. I didn’t know it by then, but I remember, I was bed-ridden for almost a week because my allergy led to complications in my respiratory system. I was having difficulty breathing, and with runny nose, my normal buddy would be a tissue or a clean handkerchief. I thought it was just simple cold and cough, but when I checked with the doctor, I discovered I had allergic rhinitis.
So then, I bought medicines and had my bed rest. After a few days, I was back on track and became productive once again.
Through the years, every time the season changes every October to November, I realized my allergy will kick in. I’ve consulted with several doctors regarding my allergic, and had variations in my medicines. One thing is for sure though, my over-the-counter for a year would be different the next year. I guess my body becomes immune. That’s when I realized it’s important to have a consultation with a doctor every time this allergy starts to manifest.
Another info my doctor told me: allergic rhinitis can also be triggered by either of these: extreme heat, extreme cold, extreme stress and smoke or jeepney exhaust. If I get to situations with these, more likely, I’ll be experiencing my allergic symptoms in no time. So, what do I do?
Strategy for Relief
There will be times it’s easy to ditch this allergy, but mostly, it’s like these symptoms wanted to stay and camp out on my body. So I normally try to avoid the triggers. For medicines, I always have to consult the doctor just to make sure I’m not immune to my medication, but in case of emergencies, I always have these available in my wallet:
Antihistamines, Decongestants, Antibacterial tablets
I won’t be mentioning any brand, as it is important to check in with your doctor. But just in case, these info might help as well.
2) Tooth Extraction
I can’t remember the last time I had tooth extraction. So, when my dentist mentioned I’ll be scheduled for one because really, my tooth hurts, it made me nervous.
My dentist gave me antibiotics a week ago to consume before my schedule. I actually forgot to take in some days and when I mentioned it to my dentist, she specifically scolded me, saying I have to complete the cycle; otherwise, it won’t be effective. I was tired taking so many medicines I just agreed to what she said.
Anyway, I’m on the dental chair, and I’m scheduled for three tooth extraction. My dentist started the procedure by giving me anesthesia and there, for almost two hours, my dentist was able to extra two teeth. One in the upper part and one in the lower part. I still have another one scheduled, but I waved the white flag as I feel so tired with the procedure. I guess I’ll just come back tomorrow.
With these procedure, I realized two things:
- Take good care of your teeth while you’re still young.
- Take good care of your teeth even when you grow up.
As you grow older, your teeth will form part of how you look, and with a deformed teeth, you’ll have less confidence about yourself. Well, I have sweet tooth and when I was younger, every time there are candies available, I would always grab one and forget to brush my teeth afterwards. Now that I’m older and always checks with my dentist to ensure my teeth won’t hinder my productivity, I realized it’s quite expensive and might be too late to salvage parts that will not grow any longer. 😦
So, as I’ve been to the doctor for most of today, here’s my realizations:
1) Rest is important.
No matter how busy we are, our body can only do well until a certain exertion. So, it is really important to have those complete sleep and play once in a while to avoid expensive medicines. Our body gives us signals it’s time to slow down your pace and enjoy every moment of our life.
2) Follow your doctor.
If your doctor advised you finish taking your medicines for seven (7) days, do it. It is to make sure your body will respond effectively and not take on more complications.
I’m not fond of exercising because my goal is to gain mass. Whenever I exercise, I feel a lot lighter, and away from my ideal body weight. However, one of the benefits of exercising is that it increases the strength of your immune system to any diseases. I remember when I was in college, one of the reasons I have less attacks for my allergic rhinitis is because I started swimming. Twice a week back then, I would be under the water. After several months though, I felt much more stronger and much more alive. Now that I’m working, I realized exercise is much more needed to keep our body healthy.
So now, I’m on my way to bed and taking my time to rest. One good thing about being sick though is that I have more time to rest and read. If you are reading this, I hope you take time to take good care of yourself no matter how busy you become. Why? Because we only have one body and God wants us to rest too, just as He rested on the seventh day. 🙂
Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful that way and were good loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.
1 Peter 3: 4-6 (MSG)
Yesterday, it took me about 20 minutes to choose what to wear for office. As I was looking at myself through the mirror, thoughts came to mind if people would really appreciate what I will wear for the day.
For men, it will only take a few minutes to dress up but for women, some may take hours.
So now, let’s talk about beauty.
In today’s world, we are bombarded with products, wardrobe and fashion icons that will make us beautiful. In commercials, women with slim body, fair complexion and beautiful smile will show you that beauty focuses on the outward appearance. It’s as if the outer beauty is all that really matters. On the other hand, there are groups of women who feel so disconnected with the idea of being beautiful that they totally neglect themselves and instead, they believe inner beauty is the most important for it all. Though the bible says to cultivate inner beauty and the outward appearance is not all that really matters, my stand is that we should not neglect ourselves being beautiful, both inside and out. Why? Because we are not being beautiful for ourselves alone; we are being beautiful to reflect the image of God in us, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Beauty: What is it?
Your outer beauty may describe being physically appealing to both men and women alike — in the way you dress, how you carry yourself, the style of your hair and the jewelry you wear. In the webster dictionary, beauty is described as:
a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight
a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense
In appreciating outer beauty, your eyes decide that what you see is pleasant. However, when the inner beauty of a person appeals to you, your senses, emotions and intellect mostly gives you that happy satisfaction of one’s qualities. He/She may not be attractive to you, but deep inside, you know you wanted to spend another chunk of your time to get to know this person.
Worthy in God’s Sight
While reading the verses above, it struck me that Peter was telling the church inner beauty is what matters most. If you read up the verses before this, in Chapter 1 and 2, Peter was telling the church that as we are given a new life in Christ, we are called to be holy. If you go down next to Chapter 3, Peter started off with giving an advice to husbands and wives. For wives, particularly, outer beauty is not emphasized but the inner one. He goes on to the length of giving Sarah as an example of how a beautiful woman, wife and daughter we could be in the eyes of God.
Instead of choosing to cultivate the inner beauty only, I have decided to cultivate both my outer and inner beauty. As a child, I didn’t have the confidence that people will appreciate me. I was so insecure that even my social skills were not developed. When I would see strangers on the street just because I needed to buy something from the store, I would wait until that stranger passes through before I make a move.
Then growing up, I came to a point where my identity is lost. Questions resurfaced. Am I beautiful? Will people accept me for who I am? What can I offer the world?
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
All those fears — fear of judgment, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment — all these were replaced by divine beauty and unconditional love. That love is the love given by Jesus Christ.
How Do You Recognize that Inner Beauty?
If you have received that unconditional love, your beauty will reflect to show the world without you even making an effort. That is because the beauty you are carrying is not your own anymore, but the beauty of Christ — the beauty of forgiveness, of unconditional love, of irreplaceable joy. If we go back to the verse above, we will immediately know inner beauty by the following attributes:
- Gentle – Women may have different personalities and doesn’t mean that if one is gentle, she only speaks mildly to other people. You are being gentle when you are able to lead other women in inspiration and not discouragement. People will know because it will show in your actions and words.
- Gracious – I remember the quote that “Grace is something God gives us even when we don’t deserve it.” So here, being gracious means being able to extend that understanding, love and forgiveness even if the other person doesn’t deserve it. On the same way, it is able being able to ask for understanding, love and forgiveness even if we don’t deserve it.
- Loyal – This literally means showing strong support or allegiance. As a woman of inner beauty, you are able to show strong support to your friends, family and loved one, in whatever way to encourage them. This word is synonymous to being faithful, so being loyal would cover a long span of time.
- Caring – You have this characteristic if you are able to show genuine concern for other people. This is not just a one-time concern but a consistent display of love, and genuine interest to help the other person.
- Endearing – Dictionary defines this word as inspiring feelings of love and affection. In the above verse, I would focus on the fact that Sarah is not afraid to show and tell his husband words of endearment. As women who cultivate our inner beauty, are we also the ones who are not afraid to tell our friends, our family members and our significant other those words of love and affection? We may not know it, but sometimes, just a word of inspiration is what they need from us. So if we constantly practice being generous with our affection for other people, it may just change their lives and then our beauty will be reflected to the world.
- Unanxious – This word can be translated to faith. Are you full of faith? If we check Hebrews 11:1, faith means being sure of what you hope for and being certain of what you do not see. So cultivating that inner beauty means not worrying about the littlest things in life, but instead, putting our faith that everything will work out through well at the end. After all, it is said that “All things work together for those who love Him [God].”
- Unintimidated – Lastly, cultivating that inner beauty means not easily deterred by the problems of this world and by temptations. One word to relate to this could be being courageous. Are you courageous enough to fight for what you believe in? Are you undeterred to stand your ground even if you feel mocked by other people, especially if you know you are doing what is right?
I know, you may be thinking, I do not have that kind of beauty… yet. We are all a work in progress, and we will one day be perfect in God’s eyes. But just as Peter says, “Cultivate your inner beauty.” This doesn’t mean we’ll wait to become beautiful, but instead, let us become self-aware on how these attributes can become ours one day, allowing God’s love to work through us, each and every single day of our lives so people will see that incomparable beauty in us. 🙂