Question: If you could change one thing about your physical body, what would it be?
Oh, so many possibilities! Bye bye thunder thighs, adios unwanted hair, farewell love handles, au revoir wrinkles, toodaloo deformed pinky toes. There's simply no end to the flaws we see.
Yet when you really stop and ponder, these external changes are all trivial. If only we would appreciate the beauty of being created in God's image--a beauty which emanates so much more from within than without.
While I always thought I might jump at the chance to add a cubit to my stature, today I realized that given the opportunity, I wouldn't change my appearance, not even for a few extra inches. Given the miracle of modern medicines, I wouldn't rid myself of asthma either. No, if I could change one single thing, I would exterminate my allergies to cats.
Allergies. They sound so petty and trivial. Some itchy eyes, a runny nose, a touch of hay fever. Nearly everybody's allergic to something, so buck up, take an anti-histamine, and quit complaining, alright?
For the most part, I agree. After all, from a very young age I've been dog-tagged with a long list of evil allergens to avoid: dust, mold, mites, feathers, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas (you get the furry idea). If I were to stay away from them all, I'd miss out on life. In general, these allergic encounters are occasionally inconvenient, yet overall they are manageable.
Until...Cats. When it comes to cats, a miniscule exposure causes my allergies (and asthma) to spiral out of control. Even the term "allergies" doesn't seem to adequately describe the sneezing, wheezing, dripping, sniffling, dysfunctional mess that cat dander causes. Today I visited a neighbor for literally five minutes, never even sitting down. While we were talking, Eli petted their kitty for a moment, and I unthinkingly carried Eli home. Almost instantaneously the sneezing started--seven, eight, nine times in a row. I've wandered around fairly incapacitated for the rest of the day. While I know there are some good allergy medicines out there, when it comes to the internal war I wage with cats, nothing is strong enough. Trust me.
What bothers me most about these awful allergies are not the physical symptoms, dreadful as they may be. It's not even the fact that I'll never enjoy petting a purring ball of fur, nice as that would be. No, I despise my cat allergies because they damage relationships. When allergies are this severe, they become divisive. As much as I want to be close to people, if they share their lives with a cat, it is difficult for me to join that circle. The neighbor I visited today is battling cancer. Physically, she can't leave her home. Yet with three cats, it's hard for me to join her without losing functionality for the rest of the day. I feel like our spirits need each other. How absurd that something as trivial as an allergy should keep us apart.
Guess it's time to invest in more Kleenex.