My City Literally Hates My Guts

Last week, I went down to ATL for a fantastic sales workshop with Scott Sambucci.

Our storytelling company, Pass It Down, was selected to be 1 of the 11 (out of over 250! #superbrag) companies chosen to be apart of the Atlanta Bridge Community founded by Coca-Cola. Bridge is a startup accelerator that connects startups to big name brands for the opportunity to build business partnerships and solutions for their needs. We had a great time meeting all of the 2018 startups, and the bridge team (Carie Davis, Trish Whitlock and Shane Reiser)

However, this isn’t a post about Scott’s Sales workshop or Bridge Community. (Sorry guys, although I might do another post in the near future.)

Instead, this is a post about a health epiphany I stumbled upon. 

Let me back up a bit.

The week before I left for ATL, the pollen destroyed me here in Chattanooga. Not only was I going through boxes of tissues like a monkey on a banana farm, my energy levels were at an all-time low. I’ve mentioned before a few times on this blog that I’ve been dealing with chronic fatigue for the past two years. While not life killing, it is life sucking. I can do everything average Jane's can do (work, travel, workout etc), I just can't a lot because the amount of energy I have to give is small and therefore precious. I’ve been turning over every rock within my means since my fatigue began, but with no clear indication of what’s the cause. (Adrenals? Sleep Apnea? Mind Body Thing? Work Stress? Nothing seemed to add up) 

I went to see Susan Fox, a acupuncture and herb specialist here in town. She recommended a few things to try for allergies (Black Elderberry, Quercetin Bromelain, Hepa Filter), but one thing she said really stood out to me:

“You know, people often forget, but fatigue can also be a severe sign of allergies..”

“You know, people often forget, but fatigue can also be a severe sign of allergies..”

I’ve had allergies all my life. I completely cured them about 6 years ago when I started learning more about health and the idea gears were starting to turn about becoming a Renaissance. But with the onset of chronic fatigue, they came back in full uncut to the face. But up until this point, no one I’d seen up to this point had mentioned any indication that Allergies can cause fatigue.

It makes since in a way. An allergic reaction is an immune response when outside substances (pollen, dust, certain foods, clowns) are seen as harmful to the body. Our immune systems start pumping out antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) to counteract this foreign hell-spawn. Most of the time, these substances are harmful to us, our bodies are just overreacting. I’m not an expert, but I imagine when your body is constantly being bombarded by allergens (outdoor, indoor or internally with foods) your immune system keeps reacting and fighting the good fight, leaving the rest of your internal systems with less energy to work with. Top that that off with the fact that you can’t breathe out of your nose properly, which lowers cellular energy production, and probably a dozen other micro problems like stress and sleep debt, you just created the perfect 💩 storm for Chronic Fatigue! (Yay!)

I bring all of this up because even though I didn’t feel much different in ATL, almost immediately when we got back in Chattanooga I felt awful. Not only could I not breathe that night, the next day I woke myself up with a surprise sneeze attack. (Which is not as fun as a surprise birthday attack, or a surprise chocolate attack, or even a surprise free puppy attack) The next day, Gabriella said that I wasn’t as alive as I was in ATL, and looking back I noticed that too.

All of that to say:

Crap

My city literally hates my guts. If you look at the cities that have the most pollen, Chattanooga isn’t the worst, but it’s definitely up there.

Now, I’m not 100% sure yet that allergies are the cause of my CFS, but to me, it seems very likely.

The big question is should I move?

Maybe your in similar shoes that I’m in, be that fatigue or another health issue you are in the dark about, without question my energy affects everything I do and everyone I surround myself with. I’ve been living between on an energy scale of  4 — 6 for far too long. I don’t want to be dull and unenthusiastic for the rest of my life. I'm striving for all of these things, trying to convince myself I can do them, but if I'm being truly honest with myself, I don't have the energy to give to see them all become impactful. I want to be ALIVE and radiant with energy. And as much as I love my city, if that requires a bold move like moving, so be it.

This won’t be an immediate decision, there are a lot of factors at play here. 

In the meantime, I think my next plan of action is to experiment with living somewhere with low pollen count for a month or two and see how I do.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling :)
— Josh Waggoner