Air conditioning…

Yesterday I went with Stefano to the allergist who had given us quite a scare on my birthday (July 18), telling us that Stefano was at risk of developing something really nasty and chronic because of his nasal polyps and related breathing problems—asthma etc. (I didn’t know that high levels of eosinophils can wreak so much havoc in organs and tissues…  😯 )

Anyway, the allergist immediately sent Stefano for all kinds of blood and urine tests. When the results arrived last week, I had a look at them, and yes, Stefano’s eosinophils were quite high.

But the GOOD NEWS is that the treatment (basically, a cortisone bomb!) has worked. Stefano is breathing normally again and has no asthma; he’ll repeat all his tests in about a week just to make sure, but things are looking good. In fact, in answer to my question yesterday, the allergist told us that Stefano may NOT need surgery to remove the polyps, which has become my main goal in life right now…avoiding surgery, that is, if at all possible. But we won’t know that until he’s over the acute phase…

In the meantime, so far, so good. Stefano can smell again, after months of having a “cemented” nose, poor sweetie. In fact, he told me that the other day, as he was washing his hands, he got a whiff of something that smelled simply awful…then he realized it was his bar of SOAP. 🙂 Even the slightest, sweetest scent can be overpowering to a nose that hasn’t smelled a thing for months!

But that’s not what I wanted to tell you today (!), which is actually this story: yesterday, after meeting with the allergist, we went to pay for the visit. Two secretaries were sitting behind a large desk in front of which there was an air conditioning unit that was on almost full blast, which is soooo unusual for Italy (see my July 9th post) that I smiled blissfully and remarked: “Ohhh, this is lovely! I could just stand here all day…mmmmh!”

The guy who was helping us (let’s call him “Gianni”), looked up from his computer, smiled back at me and said: “Do you know that you are the FIRST person to say that since the beginning of summer? If people say anything at all, it’s only to complain about how cold it is in here…They always ask us: ‘how can you stand it? how can you stand it?’ But we think it’s fabulous…”

I commented: “But it isn’t even THAT cold. It’s just wonderfully cool …”

Gianni said: “Ah, you have no idea, signora. I assure you that we really do get all sorts of comments…I mean, people even get ANGRY at us that the AC is turned on…”

“Angry? Well, that’s incredibly silly!!!,” I exclaimed. 

Right on cue, another family unit walked into the room. Two of them, clearly the parents, stood to one side, just out of reach of the AC unit. The daughter, a woman in her 30s, came over to stand next to me. But, feeling the cool breeze, she turned around, glared at the AC unit and declared, in a rather unpleasant tone of voice, “Gee whiz, this AC is freeeeeeezing! Why do you keep it so high?” She moved away from me, muttering, “I have to be careful not to stand in a draft…”

Gianni looked up at me, winked and whispered, “See what I mean?” 


  1. My security word is “chill”!! 🙂 How cute..and timely!! It’s so difficult to please everyone, isn’t it? Personally, I’m so thankful for air conditioning! There are times when its so hot here that I could dunk my head in a bucket of cold water!! 🙂 AC is the better option! Stay cool my friend! Donna

  2. From my experience, avoid nasal surgery if you can. Whatever it clears up seems only to be temporary. I find hot steam great for clearing passages and opening my chest… but not sure that will help Stefano. X

  3. Stefano has to take Nigella sativa!
    Google Translation from German text:

    A dressage horse named “Baroness” ill at the Munich Academy of riding suddenly from severe asthma. The attending veterinarian suggested as a therapeutic treatment with cortisone, which was rejected because of severe side effects from the owners. An accomplished naturopathic veterinarians working then contacted a doctor friend from Egypt and asked him for advice. He recommended black seeds (Nigella sativa), which were scattered in the Orient for centuries horses in feed to treat immune disorders. After the valuable Arabian mare, the newly prepared food was ingested, it recovered remarkably quickly from their asthma attacks and has been recovered. This rapid success brought healing to scientists to deal with the contents of this small yet very nutrient-rich seeds.

  4. Hi Margaret,
    I was wondering if you both eat a vegan diet for your health issues or whether you eat protein. Most of the cancer protocols I have read have indicated protein of any type, both meat and plant protein such as spirulina,barley grass, linseeds, nuts,etc just feeds the cancer and should, therefore, be cut out of the diet altogether. If you have any thoughts or experiences about this I would really appreciate your wisdom.
    Many Thanks

  5. Hi Margaret,

    Just in case Stefano’s cortizone therapy is not long lived, has side effects or becomes unuseable, here are three common alternatives that are helpful for nasal polyps and related congestion: tea tree oil, 3% hydrogen peroxide and castor oil applied with a q-tip.
    Oral lecithin may also be helpful for some people at about 2 to 3 grams per day from the soft gels.
    Best wishes!


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