May 1: May Day

kit yoon

May Day.

Story time!

It was the worse sore throat in my life to date – I could hardly swallow, it was so painful. My nose was runny; my eyes, ears, nose – everything felt itchy.

I was 13 years old and scared.

It was Spring time in New England, my first one as a foreign student in America.

My parents were half the world away, so I had to rely on someone else’s guidance. I eventually found myself at the boarding school’s nurse’s office. The kind nurse asked me lots of questions I could not really understand. Somehow she still gave me something to take in her office and some for later on.

I left the nurse’s office and immediately went to my ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Katie, who felt like my only savior at that time. Her support, along with some well worn dictionaries, helped translate what just happened to me.

“You’ve got hay fever,” she announced.

I knew each word separately, hay & fever, but together they did not make sense.

“Allergies,” she added.

I looked under “a” for allergy in the English – Thai dictionary.

“Your body is reacting to trees, flowers, pollen. You feel like you’re sick in the Spring time.” she worked on helping me.

Ah… okay. Sick. Spring. Trees.

“What about ‘fever,’ I asked. “I don’t have a fever,” I told her.

“It’s just a term – hay fever – a slang for this kind of allergy people have in the Spring time. You’ll be okay.”  Katie patiently comforted me.

I later learned that the proper name for hay fever is Allergic Rhinitis. Slangs were not my friend. They still aren’t today, 30 plus years later!

Katie’s presence and guidance alone that day made me feel safe. Not only did I continue to learn the English language, its slangs and nuances, I also learned that it’s okay to ask for help. 

Which brings me to today – May Day – a day full of significance in history.

Besides all the things that come with May Day, I say we also make it a day of remembering to give ourselves and each other permission to ask for help, no matter big or small.

  • We are all here to help make each other feel safe.
  • We are all here to help make each other feel seen.
  • We are all here to help each other grow.

It’s been many moons since I learned about hay fever.

I still deal with it every Spring, and I am never ever scared anymore.

I still ask for help sometimes, from others as well as from nature, like this tonic tea.


Hay Fever  Tonic


  • 1 cups frozen pineapple
  • 2 bags Nettle Tea
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 tbs local Honey
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder


  1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add 2 bags peppermint tea (1 bag per 1/2 cup) and steep for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Combine frozen pineapple, peppermint tea concentrate, honey, and turmeric in a high-speed blender, mix until smooth.
  3. Enjoy while still warm.


Ready to move forward in your health and wellness journey? Contact me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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