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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Aaaaaah - CHOO!

I love Spring.

I hate what it does to my body.

I have allergies. I developed them in my late 30’s when I moved to the Balto-D.C. area, also known as “the pollen belt.” I’ve always considered it my body’s punishment and revenge for moving this New England body even that far South.

I have spent the past few days feeling as if I’m moving through thick fog. My energy level is down, my eyes are red and watery, my nose drips and I have an annoying little cough from the drip at the back of my throat.

I know. I’m beginning to sound like a set up for a television commercial hawking an allergy relief medicine. Not to worry. I’m well stocked.

I’ve got a prescription drug antihistamine and decongestant (at $52 a bottle) which is, no doubt, making me feel sluggish and low energy, a small bottle of prescription allergy relief eye drops (at $72 a bottle), some prescription something or other to squirt up my nose twice a day (at $48 a bottle), and boxes of tissue everywhere (on sale at 3 boxes for $5).

Not only am I still miserable, I’m broke.

I mentioned this to my doctor today who said, “Trust me, you’d be feeling much worse without the medication.” I trust him implicitly but it’s hard to imagine.

Tree pollen. My allergy is tree pollen. So while the rest of you oooh and aaah over the lovely white Chinese pear tree and the cherry tree blossoms, all I can see is tree pollen.

As my beloved said, “Hey, think of it this way: it’s just trees having sex in your eyes.” Yeah, well, I wish they’d get a room – someplace far away from me.

My other seasonal allergy is to willow. I find that fascinating A herbologist in D.C. once told me that, in the Middle Ages, ground willow was often given to soldiers before going off to war. It was considered a substance which would give a person courage.

I suppose it was the more ancient form of Garrison Keillor’s Powder Milk Biscuits. As he would say: “Heavens they’re tasty and expeditious! They’re made from whole wheat and give shy persons the strength to get up and do what needs to be done.”

I’m fascinated that, in addition to tree pollen, I’m also allergic to that which gives a person courage. What does that mean, do you suppose? Do I have too much courage? Is it indicative of a hormonal imbalance? Or, is it just a metaphor for my life, somehow? A message my body is trying to give me?

Once my head is less foggy, I’ll work on coming up with an answer. Right now, I think I'll go cook up a batch of Powder Milk Biscuits. I’m far from shy, but I am needing something to give me "the strength to get up and do what needs to be done.”


Ann said...

Use a saline solution to rinse your troubles away. My allergy prone friends swear by it. Sort of gross bu, hey, it works.

Anonymous said...

I can feel your pain. I am also having a terrible time this year. This is the first year in a LONG time it has been this bad. To top it off, I love to garden and be outdoors.

I have found that if I drink TONS, and I mean tons, like 72-80 ounces of water a day, it does help. I am also exploring whether dairy, wheat and/or refined sugar are making things worse. I feel better today and have had very little of these food items today and yesterday. Before that, I felt horrible, terribly congested, headache that bordered a migraine, and just generally feeling tired and lethargic - of course, maybe the pollen isn't as bad today :)

Hang in there, this season will pass. It is amazing how miserable "allergies" can make you!

Anonymous said...

Many years ago when returning home to Connecticut after I was discharged from the army, I came down with severe asthmatic allergies about this time of year. Years (and countless antihistimines) later when I was living in upstate NY, I had the skin tests on my back: it was grass, trees (especially sycamore), and (to a lesser extent) mold. The allergist offered me the option of beginning a regimine of desensitization shots... with the caveat that with allergies there are no guarantees. I embarked on that journey and started out with four needles three times a week. When I moved to NYC to go to GTS, I continued... going up to Roosevelt Hospital for the shots. As time went by, the frequency and number of the shots decreased, and seven years later, I was free of my springtime allergies. For the most part, that has continued over the years since... although I will take the occasional otc medication. So for me, it worked. Have you considered this?


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Let's see: saline solution rinse, lots of water and allergy desenitization.

Check. Check. Check.

And, thank you!

Now, you'll excuse me while I go blow my nose. Again.