My eyes are filled with hot sand. My throat is burning. There’s a constant tickle in my ears and my nose is leaking nonstop. I had about three hours of sleep last night and awoke again this gorgeous summer morning to realize the dreadful truth: my torment lives on. Day after miserable day.
I have severe seasonal allergies.
And by seasonal I mean that I am dying a slow death from about mid-March to the first frost in November.
Oh? You say you’re allergic to shrimp? And that if you eat one you will break out in hives? Yeah, that’s too bad. I feel for you, I really do. So if you avoid shrimp, you’ll probably be fine and live a long happy life? Wonderful.
But I’m allergic to the world.
Grass and tree pollen, especially. Apparently, if I go outside, my body’s defense mechanisms kick in immediately: Danger, Will Robinson! Red alert! That innocent soft green grass you’re walking on? It’s gonna kill you! Those beautiful budding birch trees? Pure evil! Quick, activate the wheezing! Commence mucus-making! I will protect you from these threats! I will save you!
Every year, it seems to get worse. The mere act of opening a window is an invitation to disaster. Once my son left my bedroom window wide open and soon every square inch of my room was covered in this vile yellow-green powder. I panicked, threw every sheet and pillowcase in the washer on hot, vacuumed and dusted the room like the end of the world was coming–all the while muttering, “Calm down, Darla! It will all be okay! I will survive this!” I’m like one of the sad kids in the movie The Others with Nicole Kidman. Y’know, the ones who will die if so much as a ray of sunlight touches their skin.
Last week I played badminton with my kids on our front lawn and ended up being carried away on a stretcher, an oxygen mask strapped to my face.
Not really. But it was close to happening, I swear.
My husband recently asked me if I wanted to mow the lawn. I peered out the window from the safe confines of my air-conditioned, air-purified prison and saw the mower was covered in this thick blanket of neon yellowish-green poisonous dust.
I think he’s trying to kill me.
But Darla, just take some allergy medicine, you’ll get some relief then, right?
I have taken every single allergy med ever made for the twenty years I’ve had allergies. Allegra, Claritin, Singulair, Zyrtec, Alavert. They all work for awhile. I happily float on a high of having a clear head for a few months and then they mysteriously stop working. The grass wins again. Always.
But, Darla, why haven’t you tried allergy shots? They work.
(I’ll pretend you didn’t ask me that. Moving on…)
My doctor prescribed two allergy meds last year. I was on Singulair and Alavert D at the same time. Ooh! Maybe this year I could be on three? I fear my next appointment she’ll throw some Tic Tacs in my face and say, “Y’know what? Nothing is gonna work at this point. Here, just take these and leave me the f— alone.”
The only thing that might work in my ongoing battle with allergies is death. I look forward to it.
But Darla, have you tried a neti pot?
Oh, yes, the neti pot. I see you’ve decided almost drowning yourself in your own mucus to be a reasonable option to having allergies. I understand. My husband is a neti pot expert. Not something you’d put on your resume, but he seems to have mastered the art. He showed me how to do it once. Once. I have never done it since and hope, by God, to never do it again.
“Okay, you fill it up with saline solution and then dump it into one nostril, tilt your head and it comes back out.”
“You mean…you pour the water into your head?”
“Through your nose?”
“But…where does the water go?”
“Will it come back out?”
“That’s the idea.”
“Are you sure it’s not going to cross my brain’s membrane and kill me? I swear I read somewhere there are amoebas swimming in the water and they will eat my brain, is that true?”
“I guess it could happen.”
Having your brain eaten vs. having allergies? Hmm…tough call.
What kind of torture device is the neti pot? Who came up with this? I know, let’s flush all the snot out of your head and have it go down your throat, out your mouth so you look and feel like a disgusting pig of a human being! And after you do it, you’ll still feel miserable!
There is nothing, save watching childbirth, that will cement your relationship with your partner quicker, than watching them gagging, choking and spitting mucus out of every orifice like some bizarre snot fountain.
But tonight, I know I’ll sleep soundly. Because there is one thing that helps temporarily relieve my misery:
Benadryl–perfectly legal valium. Those pretty pink pills are my savior. I sleep like a rock on those pills. My guess is because it plummets the body into a near-death coma. Basically I have a choice of being zoned out on Benadryl, or miserable and zoned out with allergies. Too bad if I take one pill, I end up a zombie the rest of the week.
“Hey, Darla, you seem so out of it, like you’re sleepwalking, babbling nonsense. Your eyes are glassy and you’re drooling. Did you have a stroke?”
“Huh? Wha? Who? Where? Why? Oh no! Just popped one Benadryl 8 days ago.”
The zombie allergy apocalypse is coming, I can feel it.