Allergic To The Outdoors

Awe Spring, or in this case, Mid Winter; sixty degree days, toasty bright sunshine, perky robins plucky worms from the soggy soil. It’s a good time of the year. My favorite actually, right up until every living green thing starts blooming and exploding into the atmosphere and reducing those iconic messengers of spring into harbingers of allergic doom.

That happened last Wednesday for me.

I scavenged through my bathroom cabinet with blood shot eyes and a drippy nose desperately searching for my allergy medications. And yes it takes more than one.

I never had allergies when I was growing up. I spent many a summer day on, near or driving a hay truck, drinking sodas and hanging with the guys. I skipped blithely through FIELDS of fescue to shoot frogs at the the pond or throw rocks and climb trees. No problem.

Then I went off to college in Columbia and everything went haywire. I’m not sure if the trigger was just a change of location, or the stress of school or if it was inevitable, but that first year at Mizzou I developed hay fever and had an allergic reaction to penicillin my first semester. Sometimes a change does not do you good.

My eyes became coated with sandpaper and my nose was drippy or stuffed or both when I wasn’t sneezing. It was miserable. That was twenty five years ago. At this point, I have suffered from allergies longer than I had not.

Each year I pray that this will turn around in my favor. We eat lots of local (as in from our own backyard) honey to hedge against allergies, and I hope against hope that my allergies will disappear as mysteriously as they developed. This will not be that year.

Most years I take my Claritin or Zyrtec and Flonase from March 1 to October 31. This year I got to start two weeks early. Yay. (insert dripping sarcasm here)

Unfortunately for Grace, she seems to have inherited some of my same allergies. Bryon isn’t allergic to anything. Not even poison ivy unless he just purposely bathes in the stuff. Even then it’s not like my sensitivity to it. I have to go to Urgent Care for a shot and steroids for even thinking about it. I’m starting to itch just writing about it.

While non-allergic people look outside and see ample sunshine and possibility, I look out there and see pollen. While the evening weather pollen count is easily ignored by the non-allergics, the rest of us cringe. Woe to those who’s over-the-counter remedies fail. And they will. The only real remedy is to stay indoors with the air conditioning on and to change your filters twice as often as recommended. 

This is how we develop into writers and gamers and nerds.

It all starts with allergies.


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