My hometown, also the city in which I currently live, has made another top 10 “worst” list. As if the pollen painting my car yellow, the massive piles of tree pollen in the driveway, and the raging sinus headache were not strong enough evidence, WebMD confirmed it. We’re in the top ten worst cities for spring allergies. Is it any wonder that I’ve had seasonal allergies since I was five or six? I probably would have started sooner, but I didn’t go outside much until we moved into a house.
Up until my teen years I greeted most mornings with a spate of sneezing. It was my way of showering my affection upon the day and its insistence that I get up at such an ungodly hour to catch the school bus. In high school my allergies were so bad that I had pockets full of tissues at all times and people often thought I had a perpetual cold. This could explain my lack of injuries, despite my clumsiness. The tissues shielded the impacts!
Then the magic of chemistry gave us Claritin. I never took Benadryl because it knocked me out. Seriously, good luck with attempting to wake me for the next eight hours. I will occasionally take it now, but I must keep moving and counter the drowsiness with copious amounts of caffeine. Even with enough caffeine on board to keep an entire dorm awake for an all-nighter, I can still pass out if I sit or lay down.
I used the little white miracle pill for about ten years and then just as it went OTC, I noticed it stopped working well. Coincidence? Maybe. So, I switched to Allegra, which also went OTC shortly thereafter. It doesn’t have quite the kick it had when it was prescription, but it works better for me than its competitors. Sadly, my reprieve from allergies during the honeymoon years with Claritin was short-lived. I now dope up with eye drops, nose spray, a steroid inhaler, and a systemic antihistamine. When I make the mistake of coming into contact with some mysterious substance which triggers allergic contact dermatitis I must slather myself in hydro-cortisone and topical Benadryl. I could attempt to avoid the allergens, but this would involve placing me in a human sized hamster ball.
As entertaining as that might be, I choose to embrace the allergens and fund the pharmaceutical companies. After all, hopefully one will employ me one day. I might as well, do my best to keep them in business.