The pollen alert today (Friday) was ridiculous. Only Southern California could have a weather alert for high pollen warning.
I never had allergies in my childhood. We lived in the Midwest, fought mosquitoes in the summer, sled on frozen rivers in the winter, and enjoyed cherry blossoms in the spring.
Then we moved to the desert. The forsaken, empty, barren desert. You’ve heard this story before. Okay, it’s not that forsaken. It’s growing. And we have several Starbucks, so we must be okay on someone’s map.
Our winters are different. We get a light dusting of snow (if we’re lucky). A few rainstorms (if we’re really lucky). And all the dead leaves from the fall get blown away with the Santa Ana winds.
This year we haven’t seen the snow or much rain yet. But the Santa Anas are back in force. And that means dirt and dust and dried up leaves and anything else that wishes it had wings, does. Even the tiny pollen.
Did I mention I never had allergies? Yup. That’s right: past tense. Because ever since I’ve lived in the desert, guess what: Spring hates me. Sad. Sad. Sad.
But that’s okay. I’m one in a million. Literally. Because I am the only person I know who is verifiably allergic to prescription allergy medications.
Can’t breathe? Too bad! Eyes running like the Nile? Invest in Kleenex. Stuffy nose? Yeah… the whole mouth-breathing thing is not attractive, but it works. Headache? Well at least for that I can take an ibuprofen.
But an allergy pill? No way. Not this body. They do weird things to me. Allegra. Claritin. I forget what other brands I’ve tried.
But after my fourth yearly trip to the E.R., the doctors finally figured out that I’m just one of those lucky people who can’t take allergy medication. They give me heart palpitations. They make me dehydrated. Irritable. Incoherent.
And in one case, caused me to pass out.
At the Courthouse, no less.
Yeah. That was a fun one.
It was about ten years ago. I was a legal secretary and had to file papers with the Court. I walked across the street after having taken my morning allergy pill. By the time I stood in line for five minutes I knew something was wrong. Thankfully, I recognized our Process Server. She later told me I asked her to call my boss before I went down. All I remember was being in and out of consciousness for over half an hour. I woke up in the E.R. with an oxygen mask and two IV’s.
Not scary at all…. right….
There was a lot of medical mumbo-jumbo about platelets and blood counts and Oh-Two and stuff I didn’t understand. But what I did understand was that I can’t take allergy pills again. Ever.
Now and then I conveniently forget. Now and then (about once a year) I get so miserable I figure an over-the-counter Claritin can’t be that bad. And now and then I puke my guts out. And then I remember.
Why am I telling you all this? Well first, I’m desperate for writing material because it’s midnight and I have to have a decent post up in five hours. (How’d I do?) Second, and I should hope this is fairly obvious, but the Santa Ana winds are a-blowing which means I’m a-sniffling and a-sneezing. Third, now that my sad story is out there for public consumption, I’m reminding myself ahead of time to not take any allergy pills this year.
No matter how miserable I get. No matter how stuffy or watery or scratchy or irritable I get. This, too, shall pass.
And I’ve made it my goal to not get in any accidents and not have any hospital visits this year. Hey. I’m almost through January. That’s pretty good in my calendar.
Now if I could just take a deep breath and relax…
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!