I am home from work again today, suffering from allergies. This may surprise you. If someone else wrote that sentence, I’d think, “Wow, what a total wuss.” But I assure you that this is not a few sniffles or a cough. When I get allergies like this, the event takes on Biblical proportions, and allergy medicine of any kind does not help.
It usually starts like this: I wake up feeling pretty good, maybe a sneeze or two, but I am ready to go out and dive into whatever it is I need to do that day: work, grading papers, running errands. Then, as I am driving, I start to sneeze, and a burning sensation takes over my entire face. Every time I sneeze, my eyes rain enough tears to cure the Southern drought. If I had any makeup on to start with, I can kiss it goodbye. I then alternate between sneezing until my lungs want to pop, weeping torrents, and trying to breathe. It’s always wonderful when this happens at work. I try to ignore the sensations and keep working, but it’s virtually impossible. Anyone who comes into my department starts out with, “Hi, Brigid, how are you—holy sh*t you look miserable. Aren’t you going home?”
And this goes on until I leave of my own volition, or my supervisor comes out of her office and says, “I can’t stand to look at you anymore. Go home.”
Today I left of my own volition. I went as far as to make a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow morning. When it comes to doctors, I am far worse than the stereotypical male. I like to blame everything on PMS or bad astrology. I could have a major body part dangling and bloody, and I’d say, “Oh, I’ll be fine—probably just PMS.” I have nothing against my doctor. He is a decent fellow, and I go to him because he actually listens to my problem and doesn’t throw handfuls of prescriptions at me. He gives me all my options, traditional and holistic, for dealing with the problem. He doesn’t yell at me if I’ve gained 5 pounds since my last visit, and didn’t even yell at me when I’d waited to come in with poison ivy that had blistered so badly, it looked like it would develop its own language and civilization. The problem is that I have no time. Emergencies don’t fit in to my schedule. So I stall on doing anything about going to the doctor for as long as I can.
So, as you may imagine, this gets to be pretty bad. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly why this happens—is it weather, a food allergy, stress, demonic possession, or what. I wouldn’t mind it happening once in awhile, but it’s happened 4 times in the last week. I am past being miserable—I am now angry. You see, the theory I have developed in my burning delirium is that there are angry demons somehow related to my sinuses that like to wreak havoc for no good reason. I call them Bob and Beatrice. If you throw medicine at them—Benadryl, Comtrex, Sudafed, Tylenol Sinus, Advil Sinus (or just Advil)—they get furious and create more havoc. Sleep and ice packs to stop the burning seem to be the only helpful thing. That and maybe an exorcism, but I can’t find my handbook. In any event—it was also suggested to me this morning that I might have an infection. I actually hope so—that means there could be a medicine out there that will make this better.
In the meantime—I am willing to settle for mild sniffling and a headache, if I can maintain it.