I used to rank springtime right up there with fall, as the very best time to be in Missouri, and possibly the best time to be alive, but I’m finally admitting it: Springtime has slipped to third place . . . behind winter.
Hang it all: I’m tired of fighting with the pollen. Until I was in graduate school, springtime never bothered me. Then, somehow (my mind still runs in circles, trying to figure out how it could have happened, as if there’s some kind of reason for it), I developed allergies to tree and grass pollen.
The first time it hit, I thought I had the world’s worst (and weirdest) head cold. In my effort to stop the nose running and the itching, I took so much Benadryl I became polka-dotted. I developed a rash. (I read the part in the instructions about “take every 4 to 6 hours,” but I neglected to pay attention to the part that says “don’t take more than X tablets in a 24-hour period.”) Fortunately, a doc with ASU student health center set me up with some Hismanal, and it was like clicking a switch: All better now.
And so each year my secret wish is that someday this might all “go away” just as mysteriously it came on. And if that wish doesn’t come true, then my second wish is that whatever allergy drug I took the previous year will still work this year. (And yeah . . . unfortunately, this year, Claritin’s nearing the end of its run. Geez, I’ve taken all the other ones. What’s next?)
I used to love to throw open the windows in spring, let the fresh cool air into the house. Taking down the storm windows and putting in the screens. Smelling the lilac blossoms from beneath the window. Awakening to birds singing in the backyard, because the windows are open. Or falling asleep to the sound of a gentle spring rain.
But no. This year, I entered allergy season on the heels of a head cold, and my throat, lungs, and sinuses are just . . . tired. So this year, when it started to get so bad that even Sue was suffering, we’ve decided to keep the windows closed, to keep the pollen out. It helps.
We also went and bought one of those true-HEPA air purifiers, and put it in the bedroom, so I can finally get some sleep.
It makes me sad to think that this time of year, when the weather is finally warm enough to let fresh air into the house, that a different reason has us shutting the windows. But then, ya gotta breathe, huh?