I would like to punch pollen in the face. And mold. And various danders. And dust. And dust mites. And lavender…oh, my God, the terrible things I want to do to lavender. I want to grow some beautiful lavender, then rip it from the ground and throw it into a dimly lit basement and laugh at it as I spray it, one agonizing spray at a time, with herbicide.
I take allergy medication year round. And it works. Zyrtec. Good stuff. Doesn’t make me tired. Doesn’t make me wired. Doesn’t make me feel like setting wildfires. But then spring comes. And where I live, spring means alternating days of torrential rain and pristine sun. Which means the pollen and mold spores get together for chatty little socials. I imagine them sipping lattes and patting each other on the back. For some reason they always have very high class British accents.
When spring comes, Zyrtec is a feeble cure. It is an umbrella in a hurricane. It is a bucket in a flood. The allergens laugh at it. They malign it. So, I am forced to send in the big boys. There are two choices, really. Benadryl – which works wonders but makes me feel like I have a hangover, lost a fight, haven’t slept in weeks, and am the victim of some kind of brain trauma. And then there is Sudafed – which works wonders but makes me feel like my scalp is infested by parasites, the FBI is looking for me, I will never sleep again, and my thirst will never be quenched. Oh, and now there is the added bonus of being carded when you buy Sudafed from the pharmacist who looks at you like he knows you are anxious to get back to your homemade meth lab.
I tend to go the Benadryl route. I’d rather feel like a big, dumb, tired ox than a paranoid, itchy, hyper crack fiend. But that’s me. Your mileage may vary.
There are many things that suck about having severe allergies, but one of the worst is people who have very mild allergies. I walk into a store, eyes bloodshot and itching so badly I want to claw them out, sniffling, sneezing into my elbow while my head pounds and there is always some smartly dressed person to say, “Oh, it’s terrible isn’t it? This time of year always makes my eyes red.” And I want to say, “Really? How about the throbbing in your skull? How about the feeling that your sinuses are made of fiberglass insulation? How about the repeated sneezing and coughing that makes your neck and ribs ache? HOW ABOUT ALL THAT! You look like you’re going to a cocktail party and I look like I’m going back to my home under the bridge!”
It is not their fault. That doesn’t stop me from wanting bad things to happen to them. It is not lavender’s fault either, but that doesn’t change the fact that I would like to see every lavender plant on earth wither and die in a barren wasteland.
And then there are the women who wear lavender perfume. They are generally earthy types. They do not realize that they are essentially shoving a nightmare into my face. But that doesn’t change the fact that I would like to set their hemp handbags on fire.
All of this is irrational. It always passes. But when I’m in the throes of allergic hell, it is hard to remember that someday things will be better. That in a few months I will be able to look in the mirror in the morning without trying to remember if I went on a three week drinking binge that I don’t remember.
You probably think this is all a little extreme. You may be right. It may be the Benadryl talking. But probably not. It tends to slur its speech a little more than I do.