Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm Allergic to February

I have had it. And I mean it.

The allergy season this year is the worst I've ever experienced. Without exception.

I've taken every OTC antihistamine I can find, and nothing turns off my nasal faucet and nothing stops the sneezing and nothing de-itchifies my bloodshot eyes and nothing restores my energy and all I want to do is rub and rub and rub my itching nose until it is a swollen, red ball in the center of my face.

If you see me walking around these days, this post may explain why I look the way I do. It ain't pretty.

I have suffered from seasonal allergies as long as I can remember. Alfalfa harvest in Idaho used to aggravate my senses, but a dose of Allerest (no longer on the market, and I've cursed that executive decision many times in the succumbing years) used to keep it under control.

Moving to AZ brought a whole new meaning to the words allergy season. Beginning sometime during the last week of January, my nose would begin to tickle and my eyes would begin to itch, but it was usually manageable with Allegra or Claritin. 

No more.

I tried everything I could find this year. I even resorted to Ambien Benadryl for a few days, knocking myself unconscious for hours at a time, hallucinating in my sleep about flying monkeys and tornados and Auntie Em, all in the name of a few hours' relief from the constant barrage of pollen in the air.

After listening to my complaints and sniffles and near-constant sneezes for a few weeks, Brad convinced me to make an appointment with an allergist. 

They polka-dotted me with pollen, mold, and pet dander sixty times over.

 I watched as most of the dots stayed the same and a few grew taller and wider and itchier.
Used to be, back in the day, if patients suffered from asthma or breathing problems, their doctors would prescribe moving to Arizona's dry climate for relief. Problem is, those people brought their plants and trees with them, converting Arizona into what the allergist dubbed "the hellhole of allergens."

While I didn't react as horribly as some, they did discover that I'm allergic to a few things around here--primarily eastern oak, mesquite, and ash trees (one of which grows right outside my bedroom window--that explains a lot) and a weird weed named artiplex/scale that grew from a small pinprick to a huge, itchy welt during the test.

I began an allergy regimen that should show some improvement in 30 days. Five days in, and I've seen nothing yet.

I'm praying for rain today so that all the pollen can be washed from the air.

It's miserable.

The worst part? It is the most gorgeous weather ever right now. Kids riding bikes, tossing balls, drawing chalk pictures. Me? Holed up in the house with a snot rag and a bottle of Claritin. I'm hoping for some relief before the weather gets hot and the "hellhole of allergens" turns into the "hellhole of summer."


  1. Ugh, I totally know how you feel! I had to get that test all over my back when I was only 5 or 6, and I still remember how itchy it was. And then I had to get weekly allergy shots for years. Luckily, my Utah allergies are not nearly as bad as my Arizona allergies, but I have had hives every day this week (new laundry detergent is my guess). The OTC that works best for me is Alavert. It dissolves on your tongue and works really fast for me, though I do usually have to use more than the recommended dose in 24 hours. Hope you find some relief!

  2. My allergies pretty much went away after being gluten free for about 2 months. Probably not what you want to hear, but if nothing else helps, it's really worth looking into. Just had to say….

  3. Everything that could cause allergies is still frozen and dead here in the Midwest. But give us a couple months and we'll be right there with you. Night now, we're just dealing with the horrid dry skin that comes with frigid temperatures and the need to run the furance 24/7.

  4. EEK!!! we've had a rougher winter in this dept as well with everything not really dying out ever. brennan suffers the worst. trying to decide if it's time to move him to a real prescription instead of the over the counter stuff i've given him since he was 18 months.

  5. That sounds miserable!

    I used to get allergies pretty badly. Now, as long as I stay on top of my Flonaze, I never really have a problem. Plus I started diffusing some essential oils, which really helps a lot.