Friday, April 9, 2010

Sad But True Tales From My Life – Adventures in Allergies

crepemyrtle I know everyone says this, but really – there are really some things that happen only to me.  I am the worst allergy sufferer I know, hands-down. My immune system is in a constant state of breakdown; let me just give you a little example of how my day goes. It’s super personal and revealing, but I think it’s important to know that some people have a really difficult day-to-day life because of stupid yellow dust. And, to some, including myself some days, it’s humorous.

wicked, wicked tree.

8am: wake up. can’t open eyes all the way. run to mirror – suspicions confirmed. my face is completely swollen. it looks like my eyelids are harboring golf balls. I should start wearing oven mitts taped to my hands when I’m sleeping to keep from scratching.

8:02am: immediately put on my lifesaver, Vaseline. Smear it everywhere on my face, which has been dried out from all the itching.

8:04am: Ow, burning. The whites of my eyes are the same color as strawberry frosting so I go on a hunt for eyedrops. Zyrtec tablet – I should up my dose to 2 today.

8:05am: relief. thank goodness. lips are swollen – I purse  them in the mirror. Nope, not Angelina-worthy. Call myself Frankenstein for the first time of many today.

10:30am: ow ow ow ow my face! trying not to itch, because I’m one of those people –  an itcher. I have several chickenpox scars. Still. Run to get my ice pack (keep one at work, one at home – no, seriously) and ice my face.

10:45am: ok this is not working. Benadryl time. I take one instead of two so I can half function.

11:15am: work is hard when you want to put your head down and conk out. Thank goodness I have such an understanding boss. Go to visit the building nurse, who I am on a first name basis with.

1:20pm: A little better. I itch my legs to keep from itching my face and neck.

3:00pm: In the elevator. Woman says to me, “No more crying. Nothing worse than a pretty girl crying.” I tell her it’s allergies and I contemplate wearing sunglasses for the rest of my life. Mortifying. Especially since she’s the 5th person to say something. Wonder how many haven’t and just stared.

3:15pm: Co-worker says, "I feel so sorry for you.” I respond by sneezing.

4:00pm: Boss’s office, ice pack #2. Boss doesn’t even blink an eye. We’re used to this by now.

4:45pm: Still in a Benadryl coma. What’s wrong with me? Can barely keep my head up and feel like I’m floating, and not in the good way. Hands shaking. Can you OD on antihistamines?

5:30pm: My intern is staring at me like I’m speaking Japanese when I’m trying to explain something. I probably am speaking Japanese. I have no idea at this point, just want to get my work done and put my head down asap.

6:15pm: Must. Go. Home. Drag myself onto the subway. No way I’m making the gym.

7:00pm: Bed. Knocked out.

3:30am: Awake. Slept 8 hours. Maybe now I can clean my life? And go to that spinning class at 6:45!

5:05am: Writing this post after having sped-cleaned my apartment, cleared my closet, and scrubbed the bathroom. It’s raining – I hope that it’s washed away some of the nastiness. Going to have a rotten weekend ahead if not.

Yep. This is what I go through. Yesterday was particularly bad, and I’m so used to it by now, but apparently according to pollen experts (!), this year has been extremely bad (or “wicked bad” as one of them was quoted in an ABC article. ) 120+ pollen count is considered extremely high – today’s count?



Since I’ve gone through every play in the pollen game book, my tips for pollen perseverance, below.

Stay inside when you can. I hate that it’s so pretty outside and I can’t go running on the highway, but such is my life. I’m only outside for a total of 15 minutes per day anyway.

Shower before you get into bed to keep from marinating in those pesky pollen bits. Especially try to get it out of your hair.

Especially avoid being outside 5am-10am, when most pollen falls.

Take antihistamines! They’re OTC. I hate when people sneeze and say allergies and then say they’re not on meds. They are awesome – it’s when you need more than just antihist’s that sucks.

Do a saline nasal spray to release the particles stuck up your nose.

Try your hardest not to scratch.

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