I’ve decided that allergies are a hoax. They’re real enough—just ask Calvin. This past week, I’ve been waking up sneezing during the middle of the night. I sneeze for about an hour, then sniffle for thirty minutes more before I can go back to sleep. Of course, this isn’t a new experience for me—I’ve been doing the allergy merry-go-round for years. It started with the fun allergy tests. Which consisted of “Excuse me, nurse, um, that little red mark has now spread up my forearm past my elbow and is heading for my shoulder.” The nurse made a squeaky noise and slathered me in Benadryl. Afterwards my allergist has explained that I’m allergic to dust mites, birds, cats, dogs, horses, mold, mildew, kapok, etc., etc. (Kapok? Really?)
My allergist gave me all kinds of meds. BTW, I can’t take decongestants. (The doctor discovered this when my heart was beating so fast it couldn’t get enough oxygen—who knew that could happen?) Then he prescribed the inevitable topical steroids. After a couple of weeks, he said, “Why aren’t these working?” I was thinking, silly me, “You graduated from Yale Medical School, so maybe you should know.” My allergist visits were also punctuated by the allergist pressing on my face or thwunking it with his finger and saying, “Aren’t you sure this doesn’t hurt?” Yep—no pain. (Unless you count the bruises from the thwunking.) After multiple painless thwunkings, he ordered a CT scan. Guess what? No frontal sinuses, which explained the painless face issue.
Then we did allergy shots for a year. After the 365 days, the allergist said, “This isn’t working.” Yeah, I sort of guessed that since I was still sneezing all the time. Eventually, he gave me more meds and called me “the walking sedated.” He also told me that I should avoid all allergy triggers from dust mites to mold to birds—basically, I need to live in a sterile bubble.