Monday, November 14, 2011


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.

But I’m beginning to think that contrary to all medical knowledge, allergies aren’t really the body’s immunological overreaction to stimuli. Nope. I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities. One, a hybrid virus developed by pharmaceutical companies to increase their profit margins. Or two, my favorite explanation for unexplainable things, allergies are a sign of the coming zombie apocalypse. I’m pretty sure it’s number two. (I'm pretty sure the CDC would agree. Check their website for their zombie apocalypse preparedness novella.)


  1. Kapok? I don't even know what that is.

    I had terrible allergies as a kid. Had the weekly shots, almost had my sinus' scraped. Lived on Chlor-trimeton. Bleh.

    Now as I've gotten older,it's MUCH better, but I still can't be around cats.

  2. OMG, I laughed so hard at your conclusions I almost short circuited my laptop with spit up tea.

    Personally, I'd vote for the pharmaceutical virus.

  3. My childhood was a tale of hives on top of hives. Outgrew all of those nasty allergies, but I suspect I've developed an allergy to cats. Do a ton of sneezing, itchy eyes, etc. when our girls are cuddling with me. Tough. The cats are staying.

  4. I feel for you. My husband and son both take allergy shots. Dust mite, dogs, cats, horses, anything furry a girl could love: not allowed. Luckily, Allegra works for me (or is that part of their evil plan?)

  5. I'm with Jennifer. I don't even know what kapok is!

    Clearly both of your conclusions are correct. The pharmaceutical virus will inevitably cause the zombie apocalypse. Luckily for you, your immune system will have adapted to it by then, so you won't be zombified.

  6. I know I shouldn't be laughing, because allergies aren't funny...but I can't help myself.

    I'd be blaming it on the upcoming zombie apocalypse you speak of too; my daughter, also a sufferer, would support your theory as well.

    I can't believe you endured so much testing to walk away without a concrete diagnosis - yikes! So much for Yale graduates!

    Maybe now that MJ is gone you can see if his air purification bedchamber is up for grabs (just thinking out loud) since the medical profession is so wanting.

    Cheers, Jenny


  7. Kapok is some kind of African tree. (I picked up this knowledge via Zoo Tycoon, so it's not definitive.) How I developed an allergy to an African tree...

    Krispy, I never considered that I'm actually building an immunity. That's amazing. My suffering has a purpose. That's brilliant.

  8. Why are you scaring us all with a zombie apocalypse? Now I won't sleep...

  9. Cats make me sneeze, wheeze and other lady-like things, plus my eyeballs swell up if I touch a cat then rub my eyes—which are itching from being close to a cat.

    What was funny a few years ago...we had a cat that I think was allergic to me. He'd get up on the fence and I'd rub his head. I'd sneeze, wheeze and itch...he'd sneeze, wheeze and start rubbing his eyes. We made a great pair!

  10. You poor thing! I have allergies too and wake up in the night sneezing. It's SO frustrating.

    But how the heck are you supposed to rid your house of all dust mites? I'm sorry, but I'm just not that meticulous :)