Monday, October 28, 2013

The Worst Thing About Autumn

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Let me start by saying that autumn is one of my favorite times of year. I love when the leaves turn color and the ambient light turns a reflected pink. I love the cool nip in the air. And the hot cider, and the fresh apples. 
But there’s one bad thing about fall. My allergies. Spring is bliss for me. Pollens are my friend. But leaf mold (and dust) is my kryptonite.

Here’s my experience. I walk to the mailbox. Oh, look, the leaves have started falling. How beautiful. Sneeze.  Walking back from the mailbox, I sneeze ten times and realize I don’t have any tissues. Run back to the house because well, those sneezes were accompanied by liquid goo.

And so it begins. By the next day, I have taken antihistamines. The results are completely underwhelming because they don’t even make a dent in my allergy haze. Phase One of the Allergy Treatment Program, I smear Vicks under my nose. (Yes, yes. I know you’re not supposed to do that. But in mystery books, the detective always uses it to hide the scent of decomposing bodies. So I thought I’d try it. And it does help—I don’t know about the decomposing body stuff, but it helps my allergies. Of course, it’s thick, clear and wet and people have a tendency to notice it and say, “Uh, maybe you need a tissue.” I narrow my eyes and respond, “It’s Vaporub.” The other down side is that it burns your skin after prolonged use, which is probably why you’re not supposed to slather it on your upper lip.)

So, now that my nose and upper lip are burned. I’ve moved on to Phase Two. See the problem is that I tried allergy shots and they didn’t work. AndI can’t take decongestants—I’m “sensitive” to them as in ER-visit-due-to-serious-chest-pains-because-my-heart-beats-so-fast-that-it’s-not-getting-enough-oxygen, at least that’s what the cardiologist said.

Also, I can’t do nasal sprays or irrigations because according to a CT scan (or was it an MRI?) I don’t have frontal sinuses.

That leaves me with antihistamines. And my vaporizer. Phase Two is a beloved vaporizer, which I call DeVil. Not everyone names their vaporizer, but it’s my fall friend. Today I will be moving DeVil, spewing liquid camphor into the air in front of my face, with me wherever I go. Phase Three will commence tomorrow. (Actually, I already resorted to it the other day), my allergist calls it “walking sedation.” It’s where I take way too many antihistamines, and can’t remember people’s names, but it does control the sneezing, etc. Or maybe, I’m so drugged that I really don’t care. Honestly, I don’t care which it is, as long as the sneezing stops.


  1. I feel your pain, though it is a distant memory. Although I still have allergies, they don't appear to be nearly as bad as they used to be (knock on wood). A friend once told me that allergies go in 7 year cycles--7 on, 7 off. That seems to be true, at least in my case. Get well soon!

  2. Fall allergies are so annoying! I expect them in spring but the fall ones also are accompanied by colds and bronchitis...yuk!

  3. I also have terrible allergies in fall. Lucky for me, though, I can use sprays.

    Good luck!

  4. My three older siblings are like this in the spring, luckily I escaped the allergy genes. Hope it gets better.

  5. Blech, allergies are no fun :/ Best of luck enjoying the good parts of this fall season :)

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)