I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico where mold and pollen flourished. All of my friends took their allergy medicine religiously as if their lives depended on it. Because it did. I was never treated for allergies growing up. I’m sure I had them, just not so bad that I couldn’t breathe or felt like I was dying. I was sick often and rarely had a voice but it was always chalked up as a cold, took some Tylenol and dealt with it.
Well, times have changed. And not for the better, I might add. I don’t know if it was my move to Birmingham or my severe case of mono I had at age 20 that caused my tolerance of allergens to drop to a big fat ZERO. I do know that whatever IT is, I don’t like IT. Every year—scratch that—every SEASON since 2004 I have discovered some new pollen, plant, or living organism that sends my ears/nose/throat/eyes/chest/brain into a tizzy. I can even tell you the exact days that certain bushes and trees exploded last year. Take last year, for example: On February 25, I stepped out of my apartment, turned to lock my door only to open it again, reenter my apartment and blindly find my way to my contact solution, case and glasses. I don’t know the name of the bushes outside my living room window, but I do know that they exploded on that morning, as did my eyes. I was in my glasses for the next six months (all through the summer!!!)
This year’s allergens came earlier than last (at least the ones that effect me); I have been in my glasses since February 9 :( I wish there was a way that we could take our eyeballs out and scrub them down, just like we do contacts. Unfortunately science is not there yet.
This year, though, I have vision coverage (I have since learned that I COULD HAVE GONE to the eye doctor last year on my health insurance) and I have already been to the doctor. After looking in my eyes the doctor said that my eyes should be hurting given their present irritated condition. Yes, thank you, I think that’s why I’m here. Ha! Now I am on two different eye drops (one for allergies and one to clear up the mess that has attacked) and counting down the days until my next appointment; anxiously awaiting them to clear up and get well enough so that I can wear contacts again. It’s not that I don’t like my glasses, I just don’t like when they get in the way. Like when you need to wear sunglasses. Or hug someone really tight (Sunday mornings are tough!)
Last year, my friend, Ellen, told me of this magical cure for allergies: eat one teaspoon a day of local honey to keep the allergies away. (Since then I have seen and heard this everywhere.) So, I marched right out and bought me some local honey (the bees from whose hive I eat reside and work about 45 miles from my house). This was going well until my dad ran out of his honey and started eating mine; we were out of honey before I could sufficiently test the remedy. BUT I have gotten us each a new jar and will eating a teaspoon every day from here on out!
So, I should be feeling better, right? NO. For a week now, my left eye has felt funny. The only way I can think to describe it is to say that the skin around my left eye has felt tight. It started feeling tighter on Tuesday night and within two hours of getting home from Beth Moore’s Bible study my eye looked like this:
Isn't that pretty?! This picture was taken at midnight (it proceeded to get worse towards a more swollen stage of shut for another hour). Unfortunately there are no doctors—other than in the ER—open at this time of day. So, at midnight, I threw on some shoes and drove to the 24-hour pharmacy. The pharmacist told me that he was not a doctor. Yes, Sir, I am aware of this fact; but you do know about medicines, right?! I figured the nicest and easiest way to handle this was to ask him what he himself would do if it were his eye swelling at an intense rate of speed. Two Benadryls and no driving is what he told me. So, I went home, took two Benadryls and waited about two hours to make sure the swelling had stopped. When I decided that it was safe to go to sleep I realized that I had taken TWO Benadryls and had four hours to sleep until it was time to get up for work. So, I set 4 alarms on my phone, 2 alarms on my alarm clock, the alarm on my T.V., and a left a note for my dad to call and wake me up. There was still some swelling when I got up but it finally went down by lunch time.
And now I look like my old self again.
Well, my old self plus glasses! I just wish I could twitch my nose like Samantha and, ‘Poof,’ Allergies Be Gone!!!