When most people think of spring, they think of sunshine, flowers, clear skies and new life. When those of us with allergies think of spring, we think of sneezing, itching, pain and exhaustion. I think Michael Ian Black put it best when he tweeted, “If my allergies don’t let up soon, I actually might cut off my nose to spite my face.” While friends are outside enjoying the warm sunshine and beautiful flowers of spring, those of us who suffer from allergies are stuck inside, snuggling a box of Puffs and praying for sweet relief. Allergies are the worst.
Here are ten reasons why allergies make me nervous and I would give just about anything (not TV or internet) to get rid of them forever.
1. I Never Knowing When They’ll Attack
This weekend I had plans to go to a bar and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with friends. Instead, I ended up in bed celebrating Benadryl with my Claritin comforter. You know how people are allowed to mess with you, but the second they mess with someone you love all bets are off? Well, I happen to love my plans. So, you know what, Allergies? You can mess with me all you want, but don’t you dare go near my plans ever again. Or. Else. Oh, what’s that? You’re coming back next weekend to ruin my dinner plans? Cool. See ya then.
2. Sometimes I Look Stoned At Work
I have the type of allergies that come with itchy red eyes. I have prescription eye drops that help with the itchy and Visine that helps with the red. I can’t mix the two and neither works for both. Given the choice between comfort and cosmetic, I usually go for comfort. This means sometimes looking stoned at work. I’m honestly surprised no one’s ever asked for a drug test.
3. Snot Monitoring
Not only am I allergic, but I’m super prone to sinus infections. This means when my allergies flare up, I spend a significant amount of time monitoring the color of my snot to make sure I’m not getting an infection. This snot monitoring sitch is almost as stressful as it is gross.
4. Tissue Emergencies
Running out of tissues is probably a 7 out of 10 on my personal disaster scale. Especially if I’m on a beach or in a car or somewhere where toilet paper isn’t easily accessible. With me, it’s not a matter of if I’m going to need a tissue, but when. It’s only a matter of time before booger disaster strikes and I need to be ready, alert and armed at all times.
5. Benadryl Trips
I only take Benadryl as an absolute last resort. This stuff knocks me out and I usually have to schedule it into my day. If I take one Benadryl at noon, I’m out until two. If I take two, I’ll be out until three or four. One time I took half a Benadryl at work and a week later a bunch of weird puzzles showed up from Amazon. Odd stuff happens when I’m tripping on the ‘dryl and while I can’t say I’ve ever dropped acid, I imagine it can’t be all that different than taking two Benadryl.
6. Developing New Allergies
I first saw an allergist and got tested when I was eleven. Things weren’t that bad, so they gave me some meds and sent me on my way. Then, at age twenty-four, I went back. Turns out, you can get so much more allergic in thirteen years! I had no idea you could develop new allergies as an adult. I thought allergies were something you were either born with or not. One of my best friends developed a life-threatening wheat allergy at age twenty-three. She went her whole life eating wheat and now it could kill her. That’s so scary! No one is safe!
7. They Can Kill People!
Ricky Schwartz. . . Thomas J. . . Bill Haverchuck. These are just a few victims of allergy-related death. Okay, Bill didn’t actually die, but he totally could have! Allergies can kill people and that is terrifying. On that note…
8. I’m Afraid of My Epi Pen
My doctor prescribed me an epi pen. I don’t currently have any life-threatening allergies, so it’s just a precaution. However, if I ever do end up in a situation where I’m having an allergy attack and my throat is closing up, I don’t know that I’d be able to use it. It’s not that I don’t know how, the nurses clearly demonstrated and had me practice with a fake one for like an hour. It’s just that I don’t know if my instinct in that situation will ever be to jam a sharp object into my thigh. (Note To Self: teach friends how to use epi pen.)
9. “It’s Just Allergies!”
You know how in the “Flu Season” episode of Parks and Rec Leslie throws up multiple Claritin, but still insists that her illness is just allergies? That’s me. The second I start to get sick I tell myself, “It’s just allergies!” The thing is, sometimes it’s not just allergies and I’ll have wasted time treating myself for allergies when I should have been treating myself for the flu. So from now on, just to be safe, I’m just going to assume I always have the plague and act accordingly.
10. Am I Depressed or Just Allergic?
When my allergies are bad, I lose interest in things I normally enjoy, I shut myself off from friends and family, I lose my appetite, I’m always tired and I sleep more than usual. Sound familiar? Probably because you’ve heard all of these things listed in an ad for Zoloft. I get into such a deep funk when my allergies are bad that it hits a point where I can no longer tell if I’m allergic or just depressed. Eventually something forces me out of bed and I rejoin society, but there’s usually a day or two when I wonder if I should be searching Yelp for a therapist.