I bet you didn’t know that allergies are caused by the gods. Tricksters in particular. They’re really entertained by the wheezing, sneezing, runny nosed sprint for the last box of Puffs. And they were totally hanging out in Mississippi last night, lurking outside the home of our friends, where we went for dinner. We have two sets of couple friends with whom we have a round robin supper club on weekends. We’re all animal lovers, so we all have dogs. But only one set of us has a cat–to which I am allergic. So is my hubs. But it’s not usually a problem. I’ll usually get some itchy red eyes, come home, take a Benedryl and be done with it. Good night’s sleep all around. Last night they’d cleaned house really well and locked the cat in the back. I should have been FINE. I didn’t touch the cat. Never even SAW it.
But sometime after dinner my eyes started to get that telltale itch. It was expected, so I was prepared. What I DIDN’T expect was for my sinuses to stuff up and my nose to start running. I’ve never had a respiratory response to my cat allergy before. That’s usually reserved for ragweed and goldenrod in the fall. So every 5 minutes, I was headed to the bathroom for more tissue to blow my nose and try to clear things out. Didn’t help. Just got worse. Apparently my eyes were starting to get zombie red and bloodshot, and everybody was starting to get concerned, so we begged off early (and by early I mean 11:30…we all usually stay late to hang out) and came home.
The drive home was an exercise in frustration. Whatever was in my sinuses had set up about as firm as concrete, but there was definitely an embedded faucet and it was running FULL TILT. I had no tissues (stupid me, thinking I could make it 10 miles without any). So between the little kid efforts of using the back of my hand (rather than my silk sweater), I was swearing at all the slow people and stop lights and speeding between them when I could. Hubby was warning me not to get a ticket. Yeah that would have been the highlight of the night. “I’m sorry Ociffer, I needed some kleenex…” “Get out of the vehicle ma’am.”
Thankfully, we made it home without intervention or detainment by the boys in blue, and I raced for the nearest box of Puffs and the bottle of Benedryl. I took 2, which is usually enough to lay me out flat and unconscious for several hours. Then I proceeded to strip off everything I’d worn to their house, throw on jammies, and wash my face and hands to try to get rid of the allergen. I pulled out the nasal irrigator. For those of you unfamiliar with this machine, it serves a similar function to a nettipot but works more like a Waterpik. Strange and not particularly comfortable, but fantastic when you’ve got allergies and sinus crud because it washes your sinuses out. Or I should say usually. So I pulled out the irrigator and ran 500 mL of saline through to wash everything out. And instead of being able to just blow my nose a dozen times and being done with things, I started serial sneezing. And I don’t mean tiny, cute little mouse sneezes. I’m talking sonic boom level sneezes at the top of my lungs that I’m sure the neighbors heard three streets over.
Once I finally got the sneezing under control, I whipped out my trusty Breathe Right strip and slapped that on. You can imagine how attractive I was looking at this point with my eyes half swollen shut, what’s visible being the same shade of red as my snuggie, with a Breathe Right strip pulling my nose open enough to just run more freely at a rate of speed about like the tears streaming down my cheeks from my watery eyes. So I pull out the nose spray. That opens up the concrete enough that I can blow my nose a few times and breathe a little. I figure the Benedryl will kick in any minute.
Half an hour later, I’m up again with another bout of sonic boom serial sneezing, nose totally blocked again. There was a great deal of swearing after this because it’s very late and I’m very tired and I can’t flipping sleep because of my recalcitrant sinuses and this mutant allergy response. So then I go pull out the Sudafed and the Vicks Vapo Rub. Oh, but I don’t stop there because I am on a mission. Out comes the humidifier, which I fill up and put some additional Vicks in the specially designed reservoir for it. Plug THAT in on the dresser with the steam spout aimed toward me. Used more nose spray. And managed to pass out in a drugged, mentholated stupor for most of the rest of the night.
If this is what allergy season has in store for me, I am afraid. I’m very afraid.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m out of Puffs.