sneezonal allergies.

Oh dear domain, I have been neglecting you. I do have my excuses reasons! First of all, I joined the team over at The Third Bar, so I’ve basically spent a lot of time learning just how much I don’t know about WordPress. (Also, if you like Snow Patrol, we’re awesome, I swear.) Second, I’ve had some fiction ideas brewing in my head, so I’ve been attempting to attend to those before they dissolve into dust. But mostly, I have had allergies. Props to my friend Allison for serving me some Targaryen realness and lighting a fire under my ass to write about the thing that is impeding me.

If you have never experienced seasonal allergies, I want to meet you. Not because I’m really interested in your smug face (“Clean living! Local honey to get used to the allergens! Desert air!”) but so I can go all science experiment on you and figure out how to be like you. I used to be one of you. I marked off seasons by wardrobe changes, not health crises. (This is a lie. I had bronchitis for several winters in my youth. Who wants to play in the snow when you can drink disgusting yellow liquid and cough for months?) Then I felt that tingle. Oh friends, you know it well: the tingle in your front teeth that says you have a sinus infection. Suddenly nothing is the same ever again. Even on “low pollen” days when it’s raining, the change in pressure outside will make your face the most uncomfortable part of your body. If only you could chop it off.

If you’re anything like me, and I imagine you are for finding this blog, then you relentlessly Google to find out how to treat these horrible symptoms every spring. (If you Bing, you aren’t like me, and please go away.) Fortunately I have done a lot of research into why the inside of my nose feels like a lead-filled balloon, and I’m happy to share a lot of bad tips in one place!

Take some medicine. This is my favorite. When I tell people that I am ready to carve out my sinus cavities with a letter opener, their response is usually, “Do you take anything for it?” For the low, low price of a pound of ivory and a bottle of children’s tears (unfiltered), you can get a month’s supply of indoor/outdoor allergy pills. Zytec, Claritin, Allegra. These are the names we swap with fellow sufferers like we are chasing the high of illegal drugs. Really we’re just trying to avoid the sinus headache that only kind of goes away when you’re on these drugs. That’s the best result you’ll get: almost functional. It makes you aware enough that you can articulately express how much pain you’re in.

Neti pot. If you’ve never seen a neti pot, it looks like a teapot that someone stomped on due to how stupid it is. It’s stupid. You put the spout up your nose and try to pour warm, salty water from one nostril to another like the world’s most humiliating fountain. In reality, my sinus cavities contain a tiny Gandalf forcefully declaring, “You shall not pass!” to the water, thus backing it up into my nose, down my throat, and all over me. Right to left? It’s gross but fine. Up the left nostril? It won’t come out the other side. I fail at neti potting. You can only snort warm salt water all over the front of yourself before you quit, a broken woman.

Elimination diets!!!: Shut up. Okay, some people have food allergies, and that’s fine, but I’m pretty sure broccoli isn’t the reason why maple gives me the facepunches.

Wear a mask. We all know that this works because Michael Jackson did it, and it was so effective that his nose shrank down accordingly.

Wear giant sunglasses. This is supposed to block the pollen from getting to you. Really it just irritates the bridge of your nose. I would go a step further and just wear a helmet, attached to a full body suit, at all times. Oh, fuck it. Just be an astronaut. There’s no pollen in space.

Alternatively, you could just never go outside ever. Hose down anything that comes into your home, especially if it breathes. It was probably breathing in pollen. Nobody can be trusted. They’re carriers. Look what happened in Contagion. Gwyneth Paltrow has like the most restrictive diet ever, and she still died (spoiler alert). Can I offer any real advice? Netflix. You will need the entertainment when you are drugged out of your skull by 9 PM every night but can’t go to sleep quite yet. Trust me, that “Rob Lowe in Stephen King made for TV movies” marathon was my personal highlight of last week. M-O-O-N, that spells “Is it August yet?”*

*That’s a reference from The Stand. It’s on Netflix. I couldn’t quote Rob Lowe since he was deaf, mute, and dumb.