Did you know that Hay Fever is simply one of those nonsensical terms for allergic rhinitis? I didn’t know that until I googled up the term last night after spending an entire afternoon and evening sneezing the nose off my face and wondering if there was a quicker way to drain my sinuses. Like maybe removing my eyeballs and just scooping the snot out. This morning we are all sneezing, dripping and snuffling to some extent. Part of the trouble is the near ubiquitous state of renovation we live in. Not complaining, mind you. Every project started and completed is another step closer to selling the house and building a new one together. Still, the reality is that I am allergic to dust and I live in a continual state of it. The other side of the tipping point was that Rob is using the fire-pit in the backyard to dispose of some of the old wood from even older reno projects past. He also decided yesterday to burn paper. Between the two of us we have the death of a what appears to be a whole forest on our hands. Some of it is the accumulation of paper generated by years illness on the part of both our late spouses. It’s hard to know what needs to be saved for this or that purpose. Much of it was just the inability to deal with concrete tasks when so much of our reserves were split, unevenly, between day to day survival and sorting through the inner piles of “paperwork” that grieving generates. The end result though is that today we are snotty, and not in that satisfying way of sticking out our tongues at the world either. Drippy, mucousy, wheezy, throat-clearing yukkiness. Rob deals with it by refusing to acknowledge it. If he doesn’t say the words “I have allergies,” out loud then it just isn’t so. Such a man thing. My dad and my late husband have/had similar coping strategies. As a women, while I lament the need to do so, I would rather just own up and begin to seek a solution. So far, I have not found a solution to my allergic woes. I systematically have purged offensive foods from my diet and this has helped but the whole rhinitis issue can’t be rectified unless I stop breathing air. I kinda need air, as filthy polluted as it is, and have only imperfect remedies. Anti-histamines. Decongestants. Herbal teas. A pitiful arsenal really. The commercials you see with happy, snot-free people wandering cheerfully through a Disney picture perfect wilderness that begs for Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to come waltzing through with their entourage of cheeping, squeaking and squawking menageries are an offensive load of poop. Drugged up to the hilt, the truly allergic can maybe manage not to drip, but the truth is that your eyes still sting and your sinus cavities sting and ache and you can still hack up a nice wad of phlegm at a moment’s notice.

Hay Fever is a sign of a hyper-vigilant immune system. Personally if my immune system wanted to be really useful it would be coming up with ways to protect me against the coming Bird Flu epidemic, but I guess dust and pollen is the best it can do in its off hours when it isn’t fighting the good fight against all the viruses and bacteria that penetrate our systems from time to time. Practice is practice, I suppose.

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