Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I recently read that more people die in Southern California annually because of air pollution related causes than car crashes. If you've ever driven on any Southern California freeway, you know what a remarkable statement this is. I never had any problems. I started drinking bottled or filtered water, or at least putting lemon in water after I moved to Riverside because the water tasted funky, but that was really the only environmentally charged change I made.

Now, however, I live in San Antonio. On the daily weather forecasts, they also include mold, pollen, and mountain cedar air counts. I don't know exactly what they mean except that a lot of people in San Antonio have allergies. I personally have allergies like a mofo. No really, I think I saw my doctor right that in my chart today. Day one, I have itchy eyes, the sniffles, and maybe a minor sore throat or headache. Most everything goes away with some Tylenol or something similar. From what I've seen, this is what most people in San Antonio mean when they say they have allergies. That is the set of symptoms they have during a particular season. Not me, my friends.

Day two, my ears are so full of random crap that it feels like I'm in a swimming pool. And everything is very very loud to me even though I know it's all really just normal volume. I have snot just dripping wantonly out of my nose and my throat is on fire. I have a cough that disturbs young children. Any energy I have is simply sucked right out of me when I do something like take a shower or walk from the bed to the kitchen to get some juice. My sinuses are so full that the pressure starts to make me believe that if I can just poke something through my cheeks it will go away. My sneezes sound and feel as if they originated in my toes. My nose is red and raw. And anyone who sees me, including medical professionals, give me looks of sympathy before I even open my mouth to say anything at all.

Last year I waited a few days to go to the doctor and ended up with two shots in my bum, a bag of prescription samples, and a handful of slips to turn in to a pharmacy. So this year when I felt all cruddy two weeks ago, I went to the doctor. It turned out I had a sinus infection and two ear infections. Good thing I only have two ears! I took three doses of antibiotics a day for ten days. I felt better on day seven and finished the pills because YOU ALWAYS FINISH ANTIBIOTICS. Then my throat got sore again. That was on Sunday. Monday, I had an obnoxiously runny nose at work and the beginning of a cough. I took every decongestant and antihistamine I could get my hands on and didn't really get any relief.

A quasi side note to my story is that one benefit of working with nurses is they often have awesome suggestions on tricks for feeling better or at least getting through your day. Last night, a nurse told me to squirt saline solution up each nostril and let it run out. My dear friend Kate, aka Splenda, uses a netti (neti?) pot every day so this wasn't a completely foreign idea, but I have never done anything like that before. Let me tell you, I could actually breathe again! The nurse's suggestion was to do it once an hour and she stocked me up on supplies. Oh, needless syringes, how I love thee...

Last night when I got home I was going to take a very hot shower and go to bed. There was no hot water so I just went to bed. I slept for a few hours and then woke up even snottier and also a little disorientated. My nose was killing me and I realized there was just no way to go into work and not get fired for yelling at someone or something like that. I claimed the futon and propped up pillows and slept a little bit. This morning I called and asked for any appointment today.

It's allergies. They just knock me down. I got a shot in my hip, which is really a shot in your butt so I don't know exactly why they say that. I got a bag that has about 10 days worth of allergy medicine samples and yet another handful of prescription slips to take into a pharmacy probably next pay day. I was also told that if I don't show signs of improvement very soon, I will need to see an allergist.

I already had a handful of pills to take every morning and now I've got two more to add to the mix. And two nose sprays. Most of the pills can probably be eliminated by losing weight and exercising, which I am doing, but the allergy stuff will probably have a home in my medicine cabinet as long as I live in San Antonio. Today I am considering making a list of other places to move to because holy crap I am miserable.

Say you feel really sorry for me and you live in the area. Feel free to express your empathy with orange juice (well, really any kind of juice), the kind of tissue with lotion in it, cough drops, or a few bottles of water. I'm staying home tomorrow and then will play the rest of the week by ear.

I'm going to take a shower now because I heard a rumor that the hot water is back on. I heart steam.

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