Allergies. I suffer from ’em. When an irritant is within 50 yards, my body reacts in a variety of annoying ways. Sniffles, and a nose that is constantly just a little runny. Itchy eyes. The worst is a full-body skin itchiness that has no dependable cure. The itchiness can only be observed and endured until it is finished with me. Benadryl cream helps a little. Cortisone is also ok. Zyrtec is my friend. But these tools often seem like ineffectual psychological shields rather than actual weapons. Like facing down a gun-wielding outlaw with some choice Kahlil Gibran quotes. Would that we lived in such a world.
For a few years, I went to see a doctor whenever my face got itchy. Surely medical science would have some sort of topical ointment that could not be purchased over the counter at CVS. Nope. Sorry. I was generally told to stop wearing makeup, or using any product on or near my face for a time. Not only was this “cure” 100% ineffective, I looked as though I had spent a sleepless night trapped in a dirty shed.
I saw an allergist to find out what was causing the irritation. This involved one of those nifty pin-prick allergy tests that I found fascinating. Science! I loved watching the little bumps emerge on my arm in reaction to the substances being tested. I would honestly like to have this test for home use. Why should science be left to trained medical doctors? I want in.
The results were not particularly surprising. My biggest triggers were cat dander and weeds. But I also had some degree of reaction to All Of The Things.
“Ok,” I said. Problems identified. So, now what do we do about it? The allergist handed me a list of instructions that included washing my sheets in hot water and avoiding things on my list of allergens. As it turns out, they hold off on administering allergy shots if you’re not an asthmatic 11-year-old. You must instead learn to incorporate itchiness into your life plan. Embrace the eye redness and revel in the sinus congestion.
Kahlil Gibran said it best “ Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” That’s all well and good. I just wish it would play fair.