Confessions of an allergy sufferer

I scoffed at the notion of allergies before moving here. SCOFFED, I tell you!

It just seemed so vague to me. “Oh, my allergies are really acting up.” What does that even mean? I’m sorry these beautiful flowers are somehow making you feel less than 100 percent, but maybe there are bigger problems in this world than your fragile immune system.

WELL GUESS WHAT? I take it all back. Two things about the Valley I will never, ever, ever understand are a) its bizarre predisposition for allowing rocks to hit your windshield on the highway and b) the havoc it wreaks on the bodies of people who have experienced zero problems in their decades of existence in other locales.

I seriously don’t even know where it comes from. People talk about the pollen count, and I’m like, pollen from what? Everything is a cactus or a dumb bush. I have to drive three blocks to see real grass in my neighborhood, yet I experience a violent, 10-minute sneeze attack every morning that thoroughly annoys my wife because she somehow thinks I should sneeze more quietly. And even if there is something in the atmosphere, why hasn’t the Arizona sun burned it off? For six months a year, you can throw a bucket of milk in the air and the sun will evaporate it before it can hit the ground, but it can’t destroy a little pollen? DO YOUR JOB, SUN.

I apologize for my angst, but I haven’t been able to see out of my eyeballs for the past three weeks. They are constantly watering and all I want to do is stay home all day in the dark and rub my eyeballs until the itch is satiated, which is impossible because the itch is NEVER SATIATED. I have a better chance of rubbing my eyeballs straight out the back of my head than reaching a point where I can say, “That feels better, I can stop now.”

The good news is that the action of rubbing the eyeballs feels great—better than sex—but the results … not so much. Unless you think appearing as if you just watched “Beaches” while holding your dying pet is attractive. The other day I sat at my desk at work and rubbed my eyeballs INTENSELY for a good few minutes, and then someone walked in and I looked up and they were like, “Ohmygosh are you okay? Did something happen? Do you need anything or just some time alone?” I was like, “I AM OKAY,” but then I really did start crying. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

I tried taking Claritin, but that did squat. I also tried Benadryl, which also didn’t work. (Fine, it was Wal-Dryl. Why would I pay for Benadryl when I can get Wal-Dryl? DON’T JUDGE ME.) I’m growing more convinced that my allergies are growing stronger with each passing spring, and are currently immune to all forms of medication. At this point, I don’t think my eyes will make it. I have already purchased a tiny headstone for them with the epitaph, “Mike’s eyeballs: rubbing them felt so good, but at what cost? RIP.”

And now I find myself, yet again, anxiously awaiting the sweltering heat of summer as an alternative to the absolutely perfect weather right now that is rendering me unable to fully enjoy it. Until then, I am practicing the art of sneezing more quietly because sneezing is a voluntary action that is totally under my control. WISH ME LUCK.

                                           Looking good, ADAM! (ADAM is me.)

Note: This column appears in the 4/2 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/3 issue of the Peoria Times.


Anonymous said…
OMG, this is so completely true! Except growing up here I never had allergies. Then I moved to Memphis, developed them, and now I'm allergic to EVERYTHING IN ARIZONA. I haven't stopped rubbing my eyes or hearing out of my ears in a month. When I have my sneeze attack every morning, I remember my father screaming at my mother (who had horrific allergies and followed every sneeze with swearing) "YOU WILL NEVER CONVINCE ME YOU HAVE TO SNEEZE THAT LOUD!"
mkenny59 said…
Wow, it's good (for me) to hear someone else say that. I feel like us loud sneezers need to form a support group. The world needs to take us seriously and understand WE CANNOT HELP IT - WE WERE BORN THIS WAY. Thanks for the comment, and good luck making it until summer!
troy said…
Adam, you are one handsome man/freaking me the hell out.

Claritin is a scam. Have you had your doctor write you a scrip for Clarinex? It is le bomb, but I understand different things work for different p-zeeps.