May: The Flip Side

Pollen reflections

Pollen reflections (Photo credit: cizauskas)

 My last post was a paean to the beauty of May  (apparently it somehow disappeared the first time I posted it, but you should be able to read it now).  At this time, I need to focus on the dark underside of that beauty—yes, I mean spring allergies.

 I woke up this morning with a sinus headache. The bags under my eyes are more like steamer trunks. My silver car appears to be a mutant vehicle with a fuzzy chartreuse exterior because it is so heavily covered in tree pollen.

 I wear contact lenses, and I have to take them out approximately one thousand times a day to clear the mucous from my eyes. (That might be a tiny exaggeration. I’m a fan of hyperbole, probably the biggest fan. Ever.) From what I hear, southern New Jersey might be the allergy center of the world. (Hmm. . .I’m not sure if that’s exaggeration or not.)

 Millions of people suffer from spring allergies, and they suffer far more than I do. Runny eyes, congestion, and scratchy throats are not fun, and many people have even more severe symptoms. When my older daughter was about four, we were at an outdoor party. Suddenly, the whites of her eyes were all swollen and looked they were about to close over her pupils. It was incredibly scary. She had probably touched her eyes and got pollen in them, which caused them to swell. It was not serious, and after some Benadryl, her eyes were fine.  So when it happened to her younger sister a year or two later, I knew exactly what it was. Score one for experience.

 So Spring, you can be cruel. But I guess sometimes we really do have to suffer for beauty.

Having a Cold is Not Hot

A man mid-sneeze. Original CDC caption: "...

A man mid-sneeze. Original CDC caption: “This 2009 photograph captured a sneeze in progress, revealing the plume of salivary droplets as they are expelled in a large cone-shaped array from this man’s open mouth, thereby dramatically illustrating the reason one needs to cover his/her mouth when coughing, or sneezing, in order to protect others from germ exposure.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems that colds are the “in” thing right now. Everywhere I go, people are coughing and sneezing. Now that I’m one of the members of the in-crowd, I can state without any hesitation whatsoever, I don’t like it. This is a club I would prefer not to join.

I haven’t had a cold in years. Having one makes me grumpy and listless. But I can’t go to the gym to relieve my grumpiness or listlessness because I have a cold. Yes, it’s a cycle, but not one I can ride. Trying to exercise while I cough and sneeze would not be fun for me–or for the people around me.  Yes, I do understand it could be worse. After all, I don’t have the flu. Or polio. Or the plague.  But my nose is red and sore, and I’m tired because I was coughing all night.

I am fortunate to have a kind husband who picked up spicy, vegetarian lemongrass soup for me on his way home from work. I would like to say it tasted delicious, but I can’t really taste anything right now. He also bought Sudafed for me a couple nights ago. In case you haven’t purchased it recently, it requires approximately 17 forms of ID, a couple of sworn affidavits, and an Executive Order signed by POTUS himself. Perhaps I exaggerate, but only slightly. In any case, I didn’t have to go to the drugstore myself, which is good because I could stay in my pajamas and be grumpy.

I’ve been drinking gallons of water, tea, and hot soup. I’m not sick enough to stay in bed, so yesterday I spent the day blowing my nose and working dutifully at my computer on assignments that are due. (And yes, this morning I wiped my keyboard down with alcohol and sprayed the house with Lysol because I am both conscientious and a germaphobe.)

Then our younger daughter sent me a text saying she might come home from college for the weekend. I told her I wanted to see her, but I wasn’t sure that she should come home since I have a cold. I don’t want her to get it–because then we would both be grumpy.

Please forgive all my complaining. I AM feeling better today, but I still have a cold. And I’m grumpy.