Day Fifty-Eleven of the Pollen Wars finds me hacking and coughing like I smoke a pack of unfiltered camels every fifteen minutes. This is as bad as it has ever been and quite possibly worse. People who have never sneezed at Spring before in their lives and running around like the sky is falling and us veterans who are truly allergic are simply screwed.
I can feel my eyes burning when I’m outside as if I’m under the surface of an acid pool. All those post apocalyptic stories where the atmosphere is dangerous to breath and being in the open is painful have come to life. I’m wearing a surgical mask at work and other who were making fun of me two days ago have started following suit. Washing vehicles is futile. It’s the proverbial yellow snow but rather than urine it is actually worse.
I get this every year to some degree or another but usually I can fight it off with the OTC meds. This year the OTC stuff is like shooting rubber bands at a T-Rex on meth. This year the reaction has gone from misery to the tenth level of hell reserved for child molesters and those people who talk during movies. This is suffering that should only be inflicted upon people who will leave the cashier at the grocery store hanging while they go back for one more item, and there is a long line behind them. This is torture that ought to be the fate of those people who drive slow in the fast lane with their blinker on for twenty miles. Oh yeah, this is the type of iniquity I have never wished upon anyone unless they used double negatives in a sentence and used the word “ain’t” more than twice a day.
It’s the coughing that really blows my mind. I’m a sneezer not a cougher. My eyes run, my nose runs, I can’t breathe, and I sneeze; that’s the symptoms I’ve had since I was a kid. But this year I have all that and I cough. No, not just the “coff coff” stuff, I mean the lung turned inside out, blow out the side of the building, sounds like someone is raping a buffalo type coughs. Seriously, my coughs sound like those of some old geezer whose been smoking since the invasion of France. By the King Henry the Fifth. Yesterday I tried to limit myself to one cough a minute, Failed. Think about that: If you cough once a minute for a day that’s 1440 coughs, and I couldn’t keep it under that.
At work I’m wearing a surgical mask and drinking the day time version of a popular night time cold remedy. I do not give products free advertising but I might in this case because it is almost working well. Almost. Nearly. Not quite. Two or three other people in the office are coughing too so we sound like a TB ward. People are starting to push their chairs away from desks now, to get some distance. It’s like walking around with a loaded germ gun. Everyone else stays the hell away from us sick folks lest it be contagious. I’m kind of grumpy about all the comments about me spreading disease, but damn people this is an allergic reaction not the damn Pork Pox. What’s worse is I sound like I’ve swallow not a bullfrog but the Jeremiah of all bullfrogs. My voice is suddenly low and growly as if I’m a bridge troll wanting three answers to questions before I’ll let anyone pass. Oddly, hearing the obviously painful speech I have now, people will ask me if I rather not talk, then keep asking questions. Does it hurt? Hell yeah, but only when I talk. Well, how long have you had it? Et al….
Okay, there is an upside. Kinda, well it’s not really an upside but it’s an interesting downside; I pulled into work yesterday and noticed the asphalt of the driveway looked all sparkly in the rising sun and it looked really cool. Yeah, I’m pretty much stoned out of my mind. Other than four kind of cold meds, I’m also sleeping two or three hours a night so exhaustion is also kicking in. I’ve been having really vivid dreams, including one sex dream which is a good thing because I’m got as much chance of getting laid right now as a leper with bad breath and George Wallace bumper sticker. I can see me going to some bar and suddenly everyone hears me going, COUGH! COOOUGH-COOUGH-coff-coff-COUGH! That ought to turn a few heads, for sure, and maybe a few stomachs as well.
The powers-that-be have left me alone to do paperwork instead of field stuff right now, and I thank them for that, too. Doing math is pretty weird though, I have to double check it and I’m forgetful. I ran up some figures two mornings ago and lost them and spend twenty minutes looking everywhere for them and then went and told the woman who asked for them I had to redo it because I lost them. I had left them on her desk.
So here I am, surgical mask making deep sea diver sounds as I type, trying to figure out if this is making any sense. I feel okay other than the sleepiness and the pain in my throat, okay, really, I feel like shit, but I don’t feel nearly as bad as I sound. I can still function, kinda, sorta, okay, I can’t run a 5K right now, but I’m able to go out and buy food and the dogs are still getting fed. As an aside, if you’re going to go into a convenience store, take off your mask unless you want to freak some people out. I went into a store today and the poor woman looked at me like she was going to freak. I turned around to see what she was looking at and caught my reflection in the door.
You know, maybe I should stay home.