Allergies and the East Coast

I have terrible allergies. I mean really bad. I grew up in Colorado, near Boulder, so allergies there weren’t too terrible. The air is really dry and arid so allergy sufferers normally don’t have such a bad time of it. When we moved to the east coast for the military, I really didn’t think much of it. That was until one April morning, 3 years ago, when I woke up with a balloon instead of a head.

I remember looking outside and seeing the world blanketed in a soft, yellow pollen. I had NEVER seen anything like it. Our black car was yellow. Our green house was yellow. The dog was yellow. Another fun fact about me…I can’t take allergy medicine. I mean I can, it works, but it makes me so sleepy that I can’t be trusted to take care of my kids if I take it.  This being said, I washed my face and made sure to clear the pollen from my nostrils and eye sockets (how did it get into the house??) and started my day.

I think my youngest was maybe 3 or 4 months old so I wasn’t getting much sleep or rest time as it was. My husband was working the night shift at the naval hospital, so I was on my own. Even though there was pollen all over the place, it was still a really nice day outside. North Carolina in the springtime is beautiful. It’s not so painfully hot yet. Now remember I had no experience with pollen or anything like that so I happily got my kiddos dressed and took them out to the park.

Big mistake. I stepped out of my front door and started sneezing. My stroller made tracks through the pollen on the sidewalk. My eyes were watering, my throat was itching, my nose seemed to be running and stuffed up at the same time. I did manage to make it to the park, let my oldest play for about 7 seconds and then had to call the outing to a close.

I hacked my way back home, stripped off my clothes and stumbled snottily into the shower. The water ended up running yellow, that is how bad this pollen was. I called the doctor who gave me a prescription for an allergy medicine (which is now available OTC I think). This too made me fall asleep.

Now that we are in Virginia, the allergies aren’t any better. We had a pollen snowfall a few days ago so everything is again coated in that nasty stuff. I still can’t take allergy medicine unless I am planning on going to bed the second the pill hits my stomach. My husband and children are completely immune. They could go and make pollen angels outside and be fit as a fiddle. I would probably die from asphyxiation. Next duty station: somewhere with a low pollen count.

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