Ah, the joys of spring! Sunny days, later sunsets, green trees, gorgeous tulips and daffodils – and horrible allergies. It’s really affecting me this year, much more than last. I have some pills I can take at night, but they make me so dry that I can barely talk. Last Monday night I took one of those pills, and on Tuesday morning my mouth and throat were parched – I barely made it through teaching my 8:00 class. I drank bottle after bottle of water that day, and finally, about 8:00 or 9:00 that night, I began to feel human again. I can’t face that – I’d rather be sniffy.
Today I got ready for church as usual – I just got a haircut and wanted to look nice, so I took extra care with my makeup. What a waste of time! My left eye has watered and itched all day long. I just looked at myself in the mirror, and I look like a freak! My right eye looks nice and normal – eyeshadow, mascara, white eyeball with brown iris. My left eye has no makeup left on it at all, the white part is red and shot through with veins, and the skin around that eye is pink and swollen. Lovely!
I’ve been working at the Reference Desk in the library today. It’s been a very quiet day for me (in other words, very few people have asked for help), but there are quite a few students sitting in here, working on their own projects, reading and studying. It’s a quiet, peaceful place for study, except for the irritating librarian (me) with the sniffling and the sneezing and the snorting. I feel sorry for the patrons that I’m supposed to be helping. But what can I do?
When I was a child, I had such severe hayfever that sometimes my nose would drip onto my desk at school and ruin the papers I was working on. I remember sitting in my 5th-grade classroom with tissues stuffed in both nostrils to keep the snot from dripping into my mouth or onto my books. Gross, I know. You can imagine how popular this made me with the other kids.
Finally my mom wised up and took me to the doctor, who gave me a strong prescription for antihistamines. Of course, these made me sleepy, but it was worth it. However, they were strong enough to dry me out completely (like the one I took earlier this week). Once, when I was a senior in high school, my boyfriend Paul Meggs and I had planned to go to Fair Park to visit the aquarium and have a picnic together. I was really looking forward to that day, but when I woke up that morning, my allergies had kicked in and I was miserable. I took one of my pills, but it didn’t seem to work at all. So right before Paul came to pick me up, I took another pill. This was a big mistake! I could hardly swallow or talk because my throat and mouth were so dry, and my nasal passages were so dry that when I sneezed, my nose started bleeding. What a romantic moment that turned out to be. He ended up taking me back home, disappointed and disgusted. At least I learned to never double up on antihistamines again. I think I slept from early that afternoon until the next morning.
Sometimes I wonder why God made us this way. There must be some point to the histamines in our bodies, something that they’re meant to do. But we live in a fallen world. When Adam and Eve sinned, they brought imperfection into the world – pestilence. And pestilence includes disease, and conditions where the human body doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. When we sneeze and someone says “Bless you,” I know it’s based on old superstitions. But sometimes I think it’s a nice thing to say anyway, because the person who sneezed is suffering from the wages of sin and could probably use a blessing just then.