I Seem to Have Developed Seasonal Allergies as an Adult. I Can’t Breathe Right Now. This Is Trash

Illustration for article titled I Seem to Have Developed Seasonal Allergies as an Adult. I Can’t Breathe Right Now. This Is Trash
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Allergy season is upon us and it is the worst of times. People with allergies are buying up all of the stuffs in hopes of temporary relief from Mother Nature’s fury. I come from a family full of folks with allergies. My sisters, nieces and nephews, and even my dad are all afflicted with the allergies.

For about 99 percent of my life, I’ve been immune to the scourge of pollen and other shit that makes the allergified folks detest several weeks in spring. My daughter has terrible allergies. Her allergies are so bad that she has asthma ... induced by her allergies.

One of my sisters has allergies (and asthma) that are so bad that in high school, the sound of the school public-address system calling for me to come tend to my sister who had passed out in the hallway was a fairly regular occurrence.

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The point is, allergies are a thing in my family. My personal affliction? I’m blind as a bat. My vision is trash. Thankfully, my (shitty) vision has been the same for the last 10 years, so hopefully I’m good for a while. But I always assumed that being blind as the fuck was the only thing I’d have to deal with.

The devil is a lie.

Somewhere along the way, I seem to have developed what amounts to adult-onset seasonal allergies. I can’t breathe, yo. My sinuses are trash. My nose is trash. Decongestants are not decongesterating me. I’m struggling right now. And it’s so unfair. How did I manage to make it to damn near 40 years old and THEN start to catch the sniffles and the “can’t breathes” and the “eye swellins” and the throat scratches? This isn’t right. OK? It’s not right.

Listen, people with allergies, does medicine actually work? Does medicine actually work? Shit, man. I’ve been taking allergy medicine and it is doing nothing for me. And no, I don’t have a cold. I feel better than I ever have healthwise; I just can’t breathe. 

When I walk outside and look at my car, looking like a big dusty-ass green minibus, I think to myself that I’m about to spend the next 30 minutes sneezing my soul out just because I touched the door handle. I’ve bought all of the tissue and all of the hand sanitizer. I’ve even begun analyzing which tissue works best for my particular skin regimen. I do not have a skin regimen.

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But, for real, when does the medicine work? Almost everybody I know with allergies takes some kind of medicine, and at best it just looks like it kinda, sorta helps, not fixes.

Folks with allergies are miserable, and I don’t want to be miserable. My nephew has to take shots. I don’t want to take shots. I do not like shots. I mean, I like liquor shots, but not allergy shots. When I see folks struggling with allergies and I realize that this may be my lot in life, I get the sads.

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According to most of the information I’ve acquired on allergies since I’ve become both a parent and an adult with allergies, it’s highly likely that I’ve always had some very minor allergies and I have just never associated the mild symptoms with them, and now they’ve gotten worse.

My guess is also that because I live in Washington, D.C., home of all of the pollen, that the allergies have finally broken through the proverbial wall and are now feeling free. And they are whipping my ass now for all the years they weren’t able to do so.

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The allergies came, they saw, they conquered. If you are my tribe, I feel your pain.

I can’t breathe. And this is trash.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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DISCUSSION

I’ve had terrible pollen allergies since I was about eight. My parents took me to an allergy specialist who determined that it’s specifically oak trees that give me a problem, so every time I hear about some new invasive species or tree disease I cross my fingers and hope that it genocides the oaks. Until that happy day I have a couple suggestions.

First, Flonase. It’ll take about a week for it to really start working, but when it does you’ll notice a significant improvement. Since you need to actually get the shit into your sinuses for it to work it helps to take it immediately after you shower in the morning.

Zyrtec won’t fix you, but it will take the edge off your allergies. It’s been a bit better than Allegra or Xyzal for me, but if you have any side effects from one, try the others.

If your allergies get really awful and you have good insurance go to an allergist and see if there’s anything they can prescribe. From the time I was ten to about eighteen I got shots meant to desensitize me to pollen. It helped a lot, and I’m also way less of a pussy about needles than most people I know. I doubt you want to wait until you’re fifty for real relief though.