For days now, I have been under allergic attack. The kind were you sneeze ten times in a row and then fall over from your head spinning. I take these allergy pills that I am convinced are nothing but placebos as they say they will work for 24 hours straight, yet they take a good 8 hours to kick in and then work for maybe two hours. Then I get to wait another 14 hours before I can take another pill. Apparently taking more than one in twenty-four hours can, I don’t know, kill you or something. Living in Oklahoma where the winds are persistently shifting sometimes several times within one day, blowing from the west, then the east, then the north and the next day the south – my sinuses are a total mess of confusion. It starts with headaches. Blinding headaches that bring nausea and fatigue with them as overnight bags. Then comes the dizzy, spacey feeling in my head, like I’m walking in a cloudy daze. Just when I think that it can get no worse, the sneezing fits start. You know the kind, where you’re blowing and wiping your nose off so much that your whole face feels like a dried up sponge? That’s the one.
Fortunately for everybody else I keep handkerchiefs on me like a little old lady at all times, in effort to keep from sneezing all over everything and everyone. However, I am constantly washing handkerchiefs in preparation for my next allergy attack. It wasn’t just me, my husband has been mouth breathing all weekend thanks to his allergies. We’re quite a hideous pair, the two of us right now. I really think the commercials for these pills should say, “For itchy face, watery eyes, crusty nose and dried out lips, take this pill for one hour of reprieve.” Though I would love to be dancing through a meadow of wild flowers after taking these pills, the reality is much more likely that I would go into anaphylactic shock, rather than happily dancing and laying among the flowers that are obviously trying to kill me.
As if we weren’t already having enough fun to last a lifetime, our AC decides that now is a good time to go on the fritz. Again. I know it is February and I shouldn’t need the AC, but tell that to the weather. What started off as a beautiful breezy Friday turned into a steamy 86 degree Saturday without a single streak of air blowing from any direction. I turned on the AC that had been functioning as a heater for months, as the temperature was steadily creeping up outside. At about 3am I awoke to loud bangs that startled me and my husband into thinking that someone was breaking into the house. My teenager thought since we were awake, that was the time to tell us that the loud banging sound had actually been going on all night long. It finally dawned on me that it was the AC unit trying it’s hardest to turn on, but failing miserably. We turned off the unit and opened the windows, hoping for a breeze of any kind. On a side note, I drank 3 giant cappuccino sized mugs of the strongest coffee possible the next day in desperation to stay awake.
It was Saturday morning and beautiful outside. In all of our sleep deprived states we decided to go to the park up the street and then take the kids for pizza and ice cream. By the time we got back to the house it was hot. Not just a little hot, but shed all of your clothes and freeze your underwear, kind of hot. I live in a hundred year old house that whatever the weather is outside you can bet it will be at least twenty degrees above or below that depending on the weather. We opened the windows and doors again and… Nothing. No breeze, just sun mocking us with its ridiculously warm and bright beaming rays. I think we were letting more heat into the house at that point than actually cooling anything down. So we waited all day for the AC repairmen to show up, which they never did. Another night of sleeping with the windows open and consequently our allergies at a ten. Ever tried getting a baby to take a nap or lay down to sleep at night when they are miserably warm? It’s a fun exercise in patience. Mine kept telling me how hot it was, and staring at me like – “Well Mom? DO SOMETHING!” I employed the tactic that my mother always used on me as a child whenever we would be without AC. I soaked down a washcloth in a little soap and water, rung it out and wiped my barely clothed three year old down from stem to stern. She said, “Hey Mom, I’m not hot anymore!” And went straight to sleep. Finally.
At some point in the middle of the night, the winds shifted again and this time brought with them cold gusts. Because we were all sound asleep from already missing one full night’s rest, we didn’t realize that it was rapidly getting quite cold inside of the house. In blowing with these wind gusts, must have been whatever new allergens were floating in the air because I sneezed in my sleep all night and what I thought was my handkerchief that I was blowing my nose into, was instead the bed sheet. Yeah, I know, gross, but it’s not like I knowingly did it. I woke up with a sore throat from the cold air blasting through the windows all night, crusty, itchy eyes and sinus drainage coming from seemingly every orifice of my face. Sunday was a beaut as well. Still no AC repairmen, but this time it was cool in the house from all of the crazy wind blowing through the opened windows so who needed ‘em?! What I needed now was a doctor with some form of allergy shot in hand to put me out of my misery. By the evening the temperature had dropped to the low 40’s so I closed the windows and turned on the heater, again.
I woke up this morning, my head fuzzy, my eyes crusty, my handkerchief disgusting and yes, cold. I begrudgingly took another one of those allergy pills in the pure hope that maybe it is doing something to help. Like maybe I would be dying right now if I hadn’t taken it, but instead I am only near dying. They work just long enough for me to feel somewhat human and then crushingly remind me that I may never actually feel that human again. P.S. It is now 43 degrees outside and guess who shows up? You guessed it, the AC Repairman.