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The secret life of pollen

    While many folks may love the spring blooms of loropetalum, cherry trees and other plants budding out following a cold, bleak winter, those blooms can also bring a bevy of  itchy noses, scratchy throats and watery eyes to us poor, pitiful souls that have spring allergies. Not to mention what that yellow pine pollen does to our cars, decks and most any exposed surface.
    But a little yellow tint is the least of worries for allergy sufferers this time of year. For those who battle against the stuff that sends us to the drugstore for nose drops, eye drops, and antihistamines by the bagful (none of which really abate the suffering) the end is  nowhere in sight. Georgia’s pollen season peaks in early to mid-April, recedes in May and resurfaces in mid-August.
    Runny noses, sore throats, coughing, headaches, and lots and lots of mucus are what we have to look forward to. Those symptoms provoke allergy sufferers to berate anyone who would dare open a window for “fresh” air.
    We’re the ones you see in the grocery stores wearing a surgical mask over our mouth and nose (nope we’re not doctors). Sure it may look funny but so do our red eyes and runny noses.
    For those of us who suffer from the florescent byproduct of pollen, this time of year we feel as bad as James Caan in the 1990 movie aptly-named Misery. In the flick, Caan, a novelist, is rescued from a car accident by his ‘number one fan’ who at first renders him aid. When she discovers he has killed off her favorite character, she “hobbles” him, breaking his ankles with a sledgehammer, in an attempt to get him to write the book the way she wants it. This is more-or-less what pollen does to a sufferer’s nose -- except the fine particles have no demands or conditions and accept no surrender.
    If you are one of the relatively few folks who get by the spring allergy season unscathed, enjoy it and when you meet the rest of us poor souls out there with red, watery eyes, don’t run away from us because we look like one of the zombies from The Walking Dead. Just take pity and count your blessings you aren’t one of us.
    We’re pretty sure that the pollen is so bad now that somewhere  a junkie is converting his meth back into Sudafed.
    Hayfever is such a cruel ailment. There should be nothing more joyous that spending time outdoors after being stuck inside all winter. Enjoying a picnic in the grass, eating spring delicacies and sleeping away the afternoon, reading a good book, or playing in a pickup game of basketball or baseball. But for those of us who can’t take being outside inhaling all those fluorescent particles, it’s miserable. Sure we’d rather be out enjoying a relaxing day in the sun - but that just turns into a tortuous experience, seen only through teary eyes and a perpetually runny nose.
    Noses, by the end of April, will look like the falls at Amicalola. Just not as pretty.
    We’re also the poor souls who run when we hear a neighbor firing up their lawnmower, sending us running around our house making sure all the windows and sealed.
    The worst, perhaps, is when our dogs start staring at us, pleading  for a walk outside. They aren’t allergy sufferers. Bless their heart, we know they won’t get walked again for weeks. Poor pooch.
    The pollencasters may be our only remaining friends at the end of this season - no one will talk to us because our eyes are streaming and our nostrils red from nose-blowing - even though we buy the Puffs Plus with Lotion. To our fellow sufferers, take heart and just remember - only a few more weeks of misery.