There was this thing I talked about with a co-worker. One of those things like Israel and Sarah Palin that just absolutely set me off. I mentioned I might blog about it tonight. But, no, it’s all about turning over a new leaf, right? Ignoring the frustration and finding the happy. As a result, I decided to be happy at this very moment.
When I was a teenager, I had a shirt that said I’m Allergic to Mornings. I think it had a sleeping Snoopy on it. Most people would have looked at that and thought I was a sleepyhead. Truth was that I really did feel like I was allergic to mornings. I had what I referred to as morning allergies. Wake up in the morning, sniffling and sneezing and kind of miserable for an hour or two, but then it all went away.
Then, the spring of my 21st year, hay fever, the dreaded curse of the Sacramento valley, hit me with full force. What I figured out at some point over the last twenty-nine years (yes, it’s been that long since my 21st year — leave me alone) was that when winter turned to spring and the temperature hit 70 degrees, allergies hit as well. That was the temperature at which the blooming of whatever I was allergic to began. The allergies would stick around until the temperature hit 90 degrees, which was apparently hot enough to kill those blooming whatevers.
In Sacramento, that meant for about a two months period I was absolutely miserable. I tried over the counter medications. They did nothing for me. Way back then, there wasn’t very good prescription drugs either. Nothing worked. For years, as a result, I suffered through March and April and, usually, well into May. On my worst days, it wasn’t just a constantly dripping nose and sneezing, I would also feel it in my lungs, wheezing in the evenings.
Then they started offering prescription nasal sprays which I understood to be a kind of steroid type spray. Basically, it coated your nasal passages to prevent those dreaded histamines from latching on. The sprays resolved a lot of my problems, but not that wheezing on really bad days. Given the alternative, I could live with it.
When I started working at my current job a dozen years ago, my boss at the time told me about local honey. The old wives tale is if you eat a teaspoon of local honey every day, you will build immunities to the pollens and won’t have allergies anymore. She claimed her husband had year round allergies that had disappeared once he started eating local honey.
I love honey. I’ll eat it plain. Better yet, peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Even better, when I was a kid, we had butter and honey sandwiches — a layer of butter and a layer of honey between two slices of Wonder Bread — heaven.
I started eating local honey. I didn’t eat it year round or every day. Instead, usually around December, I started eating a spoon of local honey about three or four days a week. You want to know what happened? My allergies went away almost entirely. Not as completely as that nasal spray accomplished, but things were so much better I almost completely eliminated the nasal spray and had much more enjoyable Spring seasons. I’ll tell you, if you have bad allergies, you really should try local honey.
Last year, I got lazy. Didn’t eat much honey, but the Spring went well.
This year. Almost no local honey. I was stupid, but after last year I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t eat any local honey.
The verdict is (knocking on wood) that it seems at least for this year I have been cured of my seasonal allergies and have returned to the days of being allergic to mornings. I wake up with itchy eyes and a little bit of sneezing, but by the time I get to work, it’s cleared up and I’m fine for the rest of the day. I’ve started bicycling again — an exercise that involves me riding along the American River Bike Trail, a venue filled with grasses and trees and all sorts of green things that I’m probably allergic to. As I ride, I’m working hard, so I’m sucking in a lot of air and whatever is floating in that air (bugs, for instance). And, I’m okay. Again, I typically end a ride with itchy eyes, but not much else, and once I get a shower and wash my eyes and my face, the itch goes away.
Why am I happy today? No allergies this year, and it’s beautiful.