Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A site neglected because of sore eyes

Oh damn sneeze that tickles down my nose and dances from nostril to nostril before taking a bow. Why tease me with endless encores, kicking dust into mine eyes with every fevered twirl?

- me ( or as Nick Mills quipped “Shakespeare with man-flu”)

For the last two weeks I’ve been somewhat house-ridden with hayfever  – I suspect some of the cypress pines  nearby are the culprits, but these are new in my experience and there may well be something else over the horizon wafting my way. Unfortunately I’ve had hayfever for over thirty years, and this is by far the worst year for symptoms that I’ve had since my English summer in  2005. On top of the new pollens, this has been a very dry spring, repeated promises of rain have either been false or delivered  a paltry few minutes of dampening sprinkles.

Ten minutes outside seems to require three hours for my eyes and sinuses to settle down, no matter what combination of medications I try … and believe me after thirty years I’ve tried everything.  My colleagues in Seattle called me “bubble boy”after I wheezed my way through my first autumn  after weeping through the usual springtime tortures. Unless I was sitting on a beach inhaling sea-breezes I had little respite. If I could afford to fly to a different hemisphere each spring I would be on a plane in a flash. If you’ve ever had a three hour sneezing  jag, you’ll know how serious I am.

Munson has been wonderfully companionable through this stretch, usually forsaking outdoor freedom to sit by me. When I give my eyes a daytime rest he thoughtfully crawls up onto the bed to check that I won’t expire before his next feeding.

I’ve a few catch-up posts to deliver  - life goes on even as I squint at it from behind closed doors. They’ll gradually appear before this post as I like to keep dates of events coordinated.


  1. Sorry to hear that. It's precisely the reason we ended up in the Loire Valley -- Ken has that reaction to Cypress. Northern California was hell for him and his doctor told him the only solution was to move away from cypress trees. That eliminated the south of France for us.

    Hope it stops soon!

  2. Sounds like you need some good allergy meds! Mom loves Zyrtec. Can you get that over there?


  3. Zyrtec and Beconase usually do the trick for me. This year, I may as well be taking candy. Even anti-allergy eye-drops seem to make no noticeable difference.

    I've ordered an air purifier to improve the indoor conditions, but I can tell ya that cabin fever is not a great alternative to hayfever.

  4. Mike, as Walt said I suffered mightily from pollen allergies in the San Francisco area. They came on suddenly in 1992. In 2002, I went to see an allergist. He advised me to move away from No. Calif. I did.

    Since I'm allergic to cypress tree pollen, I couldn't even consider southern France as a place to live. Visits to Paris, Normandy, and the Loire Valley in allergy season showed me I could live here. For cost of living and weather reasons, we chose the Loire Valley.

    Nowadays, I have bad allergy days when the wind blows hard from down south. But the attack always lasts only about 24 hours. In California, I would be house-bound for weeks at a time. It was horrible. I feel for you. Ken

  5. I know how badly this affects you. Get better soon.


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