I suffer from seasonal allergies. I’ve always noticed some discomfort during allergy season, but ever since I’ve moved to New Jersey they’ve taken off. The last two years, however, have been terrible. Here’s a list of my typical symptoms before medication:

  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • A feeling like gravel has been poured into my eyes
  • Irritability
  • Loss of singing voice
  • Feeling “detached”

Over the years I’ve tried taking many different kinds of allergy medicine, and these curbed most of my symptoms[1]. With the exception, that is, of the “detached” feeling I am blessed with during allergy season. That symptom was actually strengthened by each of the medicines I tried, knocking me out and making me worthless for most of the day. At least I didn’t have a headache!

So, during allergy season I’ve essentially had a choice of being a miserably irritable jerk, or an aspiring Rip Van Winkle impersonator. Great choice, huh?

This year I have begun taking homeopathic medicine for my allergies, and for the most part it’s been doing a wonderful job. My irritability has been reduced to manageable levels, I don’t have a persistent headache, I sneeze a whole lot less. Best of all, this is the first Spring for a long time in which I have not utterly lost my singing voice. I’ve combined the homeopathic medicine with saline spray for my nasal passages and allergy-focused drops for my eyes. The combination makes me feel almost normal.

I say “almost” because I remain feeling rather detached. This feeling emerges into my life in two different ways. First, I’m constantly confusing the thoughts I’m having in my head with what I’m saying to someone in front of me. So if I’m thinking of clouds while trying to ask my wife how her day went it will come out as, “Hi honey, how were the clouds?” The other emergence of this symptom happens when I’m driving. Now, having ADD, I will not infrequently find myself driving merrily along lost in the thoughts in my head only to find I’ve gone several miles in the wrong direction. It’s annoying, but it’s rare. This allergy season, however, my ADD driving moments have reached epidemic levels. Any time I get a thought stuck in my head before getting in the car, I invariably find myself going the wrong way. The worst instance thus far happened this past Monday as I headed out to see an early showing of Iron Man 3. As I drove I got a song stuck in my head [2] and found myself going to the wrong mall. Frustrated, I continued on my way by picking an alternate route. The song got stuck in my head again and I found myself making yet another wrong turn. It’s not enjoyable. As near as I can figure, my allergies must do something to take my ADD to a whole other level – a level in which even coffee can do nothing to combat.

I’m not writing this for “allergy relief suggestions.” Thank you, but for the most part I’m good and it’ll all be over soon(ish). I’m writing this for my fellow allergy sufferers. I’m feeling your pain, hang in there!

  1. Sadly, none of them prevented me from losing my singing voice, which is a wound to my soul.  ↩
  2. No, I don’t remember what it was.  ↩

2 thoughts on “Allergies!

  1. As you know I suffer from allergies, too. I understand the loss of singing voice. It is actually one thing that truly frightens me. Lately I feel like something is sitting in my throat and won’t move. I have to sing “around” it. I feel like my greatest gift has been taken away if only temporarily. It’s quite stressful. I asked the doctor what to do about the allergies, he suggested moving out of New Jersey…… not an option. So my nose will continue to run in NJ.

    1. I once told one of your fellow choir members I was allergic to New Jersey. Her response was, “Well, tough!”

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