Archived Story

Spring: balancing beauty, Benadryl

Published 11:22am Friday, April 12, 2013

You take the good with the bad.

I haven’t used my heating or air conditioning in weeks. The landscape is dotted with splashes of color, colors not seen for many months in nature.

I don’t need a jacket outside, and I have been able to wear flip-flops for the first time in a while. The bees are buzzing, and the woodland creatures old and new are flitting about.

Spring is here.

If you don’t have allergies, I envy you. Go outside and enjoy untarnished springtime merriment.

Personally, I loathe this time of year.

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth.

And I am one of the estimated 35 million Americans that becomes born again every March – as a crusty, red-eyed version of my former self.

I become a regular Frankenstein monster, with a voice that is becoming deeper and more nasally by the day.

Unlike food or drug allergies, I can’t simply avoid the allergen.

Outside, it looks like a yellow Pixie Stick bomb went off. It’s on my car. It’s on the porch.

It’s like a minefield, except there is no space between the mines.

It seems to be particularly bad this year.

I can’t breathe through my nose, and my snoring has been so loud it has literally awakened me multiple nights.

The morning after these rude awakenings, I have been faced with a choice.

After I pry my eyes open, which mid-April is now like shucking an oyster, I can either deal with the symptoms or take medicine – medicine that makes me more tired.

I have been cycling through all the allergy pills and potions I can get without a prescription.

Zyrtec hasn’t seemed to do much.

Claritin does fend off the funk for a while, but I don’t care what it says on the box, non-drowsy is a loose term.

And Benadryl will have me staring at the back of my eyelids by lunch if I take it first thing in the morning.

I hope this hasn’t offended any fervent spring fans out there.

I love the smells (what I can still experience, that is).

It is refreshing to watch as the landscape, which was grey and lifeless a few weeks back, transform into a pastiche of color.

It’s beautiful – it really is.

I just don’t think it is fair that a season marked by so much life can make someone feel so close to death.

Nelson is news editor for The Outlook.