Kate’s pediatrician laid a fact on me the last time we saw her that I’ve been mulling ever since: About 80 percent of Michigan residents suffer from some form of seasonal allergies.
“It’s because of the humidity,” she said, which didn’t make too much sense, but I didn’t challenge her. Not because I’m not a doctor-challenger — the world needs more of those, and I’m happy to do my part — but because I was relieved that she thought that was the cause of Kate’s occasional headaches, and furthermore, that we didn’t need to do any expensive diagnostics to confirm this. Because of the 80 percent thing. When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. You get headaches during allergy season, exactly like one of your parents? Eh, you probably have allergies, too. She takes an over-the-counter antihistamine daily, and that takes care of it, for the most part.
The parent who also gets headaches isn’t me. I am apparently in the 20 percent who doesn’t have allergies. Everyone else? When the spring flowers bloom, when the autumn leaves rot, when the summer’s goldenrod sways in the breeze, sending its pollen out to drive 80 percent of you insane, I remain immune. Lucky, lucky me.
I told the pediatrician this. “Wow, I feel really lucky now,” I said. “Because I’ve never been allergic to anything.” She looked at me with that look doctors get when you say things like that.
“Seasonal allergies can present at any time of life,” she said. If this were a movie, that line would be staged like a gypsy curse, with visual effects and maybe a spooky echo.
Because my eyes are burning and itchy. They’ve been that way for days. At first I thought my contacts were inside out. Nope. Sweat running in my eyes? A likely culprit, but I doubt it. Not enough sleep? It’s happening on days when I grabbed close to nine hours the night before. What could be the problem? What?
The other day I was working in the yard and paused to drag the back of my hand across my forehead, which had an immediate effect on my eyeballs. It all came clear: Oh, riiiight.
Granted, it’s possible it was some other plant-based irritant, like oils from one of the weeds I was pulling up. But using the standard layman’s medical diagnostic technique of dividing the first thing that pops into your head by something some guy you know told you once, I feel confident I have now joined the 80 percent. I hope someone else grew out of their own allergies at the same moment, just so we can keep it all even.
At this point I’m glad it’s just the eyes. Because I hate feeling like I have a cold all the time.
Actually, I’ve suspected for some time that I had a mild hops allergy. The first beer of the night used to give me a stuffy nose. I experimented for a while with different brands, but it was one of those things where after a while, I sort of lost the thread of the scientific method. Drinking beer will do that.
Why are the eyes so vulnerable to all of our ills? Is it the watery-goo thing, or the windows-of-the-soul factor? Last night, I was doing some reporting for an assignment I’m working on for a magazine. I was in the midst of a crowd of drug addicts, all 12-stepping it, and I was sitting there letting the impressions accumulate — the smell of cigarettes, that rode-hard-and-put-up-wet look so many of these folks have, even in sobriety. I caught the eye of one of them. Like that guy, I thought. He looks like he’s still stoned. Bad eyes on that one. A few minutes later, the leader of the meeting singled him out.
“Get out of here,” he ordered. “Don’t come here to nod. Dirty on benzos, you are.” A subsequent urine test confirmed it. Huh.
Boy, you can tell it’s August, can’t you?
On to the bloggage!
There’s something about that ReasonTV badge on the microphone that makes Matt Damon’s smackdown of this twit so much sweeter.
Mittens Romney, Mr. Maturity. Right.
For you Game of Thrones fans, an effects reel from the house that did all those amazing painted backdrops. And to think David Benioff said the hardest thing about that project was working with horses.
With that, I think I’m off to eat a late breakfast. Happy Tuesday, all. I hope the heat wave is breaking.