Sneeze. Itch. Sneeze. Sneeze. Blow. Wipe. Blow. Itch. Drip. Sneeze. Sniff. Sneeze. Snort. Sneeze. Benadryl. Ahhh…Snore.
That’s been my day about every 2 weeks since moving to Santa Barbara 2 years ago. On days I’m not sneezing, snorting and itching non-stop, I’m simply stuffy and snorting. I finally went to an allergist and partook in an oh-so-pleasant allergy skin test. At least the 40 pricks were grouped into sets of 3, which made it more bearable.
I reacted to the test quickly and strongly. The itching started immediately, and it was all over my back, from armpit to armpit, from shoulder blades down to Kokopelli.
So for the results…Basically, I’m allergic to nature. All of nature. Let’s go down the list, shall we?
Epidermals: Cat, Dog, Horse Dander, Feathers, Cockroach. I’m allergic to all except the Horse Dander. So we could keep horses! F would love that. No, he wouldn’t.
Dust Mites: I’m allergic to both varieties. There’s a reason I keep the house so clean. It’s not just that I’m anal. I’m allergic!
Molds: I’m allergic to 2 of the 4 molds. Maybe that’s why I started experiencing allergies when I moved to Portland? All that rain leads to all that mold.
Trees: I’m allergic to Oak, Walnut, Sycamore, Olive, Elm, and Acacia. Eucalyptus and Mountain Cedars are ok though.
Grasses: I’m allergic to all 4 varieties tested – Bermuda, Bluegrass, Orchard Grass and Perennial Rye. Ah, who needs grass anyway? Just give me a rock garden.
Weeds: Yellow Dock, Russian Thistle, Western Ragweed, Coast Sagebrush, Mugwort Sagebrush, Lamb’s Quarter, False Ragweed — Weed them all out because I can’t have them near me!
As F read my test results, I witnessed his shock and disappoint. A wife allergic to nature? F is a Pacific Northwest nature boy who grew up on a farm and spent years of his life backpacking through the woods. Thank goodness our vows didn’t say anything like, “Until allergies do us part.”
“Well, maybe the results can help us decide where to move to when you’re done with residency,” I joked.
“Ok, let’s see,” F said. “Well, the molds rule out the Pacific Northwest. The trees rule out the West Coast and most of the Mid-west. The grasses eliminate anywhere other than a major urban center or the southwest desert. And the weeds by section rule out the Northwest, any desert where sage grows, the Deep South, and the Mid-west. So basically we can go to the Sahara Desert and Antarctica, though the dust mites might get you in the Sahara.”
“At least we can keep a horse wherever we go!” I said, to which F gave me the stink eye. Oh yeah, he has a fear of horses.
Hmmm. Antarctica with no pets. Well, I won’t have to sweep 10 times a day. That’s a perk.