Allergies Are Nothing To Sneeze At

 When I complained to my surgeon that I was still having symptoms of sinus problems, he stuck a big metal tube up my nostril and worked it around for half an hour. Then he stuck it up my other nostril.

And now I no longer complain to my sinus surgeon–about anything.

Then he asked me how long it’s been since I was allergy tested. It turns out people with allergies should be tested every few years or so, because in some cases allergies come and go, such as when you get older and your body starts to break down. Not that I’m describing me. Nope.

It had been ten years, so the next week they used up their entire supply of needles on me. If something swelled up and turned red, it wasn’t a rebellious pimple: It was Mother Nature thumbing her nose.


Mother Nature has a big nose.

My entire arm, upper and lower, looked like a Braille dictionary. I was allergic to everything on Earth, half of everything on the Moon, and dust from Mars.

Okay, so that wasn’t really true. For instance, I’m not allergic to Timothy Grass, who I’m fairly sure is the lead singer for Three Dog Night. Much to my shock, I’m not allergic to ragweed. Also, although I once had an allergic reaction after fighting a fire in a pine woods, I’m not allergic to pine. There must have been some cottonwood, birch, ash, red cedar, walnut, oak or hickory among those burning pines.

My cat allergy was confirmed, but–surprise!–I’m no longer allergic to dogs. We still aren’t getting another one, though: We had the perfect dog for a decade, and he’s not so easily replaceable.

Beowulf was very cuddly, and it turns out he never got his dander up.


Otherwise it was all the usual: molds, grasses, dust, politicians, and those dirty, nasty bed mites, which are much like politicians but with higher morals. Plants? Russian Thistle, English Plantain, Bermuda Grass–none a problem as long as I stay here in the good old USA.

Now, all but two of these tested at a “moderate” level. Only two read as severe and one of those was, naturally, Aspergillus, which can cause infections all over the place–including the sinuses.

It’s a mold, which is a type of fungus, and (I learned) it can be really, really nasty. Being allergic to Aspergillus is like being especially susceptible to the Black Death.

Then came the real shock, and the second allergy testing at the “severe” level:


If you know my wife, you get why hearing that was like being … well, kicked by a horse.


An entire horse-sized battlefield, loaded with Mark-seeking guided dander.

 Emily is what’s known as a “horse person”.



Wait–she’s wearing my hat!


And what are we going to do about this? Well … nothing. I mean, sure, Emily will clean up as soon as she gets home, but it’s not like I’m going to demand she gives up horses. It would be like telling me to give up chocolate, something I’m NOT allergic to. You gotta do what you love.

As for me, I have to choose between allergy shots and trying to get rid of mold like Penicillium, Eicoccum, and that wonderful Asperigillus, all of which can be found on …


Guess I’ll take the shots.





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5 thoughts on “Allergies Are Nothing To Sneeze At”

  1. We need to keep Mother Nature away from your Sinus Surgeon in case she complains.

  2. My sisters both had allergies and we’d go to Oklahoma City–which for some reason is a center of allergy treatment–in the summer for testing. They’d get a hundred shots testing for everything and would look like, as the saying goes, twenty miles of bad road when they were done.

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