January 11, 2013 by Doug Coutts
Hayfever is a terrible thing. In fact, recent studies have shown it to be one of the world’s worst afflictions. DNA testing has revealed Attila the Hun suffered from seasonal rhinitis and Genghis Khan was most likely allergic to yak’s milk. That explains their generally ratty behaviour and occasional irritability.
Luckily these days, most hayfever sufferers are not in command of murdering hordes or else there would be wholesale destruction throughout New Zealand on days like today. When the pollen gets up your nose and into your eyes, let me tell you from experience, patience and tolerance head the other way, back out the window. Don’t talk to me now, I’m too busy sneezing and trying not to scratch my eyes out to care that a sinkhole has just opened up in Bannister Avenue.
There was an article in today’s Dompost, one of Wellington’s leading daily newspapers with an online edition where grammar and spelling fear to tread, which says that this summer is the worst for hayfever in many years. That’s not quite true – it’s very good for hayfever but very bad for those who have it.
The article went on to say, and I translate into English, that some folk are opting for a steroid treatment which, while almost effective, carries huge risks. Apparently you might stop sneezing and itching but you could end up with osteoporosis and chubby chipmunk cheeks (on your face as well). That’s bad enough, but what they didn’t say was you’d probably be ruled out of the Olympics.
So I’ll be staying on the generic non-drowsy antihistamines, even though they are about as effective as a red rag to a bull. On the plus side, they’re incredibly cheap on prescription – ten for a dollar against $14.95 over the counter at the chemist’s. Mind you, it’s nice to be able to go in and answer the question “Anything for the weekend, sir?” with “I’m not sure – what’s the predicted pollen count?”
(Actually that’s the barber… bugger.)
And it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone, that there are at least a billion others around the country sniffing, rubbing, oozing and weeping, and feeling so miserable they’d almost consider homeopathy or colonic irrigation in the hope of a cure. Or even both at the same time. Who cares if the tubes get mixed up, I feel so bad.
The paper predicts the situation should ease in a month or so, which is perfect. Just in time for the cat to start shedding, and for the dust building up beneath the coffee table to start moving under its own weight. In the meantime, pass the tissues and the whisky. The whisky may not help the hayfever but the tissues will come in handy when the glass tumbles from my grasp.