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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Ah-choo

  • For the better part of the year, I don't sneeze – ever. I save up all my 'ah-choos' for mid-summer. When late July arrives, the allergypocalypse begins.
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  • For the better part of the year, I don’t sneeze – ever. I save up all my ‘ah-choos’ for mid-summer. When late July arrives, the allergypocalypse begins.
    That wasn’t always the case. When I was younger, I was the kid with a year-round case of sniffles. I was even administered a weekly allergy shot - a concoction to help prevent allergic reactions to, well, essentially everything but oxygen.
    Cats were my primary allergy nemeses. Since I could never be around animals of the feline variety, in fear of an allergy attack, I never learned how to handle them. So today, cats kind of scare me. Thanks a lot, allergies - what if I was supposed to be some grand cat trainer?
    I was also allergic to dogs… but I really love dogs, so my nose learned to love them too. Any sound medical doctor would argue with that logic, but I don’t have a better explanation.
    I didn’t ‘grow out’ of most of my allergies; I just learned to avoid them. This time of year, however, a stir of pollen makes sneezing unavoidable. It’s hard to run from the air.
    My nose isn’t the only victim of pollen’s wrath. My eyes become so watery and itchy that, in place of my contacts, I’m forced to wear glasses.
    At the peak of my personal allergy season, in my pathetic state, I’m not alone. My dog’s sneeze count far surpasses mine. We’re a red-eyed duo during July.
    Her sneezes however, happen without effort. Have you ever felt like you had to sneeze, and made a really goofy face in preparation, and then… nothing?
    That’s me, often. In second grade, a teacher shared her remedy: just look at the sun. Thinking back, it was horrible, dangerous advice to give a kid... but it does the trick.
    While I’m not looking forward to the next 15-20 days, it could be much worse. I do, though, owe Tina, who sits near me at work, a box of tissues. Or two.

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