I’m writing this from the comfort of my bed – wrapped in fresh sheets and an electric blanket while it’s 65 degrees outside. There’s eucalyptus and rosemary oil pumping through my nearby diffuser.
You see, for the last few weeks, I’ve had a little tiny cough – just enough to be annoying, almost more of a weeze. And it was mostly happening in the afternoons.
That is, until I wokeup on Monday morning, complete with chills, sore throat, itchy eyes, and a much deeper cough. Crap. I didn’t think it was allergies at all, I felt like I was getting a bad cold, if not bronchitis. So, I stayed in bed all day catching up on TV, before heading out in hunt of a milkshake to ease my pain.
On Tuesday, I hauled it back to work despite barely having a voice. I felt okay; the chills were gone, and the cough was under control. But when I got to the office, I found that most of my coworkers were also hacking up their lungs and blaming it on “Cedar Fever”.
I didn’t suffer from allergies until my last few years living in Baton Rouge, and even then, I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me, I just felt like I always needed to be carrying Kleenex, which is annoying if you’re a girl that wears foundation every day.
I figured out it was allergies, got on regular meds and essential oils. When I moved to Austin, though, allergies became a regular point of conversation at the office water cooler. Apparently everyone suffers from allergies in Austin, and the pollen count here is very high.
Each morning, the local weatherman talks through the pollen count projected for the day, and even says what’s the highest, whether its ragweed or mold, or anything of the like. But I have no clue exactly what I’m allergic to, and I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand the pollen count.
Needless to say, I hate blaming things on allergies – I’m a firm believer that germs cause illness, not the weather or the seasons, and while allergies may be bothersome, they didn’t leave someone in bed with chills and painful coughs.
Color me wrong, because I have Cedar Fever, and it is a motherfucking bitch.
I woke up yesterday morning feeling worse, with barely any voice, just huddled under the covers listening to the weatherman and wishing kitty Blanche could go to work for me (for realz though).
The Mr. Weatherman explained that Cedar Fever would be particularly bad this year, as the pollen count was at a record high, and the pollenation season would last from now until March – which is when allergy sufferers enter all out WAR on cedar dander.
I honestly didn’t even think this was a real thing, so I had to Google it, because, of course that makes it real, and I came to find that many people who move to Austin and never suffer from allergies, may live in blissful ignorance for up to six years before Cedar Fever rapes them thru the nose and sets up house in their lungs.
What the hell, Austin?
More Googling informed me that there’s not just a few Cedar trees ’round these parts, Austin actually has the MOST cedar trees per capita of any location IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. That’s just great.
So I looked up rememdies for this crap because I’m not about to be hacking up my insides for the next three months, and what do I find? “Take a shower”, “wash clothes”, “bathe pets”… um, yeah no shit. Obviously we’re all doing that and it’s not working.
Some of my coworkers told me that even regular allergies can’t smash the stuff, so it’s a matter of doubling up on pills, snorting essential oils and natural elixers, and getting rest whenever possible.
I mean don’t get me wrong, Austin is a pretty cool city, but daaaaamn, this is a bitch of an initiation – the most snot-filled one I’ve ever been a part of, that’s for sure.
In the meantime, I’m back on my regular allergy meds, which may take a few long, dreadful days of coughing, sniffling, and guzzling tea and water in hopes of staying hydrated.
When I got home from work, I dusted, changed my sheets, and vaccuumed, because now I’m paranoid little bits of Cedar are everywhere – my apartment is probably made of Ceder pollen that swirls around me every breath I take – although, have no fear, Cedar pollen can travel up to 100 miles from its original destination.
If anyone has a pool they’re not using for the next 24 hours, I’ve got a large truckful of spicy chicken ramen from Whole Foods arriving this evening, and I’d really just like to live in it until the symptoms pass. Limes make for great flotation devices.