Spring is here. Forsythia goldenrods and magnolia trees are overwhelming the southside, the fancy side of DC. A capitol hill garden tour is robust this time of year. The cherry blossoms aren't out, but they are tough, dark pink nodes in preparation.
All this Spring also means allergies. As a kid growing up in the swampy dc suburbs, I can barely remember a change of season that didn't incapacitate my lungs. The mucus and whezzing was all I really thought of when I saw the coming of flowering trees and new grass. I was proud of how well I could blow my nose and dreaded the times when my asthma attacks would force me to flee the classroom with violent and untamable coughs. Like kids in the inner city who tell grownups they want to be a cop because that's the professional they see the most...I wanted to be an Ear, Nose+Throat Doctor because that's who I saw all the time as a 5-17 year old.
When I moved to the midwest it was amazing. My asthma and allergies disappeared. I could breath in the spring & fall. I figured it was part of becoming a lady, at 18 I grew out of childish things, like allergies and baby fat?!
Now that I look back I realize I lost weight because I lived in a vegan house of poor cooks and walking was my only form of transportation. The allergies, while I thought I'd grown out of them, I now realize I had just hidden from. As soon as I moved back to DC my seasonal fight to breath began again. I sleep on the couch because my coughing wakes everyone on the second floor, and I hang out with my mouth open all the time, nose full of perpetual junk.
Antihistamine drugs do odd things and now my ears are blocked in weird ways making hearing hard.
Is it those stately gardens I should curse? The mysterious oak pollen, southern swampy atmosphere, or the fact that allergies are my birthright?