LIFE IN BFE WITH ALLERGIES: Damn you cottonwood

Each and every late spring, early summer despite temperatures hovering around the 70 degree mark, the grass is blanketed with a soft white.

Damn cottonwood.

When I was a little girl, my dad took me to see an allergy specialist – now remember, my story is from the early 1980s when advances in medicine and determining allergies isn’t what it is today. As I laid on the exam table, using a marker, the specialist put dots on my back and then using a needle, inserted a possible allergy liquid into my back. If the dot popped up, I was allergic to whatever was in the vile.

While I was clearly allergic to all things seasonal that fly in the air, my dad had a phobia for seeing me poked and prodded over and over again. No sooner did I look up at him did he start sliding down the wall – he passed out.


Not only did I learn I was allergic to grass, trees, mold, pollen and animal dander, but I thought my dad died.

Good-bye live Christmas trees during the month of December.

Adios indoor plants.

Ciao to the idea of ever owning an indoor pet.

My childhood was doomed.

But, it was either get rid of all things allergy related, or live hooked up to a breathing machine to prevent asthma attacks.

My parents, who love me, agreed to get rid of trees, plants and our dog, God bless that little Golden, was kept outside (in the garage in the winter months).

Not much has changed in the 30 years since I was tested for allergies, only now I am able to control most of them with medication – except for the damn cottonwood.

Unless I plan on living in a bubble for the next two weeks (or however long it takes for the trees to rid themselves of the white shit), I must adjust my life.

For example, last week, I didn’t wear any eye makeup to work. In an effort to not scare my editor and co-workers, I posted it out on Facebook Nation that anyone who would see me that they should not be alarmed. I was not sick. I was not tired. I was not in a fight. I did not spend my day crying.


Moments ago, my mom texted me and asked how my allergies are doing this season. Turns out, hers are just as bad – red, itchy eyes and a runny nose. We can handle the runny nose, but the itchy, red eyes do nothing for our outward appearance.

If we could, we honestly would remove our eyes and toss them into a cup of ice cold water until prime allergy season ends.

However, since God didn’t make us with removable body parts, we have succumbed to buying over-the-counter-eye drops. True, I could turn to the trusty-and-reliable Benadryl, but that just puts me into a medically induced fog and I prefer to be somewhat coherent during the course of the day in BFE.

The drops work wonders … except for when you tilt your head back at the same time as the bottle and drops drip into your wide-open mouth (I cannot apply eye drops or eye makeup without keeping my mouth open …).

But, I guess I would rather taste the aftertaste of eye drops than deal with the damn cottonwood flying around – unless of course, I have developed the ability to remove my eyeballs from the socket.




1 thought on “LIFE IN BFE WITH ALLERGIES: Damn you cottonwood”

  1. I feel your pain! I had allergies to all kinds of food and plants since I was a little girl. But pollen/blooms/cottonwood are the worst b/c you cant avoid these, like food. Hang in there!

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