Friday, April 14, 2006

Mmm. Spring--when the world attacks my face.

[UPDATED: Added photo of Nelson from his blog and links over to it, so you can send him some love and spread the word.]

Happy spring, my ass.

As I mentioned, while my hair recedes, my allergies advance, making spring a time to celebrate the blooming of every freakin' plant in the tri-state region by closing all the windows and doors, changing the furnace filter daily and mainlining Claritin.

Foliage is not my friend.

It reminds me of last fall, when Mama gathered some beautiful foliage from the hill outside our condo, and displayed it atop the TV. It was lovely to look at while it lasted, and after it dried up and collapsed, I collected it and dumped it down the trash chute.

Mysteriously, shortly after that, I started to develop a rash on my arms and face, particularly around my eye. Yes, it turns out that poison ivy presents a brilliant display of color in the fall, and that Mama had inadvertently scooped some up in all the foliage that she collected. I tried fighting it off on my own for awhile--not that there's much to do except wait for it to pass--and endured the questions at work--"Do you have shingles?" Eventually, it looked like, from my one good eye's perspective, one eye might swell shut--I wasn't too worried about going blind, since that would have already happened by the time I figured out what was causing the rash. So, I went to a doc who shot me with some prednisone to bring the swelling down, and dosed me with a bunch of antihistamines to help.

For the uninitiated, prednisone is a steroid, which means that you can't just stop taking it; you have to taper off of it. While I didn't end up looking like Barry Bonds, I did become remarkably focused and driven for a little over a week. Just ask Mama . . . it wasn't pretty, although I was amazingly productive.

If you think that Claritin-D is a rush, you ought to try it with a chaser of prednisone. Yikes. I had trouble sleeping for about three days--which really helped my state of mind, I'm sure--until I figured out that I should be dosing up on Benadryl at night, since that's an old school, knockout kind of antihistamine. Mama was pretty happy too, afterI figured that out.

That's all behind me now, but Barky's cousin, Nelson, is riding the prednisone lightning bolt now--unfortunately, Nelson is in more dire straits than I was. His parents are blogging about it, and I'm sure that they'd appreciate any words of encouragement you can spare over on their blog. He's been a great friend to Barky, as have his parents, who are always offering and willing to dogsit Barky, even though they already have one rascal to deal with. Barky has always loved his time there, and is concerned about Nelson's prognosis.

Nelson is their quadruped baby, and it hurts them as much to go through all of this as it would if he were a chubby little biped like 3B will be (we hope. . .). Make Barky, Nelson, and Nelson's folks feel better--send them some love . . . and spread the word so others can too.

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