I was going to write, “There; I feel better now,” but the sad fact is, I don’t! For the past two weeks, I’ve been plagued by the worst allergies I’ve ever had in my life!

I know I’m not alone out here. According to everything I’ve read, we’re having the worst allergy season we’ve had in years, with the most heinous culprit being ragweed. Everyone is sneezing, itching, wiping From:!.gif their eyes, sniffing and coughing. If misery loves company, I should be thrilled about now. To be honest, though, I’d be more thrilled if it were just those other people suffering, so I could go on living in ignorance and comfort

When I was young, I wasn’t allergic to anything at all. I could roll around in poison ivy, and it wouldn’t phase me. (I actually did this once with my boyfriend. ::cough:: The next day, he was covered in calamine lotion, and the only sign I’d been there was the knowing smile on my face.) My poor brother, on the other hand, was highly allergic. I can still see the rash on his arms, which always looked angry and inflamed and was usually bleeding to some degree from his constant scratching. I felt for him, but I really had no idea what he was going through.

Now, I do!

Over the past twenty years or so, I’ve slowly developed allergies to this and that. I’ve hadFrom: three allergy tests (ooOOooo! Needles!), and each one has shown that I’m progressively becoming more allergic to more things. The last time I took one (last year), it showed that I am at least a little bit allergic to everything they tested me for except dogs and cats. Thank goodness, since I have four cats and two dogs!

This bout with allergies, though, has been like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It started with a little itching, then became an angry, bumpy rash on my lower legs and hot, red, itchy skin over the rest of my body, except for my head. At first, I took a back scratcher to bed with me. When it didn’t do the job, I tucked a hair brush into my hand before nodding off. (Oh, how I now love that hair brush/skin shreader!)

When the itching got so bad that I couldn’t sleep or sit still anymore, I rushed to the doctor, who put me on Prednisone and a really strong topical steroidal cream. At first, it helped, but as soon as I began lowering the dose to avoid becoming addicted to it, the itching came back with a vengence! Now, my head and face also itch. Joy.

I suppose I should be grateful. After all, I’ve never felt more alive. Unfortunately, I have also never felt more like I’m covered with other live things like mosquitos or stinging ants.

I itch; therefore, I am. It’s times like these, though, that I wish I could just not itch and sleep. That’s it…sleep, perchance to dream…of not itching!