Saturday, December 16, 2006

Health, or the Lack of It

Nothing makes you appreciate your meds more than suffering without them. I am diabetic (II) and have had allergies since I was a child. As a result, I have a sizable tub of pill bottles. Luckily, I can fit my daily dosages into the little day by day case. On trips, I sort out two or three weeks worth at a time, and then I don't have to deal with the tub as often.

Unfortunately, a combination of the wrong credit card number and a bad delivery left me without my allergy medicine for a few weeks. At first, nothing bad happened, so my fear of instantly falling down in a coughing fit was eased. I had been on Allegra for three or four years now, and have been very pleased. It was a wonderful change.

As a child, I had hay fever like clockwork. Anything that stirred up dust and mowing the grass were certain to start the drips. When I moved to Austin, there was a brief period when I thought leaving the dusty Texas panhandle had cured by allergies, but that was not the case. Soon enough, I started reacting to all the pollens in this area. It seemed as if I were doomed to a life of regular sneezing fits and bulk purchases of tissue boxes. What's worse is that once or twice a year, it got a lot worse and developed into an infection.

Then, I discovered Allegra and it all went away. Oh, a particularly bad exposure to dust or mold pollen might have me sneezing, but my life-long pattern of allergies had been contained. The only worry now was how to keep a reserve of the pills a ready, even when we were traveling for months at a time.

And that fear finally became reality. The credit card charge failed, and since I was on the road, the company's letter telling me the shipment had been delayed didn't reach me. By the time I realized what had happened, I was about a month without the pills and starting to feel sensitized to the pollens again. I cleared up the charges, but then we were out of town again when the shipment should have arrived, and either it was misplaced or it was lost in the mail.

And it was too late. I was down with the allergies just like in the old days. Tissue piles like snow drifts started building up around me. By brain turned fuzzy and I knew what was coming next. The drips went to my lungs and I feared an infection was just waiting around the corner. I got a fresh prescription from my doctor, and he handed me a few Zyrtec samples to hold me until the Allergra shows up.

So, I am improving. The drips have stopped, but I have yet to clear out my lungs and I'm working very much under-powered. But I have re-affirmed my appreciation of the new generation of anti-histimines and resolved to be more vigilant in keeping my supplies stocked.

It's an age thing, isn't it? I can remember back in my twenties when I wouldn't even take an aspirin tablet for a headache. Now I just want to stay as healthy as I can. I don't have time to waste on sickness I can avoid. I've got stories to write.

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