Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Monday, July 26, 2010

breathing isn't always easy

My windows are closed
Doors are closed.
Blinds down and curtains drawn.
Folded newspaper strips close the gaps between door and frame.
Why am I doing this?

There is a bush hanging over the fence opposite my carport.
It's pretty, with dark green leaves and flowers made up of many small flowerets.
For most of the year, it doesn't bother me at all, apart from the scent, which I don't like.
Right now, though, the flowers have an abundance of pollen, with a heavy scent releasing in early morning from pre-dawn to about 8am, then again in the evening from roughly 5pm until about 9pm.

Breathing this heavily pollen filled air brings on first a heaviness in the sinus cavities above the eyes, then a not-quite-pounding ache in the back of the head.
I hold a hankie against my nose as I walk past it on the way to work each morning. Along the roads I walk there are several others, I remember the locations of most of them and cover my nose again.

This will go on for about three weeks before I can breathe freely again. Then other things will bloom and the procedure continues. Bottle brush, Jasmine, (the night-scented one), Privet.

I'm also allergic to moulds and mildew. This eastern suburbs area has many gardens with mulch that is now breaking down after the winter rains. With the daily dose of sunshine, the moulds which are part of this breaking down process are fast increasing, the spores are active in the early mornings, as I walk home from work later in the day, I'm able to breathe more easily, as long as I avoid the heavily shaded gardens by crossing the road.

Antihistamines help, but the side effect of the one that works best for me is a dryness in the mouth which has me gulping water all day long. So I try not to take too many.

It's a sad problem for one who loves to potter about with pots and plants outside.


  1. Does Claratyne work for you? I find it doesn't dry out my mouth.

    Allergies suck muchly.

  2. In Central Victoria Spring has certainly arrived with many plants in flower, particularly wattle, a nasty hayfever irritant.
    There's a great anti-histamine nasal spray (I've heard of) that costs about $60 but is supposed to work wonders.

  3. Hi River,

    I suffer too - usually in June. If I could work out the plant that gives me hell, I would burn it with maximum prejudice.




  4. The spouse tried that nasal spray and it didn't work for him. The spouse suffers terribly from about the beginning of November until the middle of January. grass seems to be the biggest offender though there are some pine trees down the road that give him hell as well.

  5. AJ; claratyne didn't work for me and most of the others make me sleepy. As well as being too expensive. I take these tablets year round for various plants, so they need to be cheap as well as effective.
    Jayne; $60?? That's my entire weekly grocery budget. (almost). There's a cheaper nasal spray that does work but after about a fortnight, I get uncontrollable nose bleeds from it. Back to the tablets.
    Plasman; find which plant it is, then maybe you can avoid it. If it's growing in your own yard you can dig it out.
    Frogpondsrock; I have trouble with grasses too, usually in late summer-early autumn when they're seeding.
    Toni; thanks.

  6. Oh River, I do feel sorry for you. Living with two hayfever sufferers, I witness their months of anguish from Sept-to-March each year but it clearly kicks off much earlier for you.

    I had it badly too until I got my sinuses cleared out because they were filled with polyps. The surgeon said to me afterwards that 'fess' (literally a saline solution) squirted up the schnozz can do wonders..... Is it worth a go in your case? It's cheaper than anything else out there as I recall.

  7. I echo Kath about 'Fess' which does give relief.
    Unfortunately it doesn't work on the leg rash which has appeared right on cue. Whatever grass it is that I walk through starts irritating me right now.

  8. I hear you, Ilive with the allergy queen. Even allergic to her horse but Telfast does the trick. I think I'd take the climber down and put in a non fragrant one. I have an orange jasmine right outside my window but fortunately, love the smell and dont get hay fever.

  9. Have you tried a netti pot? It is cheap but not very pretty. Plenty of people on YouTube put gross videos of themselves using it. see:

  10. Kath and JahTeh; I haven't heard about "fess", I'll check it out next time I'm in the chemist. It probably works by washing out the pollens.
    Baino; Telfast doesn't work for me. The bush is not a climber and also not mine. It's growing in the backyard of the house which butts onto my driveway/front fence.
    queenoftheclick; hi and welcome. I've never heard of a netti pot. Will check the youtube link. Thanks.