This picture represents the misery and irony I have felt this week. Around the time I hit late high school, I started getting major allergies each spring. Being from the verdant South, I knew it was all the blooming flowers, newly sprung grass and blossoming trees that had it out for me each year. I was kind of hoping that moving to the arid desert would mean a little reprieve from the hayfever and packed sinuses. I mean, there are no blooming...anythings here so what's there to be allergic to?
Welp, apparently my system has found something!! I have been sniffly and congested all week long and it's really getting old. Due to the fact that this flare up of my mucus membranes in my olfactory system coincided with us turning our air conditioning back on for the first time since November, I have the sneaking suspicion that this is more of an angry reaction to a mold or dust invasion as opposed to a traditional bout with allergies. I went through a similar situation during my first year of teaching in an old, government-built, asbestos lined public school. My body either built up an immunity eventually or just coped with the biological warfare. By my second year, I had stopped sneezing and my allergy season was limited to a few weeks in March/April as opposed to 2 semesters.
In the past couple days I've succeeded in getting at least one nostril cleared for most of the day, but that means that my nose now seems to pick up ALL the dust particles in the air and amply them times a billion. Breathing is now almost painful. I'm not sure which is worse. Mouth breathing all the time, or having this sensitivity to dust IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT!!
In the meantime I'm kind of enjoying the look of pure confusion on my students' faces when they ask me if I'm sick and I simply reply and I'm just congested. "Why don't you stay home from school?" one of my sweet seventh-graders asked the other day.
"Because I have a very important job to do, and I'm not really sick, I just feel stuffy," I explained. She seemed to not really understand the difference. In Arabic, the word for "tired" is also used to mean "sick," so I can't say that I'm surprised by her perplexity. So I'll just keep on keepin' on. I have a perfect attendance goal in mind, and with only a month left in the school year, that brass ring is all mine.
Allergies be damned.