Tag Archives: hay fever

Fairy rings and h/a/y/ fungal fever

The fairy ring has returned, although it's not as sharply defined as last year.
The fairy ring has returned, along it’s not as sharply defined as last year.
This started out as another in my series of “I hate hay fever” posts. I had been having mildly worsening hay fever-like symptoms for two weeks, and coincidentally noticing a lot of mushrooms, toadstools, and similar fungal species popping up in lawns, flower beds, and the sides of trees everywhere I walked. Since I have a mildly severe allergic reaction to spores and molds as well as pollens, it seemed like a good guess that I was reacting to all the fungus “blooming” around town.

Same image, with a light line added to show the boundaries of the fairy ring.
Same image, with a light line added to show the boundaries of the fairy ring.
Two separate fungal blooms are happening in our lawn: clusters of small brown toadstools, and slightly larger white mushrooms. It is the latter that form the fairy ring tangential to the curb in front of our house. Last year the ring had so many of the white caps around its edge, that it was impossible to miss. This year, so far, there are a lot fewer of the caps, but the little clusters of them mark out a circular area, once again. Several of the white caps are a lot smaller than the others, and you can’t see them as well in the picture I took. Since the camera is catching it at an angle, it appears elliptical rather than circular. Anyway, I’ve added a ring to the second image to help show it. (Click either to embiggen)

Continue reading Fairy rings and h/a/y/ fungal fever

Why I hate hay fever reason #23

…and a cold cloth for my head, please.
One of my biggest gripes about my body’s particular hay fever symptoms is that often I can’t tell the difference between worse than usual hay fever days and coming down with a cold.

This year’s hay fever season started out really awful in March and April. So bad that I had been bracing myself for a horrid summer. While I had almost non-stop mild hay fever symptoms for the entirety of May, June, July, and August, I only had moderately bad days every now and then, only really bad once or twice.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all moderately bad. Then I had trouble sleeping Sunday night/Monday morning. Thank goodness the third time I woke up to get a drink of water (I always wake up thirsty several times in the middle of the night on bad hay fever days… but also when I have a cold), I became conscious enough to take some extra decongestant. Otherwise my sinus headache would be much, much worse than it is.

My husband is on an earlier work schedule for summer, so I’ve tended to get up when he leaves, which is before my second alarm. This morning I barely woke up when he kissed me good-bye. I had trouble getting out of bed to stagger to the alarm clock to turn it off for the second alarm. And similarly had difficulty staggering across the room to turn off the third alarm.

While I was trying to force myself to wake up enough to take a guess as to how many hours it had been since I took the decongestant (so I could know when I could take something else) I looked up the pollen count.

It’s low. Very, very low. And has been for the last couple of days.

And I have a low grade fever.


Why I hate hay fever, reason number 5912

Except I’m too grumpy to remember to say please.
It’s been a while since my eyes were so red, swollen, and itchy that sunlight through the curtains on the bright side of the house hurts my eyes. And rarely is the sinus congestion and pain so bad that my teeth hurt. But this week I get both!

There’s never a good time to be incapacitated by allergies, but this week I have a zillion deadlines at work, and my boss is out of the country under circumstances where he’s not available even via e-mail. So I’m scrambling to make my deadlines and hoping that my brain isn’t too fogged up to get things done.

Which means what mental energy I have is all going into work this week, and not to my personal writing or to any non-work projects. I only took three naps to get through Tuesday and two showers. It’s amazing how good it feels to hold your head under a stream of hot water when you’re so congested that even your teeth ache.

A shower is truly a magical invention.

I wish I had something profound to say. Other than, pass me a kleenix, please?

Oh, no, not again

Except I’m too grumpy to remember to say please.
I was a little worried last Thursday, because my hay fever symptoms were pretty severe, but when I went to record them in an app on my phone that I use for tracking my allergies, I saw that the pollen count that day was significantly lower than it had been the day before. But my symptoms weren’t any worse Friday morning, so I was ready to just chalk it up to random chance.

Then I logged into the work network (Friday being my usual work-from-home day), and there was a message from my boss asking everyone to sign time sheets early because he was very sick and was heading home.

But, again, my symptoms didn’t get any worse that day. And I didn’t feel any different Saturday morning. Until a few hours after I got up, when for no apparent reason I suddenly felt super tired and absolutely had to sit down right now… I conked out for a bit more than an hour. When I woke up, my throat was a little scratchy.

I kept running out of energy and being attacked by naps the rest of the day. The pollen count was pretty high, so I kept telling myself it was only hay fever.

Sunday morning I woke up with super bad headache, really sore throat, and body cramps. So, I cancelled our plans for the day.

I continued to have the random nap attacks. I’d developed a fever by Sunday night.

I stayed home from work on Monday, though I logged in and got more than half a day’s worth of work done. When I called in for one of my meetings that day, I learned that several co-workers were working from home because they were sick, and at least a couple had just called in sick and weren’t working at all.

I still had a sore throat and a mild fever Tuesday morning, so I worked from home again. I didn’t have any nap attacks, and by evening the sore throat was merely a scratchy throat. I’m hoping this means I’m getting over the cold.

Despite all of that, I managed to get a decent amount of writing done. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo as an incentive to finish off the first draft of my current novel in progress. I was very close to the end, and figured it could be done in a month. I completed the climactic battle, and am now writing denouement scenes. So while I may miss the midnight deadline, I’ve probably wrapped the draft.

Knock wood.

Why I hate hay fever reason number 5871, plus 4312 & 3786 & 3113 & 2488 & 2149, and don’t forget number 1364

Except I’m too grumpy to remember to say please.
Because I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo, I had sworn that I wouldn’t post blog updates on the weekend, using all of that time to write. But this morning’s hay fever misery is too overwhelming.

Yesterday wasn’t too bad. I had to take over-the-counter meds in addition to my prescribed allergy pills to keep things to a point where I was mildly uncomfortable all day while hanging out with friends and working on editorial tasks (and later to go with said friends to see the Captain America movie). But about 11:30 or so last night, the headache and itchy eyes got much, much worse. I took some more meds and tried to sleep, but couldn’t get beyond dozing until sometime around 5 in the morning.

I crawled out of bed today, head and eyes still too miserable for words, and just wishing that I could destroy every last plant on the entire frickin’ planet. With fire.

Why I hate hay fever reason #5867

Cat needs to sneeze meme.
I hate that feeling!
I had a very different post queued up for today. But between the high pollen count all week, a deluge last night, and an inexplicable heat wave inside our house, things have been weird here.

Late Wednesday afternoon at the office I was looking out the window wistfully at the rain. I’d been out earlier in the day (a small group of us walked to a nearby restaurant to have lunch with a former co-worker). It had been really pleasant. No rain, overcast enough that I didn’t need sunglasses, and not cold or breezy. The rain that was coming down later just looked nice. Yes, I like the rain, so sue me.

Continue reading Why I hate hay fever reason #5867

Why I hate hay fever reason #5852

I love the fall. First for all the cliché reasons: leaves changing colors, home grown veggies and fruit coming into season, et cetera. And also because I don’t like hot weather and I love fog, clouds, and rain. So fall is great.

Except that as it gets damp, while the pollen count may go down, the spore and mold count starts going up. My sinuses seem to react worst when something they haven’t encountered in a while shows up. So throughout the year as each species in its turn starts pollenating in earnest, I have an extra special surge in symptoms.

Waking me up in the middle of the night with throbbing sinuses, itchy eyes, and a headache that won’t let me sleep.

Though I blame myself. Just a few days ago I was explaining to someone why I never want to move back to the Rocky Mountain region. “If I never have to walk through snow before Halloween again, I’ll be just fine.”

I know that this is the price I pay for not having the live through harsh winters. But it’s hard to think about that when you’re just waiting for the tylenol to kick in so you can go back to sleep and maybe not be a zombie at work.