Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mutant Martian Death Hayfever.

I was going to post on the election result, but I haven’t really been keeping up with the news enough to warrant a full post just yet. For now, I’ll just say that, PR stunt though it may be, I’m glad that Baillieu’s wanting to get right into the business of government now, rather than waiting till after the Christmas break; and that I’m disappointed that the Greens didn’t win any of the inner-city seats they’d been hoping for, particularly after Bandt’s historic win at the Federal election, but I agree with the party’s own analysis that it is in all probability just a matter of time. If and when I post more about the result, it will probably be at least partly to bitch about the way preferences work.
“Hayfever — you don’t die, but you wish you could.”
— Robert A. Heinlein, “The Menace From Earth”.
Unfortunately, much the same as this time last week, my allergies are making it pretty much impossible to brain. For the first time, I’ve had to take time off work and get prescription-strength stuff to deal with them. Not only that, it’s the first time I’ve been presented with a nasal spray as an option and not decided I’d rather have the hayfever. For some reason I find the things extremely painful to use, but at least this one, unlike some I’ve tried in the past, doesn’t taste like month-old dishwater.

One other option I spoke to the doctor about was a desensitisation programme. It’d be no good for this season — it takes a couple of months — but it’s something I’m considering doing next year. Has anyone who’s reading this gone through it? I know it’d cost a bit to have done, but the way things go I’m going through at least $100 worth of allergy meds every year, and this year has been far worse than ever: I wound up coughing and wheezing yesterday morning and only managed less than an hour at work before I had to give up because I seriously could not function.

Between the cost of medication and potential lost productivity, even if it cost a few hundred, desensitisation would be a worthwhile investment — if it works. The doctor said that it wasn’t guaranteed to work, and if it did work it might not get rid of the symptoms completely or permanently, so I’m tossing up as to whether it’s worth trying. (It also depends on whether they can discover exactly what sets me off — as it’s a seasonal thing, it’s almost certain to be pollen of one sort or another, but I’d need blood tests to narrow it down.) If you know anything more about this sort of option, please leave a comment. I hadn’t even heard about it until quite recently, so I’m rather keen to gather all the information I can.

Also, enjoy the Heinlein story I linked. It’s one of my favourites.


  1. I had the same cautions with my eye surgery - may not work perfectly, might have other problems later, etc etc.

    But look at it this way: Even if it only reduces your symptoms, it'll still probably be enough of a reduction that you don't have to stay home from work. You might no longer need to take antihistamines every time you go to work - only on some days when the dust/pollen/whatever is really bad. That'll also be a reduction in medication costs.

    Compared to how it's been this year, the possibility of any reduction in your symptoms is surely worth treating.

  2. As a fellow sufferer I feel your watery-eyed pain (although I don't think I have it as bad as you...) I was desensitised when I was little because I was allergic to car fumes and things and although the scratch test bit was painful for a 5year old I think my parents did me a big favor by getting it done! I'm not sure if it's an everlasting thing but I'm pretty sure that car fumes are still ok with me it's just pollen that's doing me in now... Anyway I think it's an option worth considering and that would peobably help even if it doesn't cure :)