Thursday, January 17, 2008


Sometimes, my eye looks like this.
And sometimes, my eye looks like this. That is called "an allergic shiner." Niiiiice. There's nothing like being 45 and being acutely aware of how with every tick on the clock, you are, at turns, drooping, then crinkling, then crinkling, then drooping. Tick. Tock. But then I also have allergic flare ups that swell my lids and upper cheeks so badly that I can actually see my own cheeks sticking out under my eyes. And oh, the best part: the after effects of the swelling. Think of how thin that delicate skin is around there. It swells, and after double dosing Benadryl and holding ice packs on for 20 minutes at a time, the swelling subsides, leaving onion-skin thin (for you youngsters, onion skin is a thin type of "typing paper" used by the Ancients pre-1980) peeling flesh. But I'm not bitter or anything.

Background: My entire life, I've received annual cortisone injections to control severe allergies. I am allergic to everything. Everything. Even you. Don't be offended by that because I'm allergic to everything made with atoms. That's just how God made my immune system; it tolerates nothing and no one. If my immune system were a person, it would be a resident of cell block M for "mean" and look like Courtney Love when she's PMSing.

Like this:

Or this:

Wait a minute, that first picture is how I look on Benadryl.

So this year, my allergist announced there would be no more cortisone shots because they weaken the bones over a period of years.

I was desperate. I went to another doc and got my "fix."

The fix got me through my speech and the holidays, but now the "Love" is back with a vengeance. Hence the shiners.

Please don't lecture me. You just don't know how miserable it is ....

So then yesterday at church, this traveling medicine show came around and offered to check for clogged carotids and onion-skin bones. Guess who has the bone density of a toothpick?

So now I'm all Sally Fielding with Viactiv Old Lady Calcium Chews and possibly Boniva.

Aging and masochistic immune systems--kinda like Courtney and Kurt.


Teresa said...

Wow! I should never complain about my stuffy nose allergies again! (I shouldn't, but I probably will!). That looks very miserable! I hope you can get help another way besides the cortisone!

I gave you an award over on my blog. :o)

annie's eyes said...

It's a good thing you get a little winter there because in Texas mold and pollen spores never die, they just come inside and sit a spell.
So sorry for your allergies--I do understand with my own dark coon eyes. Careful how you say that. (But you'd probably have to be from Louisiana to get that joke.) Always enjoy my 2nd cup with you. annie

Susanne said...

Wow, Linda. My heart goes out to you.

I didn't know Viactiv was old lady calcium though. Personally I've been getting my calcium from homemade ice cream lately and it's side effect is big butt. I might have to check into them old lady caliums.

Melanie said...

Oh, Linda. I don't know whether to laugh or say "Bless your heart." I am battling the water retention this morning. (You just gave me a post!) :>)

Cyndy said...

Isn't getting older a joyful experience? I don't have allergies quite like that but I do have wrinkles and acne...yes it is a joy to behold. I'm also currently having an allergic reaction to lanolin all over my arms, legs, hips and rear end. Oh yeah...that's fun. So all that to say...I hear ya sister and I'm praying for you.