By Chris Prickett — Drip, drip, drip…ah, the sound of spring! The desert is breathtaking this time of year, both figuratively and literally.
A wet winter means a blooming vernal equinox, and with those blooms come sneezing, itchy eyes, running nose… I’m beginning to sound like a Benadryl commercial!
“I never had allergies before I moved to Arizona.” I’ve not only heard that statement ad nauseum, but I’m a member of Club Sniffles. Don’t hate the state. You have only yourself (more accurately your body) and your landscaper to blame.
Back in the day, Arizona was a mecca for asthma sufferers and people with breathing issues. Fresh, dry air was the best doctors could offer. The southern part of the state was dotted with schools, “sanatoriums,” and other facilities specifically catering to the breathing impaired. Things started going downhill with the introduction of non-native plants and landscape irrigation. Stuff that couldn’t or shouldn’t live in the desert started sprouting up all over. Of course, farming was a major player as well. It’s the plants, man!
Your body just can’t handle all that pollen. Here’s the way it was explained to me by a guy with an impressive string of initials after his name: “Think of your body as an empty glass. Over time, the glass becomes filled with pollen, dried up bug guts, and the like. Once the glass is full, you can’t handle the introduction of more, and now you have allergies!” Yes, my doctor talks to me like I’m a 5-year old. I also get a lollipop.
I’m not going to dish out medical advice because that’s not my thing. I’m fortunate that most days I’m just a little more runny and sneezy than I’d prefer, and I rarely require even over-the-counter remedies. And I figure allergies are better than a host of alternatives that come with living elsewhere: snow, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, plague and pestilence, and obnoxious people from New Jersey (i.e. my relatives).
Over the Prickett Fence is a column in In&Out Magazine.