The Quest for Sudafed

(and the adventures and angst involved therein)

I have allergies.  This is a pretty well known fact among friends and family, most notably because I’m deathly allergic to mushrooms, and break-out-in-hives-and-swelling allergic to wheat.  Mushrooms, contact causes a rash.  Wheat only bothers me if I eat or inhale it.

Like when it’s harvested and kicks up a ton into the air.

Yes, you, farmers.  I’m talking about you and your tractors and our desperate efforts to shut off airflow into the car so I don’t wheeze myself to death which is not an unreasonable fear.

But eating it only makes my tongue burn and itch and sometimes swell, and my face swells, and I get burning, itching hives EVERYWHERE.  Even in my hair and palms of my hands and on the bottoms of my feet.  They’re miserable.

In fact, not knowing I had the wheat allergy made me needlessly sick for a decade, nearly dying in the process.  I would eat and then reflux up a foamy wheaty mess, which I would then invariably manage to inhale.  Then I’d get bacterial bronchitis AGAIN.  And my breathing would degrade overall AGAIN.  It proceeded like this until I couldn’t walk across a room without help, wheezing and gasping all the while.

On urgent care visit number umpty squat, they were busy and had me see a pediatrician instead of one of the usual doctors.  She actually looked over my history before just prescribing and brushing me off.

‘You have a food allergy,’ she said, and this CHANGED MY LIFE.  Doctor, wherever you are, THANK YOU SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN EXPRESS HOW MUCH I WANT TO THANK YOU.  I’ll have to look up her name; it’s somewhere in my notes.  Anyway, you’re THE BEST.

Well, it did change my life in that it hugely limited what I could eat.  More importantly, though, I GOT BETTER because we were no longer actively making me sick!  I was tested, and it was wheat, barley, millet, although not rye though for reasons unknown.

Anyway, I got off topic.  I’m also allergic to cedar/aspen, grasses, and mold/mildew.  And for those who wondered, yes, ALL grasses including the green a roommate in college smoked.  It would set me off coughing and wheezing and cursing his future well being just-as-soon-as-I-catch-my-breath and scratch myself to death.

And there is a ton of all of those allergens in the air during various seasons.  Now is one of them, with the rain and the grasses blooming.

Introduce sinus headaches (sounds so mild doesn’t it?), earaches, jawaches, eyeaches, neckaches, and general misery not to mention the snot fountain that takes up residence in my face.  I take quite a regimen so I don’t murder someone just for talking to me.  My job frowns upon murdering customers.

One of those medications that saves my bacon is Sudafed.  No joke, I take five different ones, but Sudafed is what makes it or breaks it.

I used to buy it once a month, but since it’s been regulated more strictly, I have to go in exactly every ten days to buy more and feel like I’m somehow a criminal as they look me over.  I hate it and put it off as long as I can.

This Friday I ran out, and this prompted an emergency trip to town Saturday morning.  In gas, it costs about $6 to go to town and back, so we stacked errands, did all the things, and went home.

Night comes, and I started my evening meds… only to discover I had forgotten THE EXACT THING WE WENT INTO TOWN FOR.  And it was, of course, too late to get any.  So I went to bed, but not without wailing and gnashing my teeth and strongly hinting that whomever got up first should go pick some up for the love of God.

Sunday morning I thought my head was going to explode.  I whimpered and sent my husband a desperate ‘HELP ME’ text, and he sent a ‘<3’ back, and I waited for rescue.

And waited.  And eventually crawled to the kitchen and took all the painkillers I could without overdosing and then dragged myself outside to discover why my husband had not taken it upon his kind self to buy  me Sudafed before I got up.

He was perfectly oblivious, happily vacuuming out his car and enjoying the lovely morning.


Queue second emergency Sudafed trip.  I’m fine now, but why does this have to be so hard?  And why can’t I just buy a month’s worth at once?  Who screwed this up for everyone?

So that’s the angst of my weekend.

Do you have allergies?  Are you, unlike myself, able to stay on topic for the duration of a post?  Do you, too, want to gouge out your face with an ice pick while in the throes of this misery?  Inquiring minds want to know!  *smile*