Point of Pride

There are several things about myself about which I’m unreasonably proud:

I have an incredible sense of smell. I have a longstanding claim that I can smell ants. Some people (read: most everyone) don’t believe this. But that’s just because they don’t have my nose. I’m confident that if dogs could talk, hound dogs would be like “Oh yeah, ants, that’s an easy one.” I would relate well to hound dogs.

I have an internal compass. For a long time, I didn’t even know this was a thing that most people don’t have. At any given moment, if you ask me which of the cardinal directions I’m facing, I can probably get very close. My mind just thinks that way. I arrive at an intersection and I can tell you which corner is the “northwest corner” before my brain thinks “the corner on the left.” I use this skill mostly to be obnoxious when I’m supposed to be navigating for someone who isn’t Magellan.

Don’t worry. While there are many, many, many more things about which I’m overly proud, I’ll stop there. The point of this was to share that this weekend one thing about which I’m very proud was shattered.

I’d always thought that I didn’t suffer from seasonal allergies. Sure, put me within 100 yards of a poison ivy vine and I instantly have a rash. And I’m pretty sure that I’m allergic to octopus. But things like pollen? No big deal.

Until now. The last few weeks I’d been feeling a little like I was catching a cold. Then, yesterday morning I woke up with both eyes swollen shut and my face twice its normal size. I looked like someone had beaten me. Knowing that I don’t have seasonal allergies, I felt certain is was a fluke incident and went outside to do yard work.

This is when I almost died. My throat squeezed up, my eyes closed shut, and I began sneezing like a crazy person. As it turns out, I’m allergic to ragweed—something that’s in peak season in Charlotte right now. Several drugs later, I’m feeling (and looking) significantly better. But my ego has taken a real hit. I was really in denial until I took my first Claritin ever this morning and now feel better than I’ve felt in weeks.

So, I’m now a person who deals with seasonal allergies. I can’t be smug about it anymore. Which is really hard because I like being smug. But on the upside, the drugs are helping to clear up my exquisite sense of smell.


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