Achoo! Sniffle! Spring sucks

By Ivy Jensen

SPRING has sprung. With a vengeance.

As much as I love the warmth and colour of spring, especially after months on end of freezing and gloomy weather, it is bittersweet because it means allergy flare-ups for poor Miss Maya.

The dreaded hayfever and eczema seriously take hold. So if Maya’s not sneezing up a storm, she’s rubbing her red, blotchy eyes, sniffing her runny nose and scratching her itchy skin.

If it wasn’t so torturous for her and irritating for me, it would almost be funny.

Except the little squirt is in some serious pain and I turn into the Incredible Hulk if I hear anyone sneezing more than twice in a row. 

I blame my mother for my deep-rooted hatred of sneezing. She used to ‘ACHOO!’ so loudly, she would scare the neighbourhood and have me running for an umbrella.

Imagine how many times I had to put up with that growing up? It was infuriating beyond belief. Now, people sneezing and ejecting all their germs over me angers me to the point that I want to hold them down and shove a few Zyrtec down their throats.

My irrational anger is apparently a thing.

It’s called misophonia. Which literally means ‘‘hatred of sound’’ — a condition in which negative emotions, thoughts and physical reactions are triggered by specific sounds.

But I have learnt to control myself when Maya’s sneezing attacks start — aka commando rolling into my room and reaching for the headphones before the second confounded ‘ACHOO!’ hits. I must say my reflexes are getting better.

As well as the incessant sneezing, Maya allergies leave her so red and swollen she looks like she’s been attacked by a swarm of bees while suffering a serious case of pink eye. 

And so begins the daily anti-allergy routine. 

Cooling the skin, lathering on the cream, pouring in the eye drops, spraying the nose, shooting down the antihistamine and bribing her to take the foul-tasting Chinese herbs. Morning and night. 

Only to be repeated the next day. And the day after that. And so on.

We actually have to get up an extra half hour earlier just to get through it all.

And we’ve got another 10 weeks of this. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.