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I am not a winter person and I live in the Midwest, where winter grips us for five months or more of the year. I wait anxiously for spring and the ability to walk outside without having my breath taken away by the wind or the cold temperatures. Several years ago, I developed fall allergies, and so have learned that I’m able to enjoy the outdoors from May to mid-August. Now I have developed spring allergies, which means that I can either hide in air-conditioning (which I don’t have at home) in summer and central heat in winter, suffer with an allergy head (itchy eyes, sore throat, itchy ears, congestion, etc.), or give in and appeal to medical help.
My family doctor is fabulous. She’s so fabulous that it’s impossible to get an appointment to see her these days. She’s very conservative about medications, which means I’ve struggled with those fall allergies for years with all of the meds that are now over-the-counter. These take the edge off, but make the misery mid-level rather than truly managing the symptoms. So now, mid-June, several of tissue boxes and sleepless nights later, I’m ready to give in and call a new doctor, an allergist, which feels like a huge step and a little like cheating on my family doctor. I’m steeling myself with the lines from Dylan Thomas’ poem, “do not go gentle into that good night…..rage rage against the dying of the light.” Ok, so this subject matter is not that weighty, but I’m ready to rage against the dying of my spring, summer and fall.

I made the call and stopper–the soonest appointment is more than two weeks out, it’s nearly a thousand dollars to run the allergy tests and another two hundred dollars for the new patient appointment. Ouch. Do I have that much rage? I made the appointment and have two weeks to cancel without penalty. Maybe I’ll sleep on it–or try to sleep on it. Whatever my allergies allow.

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