I didn’t want to believe it. I figured, when it first started happening, it was a fluke of some sort. I was getting a cold, or I had done too much cleaning and stirred up a ton of dust. But a GAZILLION sneezes later, I’m now pretty much convinced: I’m allergic to Germany.
There, there…don’t take it too hard, Deutschland – it’s not personal. The thing is, I was also allergic to Indiana, too. When I was a kid, I used to run around swiping at my nose so often I had a permanent red crease going across it. My family came up with the oh-so-scientific conclusion that it “must be the cats,” since 1. we had cats, and 2. lots of people are allergic to them. As I recall, nothing was really done and I just sort of suffered through it (made me stronger, no doubt), until over-the-counter Claritin was released in 1993. I started popping those pills as necessary, and never looked back.
Then I moved to Scotland in 2004. I decided to leave the Claritin back in the states since I knew I wouldn’t be living with any felines (and they had to be the culprit, of course). At some point, maybe a year or two after I had moved there, I realized something: I never, ever, sneezed. Well, hardly ever. My nose didn’t itch like it had back in Indiana (even when I was outside, sometimes, nowhere near a dastardly feline…hmmmm….) and I hardly ever sneezed. I started wondering if maybe the whole “it-must-be-an-allergy-to-cats” diagnosis was very sound. So in 2006, I convinced the Mr. we should adopt a kitty of our own. Many of you have already met the cutest ball of fluff in the world, but if you haven’t, this is our Mia:
The Mr. was a little worried when I mentioned that there was a possibility I might be allergic to cats, but it had never been confirmed. I told him I didn’t care either way; I desperately wanted a kitty and I would take a daily allergy tablet to have it if necessary. Mia moved in, and I didn’t suffer a single sneeze, or have watery eyes or an itchy nose. Ever.
And then we moved to Germany back in March. When we were staying at the holiday let in March & April, I had already starting noticing I was sneezing a little more than normal. But I shrugged it off in a hopeful sort of way. Now that I’ve been back for a couple of weeks, however, there’s no denying that I wake up and go into a terrible sneezing fit, my nose turns into a faucet and the used tissues pile up next to me wherever I go.
My guess? Some sort of innocuous plant like ragweed, or perhaps pollen floating in the area. You know, the usual allergy suspects. But I’m afraid that either A. I am going to have to find the German equivalent of Claritin, or B. I am going to have to finally do one of those stupid allergy tests to find out what it is, exactly, that is driving me bonkers with sneezing.