When I was fifteen years old, I started to get Hay Fever. It came out of nowhere, and hit me very hard. Eyes streaming and itchy, constant sneezing and a runny nose, easily able to get through a couple of boxes of Kleenex in one day. It was relentless, stopping me sleeping properly, ruining concentration at school, and making the commute to and from that school unbearable, as I sneezed and spluttered all through the journey.
I soon consulted the family doctor, and received a prescription for Piriton. That tablet helped immdediately, drying me up and reducing the symptoms considerably. But it had the side effect of making me very drowsy, and that didn’t help at school either. So I stopped taking it, and just suffered in silence.
There were some places I could get relief. The coast and seaside helped, as it never seemed so bad there. And later on, once I was married, I could enjoy foreign holidays as I seemed to get no symptoms in any country outside of Britain. Something specific was causing it, and whatever it was definitely existed only at home.
Then one year, it stopped. That year was a supposedly bad Hay Fever season, but I got nothing. Not a sneeze nor sniffle.
Moving to Norfolk in 2012, I expected to get Hay Fever again, after being free of it for more than twenty-five years. Surrounded by countryside and fields, out for hours every day with Ollie, it semed likely to return.
But it didn’t.
Then today, after eight years when Hay Fever was only a bad memory, wham! I had to cut Ollie’s walk short, after constant sneezing and raging itchy eyes made me wonder what was happening. I didn’t wonder for long. Some perfect combination of weather conditions had been the cause of something happening that I had avoided for years.
It’s back, and I am not happy!