Another kind of forecast.

Today I received this in my inbox:

“Your Allergy Alert(TM) For Aug 18, 2011:
Be prepared for allergies today! This is your Allergy Alert letting you know that allergy conditions in your area have reached an alert level of 4.0 or higher.
Forecast for ENTERPRISE, AL (on a scale of 1-12):

Today’s allergy levels:
Thursday – 7.5/Medium-High
Today’s predominant pollen:  Grass.
Tomorrow’s allergy levels:  Friday – 7.8/Medium-High”

Until I moved to the South, which first was back in the early 1990’s, I never really had allergy issues, just the occasional sneezing and itchy eyes.  Well, after living here for a few seasons, I developed what I thought was strep throat.  Ohh, it hurt so bad!  I was actually in tears and I considered myself to have a fairly high pain threshold.

A the time this strep throat incident happened, I was dating my Southern man, who concernedly drove me to a “doc-in-a-box” to get checked out.   I still remember filling out the medical forms (far fewer than are required today, whether it be to legislation or my age…or both), and where it said “known allergies”, I wrote down “mild seasonal”.  Ha!  Little did I know….

Thirty minutes, a shot in the butt(?!!) (something I hadn’t endured since I literally couldn’t remember), and a diagnosis of “severe allergic rhinitis” later, I was officially welcomed as a resident into the Southeastern United States of America.


At this point my computer pooped out so I have to re-write what was lost or some semblance of it.  Where’s a photographic memory when you need one?


Once we moved back up to NH 17 years ago, I didn’t really have too many problems with allergies–more than I had, previous to moving to AL back in 1990, but certainly not like I do living down here now.  It seems it’s the norm for people in the Southeast to have serious allergy issues, even the native-born Southerners.  I had never heard of so many people having sinus & allergy problems in my life.  If you live in the South, it’s probably just a cross you’ll have to bear, at some point.

In NH, the allergy suffering pecking/sneezing order was:  our son, my Southern man, our daughter, me.  Living here in AL the new pecking/sinus issues/etc. order is:  our son, me, our daughter, my Southern man.  Having allergy-testing and getting all negative results is no help in trying to figure out what allergen-producers to avoid or if they even can be avoided.  I could be allergic to mold, cockroaches, or even have developed an allergy to our pets.  Our son is in the same predicament I’m in.  When he was little, he was diagnosed using the “scratch test” method on his forearms.  They got to cat, dog, grass and dust mites before his screaming persuaded them to stop testing.  A few years ago, when his pain tolerance was higher, we had him tested, again, and he came back negative for everything but a mild allergy to oak trees.  We assume he’s still allergic to cats, dogs, grass and dust mites, but who knows what else.  Frustrating.

Which bring us back to the allergy forecast for our city.  I think they need to have one specifically for peanuts or peanut-related mold.  The “regular” mold forecast is separate from the allergy (pollen) forecast and is relatively low.  However, we live in the Wiregrass Region, which is known for its peanut industry–nearby Dothan is the “Peanut Capital of the World”.  (Incidently, so are Suffolk, VA, Wakefield, Va, Sylvester, GA, and Terrell County, GA.  Shhh…don’t tell Dothan.)  There are several processing plants throughout the region, including one right by the high school that our son attends.  With the processing…process…starting, there must be something in the air, because his allergy symptoms have gotten worse.  Which brings me to this:

The famous Boll Weevil Monument in the center of our city.  My daughter affectionately refers to her as “the doll”.  When we first looked at this picture, prior to our move, we assumed she was much bigger.  Nope.  She does have an interesting history that I’ll get into another time.  Maybe.  For now, though, with peanut harvesting and processing kicking in, instead of holding up a big bug, I think they should swap it out for a big box of Kleenex.  That would be very symbolic for many people and a good indicator that it’s time for those who have problems this time of year to get ready for the shnuffles.


About rebelwife

New England wife of a Southern man relocated back to Alabama.
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2 Responses to Another kind of forecast.

  1. garden2day says:

    I think one of the biggest problems is that the growing season is so long in the south. I was about 18-20 when I first developed sinus issues while I was away at college (but I’m a “native”). Do you ever wonder why most rating scales are from 1-10 but the allergy one is from 1-12? Go figure. And, you just have to love the boll weevil statue!


  2. rebelwife says:

    You’re right about the longer growing season–which I love! I also think our bodies change with age, too. I talk to many people, even back home in NH, who never had allergy issues when they were younger. With age comes wisdom–and sneezing, I guess! Not sure why uses the 1-12 scale–other sites use different ones that make more sense. Yes, the BW statue is cute! I’ll have to write about her–I learned something new about her just looking up photos!


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