Up until I was sixteen I had never had hay fever at any level. It started just in time for my GCSE exams. Of course my school was plonked in the middle of fields surrounded by woods. So there was no shortage of pollen around. I heard that you can grow out of hay fever when you are sixteen, but if you have it after that then you will always have it. I don’t know how true that is but I always did do things the wrong way round. I grew into it. In the exams we were only allowed to take in the equipment that we needed. On my table there was a pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, spare pen and a packet of tissues. I must have used a whole packet of tissues in an exam and even then I wanted more. It’s a good job they let me have them. Would have been messy if not. And exams are supposed to be silent. It was apart from me constantly snuffling and sneezing. It was awful. My first ever experience of hay fever.
When I say the symptoms, it sounds just like a cold. A cold that everybody gets and everybody can deal with, no biggie. But it’s not a cold, I swear it’s not. It feels completely different. A person with hay fever can tell the difference. Ohhh how they can tell.
Over the year the pollen seasons change. Most people are allergic to grass pollen which is around June time. I start to get worse at that time but when I get the real pollen blast is the end of July, August. That is when I stock up on tissues and try everything I possibly can to stop that damn pollen from entering my body! The idea of walking around in a space suit sounded so good the other day. Breathing in nothing but pure, fresh air and a complete barrier from the air of the outside world. The thing is, I have never come across any hay fever medication that completely gets rid of hey fever. The non drowsy medication is just completely useless and the stuff that does make you drowsy just makes me sleep through all of the symptoms. And when I am awake, still sniffling. It does help a bit more than the non drowsy ones though.
When my hay fever is mild I get a few sniffles and sneezes, but nothing to complain about. When I get it bad my nose is almost constantly running. It is so tickly that every time I breathe in through my nose I sneeze about three times. A lot of breathing equals a lot of sneezing. My eyes get so itchy that I would do anything to make them stop. Then they get watery and sore. My body also gets really itchy, especially around my mouth, chin and deep inside my ears. It can make me feel drained and groggy and it sometimes gives me a cough. People also say that you don’t get hay fever when it is raining because it washes all the pollen away, or makes it settle. Rain does not ease my symptoms at all, it sometimes makes them worse. I usually feel at my worst during the evening. Pollen levels do change every day, so some days are worse than others. That is one way that I can tell it is hay fever. A cold comes and stays every day until it goes. Hay fever can come and go depending on the weather and the seasons.
Last year was a paticularly bad year for hay fever sufferers. I heard from several people that they were suffering a lot more than normal for a lot longer than normal. My symptoms were quite bad and I felt awful every day for at least a month.
Everybody says “Oh isn’t the weather lovely” Yes it is if you’re not suffering for it and you can enjoy it. A few days ago I went out and my nose was running, I was forever sneezing and my eyes were really squinting. It was like my face was trying to cry. I felt like I wanted to cry. After one bad day I had truly had enough of it and was desperate for it to go away. But there will be many more of those days to come I will imagine. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot worse thungs, but i hate it!
I just really hope that one day I manage to grow back out of it, or that there will be a full cure for it, not just something that slightly eases the symptoms. Maybe one day I will have a summer that is hay fever free. The thing is, we can’t just get rid of all plants. They aren’t just pretty and sneezy, they are the living beings that help us as humans survive on this planet. But hopefully one day I will have a lovely, warm summer, completely free of the curse.