Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bless You, Gesundheit, I'm sorry

I live in Florida. We have allergies. We have massive weather fronts coming across the peninsula from both sides. And most of the time I can deal with this since we also have sunshine, waves, and sea breezes. But there are times when I question my choice of homestead.

Today has been one of those days.

I'm not sure what's going on with the pollen count today, but the sneezing fits from hell are my nemesis right now.

I probably need to explain my particular problem before you think I've lost my mind doing a blog spot on nothing more interesting than the art of the sneeze.

I don't just sneeze once or twice. I sneeze ten or twenty times in a row. I don't make a little girlie kind of noise. My sneezes set off the seismic monitors at nearby Patrick Air Force base. I fully expect the SPs to show up at my door one of these days and demand an explanation for putting them into full alert status.

I'm told it's allergies so I pay attention to the pollen counts, but since I have no clue which of the many and various flora and fauna in Florida that set me off, it really hasn't helped much. I've just spent the last fifteen minutes sneezing my brains out, which doesn't leave many cells left to put this post together. But hey, I'm a writer, so I'm hoping I can overcome this weakness and put something entertaining out here for you.

As you can probably already tell, my sneezes are not quiet or ladylike. My hubby always seems to notice when I'm building up to a severe sneezing jag. He presses his finger into the ear on the side where I am, to try and buffer my outburst. Seeing this, I shove my hand over my mouth and nose, I clamp down, almost suffocating myself, hoping to keep my seismic activity contained within acceptable levels. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

But I kind of digress. When I was younger, and knowing I had this affliction, I would walk away from people when I felt one of my jags coming on. I would do anything I could to contain my sneezes from the general populace. Those around me would offer the usual condolences when it would hit me. Bless you. Gesundheit. But after the tenth or eleventh sneeze they'd give up. And I couldn't blame them. Who wants to keep saying the usual platitudes after so many times?

As an adolescent, I heard through the grapevine that every time you sneezed your heart stopped. I was thirteen at the time and that scared the living hell out of me, I sneezed ten, fifteen, twenty times in a row on a regular basis. So, if my heart stopped each time, and I was sneezing this much, did this mean I was going to die? I researched this info, but back then, the Internet was not was it is now. I had very little information to go on, which meant I had every reason to be scared. I actually did everything I could not sneeze, which became an exercise in futility.

I eventually learned how to semi-contain my sneezes, but it was not an easy feat. I had to wrap my arms around my middle and squeeze as hard as I could when I felt one of the jags coming on. It hurt like hell, but it meant I wasn't having as many heart stopping moments so I was okay with that. It meant I could live. Which was a good thing. Living is nice, I like living.


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