Archive for the ‘allergies’ Tag

Allergic to Nature

I have mentioned my dislike for all domestic chores. This includes gardening. I know plenty of people who find gardening therapeutic and pleasurable. I do not fall into this category.

For starters, I seem to be allergic to all plant life. Being around flowers or anything with spores just makes my nose run all the more. The other thing I dislike about gardening is, like other domestic chores, I find it dull and a waste of energy, and I would much rather spend my time doing something more interesting like writing or reading. Hubby is also averse to gardening, but I think his dislike stems from being made to mow his parents’ expansive lawn when he was a boy.

When we bought our house, we were careful to select one that didn’t have acres of greenery to look after. We have a small back yard that is paved over. Sadly, the weeds still seem to grow between the cracks of the flagstones. Short of someone inventing a substance to kill all plant life permanently, and thus ensuring no weeds will ever grow again (has someone invented such a substance? I suspect that it would also kill every living thing within a 5-mile radius, and hence impractical to market), we are obliged to occasionally go out into our yard with the garden shears and start hacking at anything green.

So this is what I had to spend my bank holiday afternoon doing, sniffling all the while because of my allergies. And trying to avoid touching any of the plants with my bare skin, because I get dermatitis on my hands that seems to be aggravated by plant life. I have no problem with allergies, on the whole, with chemical or synthetic substances. Just the natural ones. Sometimes I wonder if I’m some sort of techno-human, evolved to live in harmony with the industrial world rather than the natural one.

Still, today it seemed we won the battle with the weeds. And as summer is coming to an end, hopefully it will be another few months before we have to bring the artillery out again. So I can reward myself by holing myself up in my house, in front of my computer, out of reach of the nasty foliage. Hopefully it can’t get me in here.

Hay Fever Hell

Much as I love Spring, it can also be an irritation – literally. I seem to be allergic to much of nature, and get hay fever. I spend this time of the year with a perpetually runny nose, not being able to go anywhere without a tissue. And that’s with the antihistamine pills – without them, things are far more unpleasant.

I have been told that a defective immune system is a genetic trait, and many members of my family have various allergies, though every one is a little different. No one seems to be agreed though on why some people’s bodies suddenly decide that a perfectly innocuous every day substance is toxic, and tries to reject it.

One theory I have heard, though, is because in Western first world societies we endeavour to abolish all germs, our environments are now so clean our immune systems have too little to do. I guess every once in a while they get bored of waiting to fight germs that never materialise, go a bit nuts and decide that a perfectly harmless everyday substance is a problem, and work on fighting that off, instead.

I guess this means we can blame it all on antibacterial hand wash!