Sitting in church yesterday I looked around and noticed a third of the congregation rubbing their eyes and sniffling. Sure, the singing was powerful and obviously spoke to many, but frankly I was surprised that it had everyone that emotional. Did I miss something?
Then it dawned on me. It wasn’t the service that had everyone tearing up. It’s cedar fever season in Austin. Ah, yep. That explains it.
Either you’re in the club or you’re not. Some suffer like crazy this time of year while others go about their daily business with no problems. It hardly seems fair. The cedar fever club is one you really don’t want a membership in, though on the bright side once you’re inducted you have plenty of company.
This time of year the hot topic at cocktail parties is not politics, sports or world news events. Nope, there’s a good chance at any social event in Austin you’ll hear people commiserating, swapping the best remedies and giving referrals to their miracle-worker allergist.
Social media was on fire this weekend sharing pictures of pollen clouds. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear they were photoshopped. But no—I saw it with my own eyes! On a run this weekend I stopped for a second to tie my shoe and looked up to see a puff of smoke in the trees. I quickly ruled out a fire, then realized there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I couldn’t believe it when I realized the cloud of fog was in fact cedar pollen swirling off the trees. I’d never seen anything like it!
Austin. Known for it’s live music, weirdness, food trailers and yes—cedar pollen.
Bad, but not Bad Enough
Can you call in sick with Cedar Fever?
The worst thing about allergies is that they’re bad enough to make your life miserable, bur rarely bad enough to get you out of doing the things you don’t want to do. Got the flu? Stay home and drink lots of fluids. Strep throat? Take it easy and get some rest. Stomach bug? By all means stay away and don’t give it to anyone else! Cedar fever (which, by the way, doesn’t usually involve an acutal fever)? Suck it up, pal. We all have it. That TPS report is still due by noon.
Experts say this is one of the worst seasons in years, and the pollen counts are sky high. One allergist said that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, this year comes in about a 12. Awesome.
The good news is there is hope. The season doesn’t last forever (though it may feel that way to some). But in the meantime, there are things you can do to lessen the symptoms. The challenge seems to be finding the one that works best for you. Listening to helpful friends and coworker recommendations can be overwhelming. Some swear by Netti pots, others recommend eye drops and over the counter remedies. Some speak highly of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, honey or cayenne pepper spray.
Others say you needed to start preventative medicines in November, which isn’t particularly helpful at this point, now is it (though not a bad tip to sock away for next year)? So the best plan of action if you’re really suffering is to go see a specialist (oh, to be an allergist in Austin—now there’s a smart choice!). They’re experts and can help you come up with the best action plan for your needs.
In the meantime, know that you’re not alone. Misery loves company. We’re all in this together.
Oh and check out these before/afters from my own little test today. I call this cedar suicide.
Shake, shake shake….