Saturday, April 30, 2016

Big Sneeze

Spring is wonderful. It makes our hearts bounce as we watch flowers blooming, calves bounding in fields, and trees greening with new leaves after winter's stark limbs.
   That's the good side, then there is the bad side, each of those blooms produce pollen. Bees thrive on the bounty. Humans . . . well that's another story.
   The Ohio River Valley is known nation wide as Sinus Gulch. Disparaging remarks are made about 'snotty-nosed brats' when children sniffle and snuff. I've read few novels set in the Appalachian area that somewhere the author doesn't have a character wipe their nose on their sleeve, especially when they want to create a bad impression and have never lived in our region.
   There are few if any real solutions to the effects of spring pollen, it's in every breath we take and has nothing to do with second-hand smoke or the burning of fossil fuels. Air pollution is at its height in the spring, its nature's way of producing new growth and insuring the survival of a species.
   The tiny grains of pollen are so small they seep through screens and filters. Together in mass they create great pools of yellow scum on the lake. Hard rains will cleanse the air for a few hours, but it's short lived as the wind brings waves of new pollen from as far away as 300-400 miles. Under high powered microscopes pollen from individual sources can be identified, which keeps the air quality experts busy but doesn't do much for suffers.
   You clean your porch furniture or wash your car then go out the next morning and they are covered with greenish yellow detritus that looks as if you've driven through a prairie dust storm.
   Spring air borne allergens have a life of about six weeks and those who are afflicted with allergies are miserable. Their eyes are red, they sting and burn, their nose runs, they cough, and their sinuses ache. All the symptoms of a head cold, sinus infection, or flu.
   Pharmacies are kept busy restocking shelves of over-the-counter remedies that offer vague promises of relief. Media reaps heavy profits from advertisers of these products, many of which have worse side-effects than the original problem. Doctors prescribe stronger medicines in hopes of easing the symptoms.
   Nash has suffered from allergies to air borne pollen for 40 years. He gives himself shots of a serum provided by a doctor once a week every two weeks, or every day according to the results of his tests and directions provided by his physician.

   Recently we got a notice from our health care provider that they may not cover the prescription if it is administered outside the prescribing physician's office. 
   Would anyone like to calculate the added costs of driving 190 miles round trip to comply with this obscene regulation for a problem nature creates? 
   Maybe the regulator have some leftover from WWI gas masks they want to unload on an entire population. Maybe they want to live in a world without trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds, we don't.
  The moment we can get outside when the worst of winter passes we polish the table with Windex each day. Then endure the pollen nature provides for plants to reproduce and survive and  insects to consume and store for food.

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