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The Desert, Me & You.

For those of you familiar with my background, you know I was born in New York. When I was halfway between fourteen and fifteen, my dad moved us to California. The job opportunities for him were more lucrative, and being stationed there after the Korean War, he yearned to go back. He loved the groves of lemon and orange trees and the open land.

Unfortunately, the California my dad remembered no longer existed and when we arrived he was a bit shocked and saddened. However, he still loved the weather. The idea of never shoveling snow again was enough to say goodbye to the past and accept the present. It was in the state made famous for Disneyland, Hollywood, and rolling hills with beaches and mountains, that I had my first encounter with allergies and sinus headaches. You see up until that year, I'd never experienced either of these atrocious, mind crippling conditions.

I remember one extremely rough morning when I woke up and couldn't move my head off the pillow. At the tender age of fifteen and using my writer imagination, I'd convinced myself I had a brain tumor and the end was near. Luckily, my dad and mom weren't as dramatic, and after swallowing two Sinutab pills, I felt better within thirty minutes. I remember the feeling as if it were yesterday. It started with a buzz in my head that grew so loud, I was waiting for my head to explode. Once again, writer brain. Anyway, after a quick pop, all the pain dissipated.

For many years, Sinutab remained a miracle drug to me, that is until they took it off the market for having an unsafe ingredient I can't say or write. I was now forced to face the gruesome headaches with no more than Tylenol or Aspirin, because none of the allergy pills worked on me.

After nearly eight years of the vicious allergy cycle, we moved to Vegas. I was hopeful because the first year here, I felt better. I had no excruciating headaches, and I could breath. But the desert is a trickster, and after my year of bliss, I got hit hard. Sinus headaches lasting for several days with no relief from any of the over counter meds. The doctors tried a few prescription drugs, but they gave my heart murmur palpitations, so enough of that.

It wasn't until the invention of the cocktail Ibuprofen and Tylenol, or in my case, Tylenol Sinus, did I start to get any relief. But once again, this too would have a shelf life.

A couple of years ago, my headaches worsened and after a slew of tests, the only thing they could come up with is my sinus passages are smaller than the average bear. The solution, go in and widened them. But here's the catch, they'll eventually shrink down to where they started, and the procedure is painful. Sounds sort of like running in circles.

So by now you're probably thinking, what does this have to do with me? Well, my dear fellow Nevadans, I'm curious. How many of you have migrated to the lovely, allergy rich desert and suffer with symptoms you've never experienced before? If your plight is similar to my own, I'd love to hear from you. When did it begin? Did you have any symptoms prior to your move? What meds work for you? Do they clear up when you're in other states? And what part of town did you initially settle in? Please feel free to throw in any experiences you've had, or just a rant you might need to shed. I feel the severity is growing each year, and I have a few reasons why I think this is happening, and it definitely goes beyond the pollen spreading blooms surrounding us.

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Joan Peck
Joan Peck
Mar 28, 2022

Interesting blog. I arrived in LV in 2003 with an inhaler. My life here was fabulous - no more breathing problems. Now nearly 20 later, I find myself back to an inhaler, which I'm slowly weaning myself from using. The winds here in the valley have increased to the point that nearly everyone I know uses an allergy pill during changes of seasons. My poison - Zyrtec.

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