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Anna Santos

Normally, a runny nose describes this ailment I genetically carried since I was young and single. So what's funny having a hereditary runny nose? Well, I have lived with Allergic Rhinitis sporadically my entire half life that I decided to describe it as funny when triggers attempted to assault my overly sensitive nose.   

Today it reminded me how exasperating this nose could get. I woke up at 2 am, and it was running. No, not that I'd lost my nose in the process after it had gone running somewhere; But it seemed to be firing an Itchy discomfort deployed like nasal crawlers poking my nose and lurking around my eyes, giving me free watery tears of scratchy feeling, plus an eye shadow for a fine raccoon's-eye-look. It made me awfully sleep-deprived throughout the day. It was funny that I had to dream about an incoming allergic strike and stirred me from my slumber only to rub my nose madly like it was the one thing I must do as I did back when I was younger, the nasal salute ! In my knowledge, as we age, these features gradually fade. But I'm already 38 and still, it stays.

My two years of training in Manila did not give me much of that visitor's attack. I lived in a small condominium, mostly by myself, in a concrete pavement, and a daily commute in the air conditioned trains. Even the house dust mites, my long time enemy, failed to weaken my immune system in that metropolis. The attacks rarely visited me until now that I am back in my hometown. Didn't I tell you I'm back with my family now? And along with it is the return of unsolicited showers from sneezes. I almost forgot it was funny, not that I couldn’t stop laughing, but because I couldn’t stop sneezing. Yes, sneezing violently 5-10 times in succession, or should we say per episode, plus a gasp of air here and there, and a couple of sniffs, feeling comfortably good when it finally stops.

So off I rouse to borrow my son’s nasal spray, and vowed to prescribe myself my own (how could I forget?), while sneaking outside our bedroom for fear that my sleeping kids will get distracted by my irresistible sneezes. I plunged into my medicine kits, rummaged the drug samples given by medical representatives in pursuit for the right anti-allergy drug at dawn.

And I promise not to whine in reverie to this familiar world I've once again allowed myself to live. Yes, I am happy to be home at last, back to those usual encounters and the daily struggles, beaming a sunny disposition no matter how inconvenient and uneven life has offered me. Our attitude determines how well we will be treated by life. Every nanosecond, we are all fighting to survive, even doctors with outstanding medical degree. 

Aaaaachoooo! (*sniff*)..

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