Sunday, November 16, 2008

Allergies – Running Nose

The lyrics tell it all. “Only he who’se running knows, running knows, running knows.” This from the pen of fictitious composer P.D.Q. Bach in his score A Fanfare to the Common Cold. Common Allergy Symptoms are • Runny nose • Watery eyes • Itchy nose, eyes and roof of mouth • Sneezing • Stuffy nose • Pressure in the nose and cheeks • Ear fullness and popping • Dark circles under the eyes • Hives ........... Did you get that? Running Nose.

As a young man I had almost nothing wrong with me that maturity couldn’t cure. I was a physical dream, strong, fast, vital, handsome. Today it’s different with me. Besides everything else that’s in reversal I have developed within the past few years an allergy that appears whenever I cut the lawn or play golf. My nose runs. I must have a sleeve, or a golf towel or a Kleenex on hand. It’s an annoying irritant of life. Being outside never bothered me when I was younger. Why now? As a retiree I have the time to golf whenever I please but my nose requires as much time as my putter. One of my learnings is that changes in the immune system that are a natural part of aging may be responsible for allergy appearance in mid or later years. In an allergic reaction, the body's immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance, such as grass pollen, for a dangerous invader. Oh yes, Christine has also developed an allergy since I retired. An allergy to me! She reacts, or has a reaction. I am in her space. I have thrown her routine off. I haven’t meant to do it. I am just here. I wake early as I always did, but instead of being gone when she rises, quietly, goes for her walks, sits serenely with her coffee, reads her Bible and makes mental notes, I’m here. I have been awake for hours. Now I am talking by the time she first peeks in my study door. We have to work out an understanding of when it’s OK to begin conversation I guess. We all have our crosses to bear.

Footnote: P.D. Q. Bach was invented by musical satirist Peter Schickele and he has performed works of this forgotten member of the Bach family for the past forty years. According to Schickele P.D.Q. Bach was born in Leipzig on April 1st, 1742, the son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Anna Magdalena Bach; the twenty first of Johann's twenty children. Bach's parents did not bother to give their youngest son a real name, and settled on "P.D.Q." instead. The only earthly possession Johann Sebastian Bach willed to his son was a kazoo. In 1770, P.D.Q. Bach started to write music, mostly by stealing melodies from other composers. Schickele divides P. D. Q. Bach's musical output into three periods: the Initial Plunge, the Soused Period, and Contrition. P.D.Q. Bach's grave was marked "1807–1742". The reverse order of the dates has led to some controversy, some thinking that P.D.Q. Bach lived his life backwards. See his web site, Schickele’s that is. And if you want to see and hear Schickele dryly and humorously about P.D.Q. Bach's life then click this.

Here's an Allergy Video - fun stuff right?

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