Are changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born."
-- William Butler Yeats
My ear doesn't so much hurt as there's this annoying pressure on the wrong side of the tympanic membrane. And the drops taste terrible.
I was two WEEKS old when I got my first ear infection. Not two months or two years like many other children. My mother found out early on that infants in pain do not a pleasant sound make.
I was seven when I started taking allergy shots at my ear doctor's recommendation. And got my tonsils removed 'cause they were no longer fighting for the side of good. I never got tubes in my ears like some kids, but my left ear made its own similar opening, by healing into a flap instead of a closed hole after one of the countless infection-related perforations.
Some people merely enjoy the role sinuses play in reducing the weight of the skull [*]Yep, it would either be solid bone or empty space. Empty space has gotta connect to the outside for various biological function reasons. So why have the skull bigger than than the space of the other stuff? Cause rounded surfaces shed impact more effectively. I listen to a lot of weird comparative biology podcasts. and providing a useful place for air in the skull to minimize the effects of pressure changes. Then there are those of us who suffer from allergies.
That handy mucous usually just traps dust in the sinuses and ferries it out of the body through painless & unnoticeable drainage. But for some of us, it increases in volume and viscosity and just serves as a growth medium for anything that wanders in.
My nose never ran; my eyes didn't water -- the pressure just built up into sinus headaches that were my only symptom of allergies. The allergy shots don't work fast. The most successful strategy is removing/avoiding the allergens.
Not so very long after I started taking allergy shots, we moved to Iceland. One of the fun facts I learned about Iceland in 1969 was that there were no native trees; every tree growing there was an import. The volcanic island is young in terms of botanical development. There just wasn't all that much for me to be allergic TO. When my serum ran out, Mom and Dad didn't bother to arrange for more.
We moved to California. Sure, y'all are thinking lush green blah blah blah. Let's face it. California is a desert run on mountain run off and imported water. We lived in a bedroom community [*]It's a pretty common term in states where glorified subdivisions can get full fledged township status. Nowadays there's business in Foster City, but back then, the only retail was the kind you find in a residential subdivision of a town. built on new land formed into lagoon centered designs on the edge of the SF bay. No real dirt to speak of, so much as sand. It was great for growing backyard carrots - except for the occasional shells that carrots grew through. But not so many mature trees. And not the same species of grasses that I'd been allergic to in Houston. Combine that with the humidity -- low except for the night fogs, and most of my personal allergens were still scarce.
Then we returned to Texas, where my allergies took hold mightily. But I didn't resort to the shots again until we moved to Kentucky. Don't let anyone fool you. This may be called the Bluegrass region, but that grass is green. Louisville is currently number one worst city for allergy sufferers.
Lucky for me, six years of allergy shots did the trick and I can generally survive medication- free.
We live in Paradise, but each year when Spring starts reviving the bare trees and brown grass of Winter, to allergy sufferers, it is indeed the rebirth of a terrible green beauty.
This has been a home game entry for The Real LJ Idol writing competition: the Final Season, Topic 16 : A Terrible Beauty has been Born.