In A Huff Over Afrin


Once again, it’s spring (a.k.a. Allergy Nightmareville). Most people have healthy relationships with their over-the-counter allergy remedies. They use them when they’re sick and put them back in the medicine cabinet until their next bout of sniffles settles in.

I do not.

I "supposedly" have a problem with Afrin nasal spray. When my nose is stuffed to the gills it’s the only thing that clears it up. It provides sweet, immediate gratification but sinks its hooks in faster than you can say “miracle decongestant.” A three-day warning on a bottle of Afrin is like a bookless library: It ain’t gonna happen. It's frightening to guess how many bottles of Afrin I’ve gone through in my life. Heck, it scares me to think about how many are lying around the house right now. For years my parents and various doctors have warned me about becoming dependent on it and losing my sense of smell, but sometimes I just want to breathe clearly through my nose, you know? I get disapproving glares every time I go in for a squirt.

It could be worse. I’m not trolling dark alleys at 4:00 in the morning handing some masked fellow a wad of cash in exchange for a brown paper bag with the goods. I buy Afrin during the day from a friendly cashier at a nice pharmacy. Besides, I can still stop and look at the roses.