Medicating my allergies

My first three years in the U.S., when Spring came and all the trees, grass and weeds bloomed and spread pollen everywhere, I was fine. And I shook my head at people who complained about sneezing, itchy eyes, lethargy, etc., and who were taking myriads of medications for those symptoms, “What’s with the Americans and their allergies and their medications?!”

My fourth year, when Spring came, I was slightly bothered by it. But I was more bothered by the thick layer of pollen that was sticking to my car, made it looked so dirty, and forced me to take it to the car wash 🙂

I wrote this last year (May 16, 2007):

The onslaught of pollen
In my few years here, I’ve never given much thought to pollen or spring time allergy. This spring however I’m beginning to feel the onslaught of pollen. All these trees and plants pollinating at the same time, spreading pollen everywhere. My car, which I have yet to wash (I cannot believe I’m my dad’s daughter!), is now covered in a thin layer of yellowish-greenish pollen. I also wake up sneezing, my eyes feel puffy, and I just feel like there’s a lot of microscopic things bothering me.

This year, when Spring came, I noticed it immediately. The very first day that a very-high-pollen index was reported on weather.com, I felt it. I thought it would get better, but it didn’t. I continued sneezing, my eyes itched, my throat hurts, I just didn’t feel good.

Today, I finally succumbed to the pressure of living in this culture of drug-dependency, and went to the doctor and got a prescription for my allergies. The doctor prescribed Flonase.

FLONASE is an anti-inflammatory nasal spray used to treat the nasal symptoms of indoor and outdoor nasal allergies and year-round nonallergic nasal symptoms.

I went to the pharmacy and got generic Flonase (Fluticasone Propionate). It cost $70!! I didn’t expect the generic version to cost that much. Thankfully, I only have to pay $10, while the health insurance will pay the remaining.

A comparison:
In Malaysia, for pain relief, we have Panadol.
In the U.S., they have Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, Excedrin, Motrin, Bayer and some more. Most of these brands are being advertised heavily on TV. At the pharmacy, the over-the-counter painkiller section takes up a whole aisle!

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