Sniffle … allergies worth the cost of living in paradise

Published 9:18 am Friday, July 14, 2017

One of the few problems about living in the south that’s common probably to just about all its residents is allergies.

Call it what you want — the crud, the croup, junk — everybody suffers from some form of upper respiratory distress, and our seasonal maladies help keep the medical profession in business and help increase the stocks of pharmaceutical companies. In fact, we get to some point in our sufferings that we feel we’ve spent enough to own stock in one or more drug companies.

The severity of our suffering changes with the seasons, and at some point during the year we go through a period of discomfort and pain guaranteed to bring us to our knees with stuffy noses; sore, raw throats; and severe, heavy hacking coughs that keep us up at night and have us running to our doctor or the walk-in clinic or the shelves of the local pharmacies in search of relief.

I can’t remember a period during my time on this earth when I haven’t suffered from some sort of allergy problem, be it hay fever or plugged sinuses. I’ve gone through a series of drugs, finally stopping on a combination of meds that, in combination with periodic spritzes of saline solution, seem to help me keep my problems under control. But there have been times when the team couldn’t help.

There was the trip I took to Atlanta in April two years ago to see family and arrived at the height of the pollen season. I spent four days suffering from a severe cough, stuffy nose and scratchy throat and relying on the kindness of my sister-in-law, who graciously picked up some cough syrup and saline solution for me when she went to the store. I returned home with a sinus infection and a low-grade fever, forcing me to go to the doctor for help.

During that same year, I my allergies returned with the change of the seasons and I spent three months trying to shake the malady.

More recently, I spent the Thanksgiving holidays in sweat pants and bundled up in my recliner and taking a high-potency expectorant to cut a serious, persistent cough that deprived me of sleep and kept the muscles around my rib cage in constant pain.

Now my wife has the same problem. I feel her pain because I know what she’s going through, and I feel helpless because I can’t help.

I’ve had a lot of people recall their own problems when they hear of mine, and we trade home remedies to fight off the effects and home remedies, some involving strange concoctions that include an 80 proof ingredient.

Growing up in the south, and after traveling to the East Coast, I’ve always felt that we’ve lived in a paradise.

We enjoy warm weather and a slower pace of life, and a feeling of friendliness found in no other place.

I guess allergies are one of the costs of living in paradise. But it’s worth it.

John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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