Apologies for the Allergies

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Unlike most people, I dread the rainy seasons.

Rainy days are not just characteristic of mud smeared jeans but of endless snuffles too. I have always had nasal allergies since I was little and this time of the year does not help matters.

I have always preferred to sleep alone during the season because that way, only I will bear the brunt of the noise that I make whenever I endlessly rub my nose for much needed relief. Yet despite this desire, I have found myself sleep in communal settings before.

In secondary school, I had to sleep in a small box-shaped communal dormitory for about four years. About fifty of us were crammed up in there. The place reeked of pubescent anger in the night with a sprinkle of ammonia. I recall what it smelt like because during the rainy seasons, I sat up from my thin mattress in a bid to run down the time.

I’d give in to the sweet allure of sleep again but whenever I awoke the following morning I was always met with pitiful eyes that assured me that I had rubbed my nose so much that they thought I might yank it off. This became my anthem during those rainy cold seasons.

Upon joining university, I was glad that I had to share a room with only person at a time yet saddened that there would still be one person at a time who would constantly nudge me about my werewolf episodes the following morning. I am pleased that the four years passed largely without being reminded about what I sought to forget.

I since made peace with my condition. Previously I wished away my condition. I drunk hot gingered water and spiced it with lemon. I was always the vulnerable kid with allergies. In fact at a point, my rather distinct nose was blamed on the endless years of battery and assault inflicted upon it. Overtime, I learnt to live with it. Accept that whenever the allergies, I was to do the most basic. Since then the frequency of the episodes reduced but my aversion to the season remains.

Last week, a comrade of mine thought it funny to inform a mutual WhatsApp group chat of a time  I groaned throughout the night. The levity with which he made the remark was astonishing. Well, he was quickly corrected by someone who pointed out that the condition had a medical name – nasal allergies,  and that this was a condition I was always known to have.

His comment coincided with the falling of heavy rains across East Africa resulting in widespread flooding. It so happens that the allergies are back too. I am back to the same routine I was used to back in school. Last night for instance, I could hear everything outside my window. I could hear a truck groan while its driver negotiated a sharp bend. I heard the incessant barking of the neighborhood stray dogs. A croaking frog too. Sleep eventually accepts to take over my tired soul albeit her acceptance comes in the wee hours.

So, if ever you had to bear the inconvenient noise that I make whilst trying to unsuccessfully relieve myself during my allergy attacks, I am deeply sorry. It is not my intention to interminably snort like a pig or some junkie seeking a high.

By Jordan Tumwesigye

The stroke of the pen cures all pain The symbols on a page outlast age

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