Monday, November 25, 2013

170. Finding the Right Allergy Medication

It was 4 in the morning, and the wilderness had settled into a gentle slumber. Nearby animals had finally laid their heads to rest in their piney beds, and somewhere above the trees, a moon was glowing with a steadfast resilience. Hikers in the vicinity were somewhere in dreamland, their bodies thoroughly ensconced in the rebuilding of muscle and the resting of bones.

And there, in my tent, I was surrounded by the calming sound of 10,000 chainsaws attempting to cut down the Great Wall of China. I rolled over and stared at Dumptruck. The sound was, impossibly, coming from his face. As I was in a tiny tent with him with no pillow to bury my head beneath, there was no escaping the ruckus. I struggled with myself for a few minutes, deciding whether or not I should wake him up and ask him to roll over. If I did, it would be the fifth time in the same night. I didn't know at what point it would make me a bad wife.

I have no right to complain. I am sincerely lucky to be married to such an amazing human, one who actually on a regular basis doesn't ever snore. When I was getting to know Dumptruck, it seemed incredible to me that he didn't make any noise as he slept, as I grew up in a family of snorers and sleep-talkers. Every night the McCann household sounded like there was some sort of nuclear reactor revving up to explode. To be fair, it was mostly me. As soon as I am asleep I become a professor with a PhD in the inane. And I have a lot of opinions.

Dumptruck has never complained about my sleep-talking, or sleep-walking. He even conceded to let me hide a key outside of our apartment in New York City because of my (justified) fear of accidentally sleep-walking out our front door and being locked outside in only my PJs when he was out of town. He didn't even complain that time I shook him awake to tell him not to worry, even though there were dragons attempting to take over the city, I would deal with it by stealing a horse and riding it down 5th avenue.

I think I need to stop playing so many video games.

Dumptruck only snores when he has seasonal allergies. Before he moved to New York City, he had no allergies at all, but with every passing year they became worse and worse. Every year around springtime, after gently rolling Dumptruck over to stop the snoring 5 times, I would get up and go sleep on the couch in the living room. He tried many different allergy medications, but none seemed to work well for him. So we suffered together. He definitely had it worse off - allergies are awful. But he slept like the dead.

We had been hoping that when we went on the trail, his allergies wouldn't be as bad.


Apparently once New York City allergies are in your lungs, you will be allergic to springtime for the rest of your life. And unfortunately, in the woods there were no couches to sleep on. As we hiked during the day, poor Dumptruck would sneeze with such regularity that I began to be able to judge our hiking distance based on the number of sneezes. I didn't need a watch at all. Just the regular face explosions from my long-suffering partner. He didn't complain, but I could tell that being eternally congested and constantly crying was slowly getting to him. It probably wasn't fun to have to see the world through a filter of fogginess.

Then, Dumptruck's parents (Dump Daddy and Mother Trucker) came to visit. And they brought some allergy medication from Dumptruck's aunt, who is a nurse, and who knows about these sorts of things. Dumptruck was dubious at first. He felt like he had tried everything. But, he tried it. It was just regular old off-brand Claritin.


Something about solving this problem while being in the middle of the woods was so much more satisfying than it would have been if we'd solved it while living in civilization. Dumptruck was freed from the terrible nose monster, and the wilderness could go back to being wild, without the sounds of human thunder.

Clever Girl


  1. That's actually what point it would make you a bad wife! My husband sometimes snores, and when I roll him over he says things like, I wasn't even asleep! And has no memory of saying it the next day.

  2. McCann snorers are justifiably famous. I once kept 30 otherwise nice and gentle people awake for an entire night on an overnight field trip with Clever Girl's brother. They weren't nice and gentle at sense of humor, really...