I’ve got the house to myself this weekend, as S is braving the unpredictable weather and taking part in another bike race. This has three advantages. I get to go and watch The Proposal without anyone judging me (Sandra Bullock is my secret girl crush). I have control of the TV (so no being forced to watch – oh, plucking an example randomly from the air – the car chasing scenes in Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift). And I can use my new tool in the fight against allergies without the accompaniment of S’ raucous laughter.
The seasonal battle – nay, year-round battle – against a runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes is something I have been fighting ever since developing allergies at age 16. Over the years I have tried everything under the sun – pills, sprays, homeopathic remedies, salt douches. I’ve mentioned before the hilarity of the nose strips. The only thing that really does the trick is Flixonase nasal spray, but I really hate having to take drugs every day. So when I saw that Lloyds were selling a no drugs required, red light allergy therapy machine, I thought it was worth a shot.
The idea is that the machine produces red light, which inhibits the production of histamines. Three times a day you insert two prongs up your nose, switch on the machine, it delivers a hit of red light, and voila – relief from gummy, crusted eyes with pink raw patches, a nose that turns your voice into one that originates from Brooklyn, and the incapacity to breathe when lying down.
What the manufacturers fail to mention, however, are the side effects. Not drowsiness and the inability to operate heavy machinery. No – what I’m talking about is the sheer hysteria on people’s faces when they see that you have turned into Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Your nose is semi transparent, see, so sticking red prongs up there is bound to make it glow like a beacon in the fog. The first time I used it, S caught sight of me sitting on the bed and immediately collapsed into laughter that lasted the entire length of the 2 minute cycle. It’s amusing enough to watch someone voluntarily stick something up their nostrils, but to have them look like they could guide ships on a stormy night just tips it over the edge.
To add insult to injury, the manufacturers also decided to make the switch glow bright blue during the cycle. You not only have the humiliation of looking like Santa’s Little Helper, but the eerie pale glow on your face makes you look like you’re standing in the North Pole at the same time.
I’ve not been able to tell whether the machine is keeping the allergies at bay, as I’ve got to try it for a week before coming to any scientific conclusions. What I can conclude is that it produces much pointing of fingers and hysterical laughing, but I don’t think that’s the result the manufacturers – or I – quite had in mind.