Posts tagged with "allergy" - Faerye Net 2010-10-02T20:43:31+00:00 Felicity Shoulders A genealogy of sneezes 2010-10-02T20:43:31+00:00 2010-10-02T20:45:05+00:00 <p>I&#8217;ve been thinking about sneezing lately. Mostly because I&#8217;ve been sneezing so much today I can barely finish a sentence. Either our landlords&#8217; bamboo only flowers every seven years and gives me seven years&#8217; worth of pollen allergies, or crawling out of my comfortable hobbit hole to attend social functions has given me a cold.</p> <p>Anyhow, this sneezing has made me reflect. I myself have what I jokingly term the Atomic Sneeze (best restrained with ruby quartz face masks, &agrave; la <a href="" target="links">Cyclops</a>). It is extremely loud, and my poor sensitive-eared companion <a href="" target="links">Ryan</a> complains bitterly about it. (He kept covering his ears when we watched TV tonight, and eventually I saw him building acoustic barriers out of sweatshirt.) I keep telling him it could be even worse, and my sister&#8217;s sneeze is proof. Of course, since she isn&#8217;t allergic to everything on Earth except water and mold, few witnesses can back me up on this. My paternal grandfather&#8217;s sneeze was even more prodigious than my sister&#8217;s and mine, and my usual joke is that if he sneezed like that while he was in the Army, his comrades probably hit the deck.</p> <p>Of course, it could be <strong>even</strong> worse: on my maternal side, my relatives seem to sneeze in consistent numbers. My grandma sneezes in the same pattern every time &#8212; I think it&#8217;s five sneezes? Of course, they&#8217;re such cute little noises that they&#8217;re quieter than a cat sneezing. Other family members appear to sneeze in threes, et cetera. I think Ryan should just be glad the two traits haven&#8217;t been mixed, because even a double-barrel of this noise could destroy our block, and five at a time would doom the entire city. Or at least give me whiplash.</p> Zyrtec-D: worst packaging ever 2008-08-06T11:43:02+00:00 2008-08-06T11:43:02+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m a very allergic person. I&#8217;ve been on one antihistamine plus decongestant or another for years, which is often inconvenient. For one thing, the insurance companies don&#8217;t like paying for all those meds, so they get the fast-track to over-the-counter. For another, the decongestant in my pills, <a href="" target="links">pseudoephedrine</a>, can be misused as a <a href="" target="links">meth</a> precursor. So the law restricts how much I can buy, requires me to submit my name to a Federal database, requires the store to keep them behind the counter, yada yada. Oh, also (thanks, Wikipedia!) the feds require &#8220;Non-liquid dose form of regulated product may only be sold in unit dose blister packs.&#8221;</p> <p>I go back and forth between on-brand and store-brand, between Zyrtec-D and Claritin-D &#8211; varying antihistamine is better for your allergies, and sometimes there are coupons! Claritin-D comes in standard blister sheets: 6 or 8 pills, perforated divisions, exactly the sort of packaging we&#8217;ve all been opening since our parents couldn&#8217;t get child-proof stuff open and we volunteered to help. You rip the blister, out pops the pill.</p> <p>Zyrtec, on the other hand, has this:<br /> <center><a href="" title="Zyrtec-D's packaging sucks by Eilonwy Anne, on Flickr"><img src="" width="180" height="240" border="0" alt="Zyrtec-D's packaging sucks" /></a></p> </center> <p>First of all, this is a waste of resources. The box is bigger and more complex (internal divider) to hold piles of individual blister packs, the blister packs use more plastic and foil than a traditional blister sheet. Secondly, they are absolutely positively without any doubt <strong>not</strong> &#8220;Easy Open&#8221; (who thought of the phrase &#8220;Easy Open Blister&#8221; anyway? The word &#8216;blister&#8217; not associated with leisure and ease, folks.). You have to fold the tear to get it started, the loooong tear sometimes goes awry and doesn&#8217;t hit the blister, and even when it does follow the curving perforation perfectly, it only removes a shred of the blister around the pill, leaving the patient to dig at the heavy foil for a while before she can get the damn thing out. That&#8217;s without getting into picayune stuff, like it being easier to estimate how many pills you have left from a sheet than from a jumble of blister sarcophagi.</p> <p>I know, I know, free market, free country, why do I keep buying them? Because I still have some $5 off coupons, and when you need medication to breathe, $5 off three weeks&#8217; supply is not bad. And I can&#8217;t believe that the company won&#8217;t wise up eventually. After all, I am <a href="" target="links">not the only person</a> to post a picture of this package to Flickr with a grumpy caption. They can&#8217;t kid themselves they&#8217;re saving the world from meth by adopting such ridiculous packaging when the other brands aren&#8217;t encasing <em>their</em> pseudoephedrine in hyperbranded pucks that look like mini-golf greens. Give over, guys. I just want to take my allergy pill and go to sleep without sneezing. You just want me to buy it. Why can&#8217;t we get along?</p>