BEHIND FAME15 :: Uphill Battle

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by SARAH MARIE WILDERMAN

There are few things worse than developing the flu while on a weekend getaway. On the Saturday of a recent trip to Montauk, New York for a friend’s wedding, I woke up to a scratchy throat, runny nose, and general run-down hell. While I've been known to close down a bar or two in my day, this was not the Irish Flu. I was in the middle of immune system meltdown – or so I thought.

I spent the morning under my hotel sheets, reluctantly plugging away at a few pieces of client work in a full-on crusade of self-pity. It wasn't until I had attempted to leave the hotel for a cup of coffee (at noon) that I realized my arch nemesis had returned. This was not the flu. My allergies were here to ruin the weekend. The ‘80s to my disco!

I used to be one of the fortunate few not to be struck down by the pollen gods until last spring, which I spent the better parts of in absolute HELL. Three weeks of my face being in pain, not being able to breathe from my nose, not being able to sleep through the night. I couldn't figure out what was going on with my body. I kept flashing back to a “20/20” piece that I had watched 10+ years ago, about a family that had a severe allergic reaction to new carpeting in their home. I went on a full witch-hunt of new items in my house. My boyfriend had recently moved in – could it be him? I couldn't face the fact that pollen had the ability to make me melt into a mess. 

A recent poll for remedies on my personal Facebook page showed me that many people I know suffer from seasonal allergies. Five comments into my post and it was already looking like an ad for Zyrtec. I began to wormhole further into coping mechanisms and found a few interesting, noteworthy tips:

  1.  According to researchers, the body replaces itself with a largely new set of cells every seven to ten years. Finally, an explanation for why I am now just joining the ranks of the Facebook Allergy Allegiance.
  2. Local bee honey is not the bee-all-end-all to allergies. With promises of not feeling like a medicine head and letting natural immunities develop, this sounded too good to be true. And it was. 
  3. Dr. Oz (terrible) recommends, “Wear a sombrero!” 
  4. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the prevalence of allergic rhinitis has increased substantially over the past 15 years; 10-16 percent of U.S. adults are now estimated to have allergies, which cost the healthcare system $18 billion annually. 
  5. Zyrtec has a pretty awesome Twitter account.

Two hours into digging around I came to realize that I was going to scrap my original idea for this blog post and write about allergies, for the simple fact that I could not focus on anything else! My brain fog was thick and Kleenex box #1 was already in the trash. I had to face the fact that I would be dealing with allergies every spring for the next five to seven years. I choose Zyrtec as my weapon and now it is time to head into the battle of a scratchy throat and runny nose. Tissues up!

Sara RuthComment