This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How sunlight is suffocating.

    I'm really not kidding.  I'm just passing this information on in case anybody out there finds themselves struggling as I did.  It all started with the onset of allergy symptoms a few years ago.  No surprise, I'm 61 and lived in the middle of thousands of acres of forest in the middle of Michigan for 15 years, a perfect recipe.  They got worse, and worse, and finally intolerable after I moved into a condo in town.  I had the duct work cleaned, talked to a doctor who offered nothing except prescription strength whatever I was using.  I couldn't sleep, couldn't breath, couldn't predict when my nasal passages would swell shut or clear up.  At one point the bridge of my nose was swollen more than an inch wider than normal.  Then, my favorite micro brew went out of season...I got better.  I consulted a doctor who said it might be Rhinophyma, a rare disorder which affects middle aged men with fair skin.  He offered Accutane, I declined, already having experience with those side effects.
   The fact is they don't know much about it, except that there are environmental triggers, mainly dietary.   It's one of those things that is so rare, not life threatening and consequently there's no profit to be made, so nobody has researched it.  I'm going to share the value of my independent, totally intuitive and empirical experience.  A to B to C said stop drinking beer.  That's easy, I can always cry myself to sleep.  Well I stopped drinking anything and the symptoms improved greatly.  After a couple weeks I experimented and found I had swelling and congestion when I drank beer and red wine in particular, less when I drank white wine and practically none when I drank triple distilled vodka.  Searching the net for alcohol and allergies, I found that there are natural histamines produced in the fermentation process.  They are especially high in beer and red wine, less in white and even less in distilled spirits (I suppose they got killed).  Ok. so cut down the booze and limit it to expensive vodka, no problem.
     This condition was, in the past, understandably linked to alcoholism because of famous sufferers like WC Fields and JP Morgan but what few authorities there are have discarded that theory.  The problem, if not addressed, develops into permanently swollen nasal passages and a huge deformed shnozzola:
Actor Carl Malden and President Clinton are a couple of famous people who suffer from it.  Although the obvious swelling and redness went away with the beer, I was still suffering some congestion so I looked a little deeper and found that caffeine and any spicy food which stimulates or dilates the blood vessels will aggravate it .  I cut down the the coffee to one in the morning, Ok, still suffered a bit.  Excessive exposure to sunlight was also listed, but being a red head, I had learned 30 some years ago to use sunscreen daily in place of after shave.  I have used about everything and found Nutrogena spf 85 to work best (I know. I have heard the stories about the spf stuff, but that works best).  I didn't think that could be much improved upon, but thought I would try pure zinc ozide sunblock, you know the lifeguard nose stuff.
Zinka is a brand that is common and I tried some in flesh tone (they make all sorts of colors, it's a regular fashion accessory).  It still looked ugly, but I could ride for hours on a hot sunny day and finish with no inflammation or redness at the end.  That's cool, hey if it kept my face from looking like a beet, that was enough for me.  I started using it anytime I was outdoors more than an hour.  After a week of using zinc oxide on my nose and upper cheeks, all, count them, all my symptoms disappeared and I am breathing and sleeping normally again.   So simple who knew!  Not the doctor, he was going to give me Accutane, an acne medicine, and forget it.  I mean the recovery was dramatic, and I don't even have the symptoms I had attributed to seasonal allergies.  I'm almost brave enough to forget about the otc lotradine I had been using, but not brave enough to drink beer.   I know it places  me in direct conflict with rule #47   but I will just have to do with a little vodka now and then to compensate.  I hope the Velominati understand.
   You don't have to take this as advice, but it has been my experience crawling back from the depths of oxygen deprivation.

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