Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.


It’s finally arrived where I live, temps are ranging from the mid 50’s to mid 70’s and everything is blooming!

Normally this would also mean that I’m stocking up on Flonase, Zyrtec and a handful of other drugs to combat my allergies to all things green and blooming (and also all pollutants and cats).

Last year when I was in France it got so incredibly bad, it was hard to have any fun at all.  I was miserable every day of the trip I was double dosing on Zyrtec & Flonase, I tried sudafed on top of that, and even threw in some Benadryl.
good day
This picture was taken on a good day. Full size here.

On the worst day, I took over 300mg of Benadryl and had double dosed everything else.  Upon my return I realized that my allergies could prevent me from ever living in Paris, which is a long term goal of mine. So I had to do something about it. A few weeks after my return I found an allergist and began getting allergy serum shots.  My reactions to the shots were pretty severe and they had to bring me up to dose very slowly, I’ve been going for 10 months now and am 5 weeks from moving to getting shots every other week instead of weekly.  Just in time for this year’s trip to France.

So here we are, Spring the time of year when everything makes me itch and my nose run, and my eyes water, only this year none of that is happening and I’m not on allergy meds at all. I take one dose of Zyrtec a couple of hours prior to my injections (they insist) and that’s it.

If you suffer from allergies and have the means (check your insurance), I can’t recommend going through the treatments strongly enough.  Now let’s see how they hold up under the foreign pollens of France…


  • Lionel L.

    As I may have mentioned before, my brother had severe allergies and had to take the shots. Best thing in the world for him! I agree with Chaz. If you or someone you know has allergies then see an allergist. They can very probably help. You’ll be thrilled you did.

  • Robguy

    I’ve heard the standard allergy tests are horribly inaccurate. I tested allergic to trees and grasses when I was 20, but every test since then has been completely negative (they suggested I was “environmentally sensitive”). For a couple years before moving to Australia, my sinus drainage was so bad I was vomiting multiple times a day. Now I don’t even use sudafed when I have a cold. I’m very happy for your progress, good luck in France!

  • Brandon Sharitt

    I’m glad I “grew out of” my allergies and my wife only has mild allergies that don’t warrant a shot, though my father-in-law would about die if were to go out side with one. It’s still a bit to early to tell if they have allergies, but my daughter and cat have both been sneezing a bit recently.

  • Charles

    Rob, in addition to the standard skin tests they also do blood tests now. I had both done just to make sure we got everything.

  • Len Edgerly

    I had about a year of allergy shots maybe 10 years ago when I was living in Casper, Wyoming. The tests showed I was allergic to weeds and grasses. At the time, I decided they really didn’t do much good. I depended on Clariton to get me through hay fever season, which seemed to be nearly year round. In recent years (I’m 57), each season seems to get better, with few symptoms so far. I wonder if part of it may be alternating between Denver and Boston frequently, maybe keeping the allergies confused.
    BTW, I share your love of Paris. My wife and I studied French for two months a couple of years ago at L’Institut de francais near Cannes. Incroyable! Was blogging in French for a while.