I've had to deal with a backlog of chores after taking the time off, but I'm getting caught up, and I'm also organizing my notes for the next outburst of short fiction. There are times when I come off a writing hiatus and write three or four stories at a quick pace, maybe in a month.
This is the time of the year when my allergies are the worst. Two years ago, due to exhaustion and inattention, they exploded into an inner-ear infection that sent me to the emergency room while attending NASFIC. Last year, I kept better control pf things, but the fluid on the ear got to the point where a boil developed externally.
This year has been less severe, although by Monday there was so much pressure on my ears they felt like they were bleeding. There have been times in the past when I have so much drainage down my Eustachian Tube at night while I sleep that my wife can hear the dripping. This year hasn't been that bad; but I have to keep constantly after it, with Claritin, nose spray, and - for immediate relief - cough drops.
We've also had an especially wet summer, so that probably also helped keep the schmutz down.
Oh, when my ears get congested my hearing suffers, but I can still hear. Thankfully I never develop tinnitus. I'm hardly alone in having these allergies and effects in East Texas; in fact, the speaker at a luncheon meeting of a senior citizens' group here in Mount Pleasant talked about the subject a few months ago.
I didn't realize that some senior citizens who move to East Texas from other parts of the countries don't realize they get fluid on the ear from the allergens, and they assume they are just getting geriatric deafness.