>Ten days is a lot of time when you're hacking mucus up. That's how long I have been sick now. Last Monday, I thought my allergies were bothering me because I had been outside all day on Sunday and then ran in the park on Monday. By Wednesday, it seemed clear that it was a cold. Not much I could do about that. As of Friday, things were so bad that I began wondering if it was a sinus infection. I made an appointment to see an allergist on Monday.

My appointment rolled around in the midst of a torrential downpour, but I coughed, sneezed, and blew my way into a taxi and to the doc's office. Part of me dreaded the appointment because I knew that torture was in store for me. When I sat down in his chair and he began preparing the Machine, my suspicions played out.

The Machine is some sort of laproscopic tool that the allergist shoves up my nose and into my fucking sinus cavity. Supposedly this will not hurt, he explained, because he prays some numbing potion into your nostrils beforehand. The first time I had this procedure done, I believed him. Then I realized that the numbing shit does not go beyond my nostrils, so I can feel the long thin camera as it prods my sinus cavity. On Monday, I made a joke about it.

"I hear they use this at Guantanamo Bay," I said chuckling joylessly.

"Really?" He was serious. I didn't expect him to have no sense of humor. This was awkward.

"Um, no," I mumbled, "but it is torturous!"

He seemed genuinely confused that I find having things stuffed into my sinuses to be unpleasant. Anyway, long story short, it was evil, but in the end, I did get to watch a little video of what my nasal passages and sinuses looked like. I love seeing my innards. Weirdly, it seemed rather vaginal. I can't entirely explain it, but I sure didn't expect that. I chose not to share my observations with my no nonsense allergist.

Turns out that everything was swollen up. After two days on Prednisone (a steroid that reduces swelling), double dosages of my regular nasal spray (Nasonex – a gift from God), and Sudafed 12 Hour, things are better. If it doesn't completely clear up in another day or two, it's onto antibiotics.

Italy, here I come! After Andrew Speaker, I just hope I don’t get quarantined there.