I’m one of those lucky individuals who loves the outdoors but, unfortunately for me, I’m allergic to pretty much all of it—especially pollen. Having this kind of allergy can often put a damper on things you love to do, but it’s not all bad as long as you remember to see the positive side of things (and remember to take your allergy meds). So, with that in mind, here’s my list of truths when you’re allergic to nature. I still love it, though.
1. You carry a lot of Kleenex.
Like, A LOT. You find Kleenex in every jacket pocket, purse, backpack and travel bag. Sometimes you’re not really sure if some of them have been used, but when you’re desperate you don’t really care so you use them anyway.
2. You have an excuse to no longer cut the grass.
This is pretty much a good excuse for the rest of your life (and you don’t mind this at all).
3. You sometimes welcome fall and winter.
You look at them like they’re long, lost friends (because they don’t contain pollen).
4. Terms like “hepa filter,” “histamine” and “immunotherapy” become part of your regular vocabulary.
You can also give a very thorough description of the middle ear and how allergies affect the cochlea. People think you’re really smart when this happens.
5. You make friends at the allergy clinic.
And because you see them every week you learn intimate details about their lives. You become a pseudo therapist for some of them while waiting for your 20-minute post-shot reaction check.
6. The inside of your purse can look like pharmacy.
This is because you never leave home without an inhaler or some type of allergy medication (and let’s not forget all those Kleenex).
7. You can sometimes look like a hypochondriac (or a surgeon).
This is because you wear a mask when planting flowers—but only in the backyard where no one can see you.
8. You have astronomical electric bills from running your air conditioner 99.9% of the time.
If the temperature rises above 72 degrees, the AC is on. But you don’t care because you fear pollen more than poverty.
9. Your travel schedule revolves around the level of pollen counts.
You’ve learned the hard way to avoid high-pollination areas (like pretty much the entire United States in June).
10. When you check the weather each morning, you also check the pollen counts.
This is logical really. You want to know how much time you can actually spend outside that day (and rain can sometimes make you really, really happy).