Confessions of an Outdoorswoman Who Is Mildly Allergic to the Outdoors

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So technically I am not allergic to the outdoors, but Mother Nature has been giving me some signs to stay away.

Common Allergies

A couple years ago, I swear a little thing turned on. Basically the world just switched on my allergies , and now I have reactions to outside.

First I thought it was just the spring. I distinctly remember Spring of 2018 when we went camping before graduation.  It was a crazy windy night, so a bunch of organic material was all up in the air. And since tents have net walls, that means that the fresh nature air was getting right into my nose. And that led to crazy allergies. Which led to a sinus infection. Which led to me getting two different kinds of Neti-Pots. Definitely a great time.

But fast-forward to now. A year and a half later, fall of 2019, and allergies are still a thing. No matter the season. My apartment windows will be open to let in the crisp fall air, but it ends up being me sneezing and watching Netflix through watery eyes.

How to deal: allergy pills, reusable tissues, eyedrops

Bad (Gr)ass

Grass was one of the first allergies that I noticed. I would be using the world as my gym, and I would run to a park. But then, I would lay down in the grass to get the crunches in, and I would end up itching like crazy. Plus mild hives and redness.

This will – without a doubt – happen every time. Whether it’s dry and itchy or fresh-cut and soft. The grass will catch up to me before I get home and shower off the outdoors.

This also applies to walking through brushy areas in the desert, and thick forests of off-beaten paths.

How to deal: a workout mat, a blanket, long pants and sleeves.

Mosquito Bites

Nic only keeps me around because he knows that the mosquitoes will go after me instead of him when we are outside. Literally I get eaten alive now matter what. No matter the time of day. No matter the area. No matter if I’m wearing long pants and sleeves. No matter if I am wearing bug spray.

And I’m not talking little pimple-sized bites, I’m talking about full-on welt bug bites that swell.  One bite to the back of my arm, and my triceps look like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s.

It really pushes my self-control. As long as I don’t itch for 20 minutes, it will usually calm down and not itch. But itch it once, and it immediately flares up, and will most likely lead to a scab and scar.

How to deal: be around people who get bit more, wear a bee suit

Photo: Ben Moisen

Bonus: Domesticated Animals I Don’t Know

I had cats growing up, and I had little interaction with other pets. However, as soon as I started dating Nic (his family loves pets!), I noticed major allergies due to new dogs and cats. Keyword: NEW. My body almost always gets used to the animal fur after hanging out over time.

The following story may or may not have happened: I may or may not have loved on my friend’s pet dog too much the first time we met. We may or may not have gone to IKEA immediately after. I may or may not have looked extremely high while shopping because my eyes were so red. I may or may not have had residual allergies for the next two days.

So yeah, when I meet your pet, don’t assume I’m crying ’cause I hate them. Assume my eyes are watering because of the microscopic stuff floating around their fur.

 

Not sure if Mother Nature is trying to tell me to not go outdoors or hang out with her creatures but I’m thankful for modern medicine that allows me to push through allergies to enjoy the outdoors.

Til the next allergy adventure,

 

AJ

 

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