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alt=a girl sitting in the grass with a swollen eye, discovering a pollen allergy

How It Felt To Be a Kid Who Was Allergic to Grass

While my peanut allergy was certain from a very early age, my other allergies slowly popped up over time until adulthood. My allergy to grass pollen was one that I never thought I had a problem with.

Until I was about 10 years old, I played outside in grassy fields every day as long as the weather allowed. I never had an issue with it until one day in the 4th grade.

I thought it was recess as usual

I went about my recess hour as I normally did, playing tag, running around, sitting in the grass, ripping up grass out of the dirt, and throwing it at other kids; you know, kid stuff.

The school bell rang, and we all lined up single file and headed back into the classroom. I thought nothing of it until one of my classmates pointed out that my eye didn't look quite right.

An irritated eye became severely swollen

The kid next to me then told me that my eye looked puffy. I thought that it felt a little irritated, but I didn't think too much of it. Maybe a speck of dust was caught in it.

Some time passed, and my eye swelled up until it was almost shut. At that point, I definitely felt like something was wrong! I raised my hand and asked the teacher if I could go to the nurse because something definitely didn't feel right. My teacher looked at me and said something along the lines of "Oh my goodness, yeah, go right ahead."

At that point, my little 10-year-old self was nervous. I went down the hall to the nurse's office as quickly as I could without breaking out in a sprint.

Adding another allergen to the list

I get to the nurse's office, and she checked out my eye. She is aware of my allergy history and figured out pretty quickly what must've caused my eye to well. I told her what I did at recess before going back to class. I told her about the grass, and she figured out that I must have rubbed my eye after touching the grass.

Allergic to grass

The nurse implied that I was probably allergic to grass pollen. She gave me a Benadryl tablet and an ice pack for my eye. I sat there on the exam table holding the ice pack over my eye until I felt a bit better and the swelling went down.

The impact of grass pollen allergies and being a kid

After that point, I understood I had to be more careful when playing outside. But it was a bummer to have to be cautious now while at play as a kid.

I was already cautious about the food I ate, and now I had to be cautious about having fun and playing outside, too.

While, over time, I learned to adapt, having allergies always made me feel othered as a kid. Like I couldn't do what everyone else did because "something was wrong with me."

Feeling insecure about my allergies

While that mentality definitely contributed to many of the insecurities I had growing up, I've learned that everyone is dealing with something that makes life more difficult. While allergies can get in the way of life sometimes, they are definitely manageable if you put the effort in.

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