I decided to do an experiment over my last backpacking trip. I had been getting a lot of headaches and I thought, perhaps, that the allergy medicine I was taking might be preventing my sinuses from draining. So, I stopped taking it for the five day trip I went on last week.

Throughout the Sawtooth Wilderness, I walked through grasses from inches high to knee high to over my head high. I walked through flowers that shed pollen as I stepped through them, visibly showering my body and face with allergens.

I didn’t sneeze. I didn’t have a headache. I didn’t miss the allergy medication at all.

Naturally, I continued not to take the medication w hen I got back home. And, from Friday night through Monday morning, I seemed to be doing just fine. But once I got to work, I noticed a dryness in my eyes.

The dryness proceeded from a minor irritation to an irascible itch. I couldn’t stop rubbing and scratching at my eyes. It was driving me crazy, and I had to concede defeat.

I started taking the allergy medication again Tuesday, confident that I had finally come up with a definitive reason for the itching eyes and sneezes. It’s clearly not nature that bugs me, not all those grasses that the allergist claimed I reacted to, no.

I’m allergic to civilization.

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