I developed my tree pollen allergy in spring of 2001. I remember it very, very well: spending many spare moments while in the midst of exam study with a kleenex over my eyes, rubbing with all my might, because they itched so damn bad. (The kleenex had a rougher surface than, say, my hands, so it both felt really good and made things worse at the same time.) Not to mention my itchy, runny nose... I got a prescription for Claritin, and things were ok. For the time being.
Then, that autumn, my folks came for Parents' Weekend, and they brought some apples, cheese and pecans for a light meal one evening in my dorm. We did this all the time when I was in high school--YUM. Except I noticed a little swelling on the inside of both cheeks and my lips tingled a little after eating the apples. Same thing happened the next summer with the influx of bing cherries. Turns out these fruits are both part of the birch family of allergies, and due to my crazy under-worked immune system's unfortunate response, I get an allergic reaction to eating them. It's not awful. I love cherries with every fiber of my being, so I put up with it. And apples are good, too, and not every instance triggers this...
...but twice now in a week, I've had granny smith apples that made my EYES itch. No, I'm not sticking the apple in my eye, thanks. I know what to do with an apple. But I'm starting to worry that I'm pushing it with my allergy issue, and that the more I test my body, the more rigorous a systemic assault it will mount till I'm walking that fine line between enjoying a tasty piece of fruit and anaphylactic shock. Yeah, yeah, I know, hellooo melodrama--but seriously. I HATE this allergy. I also hate that Claritin doesn't seem to work for my tree pollen allergy anymore, and I really, really hate the fact that eating apples makes my eyes itch, for God's sake. Please, immune system--don't make me give up cherries! I won't do it! I won't!
Anyway. Taking my contacts out so I can