Today's letter is A
A is for ALLERGIES
A is for ALLERGIES
I am a fairly healthy person. My blood pressure is right where it is supposed to be. I almost never get sick and I avoid reality television. However, I do have a few allergies. Like a lot of people, I am allergic to cats.
I can avoid that situation since I am aware of it, but occasionally I get caught at someone's house who keeps a cat inside. Then, I have a problem. I don't have to actually
|They always sneak up on me!|
Once again, I can normally avoid this situation from happening if I plan ahead, but my other allergy is pretty tough to avoid. I am allergic to artificial scents. This includes a whole host of things that make me sick super fast
- Scented candles
- Air fresheners
- Hair spray
- Those stupid pine trees people hang on their rear view mirrors
- ALL colognes and perfumes
- Fabric softeners
- Scented body wash
- Carpet shampoo
- Scented fragrance advertising inserts in magazines
- Many deodorants
- Laundry detergent
- Just about anything aerosol (there's something in that too)
- Tons of new things that I discover all the time.
I get hit with this so often, I recognize the symptoms almost immediately. Most of the time, it is before I have even noticed the smell of whatever is causing it. I get a very specific type of headache that grows in intensity the longer I am exposed. If I get away as soon as I sense it, I will be alright in about 15 minutes, but if I am in a situation where I can't then it is going to grow. Next my face begins to feel flushed. If it gets to that point, I am going to be sick for the next few hours. There is nothing I can do to stop it. Finally, my nose gets stuffed up and I even have trouble breathing. By this time, the headache is horrible.
People who like to bathe in cologne will never get the opportunity to talk to me face to face. Some people wear it so thick, I can't even stay in the same room. When walking in a mall, my kids would warn me if they saw a Bath & Body Works up ahead, so we could walk on the other side while I held my breath. I have walked into job interviews and got smacked in the face with the summertime scent of a Glade plug-in. Within my minutes, I am sniffling and needing to blow my nose as the wanging headache keeps me from being able to concentrate on the questions being asked. That doesn't normally result in me making a good impression.
In the last decade, this has come to be recognized in the medical field and some places even prohibit artificial fragrances from being used on their premises. The University of Portland was one of the first places in the nation to regulate the use of fragrances in the workplace. I had a job once where they suddenly started burning scented candles and would not stop even after I told them about my allergy. It sucked.
I do not find these odors that make me sick offensive. I don't think people's perfumes stink. Although people who wear AXE body spray should know better. Does anybody actually like that stuff? I am not suggesting that people have bad taste. These are all things I have been accused of. I simply have a nasty reaction. I might even like the smell of someone's perfume, but I will be spending the rest of the day drugged up in bed if I am exposed for too long. In fact, I can get sick even if I didn't notice the 'smell.' And blowing out your scented candles right before I get there does me no favors. You have already put it in the air.
I can avoid these scenarios most of the time, but these are the things that happen when I do get caught. So, if you ever plan to have me over, please keep these things in mind and let me know before I get there…and then don't be offended when I decide not to come.