Monday, September 24, 2012

Fragrance Sensitivities

Edit: 10 / 2 / 2012 I went to the doctor today and was given a different allergy medicine.  Hopefully this will work.  She said that if it doesn't there is another option we can go with.  : )

I'm sorry I've not been around a lot lately.
I was very busy getting prepared for a craft fair (which didn't turn out good monetarily... but it was a good time for a few friends to spend together.)

Then I got sucker punched with the worst fragrance (sensitivity) allergy attack I've ever had!


Normally I get "just a migraine".  Yes... "just" a migraine.  Which trust me is bad enough... but this time...

By the time my husband and I got to the car I was having troubles breathing.
My eyes were watering uncontrollably (it looked like I was bawling).
My nose was running uncontrollably.
Once we got home (15 minutes away) I felt as if I was going to throw up.  I never did throw up, but my stomach muscles hurt for awhile as if I did.
My husband asked if I wanted to go to the hospital.  I told him, "Not yet." (Just what I need is a nurse who is wearing perfume to take care of me!)

I washed my face with a wash cloth.
I closed all the light off to our bedroom.
I put the wash cloth over my eyes and I konked out... until 4 p.m. I was able to stay awake long enough to eat something and then I konked out again, until about 8 p.m.

It truly took me the rest of the week to get my bearings straight, not to feel dizzy, not to have the migraine, and to feel "normal".  On Wednesday I went to see a friend about 10 minutes away and I was told "you look exhausted". 

By Friday I was feeling pretty "normal" so a friend of mine and I went to Jo-Ann's... Can I say BIG MISTAKE for me?!? Oy vey!!

Over The Counter migraine medicine has been my best friend this past week.

Where we used to attend church in NV there was (is?) a lady that would have seizures from fragrance.
My current neighbor across the street has reactions when the neighbors use scented dryer sheets.
I have a school mate that does throw up when she gets "fragranced".
There is a young lady at a local junior high that has this sensitivity.  (Her life is just starting out!  With my own experience, the longer you have it, the worse it gets.)

I understand that "scents sells" but people do we have any clue how sick we're making the whole world?  Do people understand how difficult it is for people with asthma or COPD to be around this "Scented World" we insist upon not to mention those of us that have developed a fragrance sensitivity / allergy?

One comment I have received more than once is, "I cannot smell anything, so what is bothering you?"  First, I don't have to "smell it" for it to make me sick.  In fact... there are MANY things I cannot smell at all!
Second, the majority of the population is so over the top with scents that they cannot smell them anymore!

When I was a teen I used to wear perfume.  It didn't bother me at that point in life.  By the time I had my own kids (early 20's) I realized that I couldn't burn or be around scented candles or wear perfume.  By the time I was in my 30's (possibly earlier) I realized I needed fragrance free make-up, lotions, soaps.

Awhile after my husband and I got married I had to have him quit wearing his cologne.  He couldn't have his little scented trees in the car anymore. We use fragrance free soaps and dryer sheets.  I use fragrance free deodorant whenever possible.  I have a hard time finding it on a consistent basis.

IF I do go to a mall, the WORST spot for me is walking by a candle shop or kiosk.  When I am in a Walmart or Target type store or any grocery store the worst aisle is the soap aisle.  Not to mention the person walking through the store that insists on using 1/2 a bottle of smelly stuff!  Ugh.

I don't think the day will ever happen when there is no fragrance sold.
I don't think the day will ever happen when all the producers do not add fragrance to hide the smells of the chemicals they use to produce all the stuff we use.

It would be nice though if 90% of the world would quit buying all of the scented things though as that would stop all the producers from adding fragrance to EVERYTHING... but sadly, I don't think that day will ever happen either.

So... the next best thing for me... is to be a recluse.

THANK YOU to my friends and family that have made adjustments in their lives to help me.  I truly appreciate and love you for being so considerate of me and many others in the world. 

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  1. oh Toqua--I am so sorry you went through that. How awful. Those of us who don't have this condition can't truly understand what this does to you. (and others)

    take care my friend!


  2. Gail,

    Thank you.
    I know it is hard to understand. I’ve been there where I didn’t understand.

    It is still frustrating.



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