Canary in the Coal Mine??

Do you smell good?  Stay away, please.  This is so hard. I can’t be around most people who smell nice, can’t be in places that smell lovely, can’t use many products that are fragrant. I’m hyper-sensitive to chemically induced fragrances. That’s most of our world, ya know? Essential oil fragrances don’t seem to bother me–guess it’s because they’re “natural” and not man-made?? Man-made chemicals in general don’t agree with me. Why do I have to be the overly sensitive one? I LOVE fragrance. But it has the potential to literally kill me. People really have a hard time wrapping their brains around this. Now if this was a peanut allergy, everybody understands that one! Or shellfish. Or bees. But fragrance?? It’s mind-blowingly hard. Even the place I’m receiving my Zolair shot isn’t a fragrance free zone. This is THE asthma and allergy center in my area. They don’t make the employees refrain from using scented products. !!! I’ve gone there three times, and had an allergic reaction the first time and the last time, three weeks ago. OHMYGOODNESS. You’d think of anyplace I might go, this would be a safe environment. No. Several staff have told me it “can’t be expected of us to have to be scent free.” Yes, it can be expected, considering where they work. And yes, I know how expensive fragrance free products can be. That’s another thing thrown in my face by the employees. Nurses, receptionists. “Professionals.” I’m feeling really bitter about this. I’ve gone to FIVE different doctors trying to find a solution to this condition that is unusual, at least to the severity that I have. I finally find Dr. Welch, who is sure she can find a way to help my body cope with this sensitivity. Yay! Then the staff and facility are not safe for me. I have relatives who are in the health care industry and many friends in the health care industry. None of them wear fragrance, are allowed to use it at their work place, and honestly cannot understand how an ALLERGY and ASTHMA center allows it. Three weeks ago was the last time I went for my shot. I had to wait in the main waiting area, surrounded by good smelling folks, waited on by the softly fragrant receptionist, given the shot by a nurse who smelled exceptionally lovely, and OH SURPRISE, started having an allergic reaction. When I said something to the receptionist, who is fully aware of my condition, she said that I looked ok. Oh. OK. Then it’s not really happening. YES, IT WAS. She didn’t know what to do with me. They don’t have a safe area. And the signs posted to “please refrain from wearing fragrance” are on regular copy paper, in inconspicuous places. Big building, and I saw the two “signs” that the director of the center said were posted. They need to be big. Conspicuous. Bold lettering. In your face. Plus, Hello! The staff should not wear fragrance. And patients should be informed to please refrain from wearing fragrance to the best of their ability. They’re not told this, but the director thought that was a great idea to add that little sentence when patients get their appointment reminder call. I’m not the only one with fragrance issues. I know I’m not. I taught high school for the past ten years. I had students have asthma attacks due to the scents peers were wearing. I had to change seating arrangements for them. But I’m treated like such an inconvenience. Yeah. It is a huge inconvenience. Trust me. The medicine in itself is scary as the most common side effect is ANAPHYLAXIS. Really? I’m getting a shot of mouse hormones to avoid going into anaphylaxis from my hyper sensitivity to multiple chemicals, but I might go there with the shot?? ohmygoodness. I have to have an Epi-Pen near me for the rest of my life. In part, due to the Xolair, but also in case my body revolts against some nice scent. I can never let my guard down. That’s so tiring. I do seem to be building up somewhat of a resistance to the unknown chemicals; unknown because there are 1000’s of them. But, I still get burning sensations on my face and in my eyes sometimes when I’m in public. And for a full day after the shot, I’m wiped out as if I took allergy or flu medicine that makes you sleepy. That’s not so fun. And guess what?? That symptom/side effect has not been on the books before ME. Yes, I’ve added that possible side effect information for future Xolair recipients. A friend told me I’m like the canary in the coal mine, as in the canary dies if there’s toxic gases in the air. Her thought is that my role is to warn humankind that we’re getting too artificial. My sister didn’t like that analogy AT ALL. Her point? The canary dies to save the humans. I hope that’s not where this goes.

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7 thoughts on “Canary in the Coal Mine??

  1. I worked in the medical field for 30 years. I never wore fragrance to work and used a very mildly fragrance body wash or soap because of people’s allergies and sensitivities to fragrance. i can’t believe they allow their staff to wear it either.

    • I know–it’s “normal” to have scented things in today’s world. I can’t even go to my sisters homes! If the scent is from essential oils, it doesn’t seem to bother. It’s the artificial scents that are doing me in. It’s nuts. Scent in dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent, cleaning supplies, hairspray… It’s almost endless.

  2. I think this is important for many people to read, not many realize how harmful their perfume can be… But I do think that if you work in the hospital with people that are allergic and sensitive you should definitely understand better!

    • Yes!! The article I posted today relates to the dangerous levels we are ALL submitting our bodies to, unless we are using fully “natural” products. Thanks for reading and responding!!

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