Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: Allergies

1. I am allergic to well, practically everything. I don't get just a little sick with an allergy, either. I have asthma, which is bad enough, and when my allergies flare I also develop a sore throat, bronchitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, and a lot of other -itises. It pretty much sends me to bed and can keep me there for weeks because it takes a long time to clear up.

2. Pets are a problem. I am allergic to dogs and cats and will lose my voice just being in a room where those lovely animals live, even if they're not there at the time. We had to keep our dog outside when we had her and I hated doing that to her. I love dogs in particular and sure do miss having one.

3. This allergy issue can and does interfere with my work. I interview people and write stories about them. The best place to do this is in their home, so you can see if they collect plastic roosters or have posters of Harry Potter splashed in the living room. It makes for a better story, I think.

4. I work around it by asking people I don't know to meet me in neutral places. Non-smoking restaurants and the local library are favorite meeting places. It's not ideal but it will do.

5. I have not yet found a polite way to say to a stranger: "I want to interview you, but I need to know if you have dogs or cats in your house, smoke or wear heavy perfume, because if you do any of that, let's meet someplace besides your house." Sometimes if I really want the story I am just blunt about it.

6. When I last tested for allergies, I was positive for 34 of the 35 things they tested me for. The only thing I wasn't allergic to was some kind of ornamental Asian grass.

7. Other things I am allergic to includes oak trees, pine trees, elm trees, roses, all grasses except apparently that Asian one, golden rod, wheat and pepper.

8. I once bought some local unpasteurized honey because I read that if allergy sufferers ate a little bit of it, it would help build immunity to the things they were allergic to.

9. I put a dab of the honey on my finger and put it in my mouth. My throat began to swell immediately. Thankfully we keep a lot of Benedryl and an Epipen on hand at all times.

10. I do not frequent smoking restaurants at all. I sometimes eat in restaurants that are supposedly sectioned off, but that doesn't work. The smoke goes everywhere regardless of how good the ventilation system is. So I don't eat in those unless I have to.

11. Lots of smokers stand in front of doors to non-smoking establishments. This angers me because I have to walk through it. I hold my breath and dash inside.

12. I do the same thing if I find myself having to walk through the perfume section in a department store. Heavy scents will set off my asthma, so I hold my breath and move quickly away. So I don't shop in a lot of large department stores if the only way to the women's clothes is through the perfume.

13. Fortunately most of my friends understand my problem and know that the reason I don't visit them is not because I don't like them or their dog but because I want to be able to get up and breathe and work and be normal the next day.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; you can learn more about it here. My other Thursday Thirteens are here. This is my 86th one.


  1. I am sorry you are allergic to so much. It must be so inconvenient. I have seasonal allergies and some other allergies which keep popping up as I get older so I know it can be no fun at all.

  2. Wow. That is rough. Did you know that a lot of high allergy sufferers have Candida or Candidiasis, which can be largly treated by eliminating wheat (glutens), sugar and fungus from their diet? Check out a book called The Miracle PH Diet. It's a pretty extreme shift in diet, but at the level you are suffering may be worth it to you.
    I lucked out when I started Atkins, discovered my severe allergy to wheat and corn, and now almost none of my other allergies affect me at all!
    Thank you for visiting my TTs!

  3. You remind me of me and how I manage my Chronic Fatigue. I have to go the extra mile (or not).

    I love the line about roosters and Harry Potter posters. I have to pay attention that I don't go much over an hour when I do an interview otherwise I am drained and it takes a good while to bounce back.

  4. Wow, that must make walking by perfume counters dangerous. I feel for you.

  5. While I feel sorry for you (it sounds terrible), I found it an interesting read. I've got asthma (though nothing in your league) and agree with you totally about smokers congregating outside non-smoking establishments.

  6. What an amazing thirteen. I can't imagine having to avoid so many things. People aren't always very polite about it either, I bet.

  7. We will have to run the high dollar air sanitizer before you come over, some time. It helps make things liveable for my mom who is also allergic to almost everything! We tell her she should live on a raft in the middle of the ocean. But then she would discover she is allergic to seaweed or fish!

  8. I don't like strong perfumes or smells either. That store in Valley View with all the decorations and candles (vague, but i can't remember the name) i can't even go in because it's horrible! My dog is even allergic to strong smells and i had to change the detergent i was using cuz he was irritated with it!

  9. Wow! That has to be tough to live with. I developed an allergy to poultry some years ago and I recently became allergic to peanuts. I have the same symptoms you do with the throat swelling. I didn't know that Benadryl would alleviate that, though I sure don't want to be in the position of having to take it, either! I hope you can find a way to whittle the list down a bit - I've heard more than a few people say that eliminating wheat and sugar helps a great deal.


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