Cross-posted to LiveJournal
So I’m doing this on my boyfriend’s computer now because of the like…six computers in this house, only his still works. It’s annoying, but my dad should be buying a new laptop for himself soon and I’m very soon to be getting back in school which means a new laptop for me as well. But it does mean I’m a little bit behind in my writing as the only word processor I have is Google Docs and I can only use this computer when my boyfriend is either working or sleeping.
But I did get to do a Writer’s Block question today. The question was:
What are you allergic to?
And that tends to be a long answer for me because sadly, I happen to be allergic to just about everything except food and medicine. I have no known food allergies, nor am I allergic to any common medicines. Most of my allergies are either sinus-affecting or skin-affecting.
Pollen makes me sneeze, especially: dandelion, ragweed, goldenrod, and fresh cut grass. There is also a special form of mold that grows on traditional Christmas trees that makes having a real tree during the season an absolute bitch-and-a-half. As long as that tree is up, I can’t breathe right. Mold in general (like the kinds you find in basements and bathrooms) makes my sinuses itch and my nose plug up. Pet dander (the stuff on an animal’s skin, especially cats and dogs) makes me sneeze, and the hair will as well but only if the animal is of the extremely long-haired variety and sheds an awful lot. The hair thing I can make better by regularly brushing the animal, but I won’t own the really shaggy pets because of it. Smaller animals like guinea pigs, make me sneeze too, but less because of the hair and more because of the type of litter they live in. Animals like that need to be cleaned regularly for me to be able to live with them. And rabbits are totally off limits. There is nothing I can do that will make me not sneeze (with watery, itchy eyes) around them. Birds are a little better on the pet front. Dust is another major factor in my sinus health. Unfortunately I can’t live in the most sterile of environments so I put up with it a lot. I’m okay as long as the dust is settled on something. But when I clean, I sneeze, a whole hell of a lot. Then it’s two days of trying to remember how to breathe through my nose.
Between my allergies and colds, I must spend 9 months out of the year unable to fully breathe through my nose.
I mentioned I have skin allergies as well. Rabbits are doubly bad for me because they make me itch like hell too. Pet saliva, at least on certain parts of my body (like my face and arms, but not my hands) will make me itch and be unable to stop. This is one of the reasons why I like cats more than dogs and prefer owning cats. They don’t tend to want to lick you as much. I took an allergy test as a kid and found out that I’m also allergic to cockroaches. They secrete something when they walk that makes me itch an insane amount as well. I have to be careful with some household cleaning products. While I may not be able to name the ingredient that makes me itch, I do tend to know the brand names that do. For instance, I can’t use Tide detergent in any way, shape or form. Palmolive dish detergent will also make me itch. Most intensive face creams will make me itch in one way or another. Revlon, Olay, Lacura and (I currently use this one any way) even the Burt’s Bees Night Cream for Sensitive Skin will make my skin burn on contact. I have to be careful what lotions I use, because if it contains Lanolin, then I can’t use the product because my skin will itch and break out. This makes a lot of the more “natural” products, like Burt’s Bees, off limits to me. (Lanolin is an oil derived from the skin of sheep.) I have to be careful with perfumes too. Essential oils make me itch more than the chemical body sprays from Bath & Body Works (which don’t make me itch at all.) And I love the essential oil blends from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab but that stuff makes me itch until I wash it off. My skin is so sensitive, I can’t shower every day. The most I can do is shower every other day. No matter what moisturizer I use (even if it’s just straight baby oil, which works wonders on my skin) the shower will dry my skin out too much. If it’s too dry, it itches and won’t stop.
I should mention that what makes my skin itch doesn’t require just a removal of the product. It requires a thorough washing of the affected area for me to stop itching. I have pretty severe eczema and if I come in contact with an irritant, it triggers the eczema and it won’t stop itching until I wash it and put my medicine on it.
It’s not really as hard to live like this as you might think. You learn to adapt really well, to avoid some things and just live with others and what medicines and products you can use to help ease your suffering. Sudafed is your friend.