So as not to leave a cryptic, whoa-is-me post and disappear for days/weeks/months on end, I thought I would share my medical findings…
I am a delicate flower.
My blood tests came back good. Other than an extremely low alkaline phosphatase level and a high allergy response number (duh), there was nothing that concerned my doctor.
My allergen patch testing, however? Not so good. Although I am ecstatic to finally have some answers, getting to a place of normalcy with my new, allergen-free life is going to royally SUCK. (Notice that capital SUCK?)
Apparently, I am allergic to ‘hydroperoxides of limonene’ and ‘fragrance mix II’. The jury is still out on the nickel allergy (it takes 1-4 days to flare once exposed) – fingers are crossed for no nickel flares because that would entail another surgery to have the two pins and staple from my reconstructive surgery removed from my foot. Oh yeah – fingers, toes, and everything else that I can cross is done so. But…
I am a delicate fucking flower.
I have been instructed that I am so allergic to ‘hydroperoxides of limonene’ and ‘fragrance mix II’, that if my skin comes in contact just one time with either of them, I will develop a rash. Itching, pinkness, small bumps, or blisters appearing within 4 hours, but usually starting 1 to 3 days after exposure, is to be expected. What I get to look forward to is a reaction that lasts from 2 to 8 weeks, even if I don’t come into contact with the substance again during that time. Oh, and if I have many exposures over time, it may take 3 to 6 months for my skin to get completely clear after avoiding the substances, with brief flare-ups expected.
The ominous message leaving the allergist’s office today: You will be allergic to these substances for the rest of your life. I will always need to avoid them. Fucking wonderful.
Have you ever read the ingredient listing of any product that you own? ‘Fragrance’, or a derivative of, is in EVERYTHING. From contact solution, to toilet paper, to mascara, to face wipes, to deodorant, to toothpaste… this shit is in everything. Armed with a go/no-go product listing, I am enlisting my family and we’re heading up to Walgreen’s for a little Mommy’s Product Shopping Spree. Joy. I can hear the whining and bitching already.
The thing that gets me? While I have always been super sensitive to smell, my skin has taken a beating with no issues for over 41 years of life. I have been bronzed, frozen, burnt, covered in head-to-toe mud, covered in airplane grease from inspecting the bulkhead of a KC-135, I have purposely wiped “war paint” on my face with carcinogenic exhaust soot, and have gotten elbow deep under the hood of my husband’s latest project car, with no issues whatsoever. But fragrance??
Sigh. I am a delicate fucking, unscented flower.