Yeah, it’s a thing. I’ve known for years that many scented items tend to cause undesirable reactions in me. Itchy, watering eyes, sneezing, my airways restrict, breathing becomes an adventure, my lungs start producing mucus, which I’m constantly trying to cough up. It can be subtle, or it can come on like a freight train.
Case in point, I went to my pain Dr. last week. At first, all was well, I did the mandatory paperwork, even though NOTHING whatsoever has changed. Gee, thanks. But as I’m waiting in the lobby, my eyes start watering, and I’m sneezing a little. As I have drawn the attention of the receptionist, I comment that something has triggerd my athsma. By now I know what’s going on, and I’m looking around for the source of my irritation, and I spot one of those damnable plug in doo dads that stink up a room under the guise of “scent.” I have an “aha” moment and I figure if it doesn’t get any worse, I can probably live with it.
Well, I get called back for the general routine of getting weighed, a blood pressure check, and a what medicines I’m taking rehash. So far all is well.
Then I get taken down the hall to a room to wait for the Dr. I passed through a wall of stench that set me off big time. I proclaimed “are y’all trying to kill me!?” This end of the office stinks to high heaven from what I do not know, but it caused the worst reaction I have ever had to fragrance. My nose is running, eyes watering, my throat drew up like a sphincter looking over a 10,000 foot precipice. I’m alone in the room, no fucking tissues. Dammit. I grab the trash can and use it to spit up the crud coming up from my lungs. Every single breath I can actually taste the damnable stench in the air. Every breath I take I can feel my condition worsening. I’m coughing now. Wheezing. Still can taste the stench. Jebus I’m miserable. One of the ladies there came in and informed me the offending candle had been extinguished. A candle? A god damn stench machine of destruction!
The doc comes in finally, and he is fully aware of my condition, everyone nearby can probably hear my cough, my sniffling, my misery, and I can tell by the look in his eye, somebody was getting chewed out later. I apologized to him, and he apologized to me. He got me out ASAP, I got outside and I just stood there for a few minutes savoring clean fresh air. It took me a couple of hours for the reaction to settle down, but as long as 5 hours later, both of my lungs still felt like they had been punched by Mike Tyson. Never, have I ever, been so bruatlly attacked by a scent.
I suppose that stupid plug in doo dad may have been innocent. But I do not doubt that is was small part of the conspiracy to kill me. 😉
So, I recently decided to look this issue up on the net. I found that as many as 1 in 3 people have fragrance sensitivities! Wow. I am not alone. It can even be classified as a disability, from what I’ve read.
My wife also has a touch of it, nowhere near as bad as me. We are always looking for unscented, in the items we use. Be it lotions, detergent, fabric softener, etc. But it isn’t easy. Some of the things that claim “unscented,” are actually far from it. So many things we use on a daily basis are infused with some sort of chemically derived stink, I suppose to attract ants or bees, or something? I don’t get it. What I do get is an uncomfortable, all the way to absolutely miserable, reaction to this shit.
I even occaisionally have issues walking down a grocery aisle. The person who had dumped an entire bottle of personal stench upon themsleves long gone, I’m doing my best to escape the unseen cloud particles of doom, that is attacking me. How much of that crap does a person need? I don’t know how it doesn’t kill them, as much discomfort as it causes me.
Be mindful of your stink ya’ll. I mean, shower up, please. But some of us do not react well to the store bought stink you put on later. Ok?
…and candles. KILL ALL CANDLES!
Y’all have a good one. SD
Sensitivity to fragrance is not the same as an allergy to the various chemicals in fragrances & allergies are not the same as asthma. I agree that in a medical facility, the use of fragrances should be not allowed, due to people’s various allergies & the fact that some people do suffer from asthma & other respiratory ailments. I have many allergies myself; I also get migraines & many fragrances will trigger a migraine.
Your first sentence, while technically correct, some fragrances certainly trigger my athsma. Now could I be allergic? I dunno? Allergic and asthmatic symptoms sure do seem similar. I freely admit I am not well read in this. I am an expert in nothing and proud of it! 😉 I don’t specifically know if I’m allergic, or if my asthma is triggered by the fragrance (this seems more likely,) and the symptoms are merely similar, yet not the same exact condition. Either way, the stink is still trying to kill me/us.
The very few migraines I’ve had, I do not envy your condition. Never would have thought fragrance can trigger a migraine. But after what I just went through, I am definately not surprised.
I can remember having to walk quickly, holding my breath, past the fragrance counter in Macy’s. How all of that was acceptable to those working there I don’t know. I guess it is like the fragrances coming from a bake shop . . . free advertising.
Now bakery fragrance, I can manage that!
My local pharmacy sells all sorts of stinky things. I much prefer the drive thru window.
My other-half has extreme childhood asthma and is on daily medication so I’m sure he would totally identify with what you experienced. And he too avoids the “soap” and “fragrance” aisles in stores.
On one hand, I can appreciate what the folks in the doctor’s office were trying to do, but considering the people who walk through their doors, it was a very UNWISE move. Glad you’re better!
I am sure your other half and I can relate on the issue.
Anyone in a medical profession, has to know, that some people have issues with fragrances. My wife, an LPN, she knows. So those who do not, were not properly trained, or otherwise willfully ignorant. I suspect the latter.
“Whats a little freshener going to hurt?” Right?
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I really like perfume, and this is still one of my pet peeves. If a person standing right next to you can maybe catch a faint whiff, that’s the most perfume someone should wear. Anything more than that, and you are wearing too frikkin much! There are people who wear so much stink that you can tell they’ve been in a room ten minutes after they’ve left! You can smell them coming! Are they anosmic or just assholes? Room scenters and fragrance candles should be for home use only, and never for a public place.
My chorus has a strict no perfume policy. Any medical office should have the same rule.
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Ubi, there are people who leave a room and you are left wondering whether there was chemical warfare going on. And here, I don’t have any sensitivities as described in this post.
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I agree 1000%!
I sometimes wonder if some people just lose their sense of smell to the point it takes an entire bottle of perfume before they can smell it?
Then, they are walking around thinking gee whiz my x brand perfume just keeps getting weaker all the time?
I can’t think of any other rational explanation for that.
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My friend, first sorry for that terrible experience but then second, I laughed at how you tell it. It is almost vivid.
Good! It is fine, and somewhat intended for my unpleasant experiences to be laughed at.
If I can laugh at it, so should the world. Were it not for a sense of humor I’m not sure the human experience would be worth the trouble.
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The ability to laugh at ourselves lessens the pain of some of our experiences
Just try finding non scented products. I even saw a soap commercial advertising that their ‘clean scent’ lasted 5 times longer! People are so weird. I make sure that anyone I know – the younger the better – who wears perfumed products understand they are wearing the anal gland secretions of rodents (the Spanish beaver’s anal juices is the top choice) which is the chemical carrier of the various scents. Yup, nothing says ‘clean’ like beaver anus.
Mmmm hmmm, nothing like some Spanish beaver, anus juice based, perfume!
Yeesh! That’s disgusting!
Tildeb, why do I get the odd notion you are that guy who tells kindergarteners that Santa Claus isn’t real? 😉
It is difficult to find non scented items. Many of those those claiming to be non scented, have an obvious odor. But they got me to buy it once.
…for the record, I always told my kids Santa was BS. When they asked me. I figure I’m not going to throw a wrench in their bullshit detector. I’d rather they know the truth when they come asking. They already have a pretty good idea anyway.
I was the same with religion.
I never attached my belief/non belief in Santa – or any religious belief/non belief, for that matter – when it came to kids. I would explain the stories (“Some people believe… It is said…, Maybe such and such represents this really great idea… that kind of thing), but keep my own out of it. Must be the teacher in me. But most kids figure stuff out for themselves far sooner than many adults give them credit for.
Non scented products do indeed contain scents so the trick is to find hypoallergenic products. The next nearest thing is ‘fragrant free’, which has a much higher bar than non scented. Still, these are the products that are much harder to find. Because my spouse worked in healthcare and hospital settings, we usually had a pretty good idea of how to find what we needed. But I have yet to encounter a high school girl who continues with perfumes knowing she’s applying anus juices. Guys? They learn ‘cologne’ is just another word for ‘perfume’, and who wants to go out with a guy who likes to lather on anal gland excretions? They smell bad enough without adding more to the mix.
I quit using after shave long long ago. Not that it caused me fragrance issues, or that it is Spanish beaver anal juice based, which had I known might have been a reason to stop lol, but because the after shaves I like the scent of, were just too strong. I didn’t want to smell “perfumed” for hours.
I started using Edge gel to shave, turns out it has a pleasant scent, that doesn’t stink up a room, and as Ubi alluded to, you had to be snuggle close to even smell it.
It’s also the best shaving tool I have found. It would be my luck there’s anal beaver juice in that too 😉
Kids can be pretty bright, if we let them. I have seen many children beaten into intellectual submission with religion. I saw it when I was a kid, I just did not understand what I was seeing till I got a little older.