Posted in Stories

Devil Allergies

Day 29 of the ‘Post A Day 2011′ challenge: What’s going on in your life right now that’s driving you nuts?

An exquisite perfume tiptoes on the breeze, swirls through the crowd and spreads thoughts of spring flowers in its wake. Just a touch, just a memory. Just enough to take a deeper breath and smile. In a daze I head straight towards the nearest perfumery, only to halt on the threshold. It is forbidden territory for this Dutchess.

All my life my body has been fighting against imaginary things, substances that just are not worth bothering with. It started with nickel. What? Are you touching me with that metal? Alright, suit yourself, I’ll fight back with little red itching spots! There, see, I’ve won! Yeah, good for you my dear body, you’ve done well.

Things gradually grew worse. Allergic skin reactions to antibiotic Clamoxyl. Preservatives in lotions and facial cream were the newest devils. My brother gave me a wonderful birthday gift: a voucher for a beauty treatment at Yves Rocher. I told the beautician that I was extremely sensitive to all kind of stuff. No worries, we only use natural ingredients. Hurray, it’s time to enjoy, recline and be spoiled. A cooling mask, in combination with eye cream. Bliss lasted for less than five minutes. By that time I was screaming for her to get it OFF. She told me to relax, but one look at my eyes convinced her otherwise. Hurriedly she removed all traces of cream, but it already was too late. My skin was aflame, my eyes half shut and red, tears streaming down my face. They say beauty is only skin deep. Well, let me tell you, deep down I was still a beauty! 😉

A test at the dermatologist revealed plenty of allergies. After trying out several brands – resulting in another visit to the hospital with a thick red layer of facial skin like a burn victim – I found my savior: Clinique Skin Care. Finally a brand without cheap preservatives, a line without – totally unnecessary – perfume. My skin was happy.

BORING, my body thought. Perhaps we can find something new! Ah yes, leather, that should be fun. Let’s see how she copes with this challenge! A new leather band for my watch. After one day the itching begins on the inside of my wrist. Weird, I’ll wear it on the right side to see what’s happening. Within three days both my writs were swollen with an aggressive rash ’till they bled. Wearing boots on my bare legs. My skin erupted into two bands of a red itching semi-permanent tattoo. Only the strongest hormone ointment could punch my body into submission. New allergy test with over seventy allergens. And boy oh boy, how I reacted. I’m still bearing the scars of the test results on my back. The dermatologist told me my knowledge about allergies was impressive. That I was doing all the right things.

Here is the list, goodbye!

What do you mean, goodbye?!

Just try to avoid these allergens and you’ll be alright. Have a pleasant life.

Twice a year and increasing, my lungs are tortured by a mysterious substance, soon turning into a tracheal infection. Three weeks of recovering, sitting up straight all through the night for the first week, my windpipe playing an unkind melody, trying to choke me. A true impressive coughing concert. Running outside in the middle of the night to suck in a bit of oxygen. An inhaler called Ventolin and codeine cough-smothering pills are the latest solution. Take that dearest body. Back off nasty reactions, these things are NOT hostile!

Since last week another new development. The copier! Ink! Yikes, such a nasty machine, let’s see what creative torment we can use it for. My body’s idea of ‘fun’. I had been copying big piles of exam papers and counting them for several student groups. Every now and then I had to moisten my finger to separate the papers. Within three minutes my upper lip started throbbing and burning. Withing four minutes my head was under a stream of cold water. Too late. Damn you nasty body reactions, get a life will ya?! An angry red rash around my mouth and in my neck appeared out of nowhere, keeping me awake at night. The next day a huge reaction under my right eye.

Hey this is big fun, we’re having a paaaaaaaaaaaaaaarty. My lungs jumped right in and started dancing and swaying, tickling me with every breath. Ventolin, do your work, I beg of you! So yes, allergies are driving me NUTS at the moment.

I would LOVE to cover myself in a cloud of flower essence, to be able to buy fun jewelry – not made of silver, titanium or white gold – and wear it, to shop without reading the tiny letters of ingredients. To take a bath with perfumed oil. But that is not meant for me. Damn , I must be a very pure woman! So I spend my daily life trying to avoid old allergens and preventing new allergies to develop.

Fortunately I’m not allergic to nuts. Actually I’m nuts for nuts! And that is a good thing! 😀