This season used to be one of my favorites. I loved the smell of autumn leaves, bonfires, and cinnamon. I loved wearing a hoodie and jeans and sitting by the fire; whether it was with friends, with my family, or alone when people would go inside. I loved the smell. I was so excited when I was 13 and we moved houses and we got to move into a house with a fireplace! Only for my excitement to be replaced by disappointment when I realized it was gas logs and we wouldn’t get that amazing fire smell. I loved walking into a craft store and would smell the cinnamon scent that covers everything crafty around this time of year. I loved the smell of the leaves when you walked outside and knew it was fall.
Now, everything has changed. Anytime I smell any kind of smoke, I immediately need to put on a mask and get out of the area as fast as I can. My body has started to react to different things, that I can’t even be in the same area as the smoke because it gets on my clothes and on my skin. I break out in hives with the smallest of things. What really sucks is that the temperature is finally great enough to open the windows; until someone decides to start a bonfire in the neighborhood and we need to close all windows. Just tonight, I was going to go outside and help my mom pick up the “presents” from the dogs, and I smelled something and immediately had to go back inside. It’s so frustrating to know I can’t leave my house sometimes because of smells. It’s isolating too–people talk about having a bonfire at their house, and I’m like, “well, I wish I could be there…but your bonfire could potentially kill me.” They’re all understanding, but it still sucks.
With regards to the cinnamon smell, it sent me to the hospital last time I visited JoAnn Fabrics. The smell was so overpowering that it closed my throat right up. I tried to treat it myself with medication at home, but it wasn’t enough. This ended up being my worst anaphylactic reaction I’ve ever had. I Epi’d myself and got to the hospital, and in the 20 minutes between home and ER, my voice had already started to disappear again, and the nurse could see how swollen my throat was just by looking at it. I’m normally pretty calm during a reaction, but this time was different. It was pretty scary. Thankfully, the ER staff was FANTASTIC. I can’t say enough good things about them! I talked about them in a past post. But seriously.
So with regards to the leaf scent, I’ve always had allergies to the mold on the leaves…but it’s gotten so bad. Hives allll over.
I cannot get over how crazy this disorder has become. It’s so violating. It’s taking everything I enjoy. A couple Saturdays ago I went to a bridal shower. I had helped plan some of the activities and I was really excited that I was going to be able to go to this! And then someone walked in wearing perfume. And I’m not talking just a dab here and there, but I think she bathed in the perfume. It was so bad. It took one sniff and my throat immediately started to get tight. I burst into tears. One more thing that I enjoy that’s taken away. Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day and I was able to sit outside, but I missed EVERYTHING. The family who was throwing the shower is family–chosen family–and they felt absolutely horrible; they kept blaming themselves for my reaction. In reality, it’s nobody’s fault. The mother of the groom is one of my mom’s best friends, and her kids (she has 8!!!) are pretty much family. The girls took turns coming out and sitting with me, which made me feel really good. I had to take a ton of meds to keep my throat open, but I managed to stay awake and enjoy snuggling with their dog who was going to be shut away from the party. I was pretty spaced out–almost stoned–but I was able to stay, which was my main goal.
I cannot tell you how much I have to mourn the different things that I like to do and care about. Thankfully, I’m able to have fun doing whatever I can…it’s just a very specific kind of fun. So, with regards to fall, I loved you. Now, I just want you to end. I can’t handle this. In reality, I can’t handle any Michigan weather–I react to Heat, cold, humidity, and the sun. The perfect place for me is a place with mild summers, mild winters, not a ton of humidity, and enough shade to keep me safe. I’m thinking the Pacific Northwest is a good place for me to live. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Keep me in your prayers!
All my love,