Reconciling Activities and Allergies

Since finding out about my allergies, there are a lot of things I’ve avoided doing because I know it would cause a flare-up. For people around me, they would never consider these things a problem, but I’m always thinking about how to avoid rashes. Go figure.

file2791245784270My husband and I recently celebrated an anniversary. When thinking up what to do, we started out with the usual conversation you’d expect anyone to have:

“What should we do tonight?”

“How about a movie?”

“The only things on are X, Y, and Z.”

“Y sounds interesting.”

“Are you choosing that because you think you’d actually enjoy it, or because it’s the best of bad choices?”

“I’m not sure.”

All normal enough, right? This is where it delved into the realm of allergies:

“A movie’s probably not the best because we won’t get to talk and we could end up sitting next to people who are wearing strong scents. Plus the not knowing if it’s any good. How about bowling?”

“If I had my own shoes, that would be great. I’d love to. But I don’t want to buy my own shoes, and the bowling alley sprays chemicals into them after every use.”

“Damn, I hadn’t thought of that. Well how about a meal and glow mini golf?”


_MG_3631mesabar1In the end, we had a good evening. My husband and I ate a nice meal of prime rib (my without any dairy or eggs added to the plate), then we perused a bookstore without a little one in tow. Following the bookstore, my husband thoroughly trounced me in mini golf, with nine fewer strokes than I had, and some amazing shots. We came home, showered, and spent the rest of the evening together.

That got me thinking about some of the other things I’ve avoided after learning about my allergies and intolerances:

  • Going to breakfast places. Nothing on the menu is edible (egg and dairy free).
  • Eating dessert at restaurants. Ditto on the edible food. Vegan restaurants are the exception. Not that I’m vegan, but they do speak my language when it comes to desserts.
  • Swimming at the pool. The chlorine makes my skin instantly rashy, dry, and scaly.
  • Entering *that* entrance of department stores. What doesn’t kill you definitely doesn’t make you stronger.
  • Entering the cleaning product aisle at grocery stores. I can smell that place an aisle away.
  • Joining a tightly-packed group of people. All of the freshly-washed clothing rubbing up against me!
  • Enjoying french fries at most places. Cooked in the same fryer as egg- and dairy-based breadings.
  • Buying anything from thrift stores. The last time I traveled by plane, one of my pieces of luggage broke, and my friend suggested Value Village. Aside from just having to enter the store and be exposed to all of the laundry detergents or chemicals that have been used, I wouldn’t have been able to clean the luggage well enough while camping to actually be able to use it.
  • Listening to my husband play violin close up. All that rosin (colophony) dust from the bow strings… This one’s probably not a bad thing. Violins are LOUD.
  • Wearing a borrowed helmet to ride a horse. Disinfecting chemicals, residual shampoos, and more make for unsafe horse riding too.

file000915862522It’s not all bad news. There are all sorts of other activities I can do, like the glow golf, laser tag, eating at many restaurants, swimming in natural bodies of water, camping, dancing in open spaces, gardening, jumping on trampolines, going to the park or for a walk, and so much more.  In a supremely beautiful irony, I’ve always loved trees and nature, and I’m being forced back towards it by my body.  I do miss bowling though.

What activities have you changed since finding out about your allergies? How have they changed? Have you found any ways around the issues so you can still do things that you love? Comment below.

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