I love shower time because my mind is allowed to wander aimlessly. Occasionally, it comes up with good ideas.
I don’t usually like to even think about living my life over type questions. I think they’re pointless, and can often lead to negative thoughts. BUT, sometimes, it can be a good learning tool for yourself or others, so here goes:
If I had my life to live over, I think I would have avoided ALL fragrances. I was 16 when I had my first migraine. I was able to trace it to a single perfume and deduced that I was allergic to it. (Which wasn’t technically correct, the response is not an allergic reaction.) Other perfumes didn’t bother me. At first. Then, over time, more and more fragrances began to bother me. I eliminated all perfumes and colognes from my life. I found unscented hair products, deodorants, laundry products, etc.
I kept adding to the list. I used to make a huge batch of spaghetti sauce a few times a year. I’d start it early in the morning and let it simmer all day. The aromas filled the entire house. Then I’d freeze it in dinner-for-two size portions. It makes a pretty quick meal. But in late ’03, I wound up with a bad migraine from smelling the sauce all day. And trust me, everything in that sauce was natural.
It’s one thing to have to (try to) avoid fragrances. It’s another when you have to avoid natural smells such as cooking smells.
A common migraine theory is that the triggers for a migraine are additive. So that if I get enough in my system, I wind up with a migraine. My personal theory as to why I began having migraines all the time a few years back is that the is an accumulation within the body. Thus my system reacts more readily to things that never used to bother me. So, IF I could live my life over again, here is what I would do different:
- I would avoid all perfumes and fragrances in the products I used.
- I would try, as much as possible, to avoid places that purposely put fragrances in the air. (Especially those I could avoid – malls, Disneyworld (yup, they do!), certain stores.) This one would be hard since in today’s world you encounter them in grocery stores.
- I would avoid all artificial sweeteners. I used to drink a lot of diet sodas. But now they all bother me. No matter what allegedly natural sweetener they use.
- I would avoid all nitrates and nitrates – the preservatives that allow your ham, bacon and lunch meat to seemingly last forever. I had a friend years ago who would preach against these. At the time, I thought he was a bit “over the top” about it. Turns out, he was right – there’s nothing good about them.
- I would never touch anything with MSG in it.
- I would definitely not have started smoking.
Would all this help? Can’t say for sure. But perhaps it is worth a try. I have a good friend who has bad reactions (worse than mine) to one or two perfumes. I think she believes I’m a bit “over the top” with all my preaching against perfumes. Except that she hasn’t really put together the fact that, in the 7 years I’ve known her, I’ve watched her add more than one fragranced product to her list. Hmmm….