Woman Sues To Ban Perfume At Work

This could be a boon to those of us who are highly sensitive to fragrances. Susan McBride works for the City of Detroit and is suing to have her co-workers banned from wearing perfume at work. Seems the perfumes cause her severe headaches, nausea and coughing fits. She is citing disability laws – which is correct. Frankly, there are so many business in violation of disability laws for the same reason.

For me, I currently work out of my home. And I’ve done so for over 4 years. I honestly don’t think that I could go back to work in an office environment. My husband comes home from work and his clothes literally reek with perfumes from his co-workers.

I hope that she is successful in her lawsuit. It will make great headway in resolving this health issue.

Read the whole story.

Time Released Fragrance in a Deodorant

I’ve seen this on a tv commercial recently. I don’t recall the brand, which is OK because I wouldn’t give them a plug if I did remember it.

It starts out talking about how their deodorant works continuously to stop odor. Turns out that it does this by time-releasing a fragrance.

I had always though that a deodorant would work to prevent or destroy body odor, not mask it. But I check the dictionary and it defines deodorant like this:

a substance that removes or conceals unpleasant smells, esp. bodily odors.

So, masking body odor is a valid function of a deodorant. If you have problems with fragrance chemicals, you may want to keep this in mind when you look for a deodorant you can use.

Seven Reasons YOU Should Be Concerned About Fragrances

  1. Using fewer fragranced products will help your fragrance-challenged friends. (You likely know some who suffer in silence.)
  2. It will help limit the VOCs in everyone’s drinking water.
  3. If all the groceries and restaurants quit using air fresheners, you wouldn’t be eating so many VOCs in your food.
  4. We’ll all breathe a little better – especially asthmatics and COPD sufferers.
  5. Fragrance products that contain VOCs trigger migraines in many people. Migraines are more than a headache, they are a neurological disorder. This means that VOCs ultimately impact the brain. What can it mean for children who’s bodies are still forming?
  6. According to a recent survey, 39% of men prefer a woman to smell like the clean smell of soap.
  7. A recent study has found that fetuses and babies are highly susceptible to chemical pollutants that can cause disease or disability.

What Is This Thing Called Migraine?

Do you know what a migraine is? Do you think you know?

Many people believe that a migraine is just a really bad headache. Which is wrong. In fact, the typical tension headache is caused by blood vessel constriction. With a migraine, the same blood vessels are dilated.

Many doctors define a migraine as having sharp, throbbing pain on one side of the head, with nauseau, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. They also think of them as more severe than a tension headache.

I cannot tell you how many times I have read and heard that definition from doctors! Even some of the “experts” on migraine cannot agree. I’ve seen more than one “expert” defintion that is similar the above. And perhaps that is why I had migraines for over 30 years before even knowing they were migraines.

Here’s an definition I found online:

A familial, recurrent syndrome characterized usually by unilateral head pain, accompanied by various focal disturbances of the nervous system, particularly in regard to visual phenomenon, such as scintillating scotomas. Classified as classic migraine, common migraine, cluster headache, hemiplegic migraine, ophthalmoplegic migraine, and ophthalmic migraine.

That was helpful, wasn’t it?

The reality is that you have to look at the totality of symptoms and their history in order to diagnose migraine. Migraines are not always one-sided. They are not always throbbing. They do not always cause nausea or vomiting. They are not always accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound. And further, there can be degrees of pain with a migraine.

Statistics say that some 28 million people in the United States suffer from migraine. And that’s just those that have been properly diagnosed. We’re called migraneurs – at least we have a nice-sounding name!

What else should you know about migraines? They are a neurological disease. A prolonged migraine can lead to stroke and even death. They often result in decreased productivity, inability to think clearly,

Treatment for migraines is quite different than for a tension headache. Often, OTC treatments won’t help a migraine. Furthermore, for some perverse reason, those that suffer with migraines (we’re called migraneurs – at least we have a nice name!) can also suffer from rebound headaches from many of the same medications that help a migraine.

So, what do you do if you think you may have a migraine?

  • Keep a diary of your head pain. Record where you were, what you were doing, time of day, etc. If you’re able to identify situations that seem to trigger the problem, try avoiding them.
  • By all means, seek help. A migraine isn’t just a headache and needs to be taken seriously.
  • Consult with your primary doctor.
  • If your primary doctor gives a definition as above and it doesn’t fit your symptoms, then see a neurologist. Keep looking until you find someone who really understands migraine.
  • Learn more. There are a number of sites, listed below, that can help you learn more about migraine. (There are others, too, but many of them are sponsored by drug companies who have their own agenda – selling you drugs.)

ACHE – American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education

American Headache Society
MAGNUM: The National Migraine Association

How To Tell Someone Their Perfume Smells Bad

I know this is Tip-sy Tuesday, but no, I don’t know how to tell someone their perfume smells bad. Someone went to Google, searched on that phrase, and found my blog.

And I could really sympathisize with that person. Many of us have needed to know exactly that. How do you tell someone that their perfume literally makes you sick.

There just isn’t an easy way. For many years, I thought that my problem was an allergy. And many people don’t really understand the difference there. Why not call it an allergy? Well, to get technical, an allergy is an immunological response to something – an allergen.

Unfortunately, some people interpret “I am allergic to your perfume” as “I don’t like your perfume”. Well that’s not what is meant. For example, I’m allergic to coconut. I happen to like coconut, a lot. I occasionally even have a craving for a Mounds bar. But I don’t give in to that craving because of my allergy. Another example, I’m allergic to cats. And I love cats! In fact, my cat is currently sleeping on my desk while I type this. That is an allergy that I have learned to deal with.

But perfumes and fragrances are another matter. In fact, rather than being an allergy, my reaction is a neurological reaction. Which explains why sometimes, with a migraine, I just can’t even think straight. And that can be very scary.

The reactions people have when I tell them that their perfume bothers me are strong. I once had a lady sit down next to me on a bus – she had the aisle seat. Immediately, I knew there would be a problem with her perfume. Her response? “I like this seat, I’m not moving.” And so, I got up and moved, although I was sorely tempted to remain and tell her that often my reaction included projectile vomiting!

I’ve also had people – even family – inform me that they have lost too many rights already, and that they have a right to wear their perfume. Sadly, between perfumes and air fresheners, this type of attitude has denied me my right to be out in public.

So, perhaps my tip today is more for the wearers of perfume. If someone tells you that your perfume bothers them, try to look at the world from their point of view. Do you have any idea how hard it is for us to tell someone that? We don’t make it up. We certainly don’t do it to attack you. It’ just a matter of our trying to survive in this world.

The next time someone lets you know that they react to your perfume, just say “I’m sorry, I’ll try not to wear it in your presence.” And then do it!

More Friday Fun – Hen and Chick

This plant is called Hen and Chick. We have some in our backyard. My husband’s grandmother had it in her backyard in High Point, North Carolina then took it with her to Florida. He got some of it in Florida and has had it growing for over 20 years! It just grows, doesn’t mind drought, doesn’t mind freezes. I swear it takes over if you let it!

Many thanks Myh for identifying the plant from May 25. She identified it as Sempervivum tectorum and an internet search tells us that both plants are called Hen and Chick. You can read her full comment by following the link.

Click on the image or here to go to the puzzle.

Hen and Chick

Do You Know What You're Breathing?