Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bracing Myself for the Holidays

There is a good chance that my holidays are going to suck. Here's why:

I can not help my sensitivity to fragrances. And I know I complain about them a lot. But, they make my life unbearable a lot. Perfume, cologne, aftershave, lotion, makeup, body wash, hair care products, scented candles, potpourri, incense, and air fresheners all make my head hurt. (And can I send out a special shout-out to the motion sensitive air freshener I've seen on tv? If I walk into someone's house and one of those scent snipers shoots its poison anywhere near me, I'm throwing it of the house like a live grenade.) It seems like everyone brings out their smelly candles and favorite perfume at this time of year. And I end up feeling like a jerk for being sensitive to it.

If the clouds of perfume wafting off of my grandmother like napalm haven't ruined my appetite, the food of the holidays threatens to take me down. 'Tis to season to be a glutton and eating a large amount of crap food never makes me feel good. As hard as it is to turn down another crescent roll, or to not eat one (or more) of every kind of cookie on the table, or to avoid the snack table altogether, it's worse to have to leave early. So, no cookies for me.

I may have mentioned a few times that earplugs: mandatory. I'm also trying to think of creative ways to xmas up my noise canceling industrial earmuffs, just in case it gets extra loud. If I had money I would by some small santa hats and affix them to each muff. Maybe I'll just cut up some snowflakes and tape them on. Of course, there will be pictures taken, so I'll be weighing the embarrassment and comfort factors and I'll let you know who wins.

I wish I had a cute winter hat with a brim. Ball caps and beachy bucket hats won't match my outfit. But, blocking overhead lights has become very important, so I'm hoping to work something out.

I'll have my sunglasses with me at all times. Christmas lights are lovely, but can be bright. Worse, they are often blinky. I simply can't have anything blinking in my eyesight without feeling ill, confused, and getting all triggery.

I bring two bags with me almost everywhere we go now. My purse, which holds all the normal stuff (plus a small headache kit) and another bag with emergency stuff, like a scarf and mittens, the headphones, and icepacks. I don't always need something from my extra bag, but when I do, it saves the day, truly.

So, be prepared is the moral of this story. And be kind to others who may have just come in from the cold and blinking lights.


Abigail said...

I have a question and don't see a place to ask it other than to comment on a post.

What are people donating to if they click the donation button on your blog?


Stephanie said...

Hi Abi,

I'll add my email address around here somewhere, to make it easier to contact me. It hadn't even occurred to me!

I just added that paypal link, like an hour ago, and I haven't settled on how to present it to the internet without being tacky, so I was going for vague until I thought of something better. Way to call me out on it.

Any donations a person makes through that link are to me. To fund my food, drugs, rent, utilities, or whatever I need to pay for at the moment (unless the donor specifies in their donation, in which case I will have no choice but to use the funds as they have been designated, and I have only just come up with that stipulation because it sounds like it could result in shenanigans). My logic is that writers get paid for their books, maybe I can get paid for my blog?

Honestly, I'm poor. We're having trouble paying bills and I'm not above handouts.

Yeah, I'm trying to figure out how to say all that, fit it into a small, subtle little text box, and also not be tacky.

And my e-mail is peinahpets(at)


Arabella said...

I noticed that you had a blog post featured in the December Migraine and Headache Blog Carnival. It would be nice if you at least posted the carnival here to help support it since they supported you.

Stephanie said...


You're right, the polite thing to do is to post a link back to the carnival. I have definitely been lacking in the polite department lately, thanks for the reminder. I'll get it up shortly.


joana-infp said...

I just found your blog thru the Migraine Carnival site and I like what you're writing. I hear you - and I suffer with you. It used to be that fragrances were the only thing that caused a migraine besides the visitation of "The Curse" but as I've gotten older, it's been other things. This year's specialty has been weather changes. Oh, the joys of perimenopause -NOT. I'm totally with you in wanting to take those motion-sensor stink emitters and throw them in some fragrance destroying pit! Not only do those nasty colognes, fragrances (except citrus, for some reason), and such give me migraines, the same fragrances also cause me to have asthma attacks. Double bummer. My brother has been wearing some cologne the past few times that smells like some large mammal that rolled in its own urine - musky, woodsy, yuk. I haven't had the courage to ask him to refrain from wearing it - yet. His wife gets migraines all the time - I wonder if that scent is adding to them? Hmmm.