DO NOT mention Thanksgiving or Christmas to me. Do not tell me to have a happy holiday. In fact, avoid me, period, until after all this Hallo-Thanks-Christmas crap is over.
Like many people with severe chronic illnesses, I actually CANNOT
- Go out to a restaurant or go visiting. I have too many special food and environmental needs.
- Go visit friends or have friends over. I am allergic to perfumes, lotions, hairspray, makeup, smoke, hand sanitizers, deodorants, breath mints, toothpaste, dog hair, cat hair, and a good deal more.
- I cannot travel as buses and planes are communal environments and contain things dangerous to me, and I cannot afford gas for long trips.
- I can’t share a meal or eat most of the traditional foods, and I cannot eat food from a communal, restaurant, or small kitchen.
- I cannot buy gifts for people – not even those I love, much less those who I am only tied to by tenous levels of obligation. My healthcare and basic food costs eat LITERALLY ALL of my money.
- I cannot receive gifts. I am allergic to wool, mothballs, detergents, books and magazines (paper/ink) and most other chemicals. And sadly almost no one ever EVER gives me something I might actually want anyway. Also sadly those people giving me things I don’t want can’t really afford to be giving me stuff either. So keep your money. Write me an email, text me, or if you really want to help materially make a donation to my HEALTH CARE ONLY fund at http://www.gofundme.com/Saving-Elaine. People who send me gifts will have them returned.
So in summary, you would all be wise to just leave me alone until January of 2014.
I am also aware that I am currently very bad company indeed. Frequently angry, often irritable, prone to cynicism and verbal attacks. Chronic illness and isolation can do that to one. Even the best of us, and I am far from being the best of anything…
This does not mean that I do not love you or care about you or value your friendship. You, who are and have been there for me are all valued and cherished and I wish you all happy holidays and pleasant lives. I wish I could share these times with you. I wish I could give you things that would make you well, make you whole, or make you happy.
I cannot. So here are my best wishes to you, in the hopes that these things find you without my aid…
D. Elaine Calderin
P.S. for those who want to know I will be spending Thanksgiving eating fish and carrots – no salt, pepper, seasonings, or condiments – and watching a movie on my DVD player.
- Allergic to Life FOR REAL: Kathryn Treat (doilooksick.wordpress.com)
- Allergic To Life: An Interview with a Survivor of Toxic Mold Part 2 (adventuresofanallergicfoodie.com)