This allergy at times feels like you are playing a meta children's game with rules made and enforced by one of the trickster gods that doesn't mind a little pain as a teaching tool or finds it amusing to watch a human squirm.
The trickster god I'm most partial to is Sun Wu-Kong (孫悟空), the Monkey King, from Journey to the West . In some lesser translations he is referred to as Naughty Monkey. It’s easy to imagine a naughty, prankster monkey changing the rules on what's safe in Touch / Don't Touch quickly and capriciously just to watch what happens — then swinging by his tail, rocked by laughter at the antics of this silly human who can't keep up with his rules.
I don’t know if a malicious Monkey King, Kupua , Iktomi or maybe Loki designed the rule set I should have been following this past week. My safe zone has been shifting around the edges and it’s increasing my reactivity.
I wonder what it takes to bribe a god to get just 5 minutes with an English copy of their rule book?
I’m having problems with my game because I’ve changed a few habits, broadened my horizons and have my wheat allergic brother visiting. Unfortunately some of his staple foods contain high amounts of corn and while he is being as careful as possible, I know that he’s not used to dealing with my protocol and while he tries, he’s not always as careful as I’d like. He’s also introducing some unsafe chemicals into my normal safe zone.
If the gods have been a little capricious for you with the Touch / Don’t Touch rules, here are some helpful hints, with links. Remember, this is what works for my individual case, your results may vary. Trial one new thing at a time and use caution, please!
Touch Kitchen Dishmate Ultra Washing Liquid (Pear smells best IMO) Electrosol Dishwasher Tablets (the name is changing to Finish, I hope it doesn’t mean an ingredient change)— original only, not the citrus scent. I have no idea why this doesn’t bother me, it was a lucky accident that I discovered it. The citric acid in the Ecover dishwasher powder makes it hard for me to breathe. Again, reactions may vary. Trial carefully, this seems like is shouldn't be safe, but it has been fine for me. Brawny or Bounty Paper Towels — Just remember to look for the cute lumberjack, but watch out for the glue on the first and last ones.
Bathroom Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap — only the pure olive oil, no other kind is safe. ShiKai Natural Everyday Shampoo & Conditioner —(no other type of Shikai is corn free). Scott’s Regular Brand Toilet Paper — there are some places you really never want to be itchy. Only the cheapest version is safe, this is the one time this allergy saves you money! I don’t know about the recycled kind they are now marketing. I may trial it when I’m having a good month. Moisturizer— I’ve given up the search for a safe moisturizer, but Whole Foods 360 Organic Olive Oil and Trader Joe’s Organic Olive Oil work wonders. Just put it in a small plastic spray bottle, spray a little in your hand and pat it on after your shower. You do need to wait a few minutes before touching your clothes. Deodorant — Almay Clear Gel, Fragrance Free works okay for me, but if you react to that, try one of those Thai Deodorant Crystals . You’ll still sweat, but you won’t be smelly. Toothpaste — Adwe Labs Cool Mint Gel, Kosher for Passover works for me. (Word to the wise, if your partner isn’t eating your same foods, make sure they brush with a designated allergen free toothbrush and your toothpaste before kissing you. Just tell him/her you’d like to know that is it the kiss, not the allergy, making your pulse race and taking your breath away. :P)
Laundry All Free and Clear — this has been working really well for me. I'll sometimes add baking soda, and a little organic apple cider vinegar if I’m trying to get a smell out (from clothes that have been borrowed or given to me) since there are no masking fragrances in this the detergent the smells from other detergents take a while to wash out.
Don’t Touch: The easy answer is, don't touch anything you don't know is safe. But that is just impossible. The day to day ones that seem to stay on the rule book areTape Glue Stickers Stamps Regular Toothpaste Corn filled processed foods Perfume, cologne Corn based alcohols, alcohol swabs Baby wipes Makeup Hairspray and other hair goop Gasoline w/ ethanol Corny people — get good at that superficial air kiss with your family and close friends.
If this is just too much, you can always rewrite the rule book and pull one over on those trickster gods.
Take on the Corny World Wear Gloves — Powder free, latex free . Touch anything. Break the rules. Laugh at fate, but not too loud.
Remember, gods aren’t know for their sense of humor. I’m still paying for my lapses of last week, trying not to scratching like a naughty monkey.