Walk your readers through a proud moment in your life chronologically. What happened before, during, and after the moment?
My mom used to wear perfume religiously.Like she couldn’t go out of the house without using some, and when I was diagnosed with Migraine, I quickly realized that scents were a major trigger for me.
I told her over and over that the perfume was physically making me sick. But it didn’t sink in.
I live in North Carolina, and my parents are up in NYC. I was already going to be in Washington DC for a few days, and as it’s halfway between us, we figured it would be a great time to meet up. I was excited about it, and so was she. I never dreamed that this would be a major major turning point in the “scent story.” Yet it was. She wore perfume during our visit together. And I couldn’t take it anymore.
When I got home, I wrote this letter:
I know that you understand that I live with a genetic neurological disease, and that I work very hard to do as much as I can to control my quality of life. Migraine Disease is insidious in that it’s poorly understood, and even though people want the best for me and others who live with this disease, they can unwittingly contribute to hours and even days of pure misery. In my case, certain odors or perfumes are a Migraine trigger, and often set off a chain of events that gives me a cluster of symptoms, including head pain, nausea, photophobia and quite often, uncontrollable vomiting. I’m writing this letter because you frequently wear perfume around me, although I’ve told you countless times that the perfume affects me in this way. This lack of consideration for my health is extremely upsetting to me. I know that you don’t think about putting perfume on, because it’s second nature for you to do so before going anywhere, or to see anyone.
I’ve always been considerate of your feelings and needs. I know you’ve been through a lot in your life, and I respect that, and would do anything to make it easier for you to process situational troubles and other needs that you have. I now have to ask you to do the same for me. I can’t be around you if you insist on wearing that perfume. It’s not a matter of “I don’t like that perfume,” it’s a “That perfume will cause me to go through unnecessary agony.” It’s not funny, it’s not something I’m taking lightly, and it’s something that I refuse to sit back and suffer through anymore.
The bottom line: I asked you to go take a shower when I first saw you in DC, ‘cause you were wearing the perfume. You didn’t. I spent the next day and a half on migraine medication and when the migraine didn’t abort, pain meds to mask the pain. I thought that it finally abated after I got home, took a nap and also took the last of my abortive meds for the month. This left me hoping that I can get through several days without another Migraine attack. Unfortunately, the migraine hadn’t truly broken, as when I woke up the next day, it was still there. I had to waste my Sunday in bed having given myself Droperidol, which is one step before the ER. That was the last time I’m going to do that. You and Dad are coming here for Thanksgiving. If you insist on wearing the perfume, plan to spend the time alone. Just like I wouldn’t go eat onions or drink something with Splenda (other Migraine Triggers), I won’t sit and smell perfume. If you guys want to spend good quality time with us, we’d love it. Just remember- the ball lies in your court, as we will leave if the perfume is present.
I love you, and can’t wait to have a hug that doesn’t make me sick.
Thanks in advance for understanding and for the fact that I know that this will be the final time I’ll need to address this issue. ‘Cause I know that you love me.
I can’t say that it was the last time she sprayed something stinky on. But when we’re together, and she needs to spray hairspray- she’ll go out in the hall of her apartment building, or hotel. She doesn’t bring perfume on trips, and doesn’t wear it when I’m visiting. It’s no longer really an issue.