Today, I have the honor to welcome Kathryn Treat to my blog for a word about her book, Allergic to Life. Kathryn is a Rave Reviews Book Club member and author. So, join the fun with Kathryn and me.
How Do You Celebrate the Holidays?
I am sure that most of your holiday celebrations do not include your family looking like this.
This was my first Thanksgiving after returning from Dallas and moving into my safe home. This looks more like a group of people at a painter’s convention than a family sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal. My family has done its very best to do whatever it takes to keep me from having reactions. Even if it meant wearing these lovely one-size-fits-all Tyvek suits (that one size being XXXL). These lovely Tyvek suits protected me from anything my family’s clothing might contain. The hats were to help with the chemicals and fragrances in their hair care products. They also wore surgical booties to protect me from what was on their shoes or socks. We eventually graduated to other options for the holidays. Christmas was the most difficult. One year I bought everyone flannel pajama pants and t-shirts online, washed them until they were good for me, and then had everyone change into them in the garage. I bought clothes as Christmas gifts and did the same procedure and they wore them home after Christmas. My family and I have even had Thanksgiving dinner outside twice when the weather was nice to avoid everyone having to change into Tyvek suits.
I have also had my share of holiday disasters since becoming ill. The time I set the oven on fire is a good example of a disaster especially for someone with chemical sensitivities.
Excerpt from Chapter 61
On Christmas Eve, Laura and I made a cheesecake. There must have been too much butter in the crust or the pan was not put together correctly because it leaked all over the oven. In my infinite wisdom (and brain fog), I decided that we would just set the oven to the self-clean cycle and watch a movie. Then it would be clean the next morning and not smoke when we cooked dinner. All of a sudden we heard popping and crackling! There was a fire in the oven. We immediately turned the oven off and the whole house smelled of smoke. It was cold but we opened doors and windows in an attempt to get the smoke out. The smoke eventually left but the smell did not. Great! I had contaminated the only safe place I had. My only option was to go into the garage and sleep in the car. But it was so darn cold. My clothes in the house smelled, as did my blankets. My only choice was to sleep in the car wearing two Tyvek suits to try and stay warm, and I occasionally started up the car to turn the heater on. Morning came and, while the house wasn’t perfect, I managed by wearing my mask. But I had the awful task of washing and drying all the clothes my family would be wearing when they arrived as well as all my bedding.
We survived but what a story that made.
What type of strange or unusual things does your family do for the holidays? Would they be willing to put on a Tyvek suit if it meant the only way they could come into your home?
More About the Book
Allergic to Life can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Signed copies may be purchased at Kathryn’s website.