Costco is not my friend. I wish it was my friend because it’s big and beautiful and sells the only underwear I’ve ever felt comfortable in, but I can’t go in there anymore.
Yesterday my neighbor invited me to accompany her on a Costco run. At first I said no, because every time I had gone to Costco in the past, I became severely ill with a migraine within hours after my visit.
Unfortunately as fate would have it, I saw my neighbor as I was about to enter my apartment and this time I said yes. I so like my neighbor and my puppy Lucille loves to be in a car and how could I say no? Perhaps all this chemical sensitivity garbage was really in my head, as certain key players in my life have long told me.
I have always felt and looked a little different from the norm. I was born with Moebius Syndrome which is a rare disease with many possible symptoms. Part of mine is a compromised immune system as well as partially working six and seventh cranial nerves which meant that my peripheral vision was impaired as was my ability to fully smile.
Part of hesitation in claiming my sensitivities was always feeling slightly different than anyone else. Moebius Syndrome is so unusual that I didn’t meet anyone exactly like me until I was in my forties. Perhaps if I had known of people with my condition I wouldn’t have felt like a unicorn, something rare and mythical and unreal.
I am so exhausted from trying to pretend I’m just like everyone else, and as I get older I’m becoming more and more comfortable being my crooked little self but yesterday I just wanted to have a fun afternoon and thought perhaps if I wished hard enough to be ‘normal’ somehow that would be protection enough.
So off we went and it was fun to walk around and see all the tv’s and oversized cereal boxes and their display of books. I don’t partake in the samples because even though I’ve healed my decades long eating disorder, random snacking is just too triggering.
I was going to buy a giant bottle of Cold F/x but I’m on this self imposed austerity program so I passed. Normally I would have put the bottle back on the self, but this time my lovely neighbor did, as I had left it on a random shelf when I decided (with some internal anguish) to leave the Cold/Fx behind, and I didn’t trust myself to put it back and not put it in her shopping cart once again.
All in all a lovely hour spent together but I’ve been so ill all night and this morning. I’ve taken many drugs which dull the pain but do not take it away leaving me with additional complications from the pain and allergy medications.
In addition the low barometric pressure isn’t helping. I will be eventually be okay, but I must never go to Costco (or IKEA for that matter, where I have had similar reactions).
I need to tell myself that chemical sensitivity is real and I’m the only one that needs to understand and respect my body’s limits. Even if millions of people can go to Costco and suffer no ill effects, that’s not my experience, and I need to honour my sensitivities.
I’m sharing this to keep myself in check but also to share my experiences with you, my Vocal friends, to see if any of you have experienced similar symptoms while out and about in our often overwhelming world.