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How I’ll handle shopping trips in the future

Tommy finished his schoolwork early today and so we decided to make a Target trip this afternoon before the rain storm and before traffic hits. I was prepping myself that Ill probably see a dog in there as on the drive a person in front of me has a bumper sticker with their dog's photo on it and paw prints, so I knew I am going to see a pet in Target even though it clearly says service animals only no pets. Well– I couldn't have prepared myself for this– I really couldn't– a lady my age walking down the aisles with a baby carrier on her stomach with a dog in it. I'm like… I give up. I can't even get into this level of dog-crazy, the lack of the many store employees walking by saying nothing, the big smile the lady gives me and my son, and I don't even know what my face looked like back because my emotions just show straight up on it but it was probably a look of utter defeat. I cannot even begin to speak my truth when stuff like this is just becoming every day. 

What is even the solution for these problems? Do people care about pollution? Do they care that city planners planted mostly male trees in large quantities years ago because they didn't make as much of a mess under them with dropping flowers only to create an imbalance in nature that resulted in trees producing high amounts of pollen with no female trees to take the pollen out of the air? Do we care that there are MANY humans with dander allergies and that they need to shop and travel and be in public too? Are people even trying to remain sane out there any more? Do people make signs and policies and then just blatantly not follow them? I just think I need to wear my mask out– every shopping trip. I better get used to handwashing and swapping them out and just start doing it. And I am! I swear I am really doing this. Baby dog inspired that in me. This is my tool, my shield, my resistance, my rebellion– and I am going to do just what I've been encouraging Lynn to, I am rocking the mask. 

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  • K8sMom2002

    @Shea, you really ARE rocking that mask! 

    I love how, even after a challenging trip like this, you are controlling what you can control … you're being proactive. 

  • Dar007

    Shea, you rock!!! I had to read that part of the dog in the baby carrier twice…because for the life of me, I don’t get it either! I get people love their pet but there is a line. And I don’t understand why that is allowed. I see more and more people taking their dogs into the hospital I work in. They are not service or therapy dogs, just pets. I also have allergies to pet dander (not as bad as yours though). I don’t think people get there are allergies out there. They. Don’t. Get. It. I think it is wise to wear the mask out from now on. It is a shame you have to. 

  • Shea

    Thank you all for the encouragement. I really appreciate it and I know some of you have dander allergies and understand personally what it is like. And DAR007, my allergies didnt start so bad either, but became worse and worse with chronic exposure– you are right people fo not get it. I really believe chronic exposure to allergens is a big problem for a lot of people, and I worry about others who might not have immediate strong reactions but might become chronically exposed over time a develop worsening allergic and asthmatic diseases that are hard to pinpoint a cause to– I have worried about that with my son who has allergies and excema. 

    My chronic exposure situation that led to the health crises was in a home environment. Once I learned of it, I made my first move getting us into a dander-free home and also minimizing things like dust mites and other irritants. But this type of dogs-inside-everywhere is a newer trend, and now– knowing the studies, knowing my reactions, knowing what is at stake (my life, my son's health, my psychological well-being, my quality of life)– I have just had to find a way to cope that makes sense and the mask is what I have so far (besides the meds which I am trying to get myself in a pisition to lower on because of serious side effects). I could online order stuff too, or do grocery curb-side pick-up— and I might eventually, I just feel like that is giving in too much because I like to get out of the house, I enjoy shopping and half the time I dont know exactly what I am looking for– I look at the vegetables and what is fresh, or if the meat looks good, I look at the clothes in person and sale racks– I just haven't figured out how to do that type of thing online yet. And I do not want to fade away in silence, and be a hermit– so this is me making myself and my asthma at least somewhat visible and saying– this is my store too, while keeping somewhat protected and not having to get annoyed trying to talk to a store manager every time I go out. 

  • LK

    Shea,  That is just plain ridiculous about the dog in the baby carrier.  Just ridiculous.  Good for you for wearing your mask!  Go Shea!!    I have taken to wearing mine in many stores just because of all the perfume scented products and people.  Even in our local Hallmark store because of all the scented items.  I sometimes tell the checkout clerk why I have it on just so he or she doesn't worry about me being contagious.  I used to apologize for wearing it but try hard not to anymore.  Shouldn't have to apologize for it. I try to say it lightheartedly.  

    I hear you on not even being able to say anything when it is such an obvious affront.  Just makes a body speechless. 

    LOVE your mask!!  I used to wear plain old blue ones but now have bright colored ones for when I go out.  Makes me feel much more cheery and hopefully like I am happy to be wearing it.  Hopefully!!   

  • Dar007

    Shea, I think you have every right as anyone to go out and shop and live life to the fullest. I think that people who don’t have severe allergies understand and that is the sad thing. I don’t get why people need to bring their dogs everywhere! Leave them home! I have a cousin who is so obsessed with her dog. She posts 50+ photos everyday on Facebook and private messages me to complain if I don’t “like” them all. I get people love their pets, but what she has for her dog is way beyond. Still shaking my head about that dog in the baby carrier! What are people thinking? We don’t have many here that brig their dogs to the malls and stores. There used to be so many people who wore perfumes, but that has gone down in recent years. It is very rare I smell strong scents when i go out (another allergy of mine). The world is full of that stuff though and I feel bad you have such bad reactions. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, how would you feel wearing a sticker or a badge with a message like this?

    Dar, I agree! No one should have to withdraw from society because of a disability. Social connections are important for overall health. 

    And you point out something else very interesting as well … these things go in phases and cycles.

    I'm revealing my age a bit, but I remember the huge pushback that came just before people began taking it for granted that drinking and driving were bad, and the equally huge pushback that came when smoking began to be banned from more and more public buildings. 

    So maybe it's darkest just before the dawn, and we're right before a tipping point? Keep advocating, keep asking, keep up all the good work! 

  • Shea

    Cynthia, I hope so!!! 

    And yes I would totally wear a sticker like that– I love it, it is perfect! Maybe get it on a button and pin it on my backpack purse. I think awareness is a key ingredient in helping resolve the issue.

  • Dar007

    What is hard is that allergies are pretty scary and disruptive, but nobody sees it. That is something I keep in mind at work. People are so cynical when they see someone come into the ER because they “look” well. But, mental disease is not visible. You don’t know what that person is going through. 

    I find asthma is like that. I myself looked at my GP when he said he thought what was wrong with me was asthma – I thought that was something people who were a lot younger developed. Nobody at work knows about my health issues. Without me saying something, they won’t know. 

     

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Yo! Rock the mask! 💿

    You go girl! I wear my mask everywhere I go. I need it so I can breathe. I couldn't care less what anyone thinks. A bread vendor asked me if I was up for something kinky. I told him that I could die without the mask. That my airway could close. Then I walked away .My husband thought the vendor was funny. He told me to lighten up. I walked away from him too. I am now proud to wear that mask. I really do like to breathe! Shea….there is true beauty beneath your mask!

  • Dar007

    I love your mask Shea! I should get one like that. It would stay in place better than a scarf. 

  • Shea

    Thanks, guys  

    I got it on Amazon: Vog Mask New Fly (I ordered size large)

  • Shea

    Thanks Melissa!

    I just ordered a button pin with the pic Cynthia had above, they had this customized button maker online. The button was cheap, but shipping is… jeesh! Oh well, I really think it will make me more comfortable and more likely to keep wearing the mask.

  • LK

    Cynthia,  Borrowed your picture and revamped it for asthma.  I tend to be long-winded so if anyone can revise this and make it clearer, have at it!    

  • Shea

    I like it too Lisa.

    I think the type of customization mainly depends on what you want to communicate– I wanted mine to communicate dander mostly (but perfumes and pollens are other triggers too that I might put it on for so I liked that on it). When I see yours I think mainly that this is a tool you use to help breathe for asthma, and a little bit about how it does that. 

    I like that they are informative– as people can be curious creatures Also they can make an invisible disease visible in a way that spreads awareness and even advocates. 

  • LK

    Thanks Melissa!

    Shea,  I love how you say things so well and put into words what I am trying to say!  You have put a lot of thought into this!  Thank you!!

  • Breatheeasy
    Dar007 posted:

    Shea, you rock!!! I had to read that part of the dog in the baby carrier twice…because for the life of me, I don’t get it either! I get people love their pet but there is a line. And I don’t understand why that is allowed. I see more and more people taking their dogs into the hospital I work in. They are not service or therapy dogs, just pets. I also have allergies to pet dander (not as bad as yours though). I don’t think people get there are allergies out there. They. Don’t. Get. It. I think it is wise to wear the mask out from now on. It is a shame you have to. 

    It’s a pity that children below a certain age are not allowed into the hospital because of infection scare. But why are dogs allowed? I‘d want the hospital to stay as sterile as possible.  

  • Shea

    I agree. If they have dogs in hospitals for therapy reasons they should be in a secluded area from the people recovering from surgeries and who have asthma attacks and allergies. I am just disgusted by the policies going on right now. I dont want dogs sniffing and licking the bread in the grocery store like I have seen– on the baby seats in the grocery carts, in the allergists office waiting room even– it is enough to make a person crazy. And people who are commercial car drivers or flight attendents with allergies– can lose their jobs or health. It is a scary world out there. 

  • Breatheeasy
    Shea posted:

    I agree. If they have dogs in hospitals for therapy reasons they should be in a secluded area from the people recovering from surgeries and who have asthma attacks and allergies. I am just disgusted by the policies going on right now. I dont want dogs sniffing and licking the bread in the grocery store like I have seen– on the baby seats in the grocery carts, in the allergists office waiting room even– it is enough to make a person crazy. And people who are commercial car drivers or flight attendents with allergies– can lose their jobs or health. It is a scary world out there. 

    Right, crazy how dog lovers say dog saliva is sterile. My parents have a pet but he’s not allowed anywhere except for his room and the backyard. Unless my dads walking him. Both my mom and dad have developed mild allergies to him. I can’t be near him. And the other dogs in the community are also a concern in summer. 

  • Shea

    Yeah dogs saliva (and cats) is full of bacteria, many of which is harmful and has caused infections and hospitalized people, especially if it gets in open wounds cuts burns, and in people with lower immune systems. They are not antiseptic as the myth goes and they do have bavteria that can last a long time on things they lick.  There is a nat geo article:

  • Dar007

    I have heard that dogs (or even us humans)…the mouth has a lot of bacteria in it. Dogs  lick themselves – whoever said their saliva is sterile is grossly misinformed! Did I just read right… that you witnessed a dog in a grocery store lick bread??? lol That is so gross. I guess I am better off not knowing or else I wouldn’t go outside.  

  • Shea

    Haha YES the dog did– so now I always pick bread from the back lol.

    Today I went to Walmart and there were NO DOGS inside, yaaay!!!!

  • LK

    Made up a basic mock up for a sticker or tag for our asthma medicine/nebulizer bags/containers that MAY reduce the number of unpleasureable incidents when out in public.

    Cynthia,  I don't have your artistic flare    !   

    Anyone is free to change it so it is more user-friendly!  

  • Deborah Bartlett
    LK posted:

    Made up a basic mock up for a sticker or tag for our asthma medicine/nebulizer bags/containers that MAY reduce the number of unpleasureable incidents when out in public.

    Cynthia,  I don't have your artistic flare    !   

    Anyone is free to change it so it is more user-friendly!  

    Nice and basic and right to the point. People should take it more seriously.  ➕😷

  • K8sMom2002

    I love the changes everyone is making to suit the stickers and pins to their needs! It will educate and explain when we can't get a word out! Or we don't WANT to have to educate and explain!

    Let's educate these people, folks! Asthma is NOT just something that goes away with the puff of a magic inhaler. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    🎼🎵🎶 Puff, the magic inhaler brought some relief to me. I pick up Puff, once a month, at the pharmacy! 🎶🎵🎼

  • LK

    Debbie, Now I am going to be singing that song all day!     Glad you are breathing better!!

  • Shea

     Loving the raps and lyrics, Im gna go with it Vanilla Ice-style for my new pin that cane in the mail:

    All right stopCollaborate and listenAAFA crew is back with a brand new inventionDander, grabs a hold of me tightlyThen I flow that ASTHMA MASK, daily and nightlyWill it ever stop?Yo, I don't knowTurn off the lights and I'll benadryl,In the extremes, I rock the mask like a vandalLight up my bag and wax a chump like a candle!

    So stoked about my new pin from Cynthias design– a true AAFA crew collaboration

  • LK

    That pin is terrific Shea!!  May I ask where you ordered it from?  Is it about 4" across?  Love the size!  I need to get something like it.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    That really got me going Shea! I love it! You girls are the best! 

    I will be going grocery shopping early this morning. I am ready and equipped to handle and deal with sour lemons. 😄

  • Shea

    I didnt shop it too much, so you might find a better price out there for the button (the cost is low but the shipping was high)– but I am happy with the quality of this button. I got it at 24hourwristbands.com and I got the custom 3 inch round premium button and uploaded Cynthias design that I had saved on my cell phone:

  • LK

    Thank you, Shea!!  I appreciate the link information!  Hope you are doing well today!  

  • LK

    The pins came!  They look great!  The Asthma Medicines one is just right!  The Mask one, well, I should have made the text a little larger, I think, but it looks great, too!  They are the same size, 3" diameter, and style you chose Shea.  Thanks again for sharing the information about where you purchased them!

  • Shea

    Yaaay!!!! I love them, Lisa!!!😁👍💞!!! And I think you will too– it takes that "wondering what others are thinking" or "should i explain myself" element away, and has made it easier for me to pop on the mask.

  • LK

    Thank you, Shea!  Thanks, too, for being the leader and showing us how well your pin turned out.  Made it so much easier for me to take that step and order them.  Well said!