Monday, February 08, 2010

Extra-Allergy Perception (EAP)

I'm sure you've heard of extrasensory perception (ESP). Well, what I have is EAP, or extra-allergy perception. When you have allergic-asthma as long as I have, this is a skill you develop.

Okay, so I suppose you're wondering what EAP is. Well, it's the ability to know when something around you is one of your allergy triggers. It's the ability to know what places you need to avoid.

Actually, it's quite a neat skill. As far as I know, I'm the only person alive with this skill.

I'll give you an example. As I enter another person's home, I can "sense" as soon as I walk in if that person has a dog. And I know I need to either get out, or prepare myself for an allergy or asthma attack.

As I enter my dad's cabin, for example, I can sense that there are a lot of dust mites and molds, and that I must not stay long. I also get this feeling as I enter certain homes.

My EAP is pretty accurate too. For example, when I went to Florida a few years ago, my wife wanted to spend the night at her cousins. Well, as soon as I entered that house I had this feeling I was going to have trouble. I told her I was going to have a rough night.

"Oh, you'll be fine. It's all in your head," she said.

Voila, at bedtime, my allergies and early warning signs showed their ugly faces. I was puffing on my inhaler all night, and I was tired the entire next day.

When I got to my parents home the next day I received no such sensation. I knew I'd be safe during the rest of the vacation.

My allergies are so bad, that I find it better not to plan on spending the nights at relatives or friends, and to pay for a nice hotel room instead. Of course that brings up another issue. Cheap hotel rooms are a gamble when you have allergies as bad as I do, and is why I include this as one of my 11 tips for traveling with asthma.

I think one of the reason's I developed EAP is because I grew up with this disease. I think if I had developed it as an adult, I never would have developed this skill, and my EAP never would have had a chance to develop and flourish.

Likewise, due to the fact asthma wisdom and meds were primitive when I was growing up compared with all we know today, I had many asthma and allergy experiences during my life. Because asthma wisdom has improved, I doubt there would be many new cases of EAP -- assuming I'm not the only one with this skill.

However, whether you have EAP or not, it's always a good idea to premedicate yourself with allergy medicines prior to visiting someone else's home for the first time. Or, another viable alternative is avoidance.

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