Slaves to a System

Slaves to a system

Slaves? Sadly, yes. We are all slaves to some system or other. Can you identify?

It might be to…

  • Debt
  • Your workplace
  • An addiction
  • Your health

There are lots more that could be added. Such as some of us are slaves because of age. What does that mean? No longer being able to do the tasks, or enjoy the pleasures you once had.

Slaves to other people’s opinion.

Over the years I have known many people with what are now called ‘hidden illnesses.’

These includes chronic physical conditions such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and others including brain injury after trauma. It can be very difficult for sufferers of these conditions who, in other’s eyes, have nothing wrong.

I thought the idea at the link below an excellent one.

https://www.headway.org.uk/news-and-campaigns/news/2019/sunflower-lanyards-take-off-for-passengers-with-hidden-disabilities/

Then we have those who think the elderly, especially if they are chronically ill, should be given a ‘death pill’ at a certain age. (Honestly, I read a discussion about that online.)

I am a slave to aged care

slave to age

When we are in the aged care system, it seems like it is the ‘luck of the draw’ whether or not you receive the help needed.

My several ‘life-limiting’ conditions are managed, albeit with a bit of difficulty some days, but I have one ‘condition’ that is either not believed, or not understood. A very strong sensitivity to fragrances. As I blogged about once before, Fragrance Sensitivity is a Real Condition https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/fragrance-sensitivity-is-a-real-condition/

My serious sensitivity to fragrances has cost me a home care provider. (They could not provide me with a carer who  was willing to not wear fragrance.)

So, what am I a slave to?

The sensitivity, or people’s opinions about whether I am or not?

My home is one of the few things in my life I have control over. Fragrance sensitivity is life-limiting in a different way from my ‘will-end-up-dying’ from the other conditions.  There are so many place I can no longer go… cinema, theatre, public transport, celebrations too because other people will wear some variety of fragrance. It’s worse than having the coronavirus… that will finish, the fragrance sensitivity is something that sufferers are stuck with. Some things can be controlled in my environment, but when other people come into my home wearing something that sets off my ‘allergies’ it is a nightmare to endure… and also life-threatening because I cannot receive the oxygen I need through my nasal prongs when suffering allergic rhinitis.

And if the person knows I am fragrance sensitive but chooses to ignore it – well, isn’t that a form of elder abuse?

Read the information at the links below if you have the time. Perhaps it will open your eyes, or perhaps not.

https://www.news-medical.net/health/Perfume-Allergy.aspx

https://www.health.com/condition/allergy/fragrance-sensitivity-health-effects

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blog/perfume-stinks-how-fragrances-can-affect-health

Some people are kind, others are rude. I have met, and had to deal with people from both ends of the spectrum and at various points in between.

What are you enslaved to?

  • Debt
  • Your workplace
  • An addiction
  • Your health

To some extent, most of these can be ‘worked on.’ Age is debatable, but the hardest to deal with is other people’s fixed opinions and refusal to consider anything but their own opinion.

Something to think about.

Susan

Not giving up, giving

Discrimination Is Taking Over Unnoticed by Many

discrimination against human rights

Discrimination is rampant, but unless you are a victim you probably have not noticed. Why on earth would I say that? Because I have noticed. And yes, that means I have experienced discrimination. However, none so obvious as happened a few days ago. It was almost laughable as it was so obvious. First, a look at the meaning of discrimination…  

Option 2 at the link. “Treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.”

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discrimination?s=t

Discrimination by a company

It was almost laughable, it was so obvious.

I needed my air-conditioning serviced, so I did what most people do nowadays, I did an Internet search. The company I found was happy to do the work, but it would be a few days before it could be done. Since I had not expected someone to come immediately this was fine, so I opened my diary at the day he mentioned to make sure I had no appointments. It was clear.

discrimination over maintenance

Before asking for a timeframe, I said, “There is something I need to tell you. I am on oxygen full time, plus I have a strong allergy to fragrances, something whoever comes needs to be aware of.”

The reply, “Actually, I don’t think we can help you. We don’t carry parts for your brand of air-conditioner. However, I can give you the name of an engineering company who supply parts for your model air conditioner, they will be able to help you.”

Alarm bells were ringing. I didn’t need parts, I wanted maintenance. I remember thinking, “I am getting the ‘bum’s rush.’

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bum%27s%20rush

The Engineering Company

The woman I spoke to was kind, helpful and agreed with me. The other company had ;given me the bum’s rush.’ Her company supplied parts to companies who did maintenance, but they didn’t do maintenance themselves. However, she did give me the names and phone numbers of a couple of companies they dealt with. She was extremely helpful.

So, what made me think ‘discrimination?’

(By the first company I spoke to.)

The person I spoke to had given me a day and date for the service, until I mentioned…

  1. I am on oxygen full-time
    • That can cause problems if anyone needs to use equipment that would make sparks. However, it has never been a problem with other work I needed done.
  2. I have a strong fragrance allergy.
    • “In the US Federal courts have ruled that an allergy to scents can be considered a disability under ADAAA (the most recent amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act). Under this law, when an employee has a severe reaction to exposure to an odor or scent their employer must act on their behalf to remedy the situation.”
      https://www.fragrancex.com/blog/fragrance-sensitivity/

I rather think the latter.

Why?

Remember the incidents mentioned in that blog post? (Sorry, of course you don’t.) I do though.

The perfumed Bank…

They say… “Individually we can be great but together we are greater. At … Bank, we call this ‘the power of &’. And is at the heart of everything we do.”

Not the last time I had to go to a branch to deposit a cheque. The staff member I dealt with was definitely ‘cool.’ The difference was noticeable; I had been served by her before – but that was before I complained about the fragrance diffuser they had installed. Someone in ‘head office’ emailed me and suggested I change to Internet banking. That doesn’t work with depositing foreign cheques.

The angry ‘home help’

The lady who refused to leave my home because she could not believe I could ‘dislike’ her strong, expensive perfume. By the way, I was on my care plan not to use any fragrance products when with me.

And after someone comes into my home wearing a strong fragrance, even after the person leaves the fragrance does not. At least not for a long time.

It’s an invisible disability

Isolated by discrimination

If you are near me, you can see I use oxygen. That is isolating in itself and limits so much of my life. There are so many places that cannot be accessed, and I cannot be around smokers, or a BBQ.

Oxygen and flames, or sparks are not a good mix.

But the fragrance allergy/sensitivity is a source of great stress. It limits where I can go even more. It also isolates me, and people like me, in a way that is often ‘attacked’ by those who don’t want to understand.

So what happens when I cannot get away from a fragrance?

I might have a coughing ‘fit.’ However, it is more than a simple coughing fit, it could lead to incontinence, or it could lead to angina.

Perhaps it would cause rhinitis. https://www.medicinenet.com/chronic_rhinitis/article.htm

With me, it is a runny nose. When my nose is running, I cannot breathe the oxygen. (I need the oxygen.)

Discrimination or understanding

Tradesmen have come to my home to do work in the past, and when I have explained the difficulty most have been considerate. This is why these have been ‘stand-outs’ for a negative reason.

  • I write this in the hope it will help others with this ‘problem.’
  • We are human, we have rights
  • We did not ask for this isolating condition.

This kind of discrimination is unnoticed by many, because few are aware of it. Of those who are there are some who either don’t want to know, or do not believe it is a ‘real’ condition.

Susan