Are you allergic to anything? If not, count yourself among the fortunate few not afflicted with some physical, emotional or mental allergy.

Now, you may think you know the meaning of the word “allergy,” but are you positive about that? So, let’s see if you are correct. Besides the traditional meaning such as “reaction” or “sensitivity,” there are some that may surprise you: aversion, dislike, distaste, antipathy or hatred.

Is it possible some of the words included in this list were unexpected, such as hatred? But, when you consider the discomfort or even the agony caused by allergies, perhaps hatred is fitting. After all, we do hate how we feel when we are in the clutches of an allergy attack.

One thing that is quite puzzling is the plethora of allergies in existence today. For example, if you count yourself (secretly or otherwise) in the forty or older group, peanut allergies were none existent or mighty rare. Oddly enough, today peanut allergies are almost as prevalent as the common cold. Under normal circumstances, the greatest difference between the two is that the common cold is usually a state of temporary discomfort, but not potentially fatal.

Aside from allergies caused by supposedly innocent things existing in nature, such as ragweed, or perhaps some chemically induced variety found in packaged foods or manufactured materials, there are some unusual allergies. Logically, such oddities should not exist but do. It is fortunate these near-mythical allergies are not fatal, but can and do wreak havoc on the lives of those affected.

Let’s say you get up in the morning and feel fine. Then you drive to work, sit down at your desk, and slowly the inexplicable unwell feeling begins. If enough employees complain, the company may check the air and heating system, which includes vents, filters, and other possible dirty-concealing culprits.

But sometimes the HVAC is not the offender. At that point, you are left with a big question mark. What is causing the continued unwell feeling some or a large number of employees experience on a daily basis? Could the building be the cause? If that is the case, the powers that be will not tear down the building and rebuild it just for you.

In most cases, the mystery is never solved and those afflicted the worst must leave for a healthier environment. But if the same thing or something similar happens, again and again, no matter where you work, then perhaps you are allergic to work in general.

Now be honest. Who among us has not wondered if our general feeling of malaise was, in fact, a dislike or aversion to work? If that is the case, you are SOL. You either work or you do not eat or have a roof over your head. The choice is clear, be homeless or suck it up and work.

A few allergic reactions are people induced. Door number one: The scent-induced allergy that causes gasping fits due to the suffocating cloud of perfume that lingers in hallways and offices. Door number two: The cause may be a personality problem, and in that case, there is no cure.

The most practical remedy for personality issues is to distance yourself from those folks, which should not be a problem. Unless you are a masochist or the person in question is high on the food chain, a suit. In that case, you truly are between a rock and a hard place.

This writer’s freaky allergy has nothing to do with people or things in nature. Of all the necessary creature comforts, restrooms trigger this allergy. The moment the door closes, the sneezing fit begins. Relief only comes with the speedy exit from the malevolent throne room.

Since all restrooms trigger this allergic reaction, the only solution is an outhouse or the great outdoors. But neither is acceptable to this clean freak woman.

Since this allergy is incurable, her tombstone may read: She finally stopped sneezing.


Elizabeth Cowan is a freelance writer and author. Her humor books and suspense novels are available on Follow her on Twitter: @LizCowan4. Please visit her Website: and her Facebook author page:



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