Thursday, December 07, 2006

Aren't I a little too old to pick up new problems?

So, I'm at the dentist, having my semi-annual cleaning. I've had my metal picking, scraping and polishing, etc., by the hygienist. The dentist comes in, and then he starts poking and prodding.

Then, the stinging begins.

At first, I'm not sure I feel it,and then I'm like, "Hey, do you have something on your gloves, like a cleaner or something?"
No, he assures me.
But I'm still feeling a sting, and it's really starting to hurt. Folks, you're reading the ramblings of someone whose had multiple root canals, and had her first child, a 9-pound baby, with no spinal block. I am no pain weenie, but this was starting to feel like someone sticking needles into my gums!

After a minute or two I realize I can feel, with my tongue, a couple of bumps that have come up on my gums, near where he was examining my teeth. Ehh?

It was the hygenist solved the mystery. The dentist was wearing latex gloves, and the hygenist had worn vinyl gloves. Apparently, I've developed an allergy to latex.

Who knew? I haven't been in the hospital since my last kid was born in 1991. I came home and did the old reliable internet search and found out that there's a good reason why, for the past ten years or so, bananas, melons, some nuts, and avocados have made my mouth and lips itch and swell up. Whenever I would tell people this, though, they looked at me like I was crazy.

I hate to admit that at one point I thought latex allergies were another fad mallady. Now I read that I should have this listed on my RoadID and tell my Dr. about it and the nurse where I work.

I also found out that this allergy gets worse over time the more you're exposed to latex.

It also turns out that latex is, well, pretty much everywhere. Balloons, panty elastic. mouse pads. electronics' buttons. Spandex. Let's face it, pretty much anything stretchy and fun has it.
Huh. I suppose I'm never too old the be inconvenienced in some small way. I mean, a world without spandex and panty elastic is, well, just a world without sunshine.

Now I'm all paranoid, wondering which of my running equipment has latex in it. Like I need a reason to be paranoid anyway.
Anyway, if you're interested in reading more about this, here's a link:



  1. Hrm...This is worth looking into - because, as you point out, probably most of your training wardrobe has some component of Latex in it.

    Could it be the powder they use in the glove, rather than the glove itself?

  2. It's not that odd at all - it's actually the norm to develop allergies to something the longer you've been exposed. (I speak from experience - I went from zero to ridiculous with stuff I'm allergic to now)

    At the vet's office we used to tell people to NOT give their dogs a variety of foods (lamb & rice, etc), because if they developed an allergy to one they needed to be able to put them on an alternate protein source they'd never had.

    Latex is a tough one! I have a mild allergy to glycerine, so I feel your pain. (It's in everything - shampoo, toothpaste, makeup, etc) Luckily mine doesn't sting so I just take shots and live with it.

  3. A bad thought... Are the swim caps they give out at triathlons made of latex?


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