Mixed Media Artist

Straight Ahead

4″x6″ mixed media painting on paper covered canvas.
Purchase here

It is so slushy out there right now. What a messy time of year. I put my rubber boots on today to go out with Scarlett and instantly felt a tingle on my bottom lip. You see, I have a latex allergy and the first place I start feeling weird is around my mouth and my bottom lip. Boo! I guess my lime green boots are made out of latex.

Bye bye boots.

This latex allergy is crazy and, let me tell you, no fun! Recently I went to a meet- the- baby shower and before I even got in the door I could see balloons everywhere. I instantly got this sinking feeling and my kids looked crestfallen, having noticed them too. Poor kids.

Try telling the balloon animal clown that your kids can’t have one.
“It’s free”, they say, looking at me like I am a lunatic.
“I have a Latex allergy”
Flat line ……………………..
“I am allergic to balloons.”
Still looking at me like I am a lunatic.

Once in a clay class with my three year old, I told the teacher we couldn’t do the project as she had planned because she was using a balloon to wrap the clay around. A father was sitting next to me and, once again, was looking at me like I was a freak. I kind of smiled and told them both, that I had a latex allergy.

He looked at me like I was propositioning him to have sex.

HELLO, condoms aren’t the only thing made out of latex!

I swear he almost ran out of the room.

Why, when you have an allergy, do you have to apologize and feel embarrassed about it?

I wanted to write this because latex is the fastest growing allergy and the more I am exposed to latex (I don’t even have to touch it) the worse I get.

Some other interesting things about having a latex allergy:

You have to get your husband to remove the gloves out of your hair dye box.
Latex paint does not actually contain latex.
Masking tape does. ( you an get latex free but you have to order it special … blah, blah, blah)
Nitendo’s Wii fit box contains a latex rubber band WITHOUT a warning on the outside of the box. It was so strong that just picking up the closed box gave me a reaction. (The band was actually in a sealed plastic bag in the box!)
Lulu lemon sells latex free bands and yoga mats.
Kiwi’s give me the same reaction as latex.
Silicone is fine and thankfully more and more things are being made out of silicone.
Latex can be found on the backs of carpet, on the buttons of your remote, and in your mattress … not to name a million of other places.

So there, now you know.


9 responses

  1. Christine

    Hi Maria, Don’t undergarments contain latex? I know what you mean about allergies. I’m allergic to nuts and I too find myself apologizing because I can’t eat the food being served. During a work meeting, a colleague sat beside me, pulled out a plastic container and proceeded to eat her hot oatmeal and peanut butter. When I protested, she argued that I wasn’t eating it, but even the fumes can cause a reaction so she was forced to leave the room and I ended up apologizing.
    The painting is lovely. So much expression in the eyes! I just received “Dreamy” and it is charming. You work magic.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:31 am

  2. Shelly

    You are not alone…I too have developed allergies and the first sign for me is tingling of the lips and around the mouth, and sometimes nosebleeds…no one believes me when I tell them that these symptoms are caused by an adverse reaction to chemicals, mold, smoke, pesticides, etc. So thank you for sharing your story, Maria, now I know I’m not crazy 🙂

    ….and it’s been said that men think about sex every 7 minutes or something bizarre like that, so its no wonder he looked at you like you were propositioning him 😉

    This painting has an air of reverie about it for me…and it’s beautiful.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:37 am

  3. Cynthia

    I love your work!!! I know what you mean about always having to APOLOGIZE about having allergies to things. My husband has problems understanding it too. Strange…I mean if someone tells you …oh , I have an allergy to that or this….you say oh, ok and you REMOVE it but people without ever any allergic reaction to anything just don´t seem to be able to grasp the fact that there are allergies out there. Try being a guest at someone´s house that does not know you are allergic to fabric softener and scented laundry detergents and you have to SLEEP in sheets that smell like 20 of those dryer sheets were thrown in the dryer….I told them I cannot sleep in that bed due to this and they all got silent and looked at me like…..what spaceship did she just step off of……….well I ended up sleeping in that room with THOSE sheets and by morning I had red welts on my arms,,,eyes were sooo puffy I looked like a someone was beating me all night long and was coughing like a maniac and could hardly talk….THEN they believed me……………..so people without any allergies ..PLEASE believe us when we say we are allergic!!!!!!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:32 am

  4. Wow–bless you! I just had no idea what was all could make a dangerous reaction. Thanks for the education.

    I LOVE this little painting, Sandy. It is so beautifully rendered.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

  5. Hi Maria Please tell your Mother I am allergic to work or if I feel like working I go lay down till it passes.
    love both your Paintings today

    March 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm

  6. I stoped on your site again to view your work …always amazed at what you do… colors are so beautiful and the sketchy/etching marks of crayons is so very personnal. In regard of your post on latex allergies, well I have learned a lot from it… did not know it exist. I am allergic to cats and that is sad enough, but to latex, must be painfull… all those baloons at the kids party… this part with the clown made me laugh!! Best, Isabelle

    March 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm

  7. I am so enjoying your blogs and art. I must tell you that I get delighted seeing your art every morning – you truly capture the spirit of the children! kuddos

    March 9, 2010 at 9:14 pm

  8. OMG! I have allergies, also, but only discovered rather unpleasantly that me and Latex will not get along too well. I bought 2 different bottles of ‘masking’ for water colours and was going to use it in altered books to mask found words from the art work. I opened 1 bottle just to see what it looked like and immediately had the lip and tongue tingle and a headache but not knowing it was the Latex, I blamed it on dust ot other irritants to me and left the art room. 2 days later I go in intending to try out both bottles, see which I liked the best, and started to play. This time I opened both bottles and used my finger to spread some out. Oh Boy! massive allergy attack and I ended up in bed. Now I worry if there’s latex anywhere around me and I’m finding it more and more. There are things on your post I didn’t think of! And someone mentioned underwear which is explaining why I’m having a undie problem! With my list of allergies, I shouldn’t be working with many art supplies nor being out in the dirt playing with flowers (when the time comes), or keeping books and such that catch dust, be around mold or smoke. So I can stay in a empty room or I can just keep the sinus issues and tingles and go about doing what I want! That Latex one is a new one tho’ and quite unpleasant, indeed! BTW, my initial reaction was last winter when I used a band aid on a venous ulcer because I ran out of dressing and paper tape…..it wasn’t a good idea and I had no idea I was allergic. You’d think I’d make that connection before opening bottles of masking.

    March 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm

  9. Thanks everyone. I know allergies suck.
    Dad, I am allergic to YOUR jokes!

    WOW, masking hey… good to know! I have not had underwear problems, I don’t think…
    Band aides are bad. Recently I had to get a mole removed and the dermatologist didn’t have any latex free band aides. Can you believe it! It was like I was the first person he had ever come in contact with that had latex allergies! He asked ME about the needle tip! How do I know if it has latex in it? Geesh!

    The rubber boot thing is driving me crazy right now. Went to ballet class with the girls and the rubber boots lined up at the door made me start tingling like crazy!

    March 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm

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