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RT's medication is switched to another brand. It’s a rub on gel and the new formulation has something in it that sets off my asthma. It stinks to high heaven.

I ask RT if he would call the VA and get it switched to the previous formula which was odorless and inoffensive.

He says in an angry tone, “I told you how to fix that. Turn on the fans so that the warm air is evenly distributed around the house.” He did not offer to stop using it temporarily. He lacks the empathy to respond to how I feel, though he suffered from severe asthma as a child.

I told him that distributing it evenly won’t make it go away, since the windows are all closed against the cold. I can smell it everywhere. I asked him if he got the old prescription renewed, he could use it when I was home and use the smelly ones when I’m away at work.

His response was to say in a command voice, “You should see a doctor and get tested so you will know what you are allergic to and then stay away from it.”

I agreed (uh-huh) and removed myself to the room least affected until it dissipates. Arguing with him only gives him more of what he wants—-attention. He has to be right; I have to be wrong. The only way to handle it is to ignore him. Logic, arguments, requests, bribery--nothing works.

I know what I’m allergic to; I know it as soon as I take the first deep breath. Many perfumes have the same stuff as do some cleaning compounds. And I do stay away from it if I can. I wonder did he mean I should hide out in my room? Wear a gas mask? Suffer in silence so that his perfection will not come in question? Inquiring minds want to know? Inquiring minds don’t give a damn.

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