posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 10:34 PM
Heh, heh...lots and LOTS of "never again" stories!! (Note: this one also contains some words of wisdom for others too)
One of the more recent ones was about 10 years ago. My wife and I decided to join the rec center in town to start working out and getting in shape.
... (There's always a good tale when a story starts out like this, right??) Heh...
So anyway, for the first few days we did the usual weight lifting and treadmill stuff. About that time I read some article about the benefits of
including swimming in your regimen, so I thought what the heck, I'll do some swimming too.
As a certified commercial diver (in a previous job life) and advanced rescue diver, I'm as at home in the water as on land, so that was going to be no
issue. Off to the pool I went. The swimming was great and it felt great to be in the water again. The pool though was a public pool and as such the
water was highly chlorinated and it kind of irritated my eyes. So that night I went down to the sporting goods store and bought a pair of swim
goggles. This should fix the problem I thought!
Next time I was at the pool I used the goggles and they worked out awesome! Problem solved. After coming home that morning the area around my eyes
started to itch, then itch some more...then they began to ITCH LIKE NOTHING HAS EVER ITCHED IN MY LIFE!!! HOLE...EEEE...S#!!!! It was
unbearable!!!!! Then my eyes started to swell shut. The itching was so bad the thought of gouging my eyes out seemed preferable to this misery!
I guess it was right about this time I remembered that in my mid-30's I had developed a mild allergy to neoprene. I had a knee brace made of the
stuff and I'd get hives every time I wore it. Well, I'd forgotten about this seemingly minor detail.
One look at the swim goggles confirmed my fear. The seal around the eye pieces was pure neoprene, and I was having a SEVERE allergic reaction to it.
As it got worse it was no longer a laughing matter, and I was off to the ER (driven by my wife because both eyes were swollen completely shut by
At the ER I would learn a couple things (here's the words of wisdom part). Here were some things I learned...
1. Not all neoprene is manufactured same. Much of it today is made from an incomplete chemical process.
2. The demand from the medical industry on neoprene causes manufacturers of the stuff to rush the process (causing the incomplete reaction noted
above). This is done to save costs (go figure, right).
3. One of the chemicals used in the process for making neoprene is hydrochloric acid and chlorine.
4. The combination of the neoprene, my allergy to it and the chlorine in the water...leached out whatever the allergen is I am highly allergic to and
concentrated it around the area where the neoprene was touching my skin (i.e. my eyes)
Great, just great!! After a couple steroid shots and some other treatments I could finally open my eyes just a tiny bit. The face that stared back
at me in the mirror was horrifying! I looked like a giant red raccoon with these huge red rings around both eyes!! I looked like a complete
idiot...and felt like one too! I wound up taking several days off from work and couldn't go out in public looking like that. Even after the swelling
went down, the rings hung around for about a week or so just to further humiliate me. And man, let me tell ya, boy did some of my work buddies get
some mileage out of that at my expense! "Here comes Robby the Raccoon!" (ad infinitim)
Moral of the story: Never try to get in shape! It's totally not worth it! LOLOL!!!
(bet ya' didn't see that one comin', did ya?)