I get fragrance migraines that impact my ability to work for days afterwards, and attending Mass consistently triggers them. What is the proper thing to do, given that I cannot attend Mass every week plus Holy Days of Obligation and also fulfill my responsibility to provide for my family?
I assume I should be seeking some sort of dispensation - is this something I would email the parish priest about? Or does this just fall under “serious reason” to miss Mass and not need further action, provided I am doing my best to attend as frequently as I can without serious consequences?
These migraines had been doing better, pre-pandemic, but now they seem to be back again and worse than before. I went grocery shopping on Saturday a week ago, wearing my fragrance-reducing mask (it blends in much better now!), and didn’t fully recover until halfway through Wednesday. I got no work done on Monday and took Tuesday off entirely; I got a bit done on Wednesday. The last time my migraines were this bad, Mass attendance triggered them even when wearing an N95 mask designed for filtering out these kinds of environmental contaminants, even when sitting in the least-seated part of the lowest fragrance local parish, even when attending at the lowest-attendance Mass they offer. Pre-medication can reduce the impact some but not much and not reliably, and the only medicine I have that works at all can worsen another health condition I have over time; this isn’t something I can medicate away.
I can schedule PTO for occasional Mass recovery, but doing this more than once every two months or so is problematic. I can use tricks like attending on 3-day-weekends to stretch my PTO a bit further. But I can’t do anything to get to the point where I’m not regularly setting myself up for some combination of presenteeism (going to work when too unhealthy to be productive) or absenteeism that will affect my ability to keep my job and be unfair to my employer while attending Mass as much as we are obligated to do.
It’s currently a moot point since we are still not having Mass due to the pandemic, locally, but I’d like to manage this situation as correctly as I can going forward, now that I understand the illness better and know that it won’t go away quickly.
Thank you for any help, support, suggestions, and prayers!