Cinnamon Invasion

At my biannual tooth cleaning this morning, the hygienist tried to polish my teeth with cinnamon toothpaste. As soon as I smelled it, I jumped even higher than I did when she sprayed a sensitive tooth with cold water, then asked incredulously, "Is that cinnamon?" As if using cinnamon toothpaste is completely beyond the realm of acceptable behavior.

I’d already had her get Vaseline for my lips (so they wouldn’t crack while she was cleaning) and put on latex-free gloves (they give me cold sores), so I hated to be even more high-maintenance, but there was no choice. After a look of shock passed over her face, she kindly offered me a choice of cherry, mint or orange toothpaste. But she did complain that she’d already loaded the tool with cinnamon.

It seems like such a small thing, but for me it was disaster averted. If only I could convince grocery stores and gift shops that cinnamon-scented wreaths and air freshener are harmful to my health. The onslaught began a couple weeks ago with fall decorations and will continue through Christmas. Ugh.

Posted in Coping. 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Cinnamon Invasion”

  1. Cary Says:

    Wow…for someone like me who doesn’t know your whole story, this is a really intriguing post.

    Does the scent of cinnamon set off your headaches? If so, that mus be incredibly difficult during the Christmas season. Uggh!

    My wife has cancer, and her chemotherapy treaments cause her to have horrible headaches on most days. It is absolutely debilitating. I can truly sympathize.

  2. Kerrie Says:

    Hi Cary,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your wife’s chemo is giving her terrible headaches, which I’m sure is on top of a bunch of other side effects. I hope that her chemo won’t last too much longer. Have you found anything to help make the headaches more bearable?

    And, yes, cinnamon triggers headaches for me. I’m OK with some natural cinnamon, but too much of it or any artificial cinnamon makes me ill. Rose is the only other one that’s so strong for me, but I can’t handle many artificial smells.

    I wish you and your wife the best of luck. Take care.


  3. Kerrie Says:

    Hi again, Cary. I’ve just read your blog and Lori’s blog. Sorry for saying that I hope her chemo is over soon. I was hoping for a rosy outlook, like you talk about with Lance Armstrong, with a relatively short, defined period of chemo. Now I understand (and feel pretty darn insensitive).

    Your blog is an incredible gift to Lori and her blog is beautifully revealing. Your love for each other practically spills off the screen. You two are in my thoughts.

    Take care.


    for readers who would like to see their blogs, Cary’s is at and Lori’s is at

  4. catamama Says:

    Oh yes! Oh yes! Oh yes! Cinnamon gets a headache/migraine started for me like a match to gunpowder. I thought I was just imagining this but now I know the same thing is happening to someone else.

    And just in case you thought the triggers were set in stone – this one is a new one for me. I have had these freakin’ migraines since I was a teenager (which was a LONG time ago Honey) and cinnamon has just emerged as a trigger in the last 3 years. Yipee. This is especially difficult when I go to a craft store since they seem to delight in overloading the sales floor w/cinnamon candles, cinnamon potpourri, cinnamon candy etc., etc., etc., during the Christmas season (which now seems to start somewhere around Easter.)

    Oh and btw – Powells Books – just awesome. I may live way out here on the East Coast but I LOVE Powells.

    Cary – I’m sending you both much positive chi and caring thoughts.

  5. Joan Says:

    Interesting about the cinnamon triggering headaches. My husband puts cinnamon sticks in the coffee pot, and within the past year, if I drank that coffee I ended up with enormous throbbing headaches. I thought it was the coffee, some difference in different brands, but it seems now to be the cinnamon that he occasionally adds that triggers headaches.

    Wishing you well,

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