AUG. 18, ’14 A TRIBUTE TO MY HOMELESS MCS SISTERS!!!!!!!

Kathryn Chastain Treat:

I think it is time to re-blog my Living Homeless Guest posts.

Originally posted on sondasmcschatter:

AUG. 18, ’14 A TRIBUTE TO MY HOMELESS MCS SISTERS!!!!!!!

I HAVE HUNDREDS OF MCS SISTERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD—

SOME LIVE IN HIGHRISES IN NEW YORK CITY– TO TENTS– IN A NATIONAL FOREST– AND ALL IN BETWEEN!!!

BUT WHAT I ADMIRE SOOOOOOOOOO VERY VERY VERY MUCH IS THE SPUNK & COURAGE & ALL IT TAKES FOR SO MANY OF MY MCS SISTERS WHO ARE HOMELESS!!

They Asked Homeless People To Write Down A Fact About Themselves…

http://www.lifebuzz.com/rethink/

MORE INFORMATION–

http://thechemicaledge.com/section-2-the-song-of-the-canary-mcs/mcs-the-new-homeless/

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/No+safe+haven%3b+people+with+multiple+chemical+sensitivity+are+becoming…-a021136413

http://www.emagazine.com/includes/print-article/magazine-archive/7517/

Homelessness Among the Chemically Sensitive | LIVING IN MY CAR, WITH DOGS

http://www.homelessinmycar.com/2013/08/14/homelessness-among-the-chemically-sensitive/

Housing for Those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and the Electrically Sensitive

http://www.citlink.net/~bhima/housing.htm

Homelessness & The Multiple Chemically Sensitive

http://naturallysavvy.com/care/homelessness-the-multiple-chemically-sensitive

MCS America ©: Environmental Refugees: The New “Homeless”

http://thetruthaboutmcs.blogspot.com/2007/04/environmental-refugees-new-homeless.html

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities can drive sufferers into poverty as well as ill health | Grist

http://grist.org/article/hymas/

Fighting multiple chemical sensitivity and searching for a safe…

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Catch Up Mondays: Human Canaries & Friendship – revisited

I originally posted this on March 5, 2013.  This is a topic that comes up all to often among those of us with chemical sensitivity or chronic illness.  I decided it was time to share it once more on my Catch Up Mondays.

Today I was honored to be listed among some other very good bloggers on Ichigo Ichie in her post on Human Canaries and Friendship.  We all know that we are the canaries, the guinea pigs for finding what works/doesn’t work on our environmental illness and chemical sensitivities or other chronic invisible illnesses.  We also know what it is like to lose friendships during our struggles to make our world safe and in search of improving our health.  We also know how empowering it is to make new friendships with those who understand and will gladly lend a sympathic ear.  I am now following this blog too.

Dr. Rea once said that we are just the tip of the iceberg.  One day, we will be the ones that are empowered, the ones with the knowledge, and everyone else will be beating down our doors for information and sympathy.

Why No One Figured Out Food Was Making Me Sick

Allow me to introduce you to Amy.  Her story of food allergies and the journey to find out what was making her sick, is an interesting one.  Now, I will let Amy tell you for herself.

Why No One Figured Out Food Was Making Me Sick

Five minutes. That’s all it took for golf ball-sized hail to destroy the four gorgeous pots of flowers I’d just set out on the patio. In two days our extended family was gathering for a dinner party to celebrate a wedding; I’d have to scurry to find more flowers. What a waste of time and money.

 

hailflowers

 

What I didn’t realize at the time was that the hail had also completely destroyed our roof along with many windows as well as the siding of our house. I’d be spending the entire summer dealing with the insurance company and contractors. Losing those flowers were small potatoes.

Sometimes we focus on the little things and entirely miss the big picture.

This is exactly what happened when I started getting sick in my thirties. The doctors focused on each of my symptoms—from vertigo to chronic pain– entirely missing the symptoms were all a part of the same illness.

The first doctor said my blood pressure was high and put me on meds. The second one told me my iron was low but brushed it off to a poor diet. Another doctor said the pain in my chest was GERD and prescribed meds. A dietitian told me I was malnourished and gave me a diet to follow. A gastroenterologist gave me meds for IBS. Another gastroenterologist told me to go eat fried foods and if I got sick, I most likely needed my gallbladder removed.  A gynecologist told me I needed a total hysterectomy.

Each time I got a diagnosis, I let out a sigh of relief.  At least it wasn’t cancer.

Still, something wasn’t adding up. After all these tests and procedures, followed by a hysterectomy and gall bladder surgery, my symptoms worsened. In fact, I became so exhausted I couldn’t get out of bed. Everything I ate made me run to the bathroom. I couldn’t remember what year it was, or how long I’d been married. Pain shot through my entire body. My legs caved when I walked up the stairs. My eyesight weakened, and I kept developing weird skin lesions. I itched all over.

I’d about given up when I saw an advertisement in our local paper for a food allergy blood test. Not one doctor had suggested food might be causing my symptoms—even though I now know reactions to food can cause all the symptoms I experienced.

When the blood test came back, I argued with the pharmacy that something must have gone wrong in the lab—I couldn’t possibly be allergic to that many foods!

So I went to a board-certified allergist for skin-prick testing. He confirmed I was allergic to myriad foods, including dairy, soy, eggs, corn, wheat, vanilla, nutmeg and asparagus.

I’d received negative results for celiac disease years earlier, but a new doctor ran a genetic test and confirmed celiac disease. Turns out I have both genes for celiac disease; either one parent has both genes, like me, or each carries one gene.  An endoscopy also revealed I have eosinophilic esophagitis, which explained why food often got stuck on the way down.

At first, I found it hard to believe food could make me so sick.  I was an adult—adults don’t develop food allergies! But as soon as I started eliminating certain foods, my health improved—immensely!

The prescribed painkillers for chronic pain and the antibiotics that followed all those procedures and surgeries in all likelihood contributed to a leaky gut and resulting food allergies and celiac disease. Certainly they didn’t help. Nor did the gluten-filled saltines I kept eating for an upset stomach!

I’ve learned a valuable lesson: Pay attention to the details, but look at the big picture. While each doctor had his or her theory for the cause of a symptom, my instinct was that all my symptoms were part of a bigger problem. I’ve since learned celiac disease can have over 300 symptoms!

 

flowersrevived

 

It took some time, but the flowers I thought had been destroyed by the hail eventually grew back. They don’t look quite as pretty as when I brought them home, but they are getting stronger and healthier.

Just like me.

The Kiss that Nearly Killed Me–Why Peanut Allergies are DEAD Serious

Kathryn Chastain Treat:

As my followers know, I am allergic to EVERYTHING! My husband found out the hard way when he gave me a kiss after drinking a glass of wine. (MOLD, SULFITES).

Factor in the fact that our total body load is off balance from all the chemicals we are being exposed to on a daily basis as well.

I am sorry you had to learn the hard way. The thing is that if you are allergic/sensitive to something each time you expose yourself, the reaction can be much worse until you experience what you experienced.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

I am reticent to write this blog, namely because a lot of the content I’ve shared lately has involved a string of injuries. I am a 40 year old woman who practices Brazilian Jui-Jitsu and it’s a contact sport. Stuff happens. I’m also the mother of a 4 year-old. Trips and falls over the hidden Matchbox car or lurking Legos happen. If fact, I’m not particularly worried about burglars. If they can make it through my living room in one piece?

Feel free to have the ten-year-old television. You earned it.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.19.17 PM

But, despite this being embarrassing, I felt it was a vital topic to address. Recently, I blogged about empowering my little one to do things on his own. A big step? Making his OWN PBJ sandwich. Since I already know I have a zillion food allergies and intolerances, I’ve avoided eating peanuts, because I know that people with current…

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AUG 12, ’14– NEVER LOOSE HOPE!!!!

Kathryn Chastain Treat:

Sonda, Thank you for bringing this out in the forefront. I remember in the very worst of my illness telling a friend that I knew what brought people to want to commit suicide. It is a very deep pain that you cannot describe. I was not about to take my life but at that point understood the pain.

We need to continue to reach out to others and be there for them. Sometimes all it takes is a hand or a smile.

Originally posted on sondasmcschatter:

NEVER LOOSE HOPE—

NEVER LOOSE  HOPE--

About sondasmcschatter

I was encouraged to start a blog as I suffer from MCS /multi chemical sensitivities & other health problems & I have helped several hundred others who suffer from MCS set up “Safe Homes” & given them encouragement & HOPE & share information & lots of laughs along the way also. When you choose to use fragrances, chemicals, or pesticides, You are not simply making a choice for yourself, You are making a choice for everyone around you!!!! What makes me an expert on MCS– not a darn thing– BUT have lived with it for years-& years- & have learned lots the HARD WAY– by experience!! And want to give others help & HOPE & encouragement — as I know there are not many who understand what it is to live with this illness- & ALL THAT GOES WITH IT!!! Internet has been my way…

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I Will Survive!

I remember back in the beginning when I was sick and still working. One of my co-workers sent me this video clip. I loved it and had saved it on my computer. Somewhere along the line it got deleted. I was thinking of it today and decided to search youtube for it. Whenever I was having a really bad day, I would sit at my desk and pull up the video and watch it.

I hope you enjoy it. We are all SURVIVORS. Our circumstances may be different but we have all survived something in our lives.

Catch Up Mondays: More Reasons To Crank Up The Stereo – revisited

This is a reminder that I need to crank up my stereo especially while I am sitting here in the office trying to be productive.

There was an article in Conscious Living linking music to increased immunity.  When I am down, I want to listen to music.  Not just any music.  I want music from my high school and college years.  Music from before I got sick.  Songs that when heard can transport me back to a very specific time in my life; a carefree time when I am healthy.

My friend Liz recently told me that she had heard about music therapy and Alzheimer’s Patients.  The theory was that if music was played from a time when the patients were younger, thought memories could be evoked.  I found this information on the Alzheimer’s Foundation (Most people associate music with important events and a wide array of emotions. The connection can be so strong that hearing a tune long after the occurrence evokes a memory of it.)

This is all the more reason for me to blast the oldies when I am home by myself or to download a few of these to my ipod and stick my ear buds in my ears and listen even when I am not by myself. I hope you enjoy my selections from my past.

Maggie May by Rod Stewart takes me right back to a local drive-in hanging out with friends from school. 

There are many more songs that can take me back to a particular time and place. Recently my sister and I were talking and reminiscing about songs on our drive back from the Daffodil Festival and Daffodil Hill. One of the musicians we began thinking about was Gordon Lightfoot. As we drove home, we tried to remember all the words to this song. I was a senior in high school about this time and my sister was a sophomore.

From my college years is Roberta Flack

I was reminded by Roberta Flack from acflory at Meeka’s Mind and again about Gordon Lightfoot by Anneb54

So what songs would you BLAST from your stereo? What kinds of memories would they bring back to you?

My Motto!

IMG_2910_1

My daughter found this and now it hangs in my office so that I can see it when I am working.

Celiacs Speak Out about FDA’S New Gluten-Free Labeling Rule

Originally posted on Adventures of an Allergic Foodie:

Today’s the day the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule goes into effect. Hear what those of us with celiac disease have  to say about this new ruling that will impact our lives significantly. I will update this list as new blogs are posted–be sure to let me know of any you read or write.

Celiac and The Beast:  Aug 5 Gluten Free Labeling Just a Start

Gluten Dude:  The New FDA Gluten-Free Labeling Rules: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Gluten-Free Fun:  Today Is the Day: Gluten-Free Labeling Rules

Gluten Free Gigi:  FDA Guidelines for Gluten-Free Labeling are Frightening for Celiacs

Gluten Free Watchdog: Food Labeled Gluten Free Must Now Be in Compliance with the FDA Gluten-Free Labeling Rule

The Savvy Celiac:  10 Things to Know about the FDA’s Gluten-Free Labeling Rule

Simply Gluten-Free:   All You Need to Know about…

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There’s Peanuts In That?

I have had a difficult time focusing on writing my blog posts.  I am not sure what is going on other than I am still grieving.  I have been watching many episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with my husband.  Despite all my food allergies, I still enjoy watching the cooking shows.  I keep thinking I might see something that looks so delicious I might want to spend hours in the kitchen trying to rework it to make it safe for me.  It doesn’t happen too often.  Quite frankly I get frustrated too easily.  And summertime does not exactly conjure up a longing to spend hours in the kitchen slaving over a steaming pot on the stove or in front of a hot oven.

A few nights ago Guy Fieri was at a restaurant where the chef was making Mole.  I have never had it.  In my non-food-allergic world I might give it a try.  Then the chef began tossing ingredients into the pan.  The first ingredient was peanuts (a definite no for me).  Then she added mushrooms (another no especially with my fungal infection).  This was followed with plaintains (anaphylactic to those) and avocado leaves (very allergic to avocados and I am sure the leaves wouldn’t be any safer than the avocados themselves).  I think there was alcohol in there as well.

So where am I going with all this?  Imagine you have a peanut allergy.  You go to a restaurant and by a dinner that has sauce.  Because peanuts are not mentioned anywhere in the description, you think you are safe.  Then WHAM, your throat swells shut!  We have to be so very careful!  Food allergens can be hidden in everything!

When was the last time you ate something you thought “was safe” and found out the hard way it wasn’t?