The Month of May has been dedicated as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) month. I suffer from MCS (also known as Environmental Illness and Chemical Sensitivity). I did not always have MCS. I was a very active and busy stay-at-home mother of two. I was active in their school, their activities, as well as in our community. I lived by my at-a-glance calendar to know when and where I was supposed to be at any given time on any given day. I sewed and did craft fairs. I baked and canned, and did things with my friends.
My MCS began after a mold exposure in my work place where it first manifested itself in severe sinus issues and brain issues (although I didn’t realize the brain issues were happening in the beginning). My boss would bring a phone message that I had written and placed on his desk to have me explain it to him. I remember many times writing a message and then realizing it was sloppy or didn’t make sense and redo it. The sad thing is that even then the messages would not make sense. Yet I still had no idea my brain wasn’t functioning correctly.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me or why I was constantly getting sick. It took nearly a year to discover that there was mold in the office and and a few more months before my ENT could get mucous taken from my sinuses to grow in a culture plate. I rapidly began reacting to all sorts of medication and developing food allergies. The chemical sensitivity took a little longer to rear its UGLY head. When it did, I was shocked. I had seen others where the masks and walk around in a daze but that wasn’t me! At least that is what I kept telling myself until it was me and there was no escaping it or denying it. Mold isn’t the only thing that can push someone into “MCS or environmental illness land”. An extreme exposure to pesticides will do it. An extreme exposure to chemicals in the workplace can do it. Slow but steady exposures to chemicals can also eventually cause someone to become sensitized to chemicals. How much is too much? There is no answer to that. Everyone reacts to different levels of a chemical. Not everyone has the same toxic load already before being exposed. Do people think we are crazy? Do they think it is all in our head? There are some that do. Sadly there are family members who condemn their own brother or sister or mother for having a sensitivity to chemicals. They truly do not want to accept that this condition actually exists. For if this exists, they may have to change their habits to avoid causing further illness to their family member. I have seen husbands leave their wives over this illness.
The isolation that MCS causes is dark and lonely. Very lonely. For that reason I chose many years ago that I would begin writing my story. I would become an advocate to the best of my ability. I started by writing my story which is now available (Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope). A link to purchase is in the sidebar.
Throughout the month I will be reblogging posts from some of my fellow bloggers who are also posting about MCS Awareness month. Last month I celebrated my 2 year Blogiversary. As a celebration, I began a giveaway on Rafflectopter. I several items included in the giveaway. Take a moment to click on the link and enter the giveaway which runs through the end of May.