Tag Archives: multiple chemical sensitivity

It’s an ahem milestone birthday!

I won’t say how old I am but it is one of those darn milestone birthdays. You know, the ones they make special cards for.

happy birthday to me

The interesting thing about this is that since becoming ill, I feel like I am in a time warp. There are many years that are totally lost in my mind. I remember what happened and all the bad things I went through during those years but yet it feels as if they didn’t happen. I shouldn’t be this age! It is like somehow even though my body and mirror tell the truth that indeed I am older, there is something in my brain that still cannot register those “lost” years.

1999 Just getting sick.

I am not complaining about getting older, we all do it. And I am forever grateful that I have made it to this birthday. There were many days that I didn’t know if I would make it through the day, the week, much less to experience this monumental birthday.

IMG_3435

My husband took me to lunch today to a special place where I can eat outdoors and they will accommodate all my food allergies. My daughter is fixing me dinner tonight.

 

Advertisements

To Thin Or Not Too Thin? (Part 1)

Hello Everyone

I am still dealing with my partial deep vein thrombosis. In my last post dated October 1st, Be Careful Around Sharp Objects, I talked about discovering that my INR (prothrombin clotting and international normal ratio) was at 5.9 and I was to stay off the Warfarin for 2 days and retest on Friday, October 3rd. I did the retest and my level was still at 5.9.  My doctor had me to continue to stay off Warfarin through the weekend and retest on Monday.  Monday my level was 4.3 (still too high).  On Wednesday my level had gone down to 3.7 and my doctor’s MA phoned and said I was  to start up again but at 4 mg.

As I have said many many times, you need to listen to your intuition. Your gut does not lie. After doing some research I learned that my antifungal medication could have an affect with the Warfarin causing my blood to be too thin. I could not stop the antifungal without risk of a recurring infection.  I phoned my doctor’s office again and asked to speak with the doctor. I explained my sensitivities to medication and what I had learned about the antifungal medications. She agreed to have me take 2.5 (half of my 5 mg) tablet for a week and then retest.  I had my blood drawn this past Tuesday because I was meeting with the hematologist for the first time. My husband needed my car on Tuesday so I opted to drive the truck.  I got to the doctor’s office only to find that I had my necessary paperwork, a steno pad for notes, but not my Kindle (it was in my car). Following are the notes I wrote while waiting to meet my new doctor, the hematologist.

The first thing I notice about the waiting room is that it is quiet, there is no carpet, and only a few others are in the waiting  room along with me. Then I see the sign on the counter. It says something about being patient because the wait could be an hour. I can watch old reruns of Bonanza or I can sit and try and pass the time writing in my steno pad. Maybe I will start my blog post that I had planned to do a few days ago. My doctor is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist so there is a lot of serious treatment going on in this office. A woman in a wheelchair has just been pushed into the waiting room. And of course the first thing I notice is the can of Diet Dr. Pepper in her hand! I am containing myself. All I want to do is run up to her and shout out how dangerous this is for anyone and particularly someone with health issues. Of course, I am sure this won’t go over well.  I can just see her face as she looks at this woman hiding behind the mask telling her what she should or should not be drinking.

The time seems to be dragging on. I work on this blog draft and I work on a short story. Anything to keep my mind occupied and off the reruns and what the hematologist is going to say about my leg and all the labs that have had me scared to death ever since I first learned that I have two mutations that can cause blood clots as well as a possible Protein S deficiency (although a test years ago said I didn’t have it).

Finally, the MA comes to get me. I am led to the back and all my vitals are taken. My blood pressure is 143/80. This is high for me.  Is it because it is late in the day? Is it the stress of meeting this new doctor and not only having to discuss my current problem but filling her in on all my past history? Is it the Warfarin?Then I am asked to stand against a wall while she takes a picture of me. Smile she says and I laugh to myself. Who would know if I was smiling or not behind the mask? I am then led to a room to go over the paperwork I had filled out and the list of my many allergies and sensitivities. Okay…she wants me to go over each medication I have placed on the list and tell her what kind of reaction I get from it because she has to list all this in the EMR. We are going to be here all day just doing this. Finally she says can you tell me which are the most severe. Taking the paper and pen I begin putting an “S” by those that have caused the most severe reactions. As I do so I say things like “this one sent me to the ER”, “this one caused photosensitivity”, this one sent me to the ER” , etc. until I am finished with the list. The MA tells me the doctor will be in shortly to talk with me.  By now I have been in the office about 45 minutes, something I am not accustomed to since Dr. Spitzer and Dr. Butler see me as their first patient.

The light in this room is so very bright! I can hear the clock on the wall tick tick ticking the seconds and minutes away. Between the light and the ticking of the clock I can feel my body being overstimulated! Should I turn off the light? I desperately want to drag a chair over to the door, step up on the cushion and yank the clock from the wall.  Oh how I wish I had my Kindle. I could distract my mind from the clock if I could only just sit and read. My eyes look around the room in hopes of finding something to distract me. There it is. Sitting at the sink is a bottle of antibacterial soap. Oh, please don’t let the doctor come in and decide to use the soap. Is it possible I can stop her first? I can hear chatter outside my room. There is so much going on that my poor brain is in overload and I feel exhausted just from the noise and light. I am so thirsty! I don’t dare drink anything because I cannot risk having to go to the bathroom. I really want to be here and see this amazing doctor yet my body is yearning for quiet and dark.

The doctor comes in (continued in Part 2).

I apologize if my thoughts are scattered and this seems to ramble on.

 

 

Are you 1 in over 1,000,000?

In honor of Invisible Illness Week, I share this video with you.

 

An Allergic to Life Giveaway

You all know that I am celebrating the one-year anniversary of publishing Allergic to Life where I am giving away books through Goodreads and my blog.

This week is also Invisible Illness Week.  In celebration of Invisible Illness Week, I am also giving away a copy of Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope on the Chronically Content blog site.  Please visit this wonderful blog and enter for another chance to win a copy of my book.

National Invisible Illness Week

Today is the start of National Invisible Chronic Illness  Awareness Week which runs through September 14th.

How many of you who are ill with environmental illness, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc. have been told that you don’t look sick?  I have been told that I look good when I feel horrible.  On one hand I am glad that I am not looking as horrible as I may feel but it is hard to explain to others when you may not look as bad as you feel. On August 3, 2012, I posted on this site “Me in the Beginning” When you look at my picture taken in 2002, it is easy to see how sick I was.  I don’t even think I realized how sick I looked until later when I saw my picture.  I knew I felt bad and something horrible was wrong but looking at myself in the mirror daily the changes were gradual.  I didn’t suddenly wake up with dark circles, a haunting look, skinnier than I had ever been and with yellowing skin tone.

I want to raise awareness that environmental illness, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and other chronic illness may not necessarily affect a person’s appearance. It is truly and invisible and silent terror that many go through on a daily basis.  I hope that a day will come when someone says they have some unusual or unexplained illness, they will be treated with respect and their complaints taken seriously.

Toni Bernhard wrote a wonderful article entitled The challenges of Living with Invisible Pain or Illness. She is also the author of  an amazing book, “How to Be Sick”.  A dear friend of mine published her book, Intentional Healing: One Woman’s Path to Higher Consciousness and Healing from Environmental and other Chronic Illnesses, a year before I completed Allergic to Life:  My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope. I hope these writings will allow you to know that you are not alone in your battle with invisible illness.

Please take a moment to visit the Invisible Illness  website and read the stories that others have shared. Had I been more aware and on top of things this year, I would have included a blog post on this site as I have done in the past.

Homelessness Part 4 Survival Gear – Revisited

In Part 4 of the five-part series Vanessa discusses survival gear and what she feels is necessary when living out of your car or tent.  I first met Vanessa on planet thrive.  I have always loved her posts and comments.  When she posted her tips on living Homeless, I wanted to share them with you.

This is part 4 in a series of installments on the “Homeless” posts I have been doing dealing with issues regarding weather, gear, clothing, food, etc. Section one addressed shelter and security. Section two was on food, water and hygiene. Section three was on clothing. This section will deal with survival gear and the final installment on First Aid.

Survival Gear: If you are going into the remote places of the national forests, BLM (Bureau of Land Management areas), state lands, etc. you MUST be prepared for bad weather, breakdowns with the vehicle and/or equipment and for properly navigating the area.

* Maps of the national forest, national parks, state land, etc. You need to have these to be able to navigate the roads and not wind up on an ATV trail and get stuck. Yes, I have inadvertently took off up a mountain on what I thought was a small two-track that turned out to be for ATV’s only. It was only until it actually narrowed to one trail that I realized my error. It was rather humorous for the people going by however. These maps are available at any national forest ranger station as well as national park offices. You can also purchase them online, but they are more expensive this way because you pay shipping and handling. Outdoor stores/backpacking stores carry maps of the national forest and national parks as well. It is also VERY important that you have maps of the states you are travelling because these will show where the campgrounds are as well as the ranger stations. It will also help you navigate the pitfalls of large cities, agricultural areas, swamps, etc. Get acquainted with not only the area but the state as well.

* Three mylar (or more) survival blankets. These are best used inside a sleeping bag (or outside if you need to keep the bag dry. They also are great for signaling people if you are in distress.

* Sleeping bag. I have a preference for synthetic fill because it is easier to maintain than down since I am homeless and do not have the luxury of fluffing the down up in a dryer. Down also gets compressed which causes it to lose its insulative factor where synthetic takes longer to get compressed. The shells are typically nylon and or polyester, similar to tent fabric because of the need to have “rip stop” fabric in case the bag does get ripped. Bags come in many ratings. Usually from 45 degrees to 30 degrees below zero. A good rule of thumb is that if a bag is rated 10 below, it really is a 0 degree bag. I am not sure why this works out, but it does. The lower the temperature rating, the more expensive. So if you need to, get a 0 degree (10 degree) bag and use a mylar survival blanket as a liner. If in the north, I would not get a bag rated any less than 20 degrees below zero (which is actually 10 degrees below zero). You MUST stay warm. You can achieve this in a number of ways, but do not mess around with a “system” when the wind chill is 20 below and you’re screwing around in your car trying to get it right.

* Wool blankets (NOT cotton). Again, to each their own. If wool doesn’t work, then use a synthetic. Cotton blankets are not a good idea in the winter or damp weather because it will get damp and hold moisture there by wicking your body heat out and lowering it. There is a reason why cotton is called the “death cloth” when it comes to outdoor survival. I have an old (very old) army wool blanket. Yes, it took a while to get it usable, but the effort is well worth it. Yes, there will be all kinds of “stuff” in the blankets (again I cannot afford to get my stuff from high-end stores. I have to get things as cheaply as possible and make it work.) Best way to get the blankets off gassed and cleaned is to hang them out in the elements as much as possible. Sun, wind, rain everyday if you can. Wash with cold water and soap (I use 7th Gen or Sal Suds). I got my blanket for about $15 at an army surplus store.

* Rain gear. I have pants and jacket. You will need the pants for wading through wet foliage on your way to the “latrine”. Getting wet when you cannot build a fire can be dangerous. Should your clothing get wet, change immediately into dry clothing. If you can’t get rain gear then make a poncho out of large, contractor size garbage bags. These are huge and will cover you completely and the bonus is NO FRAGRANCES! Garbage bag manufacturers are no longer labeling their products as scented (at least some of the ones I’ve bought).

* Flashlights. A must is a three D cell Maglight. This is not only a great flashlight but it is durable and a great weapon if need be. It is all metal and fairly heavy. You should also have at least two other sources of light such as a headlamp (fairly inexpensive), which is a necessity so you can have both hands free, and a “mini-Maglight” that is a two AA cell LED flashlight. As far as those who have sensitivities to LED light, I believe there might still be some flashlights left that are non-LED. I use LED because I actually want to see in the dark and see where I am going.

* Knives (yes, plural). First, know the laws in your state. Some states have laws limiting the size of knife you can carry. Secondly, remember to take it off before going to public places, some people are very sensitive to the sight of a knife and may misinterpret why you are wearing it (unless you’re in Montana. Just take it off before going into the courthouse or bank, ha ha ha). There are a number of well-known knife makers like Buck and Gerber that make good outdoor utility knives. I have at least four. I recommend getting two knives that have 3-4 inch blades that can be opened with one hand. Gerber calls these “F.A.S.T” knives. These have a button on the handle that you press (a switch that goes up or down) and a knob on the blade that you push with your thumb and it will flick open. On the surface these look like switchblades. They are not. They have a two-step process that can be used with one hand. This is absolutely a must outdoors. I can’t tell you how many times I have had my hand caught on something (or in) and needed to cut whatever was trapping my hand (usually rope in high tension due to high winds). Another knife would be a small 2 inch blade. Lastly is the Leatherman. This is a square, metal version of the Swiss Army knife with some of the same tools. I have a “mini-Leatherman” which has been great for repairing eye glasses (small screw head), digging out slivers (and other foreign objects), etc. If you get a knife then you need to get a whetstone for sharpening them.

* Good work or leather gloves. Get whatever you can tolerate, but I don’t recommend fabric gardening gloves because they will get destroyed after a few uses (digging rocks, roots, etc). I have a pair of pig skin gloves (Wells Lamont). These are indestructible. I also have a couple pair of Mechanix gloves that are leather and nylon. There are also cloth gloves with rubber palms and finger tips. You’ll just need to experiment with what works for you. Ultimately, you need to protect your hands.

* 100lb test fishing line and some fishing hooks. The fishing line is great for a variety of things, including setting trip lines to deter nosey people from coming in at night.

* A compass and a whistle. Quite frankly I don’t see much value in the whistle if no one is around to hear you, but I still carry one just in case I need rescuing. Learn how to use a compass so you can track your location. Should you need to call for help you need to give the dispatcher good directions on how to find you. Telling them that you’re on a forest service road out by a lake isn’t going to help. Pay attention to what forest service road you are on (they are marked in white numbers on a brown background) and how many miles back you are. Know what national forest you are in and the nearest cross roads with the highway. There have been people who have died because they could not give dispatch accurate information on their whereabouts.

* Wool vest, wool socks, wool pants. During the fall and winter months I carry these in my backpack for “just in case”. * Duct tape and surveyors tape. Get some brightly colored duct tape (Available cheap at either Staples or Walmart). Surveyors ribbon is light plastic ribbon that should be available in hardware stores or Walmart’s hardware department. If you are out in the woods for a walk and you are not very adept at reading a map or compass then tie these every 100 yards or so. This is like “bread crumbs” that the animals won’t eat (except for stupid cows, long story). Duct tape also has many other uses such as short-term repairs, reinforcing axe handles, getting slivers out, etc. *Trioxylene tablets. I covered these back in the “Food” section. They are used in the military and can be used to cook food in aluminum containers and/or for starting a campfire.

* Matches, preferably waterproof or a flint that can be used wet or dry.

* About 50 feet of 550lb parachute cord. This can be used to string up a makeshift shelter if needed.

* An axe or hatchet.

* A hand saw. Available at pretty much any outdoor/sporting goods stores and large retailers who have a sporting goods section OR hardware stores.

* A metal hand trowel and toilet paper. (covered in the opening of this section).

* Silk glove liners and sock liners. These are worn as a first layer in extreme conditions.

* Long johns (covered in the clothing section)

*Wool gloves. I have ones that have Thinsulate and are indispensible.

* Balaclava. These go over the head and cover the neck and face. They are usually spandex and nylon or spandex and polyester. You NEED to have something to cover your nose and face when the wind chill gets below zero.

* Two Shemgahs. A shemgah is what the military wears in the desert (Middle East). It is a square cotton cloth, usually 36-42 inches. They are great for covering your neck and face if you cannot use a Balaclava. These also work great as slings for carrying water jugs from a creek. Note: do NOT get shemgahs in the following color combinations: black/white, red/white, yellow/white, blue/white. These colors are used by the Wahabbi Islamic sect (Saudi Arabia), Palestinians, some other militant Islamic groups and the blue and white is Israel, respectively. Not many people are going to know this, but since I roam around a few military installations I do not want to upset people who may know this or send the wrong message, like expressing support for radical Islam. There are a ton of colors now, but beware, get them from an army surplus site and not a fashion site. The ones used for fashion are poorly made and fall apart/get easily snagged. Plus fashion ones are not 100% cotton. I got mine from Amazon.

* A mirror for signaling help. * Energy foods. Have the following tucked away somewhere for “just in case”. Nuts, energy bars (I don’t care which ones, just something with a lot of calories, fat, not just sugar), nut butters in individual packets (peanut or almond), hard candy, seeds (pumpkin, etc), granola. I also have packets of Emergen-C for replacing electrolytes in hot climates.

*Hats. Have a good cold weather hat in whatever fabric you tolerate (except cotton). It needs to insulate your head from the cold. A good hot weather hat with a wide brim (or drape in back) to protect you face and neck is also a necessity. * Iodine water purification tablets. I covered this in the “Water” section.

* A NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency) radio. I have an Eton that I bought from Cabelas that is both solar/hand crank lithium rechargeable batteries and battery operated by 3 AAA cell batteries. It also has AM/FM so I have some entertainment. This is crucial for keeping track of adverse weather conditions. I have had to move camp in the middle of the night after tornado and/or flood watches were issued for my area. You can buy cheaper ones that are exclusively for the NOAA weather stations if you don’t want to or can’t listen to the radio.

*A waterproof marker and paper. Ok, I know the marker is toxic but here is why you need this, if you leave your car for an extended period of time, write the date and time you left, your destination and your name. Place it folded over on the dashboard of your car. If for whatever reason you go missing; law enforcement will have this information so they know where to look for you. Do NOT leave it open on the dash. This will announce “BREAK INTO ME!” to someone who is tempted to do so.

* One or two garbage bags. These can be emergency rain gear or used to place on the ground to lie on to protect you from moisture.

* One gallon size Ziploc (or other type) of plastic bag. One of the uses for this is to stuff it full of snow and tuck it in your sleeping bag or inside your jacket (but NOT against your skin) so you can have water. You cannot melt snow in an aluminum (or titanium) cup. When it gets hot it will just steam and jump around. It will not melt.

* Yak-trax.  These are non-slip plastic and metal slip on “grippers” (can’t think of the word right now) to keep you from slipping on the ice.  You pull these over the bottom of your shoes and the metal on them grips slippery surfaces to keep you from falling.  A definite must if you are in winter conditions.

*First Aid kit (to be covered in section 5) This is not an all-inclusive list, but it’s the basics of the most important factors to staying safe (or alive). Keep dry, keep warm/cool, keep hydrated, keep fed and know where you are.

(My “go bag” with a majority of my survival gear)

Homelessness Part 3 (Or All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go) – revisited

In Part 3 of Vanessa’s five-part series she discusses clothing needs.  This post was originally on Planet Thrive.

This is part three of a four-part series on homelessness.  The previous versions covered topics on shelter and security (part 1) and food, water and hygiene (part 2).

However, I had forgotten to describe how to dig a latrine/cat hole/pit toilet.  If you are eating right now, I recommend coming back later to read this.  First, I strongly recommend getting an army surplus folding shovel that has both a shovel and a pick (also known as a trenching tool).  The pick cuts through rocky soil, saving the shovel from being bent.  These are also fairly cheap on eBay (don’t get suckered into buying “Official Marine” shovels for $25 and up.  Yes, these are of great quality, but my experience has been that a $10 one does just fine and I am not expecting any insurgent attacks in my camp (but then again stranger things have happened).  Make sure you get one that is steel, not some other metal or alloy.  I bought a cheap one made of pig iron from China and the shovel broke only after three uses.  All components must be metal otherwise they will break or jam if they are plastic.  You can also opt for a metal hand trowel that is sold in virtually every sporting goods, outdoors store as well as the big box stores.  They are small folding trowels that are good for digging small “cat holes” when you can’t dig a larger waste pit (mine is called “U-Diggit” and it metal).

The standard depth of a latrine, etc. is 6 to 8 inches deep.  In the woods and mountains or any place where the soil is rich with decaying plant material you can get by with digging a 4 inch deep hole.  This is soil rich in microorganisms that will break down the waste efficiently.  Be sure to cover the hole with plenty of dirt and plant material so that it can’t be seen or stepped in.  Yes, I have stepped into someone’s disgusting poo where they just crapped on the ground and left it there.  A side note, Arizona was the worst for people just leaving their waste on the ground and not burying it.  Really, out of all the states I have travelled, Arizona has the horrible distinction of having people with the worst hygiene and outdoor etiquette.  The desert or arid areas are a different story.  The sand and rocks are lacking enough microorganisms to properly break down waste.  It is not recommended that you cover your waste with just rocks above ground because it will become a petrified turd and dried out toilet paper for some hapless individual to find while picking up rocks for a fire pit or tent site.  But there’s always a chance the animals will eat it, but not likely.  If you absolutely have to do this because the ground is too rocky to dig a deep hole, then dig a shallow one, place dirt over it and whatever vegetation is around and then top it off with rocks.  The decaying vegetation will help in the decomposition of the waste.

In some areas of the desert you are required to pack out your toilet paper, but can leave the solid waste behind (pun intended) so long as it is properly buried.  In the desert you may have to dig up to 10 inches to ensure the elements will not uncover your waste (i.e. sand).  However, in some national parks, national forests, BLM, you are required to pack out all of it.  Yes, you will have to poo in a bag.  Gross, but necessary.  Outdoor stores do carry solid waste bags (There are “Biobags” made of biodegradable material for handling waste, see http://www.biobagusa.com/ .  Backpackers who plan on going to these areas use these.  They are durable, but some are scented.  You can always opt for a garbage bag, but I recommend double bagging the waste so that it does not leak.  Baking soda or clay kitty litter can also be added to keep the stench down.  That’s the basics for pooping in the woods or desert.

Now, onto clothing!

Clothing:  This is another “to each his/her own” situation since people with MCS tend to have different sensitivities to various fabrics and materials.  There is a wealth of information on Planet Thrive regarding material choices and ways to mitigate/treat the fabrics to make them tolerable.  No need to rehash all that here, so I will simply list what I use and hopefully this will be of some help.

Most of my summer clothing is cotton.  Not organic cotton, just plain old shirts from some of the stores like Walmart, Shopko, etc.  Some are easy to clean and get prepped for use, others sometimes are trash.  It’s a crap shoot.  Why am I not buying organic fabrics?  Quite simply, cost.  I do not have the money to shop stores (both online and in store) that sell organic or exotic types of fabric (i.e. hemp, bamboo, etc).  I can afford a $4.00 shirt, not a $11.00 to $25 one.

I do tolerate some synthetics like nylon, polyester/nylon blends, cotton/spandex blends and some sport blends (usually wool/polyester or other wool blends).  I do not tolerate rayon and acrylics.  After becoming injured I put a top on that was my favorite top and started itching horribly with my face turning red.  I pulled it off and checked and it turned out to be 100% rayon.  Later, after the reaction subsided, I tried a different top that was also 100% rayon and the same reaction happened.   So I purged my wardrobe of all rayon or rayon blends as well as acrylic (mostly sweaters).

Living outdoors all the time you need to strike a balance.  Synthetics are great because they retain their warmth even when wet and can be layered with cotton for good breathability during the winter.  Wool is great too, but you need to get the “fisherman’s sweater” that still has high lanolin content to get a naturally water proof sweater.  This is not recommended if you have sensitivities to lanolin.  Other wools are good too, but I love my sweater because the water beads up and runs off without soaking the fabric (or me).  These are expensive, but it is an investment to keep well during freezing cold weather.  I have had mine since about 1995(?), before being injured.  This sweater was from Eddie Bauer.

The stores I shop for outdoor clothing are:  Cabelas, Sierra Trading Post, Campmor and Amazon.  I do not recommend getting clothes from eBay because people will saturate the clothes in either Febreeze or fabric softener instead of washing them which renders them toxic and not salvageable.  One pair of jeans I bought (cheap) were so bad I literally threw them outside on the ground.  I could not touch them.  I soaked them in white vinegar and water for three months and a weird yellow substance kept coming out of them.  Never again.

Basically for summer you need light clothing that can be layered in the evening.  Light fabric as well as light-colored long sleeve shirts are a must for sun protection as well as light weight shorts and pants.  From the mountains to the deserts the weather can turn very fast and temperatures can drop 30-40 degrees in a matter of hours.  Have sweatshirts, wind proof jackets and hats available at all times so you can start adding layers as the weather cools.

I have an alpaca wool sweater that is very warm for its weight.  In addition to the sweater, I have alpaca wool socks and leg warmers.  I have found that alpaca is very warm and light weight.  I wear the socks at night in the winter to keep my feet warm and add the leg warmers when it gets below 20 degrees.

Here’s a short list of what’s in my wardrobe:

* Several short-sleeved cotton shirts

* A couple of light weight/light colored long sleeve shirts that are polyester or a blend of polyester.

* Several pairs of shorts from cotton to polyester.

* Several wool blend socks (Smartwool, but Sierra Trading Post has some great deals from time to time

on other companies wool blend socks)

* A couple of alpaca wool socks and leg warmers

* Several turtle necks, cotton/polyester blend

* One padded compression bra (by Champion).  This is great on the chilly nights to keep you chest

warm.

* Several pairs of long john tops and bottoms.  I use 100% silk which is the lightest and can be easily

worn under clothing.  I have one pair of medium weight from CuddleDuds (nylon/polyester blend).

Two expedition weight (heavy material) to wear under my fleece leggings I sleep in.

* Three wool sweaters of different blends.  Two 100% wool and one 100% alpaca.

* A pair of fleece leggings (outer wear) for sleeping in.

* Three cotton hoodies (for layering).

* Several pairs of jeans, cotton/spandex blend.

One final thought on clothing, if you are a woman buy men’s outerwear or t-shirts whenever you can.  It is usually of heavier material and is cut to allow more freedom of movement.  Don’t ask me why some women’s clothing is cut so snug with such flimsy material that it’s virtually useless.  I have gotten some great deals on men’s sweatshirts and hoodies that were far more superior than the women’s equivalent and much cheaper (Cabela’s is a good one for this as well as Amazon.com and HanesOnePlace,  http://www.onehanesplace.com/ ).

This is getting lengthy, so I will stop here and discuss Survival Gear and First aid in the fourth (and hopefully final) installment.

I asked Vanessa for another photo to include with this post.  She chose the Mountain Death Camas due to its beautiful design and deadly poison.  As the name implies, its poison is equivalent to strychnine poison. 

 

 

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.

What Is She Saying?

Today is day 11 of my “Spotlight” Author blog tour through Rave Reviews Book Club. I am being hosted by fellow RRBC member, Marlena Hand on her blog Life as I know It.

What Is She Saying?

I am not a part of this world
When I speak, strange
terms come from my lips
People look at me with my mask
as if I am an alien
Holed up here inside my room—
stripped bare of carpet

To read more of my guest blog post and learn what Marlena has to say, visit her blog using the link above.  Please take a moment to thank her for hosting me.

How I Got Here

Today I am honored to be featured on Notes From Tabor Lane penned by Katherine Logan.  I am so thrilled at the wonderful response I have received from my fellow Rave Reviews Book Club members in supporting my time as “Spotlight” Author. 

My life was full and busy. I was a stay-at-home mother of two teen-aged daughters.  My life was wonderful and hectic.  If it weren’t for my at-a-glance calendar I would have been lost.  I was a board member of the local elementary school, a 4-H leader, president of the PTA, and a member of a local athletic booster club for young ladies at a new high school. When I wasn’t busy with community events I was playing Bunco with a group of women that I had met through PTA..to read more of my guest blog post with Katherine, please click on the link above.  Don’t forget to take a moment to leave a comment and thank her for hosting me.