Thursday, September 22, 2011

Challenges of Living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Part I

Living with MCS certainly has its challenges........minute by minute if I am speaking realistically.  I used to take for granted that I could go anywhere and do anything whenever I wanted........who knew that one day that would all be taken away.

It's a life of constant worry and anxiety and I feel held hostage in my own body.  Just to step outside my home is a constant threat of what might be waiting for me.  Sitting on our back deck is a luxury that often ends in panic, pain and days of recovery just for mere minutes of being exposed to a neighbor's scented laundry engulfing what should be a "safe" space. Opening windows on a beautiful summer day to enjoy the fresh air God created is so refreshing only to have to rush to close them all before fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides invade our sanctuary that we've created specifically to be safe for us. The nerve pains that causes lasts nearly a week (for me) from those types of exposures.

Shopping is certainly a challenge trying to avoid endcaps filled with scented products and people covered in cigarette smoke, colognes, perfumes, body sprays, deodorants, hair products etc.  It's getting more and more difficult to find a cashier that doesn't wreak of perfume or body lotion and more often than not someone in line does as well. God forbid something spills on the checkout belt, cause out comes the Febreze or Lysol or some other dangerous cleaning product! Many a times I've had to leave a line and move to another due to all of  these circumstances and more, so I try to shop where I can check myself out whenever possible.

As if that isn't enough, they put the toilet paper, paper towels and even bread products directly back to back with the laundry detergents, dryer sheets and other household cleaners. Who wants bread that smells and tastes like detergent or air freshener???  What really doesn't make sense, for more reasons than one, is they put the "fragrance-free" "free and clear" products mixed among the scented ones! First of all, the ones who actually NEED these type of products are unable to get to them because of all the scented ones surrounding it! Second, what was made to be an UNSCENTED product is now contaminated! These items really should be placed either on an end cap or in a seperate part of the store.

Day to day activities that should be pleasant, normal experiences become painful, stressful, life-altering events.  Loved ones try their best to understand what we go through, yet it is impossible to truly grasp unless you are going through it yourself, apparently. Even those we live with have a difficult time and it eventually can lead to resentment, anger and loneliness. Feel free to share your own experiences! : )

~ Just trying to live as normal a life as I can one day at a time.

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