Recently I wrote about how I need to keep the house closed up when neighbors are spraying their yards so as to avoid exposures to the chemicals that are used to kill weeds, and keep lawns pristine. Tests have shown that my liver does not manage Phase II detoxification well and the chemicals damage my body. It is not just the spraying outside that has me running to close windows. So do dryer sheets which contain formaldehyde, gasoline fumes, cleaning supplies, wood smoke, etc. People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities live each day "on alert" so as to avoid reactions that come from exposure.
On Monday I had to go and get new glasses. I have avoided this for awhile because the place we go is in a Shopko store and I have not been inside any stores for 4 years now. I wore a carbon mask and we were there about 1 hour. Joel and I could smell some type of cleaning chemical but it was not overly strong so that was good. I did remove the mask (which helps somewhat) to make sure I liked the glasses I was trying on. I thought I had gotten away with my adventure, but not so much. Results of the exposure: headache, air hunger, swollen tongue,crying jags, weakness, and anxiety. How do I know this is from the exposure? Experience. My LLMD has MCS herself and treats others with it. She explained to me that first when anyone is exposed to a fragrance, chemical, etc. it goes into the lungs. From there is travels and ends up in the brain. My weeping and anxiety is a result of the chemical affecting my brain. The body becomes more acidic at this time, so by drinking baking soda in water you can add more alkaline to your body thus helping the exposure reactions. I do this and it helps some...these reactions usually last 2-3 days. I am always surprised by this...I was thinking it was from Lyme die off until Joel reminded me of how this happened after I had been to the dentist..although at that time I also had such brain fog I was banned from the kitchen! So this exposure was in the medium range ~I am so happy about that ~ and soon I will have my much needed new glasses!
What I know for sure: Our bodies have a saturation point. My doctor believes my immune system was damaged when we lived in The Philippines and were constantly having to spray our homes for bugs, etc. It may be why our children have so many allergies themselves. When we are continually exposed to chemicals, molds, etc. our immune systems may go into overdrive. When our immune systems are compromised we are more at risk to develop allergies to foods, chemicals, molds, plastic smells, etc. Avoidance is so important for me because my liver does not eliminate it like it should and so it keeps slowly building up. Treatment has helped me to be able to handle the family coming with their smells because they don't wear perfumes or colognes or hair sprays, etc. I usually only get a headache now and sometimes not even a headache if they are not using fragrances, and strong smelling hair supplies, etc.
Needless to say, our home is chemical free. We have large air purifiers to use when necessary. We clean with baking soda, and vinegar. We use Seventh Generation for laundry and dish soaps and everything else is fragrance free. We try to buy things that are chemical free too and not products that have added a chemical to snuff out the smells! I do not wear clothing that has artificial material like polyester ~ that is a petroleum product~ and wear as much organic cotton as I can afford or find. Joel keeps his clothes down in our laundry room and as soon as he gets home from work, shopping ,etc. he has to shower and change clothes before I can be around him. How blessed I am to have a hubby willing to do this!
I hope this has been informative for those who wonder what MCS is and what it does to us. We expect our bodies to do so much for us and they are amazing, but the way our world surrounds itself with chemicals both inside and out does take a huge toll on our health. That is why we try to make our home a sanctuary...in more ways than one!