A few of us in the MCS community have been burning the proverbial candle at both ends and in the middle, trying to generate public awareness and interest to persuade the NS housing authority to reconsider their 3 year battle to evict our good friend Wendy, despite no accessible alternatives being available.
Their unwillingness to understand and accommodate her disability and her medical team’s recommendations… well, it’s something a lot of us have faced and are facing.
Posted in Accessibility, Action, Disability, Environmental Health, Friendship, Housing, Human Rights, Medically Required Housing, Support
Tagged #LetWendyStay, environmental illness, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free, homelessness, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS housing, petrochemicals, saving lives, systemic discrimination
Amelia Hill shared an eloquent post about enduring and working with loneliness (see below). Amelia and I are both housebound (and have been so for years), but she is currently confined to a much smaller space in her home than I am in mine.
From Heal Amelia’s Life:
Loneliness. I’ve kinda learned to override the often relentless waves of loneliness one feels living an isolated existence like mine.I don’t deny the feelings of loneliness or push them down in an unhealthy way. But it’s more like a repetitive cycle of acknowledging it & letting it go, acknowledging it & letting it go. It’s how I survive.
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Disability, Environmental Health, Friendship, Human Rights, Support
Tagged allergies, Amelia, EHS, environment, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, health, Housing, invisible, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals, posttraumatic growth
Guest post by Sandra McPherson
I have a niece who moved back from out west just a year or so ago. I love her dearly. Her son that she had so much difficulty to have is named Owen. I lost a son named Owen and she contacted me to tell me she wanted to name him after my son unless it would upset me. She is so thoughtful!
I was sucking it up and inviting her here to my place, (safe place) for meals and visits now and then when I was strong enough. Her laundry fragrances and personal products were hard on me but it was only every few months, though I wished it could be more. We talked often about my MCS because she saw me go from a person that was at EVERY party and kid sport gathering and family get together, etc., etc., to a hermit.
I had not seen her in several months and she inquired about getting together again. We set up a date for lunch at my place again.
Guest post by Debbie Clark Seely
I wanted to take the time to write this letter because we (the “unscented” community) are concerned for you. With it being the holiday season we are seeing multiple reports of friends and family members choosing to cut ties to their unscented loved ones rather than make the effort to visit them unscented. This perplexes us. It makes us feel like you are choosing scent over a human being. Continue reading
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Friendship
Tagged allergies, asthma, environmental sensitivities, fragrance chemicals, fragrance-free, holidays, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, petrochemicals, phthalates
This is special, so special that you might be inspired in ways that surprise you!
MYSTERY… Should we trust the fragrance industry with our loved ones health?
We could buy products that are made by a self regulated industry that believes it’s ok to include many harmful chemicals (derived from petroleum and other fossil fuels) in their products (according to their member’s voluntary disclosure of over 3000 ingredients, which is as close to disclosure as they come) or we can show our love for each other by doing things that nurture long term health and well-being for each other and the planet we all depend on for life.
The choice is ours once we know it exists.
Here are a few more nourishing ideas for gifts of love:
Posted in Air Quality, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Friendship
Tagged allergies, asthma, Chemicals, Fragrance, hazardous air pollutants, indoor air quality, love, natural, petrochemicals, phthalates
I recently received a virtual gift from a friend and wanted to make my own version to share with you, because I know how difficult life can get, especially when we are isolated and facing challenges most people cannot relate with.
Here then is the gift bag I created for you!
Even though I am totally housebound, with no family at home, with little to no ability to visit with them or friends, either here or anywhere, due to my severe MCS/ES, I found this article from Toni Bernhard to have some lovely, helpful coping ideas. I’m sharing it with you in case you find yourself alone, or having to bow out of gatherings, if you find yourself in need of more tools to try out, whether or not it’s the holiday season:
How to Ease the Pain of Isolation During the Holidays
Three simple practices can help you feel less alone during the holidays.
Colleen and her friend Beth discuss statistics and friendship challenges and benefits in another revealing post for Invisible Illness week…
Just like Colleen waited for years to get officially diagnosed with MCS, so did I, and for mainly the same reasons.
I knew that the doctors at the time knew nothing about it (or they would have given me a clue as to what the early signs were years ago).
Eventually I came to realize that statistics ARE important (to decision makers), and if we don’t make the effort to get an official dx (I say effort, because many people go from uneducated doctor to uneducated doctor for years… see my post about good news for Ontario to understand what a major deal the announcement of training 2 doctors in environmental health is) then in the eyes of decision makers, we do not exist.
That means that services for us continue to not exist also…
But when we speak up, things change.
I love how Colleen is speaking up, and how her friends are too!
Life in the City with a Future
For day 5 of Invisible Illness Awareness Week, my buddy Beth has agreed to give her perspective of what it is like having a friend disabled from MCS. In a Canadian study, in 2010, over 800,000 people were diagnosed with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) an 31% increase in 5 years. Those during the same time period with one or more of Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and MCS were 1,415,000 (a 25% increase). This study excluded children with MCS and focused mostly on people with MCS diagnosed by a doctor. I personally went undiagnosed for decades. I avoided the triggers of perfume as much as I could. I figured there was nothing a doctor could do for me anyway and why be just another statistic. I now understand how important it is for our governments to have accurate statistics. The more people who give MCS a voice — the more likely we…
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