Tag Archives: brain injury

UnStopped and Able Until…

I have heard that new ads are out and insinuating people will somehow feel richer  merely by inhaling mysterious blends of chemicals.  Please don’t be fooled. Seriously.

“Unstopables …  will add an indulgent level of luxurious scent to every load of your laundry. Add as much as you wish for up to 12 weeks* of scent enhancement so you can smell like the lifestyle you—and your wardrobe—deserve.”

They fail to mention that your neighbors who get migraines may think that the “scent enhancement” emanating from your dryer vent (which was designed to emit moisture, not chemicals) is not such a good thing for them, their asthmatic children, or for their aging parents who have lung disease and whose window is yards from your vent.

Apparently we also don’t deserve to know what we’d be inhaling if we use these things! P&G will only refer us to the self-regulated fragrance industry’s voluntarily disclosed list of over 3000 ingredients, most of which are petroleum derived. (Scroll down for a PDF of the list, which took quite a bit of sleuthing around their other website to find).

I’ve designed a few new ads for them, simplifying some of their marketing messages into plain English for you :

UnStopped and Able Until

There’s more, much more…

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Severe MCS/ES… What Does It Mean?

To some degree, severe MCS/ES (like pain) is subjective. In other ways it’s a moving target, as we can be fine (or almost fine) one minute, and be completely incapacitated the next hour (day, week, or month) from an exposure, or combination of exposures. One day, a perfume exposure during lunch with friends might “just” give someone a throbbing headache for the rest of the day, but the next day, because there was also a cloud of diesel smoke, a fragrance contaminated piece of mail, someone installed wi-fi in the apartment next door, and someone else’s dryer vent was pumping out chemicals when we walked by with the dog, the same 3 breaths of perfume at the pet store we were trying to buy dog food from, could send us to bed for a week, or longer.

To make matters more difficult for others to accurately assess (and assumptions and clueless opinions are rampant where invisible disabilities are concerned), the recovery period, when most incapacity takes place, occurs when no-one is around to witness the effects, as many symptoms are delayed reactions. This means that people with severe MCS/ES are usually only seen during better moments, not when we’re at our worst.

severe mcs es

Something else I often see is that people’s ability to tolerate change and adversity varies greatly. Some people fall apart when faced with the slightest challenge, while others can endure unbelievably difficult circumstances and suffering without ever complaining.

One person’s severe is another person’s “just another day”. And, as I found out, when we think things are as bad as they can possibly be, they can get 1000 times worse (especially where brain function is concerned). This can really confuse people, ourselves included…

That said, there are tools that have been designed to help medical professionals assess all kinds of health and disabilities. And accurate assessment is especially important when applying for disability benefits.

What follows are a few tools that can help us understand. This information is not meant for acquiring disability benefits. I’m providing it for educational purposes only.

How can “sensitivity” symptoms affect life?

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Personal Update: It’s No Longer All In My Head!

Well, it never really ever was all in my head.

My arms, legs and the rest of my body have been affected too. But most of it was because things weren’t functioning as intended in my brain (which still IS in my head), and since brain functions control so many other things (like how our body functions, and how we communicate), when brain chemistry is altered (with or without choice or permission) then body functions will be altered too.

Think of what happens when you have a drink, then a few more, and then finish the bottle… Are you functioning the same way before drinking as after?

Personal Update Part One:

I am doing a lot better these days, in some ways even thousands of times better than I was doing by the time I left Bloor Street in May of 2010. I can now usually get through most of my days without everything requiring constant, exhausting effort, but it hasn’t turned into me being able to do or accomplish that much more in actual practical terms.

I still have brain issues and most of the other practical limitations that come from MCS/ES and a toxic brain injury, but recently, I have started feeling so much better!

I am trying to wrap my mind around that because it doesn’t make logical, rational sense to me. How is it that I can feel so much better without doing so much better?

Maybe it has just been so long since I’ve felt even halfway ok, and because some part of my brain chemistry is working differently and more normally…?

Whatever it is, it isn’t tangible, but it is a very welcome change!

water dance

Part Two: Insights

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Chemical Brain Drain… What Are We Thinking?

This is the most significant issue I have with MCS/ES, the ways my brain (and functioning) are affected from exposures to chemicals in everyday products.

I suspect (and I am not the only one) that some of the bigger problems we are seeing in society now, are due to widespread neuro-toxic chemicals (in addition to wireless radiation) affecting too many people’s ability to think clearly.

Philippe Grandjean:

Our intelligence depends on the integrity of the complete organ. Even subtle effects, such as memory deficits, attention problems, or motor dysfunction, can seriously impact on our health. Thus, the brain differs substantially from other important organs, such as the kidney or the liver, where we can lead successful lives without maximal function…

Our brain functions are valuable to ourselves and to society. Data on exposures to lead, mercury, and pesticides suggest that the losses to society amount to hundreds of billions of dollars every year. This calculation is based solely on losses of income and does not take into account less tangible damages associated with chemical brain drain


chemical brain drain 1

Known chemical brain drainers

(chemicals known to cause brain toxicity and neurological symptoms in humans)

Someone needs to check IFRA’s list of ingredients to see how many of these are used in fragrances, I think too many…

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