Part Four of Four
(Part One, Part Two, Part Three)
Guest post by Che Ray
If you are hosting the family in your own home, it is true, you must take every precaution. Otherwise their stink will be there long after they leave. If they come in with stuff and it gets on your furniture, it will be bad.
Here is a suggestion: let them know in advance that before they enter the house they will have to be willing to have you test whether they are wearing anything that is triggering for you. Then when they arrive, if you have a good friend who gets what you are dealing with, have them first go to the cars of the people who are coming. He or she can do a preliminary test. If she senses something she can be the one to tell them what the problem is.
If you have sent them detailed emails in advance of everything they need to eliminate (she can even bring the check list to the car) then this will come as no surprise. They won’t be mad at you, they will feel bad. And that’s OK. That is the part of the learning process on their end.
If they make it to the front porch, you go outside and test again. When you first greet them, I suggest having your mask on. It will let them know right away what the situation is. Take it off briefly to assess the situation. If you feel comfortable taking it off at some point later in the evening, you can simply say, I am going to do a test to see how I do.
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Fragrance, Support
Tagged allergies, barriers, chemical sensitivity, environmental illness, environmental sensitivities, family, fragrance-free, holidays, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, TILT
Guest post by T.M. Canary
Valentines Day has a different meaning for me. Three years ago in February 2013 my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease due to the use of air fresheners at the clinic where I worked. There is no way to describe how my life has been permanently changed in just a few words. My severe asthma is permanent and likely progressive. Those that care about me have the power do something about this though. You can make the effort to choose products that do not pollute the air we all breathe.
1. Avoid fragranced body products [perfume, body creams, sun screens, deodorant, shower gels, shampoo/conditioner, hair products, hand soaps lotions, and sanitizers]
2. Avoid fragranced laundry products [detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets]
Posted in Air Quality, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Health, Products
Tagged allergies, alternative gift ideas, asthma, Chemicals, family, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, MCS, non-toxic gifts, petrochemicals, Reactive Airway Disease, toxic chemicals, toxic trespass
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.
What if you had the chance to say one thing about your life with MCS/ES, and how it would change your life if it was understood?
May is MCS/ES Awareness Month (yet again… maybe some year we won’t need it to be, but this year, we still do), and this year, I would like to share some of your stories and insights.
If you could tell the world ONE thing about your life with MCS/ES (or any other invisible disability that has MCS/ES as a symptom), what would it be?
How has this one thing affected your life?
If this one thing were changed, how would your life be different?
You could think of it as a conversation with someone you love, someone who loves you (or even a kind stranger), someone who wants to understand, and who is willing to do something for you, and/or to change the way they do things, in order to include you in life, and to help you with what you need or want to accomplish in life (for example).
This is your time to tell them this one thing, and how this change will impact your life for the better.
Here’s what I am asking for with your submissions: Continue reading
Posted in Accessibility, Action, Change, Disability, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, MCS/ES, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Support
Tagged accessibility, advocacy, allergies, autism, communication, community, education, family, fibromyalgia, friends, heart to heart, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, ME/CFS, sensitivities, writing
A mother’s thoughts on having a daughter with disabling MCS
Life in the City with a Future
I asked my mom for the ultimate act of love this week. I asked her tell about her journey having a daughter who is disabled with MCS. Mom asked me for questions for her to answer. These are her words:
1. What did you first think when I told you I was disabled with MCS and you would have to eliminate all toxic chemicals from your life if you wanted to physically see me?
I thought, God. How do we do that — chemicals are everywhere? How bad is this going to get for my poor daughter? And of course, I thought about myself also. I have lived for so long doing everything using all kinds of awful stuff and not even paying attention until you get an awful wake up call and have to hope and pray it is not too late.
2. Two years after my disability from…
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