October 12, 2017

10 year update: Still Healing! Yay!! Life Is SO Different Now.

I've recently been getting emails from readers who have found this blog and it made me realise that it's been years since I've posted!  Maybe I'll update a bit for those who find this blog and wonder if my improvements have held.
I'm a nutshell: yes. They have. And they've continued beyond my wildest hopes.

Wow. 5 years!!!

Life has been progressing and my continued healing has opened the world up to me again.
It's amazing, and what's more amazing is that this is now the norm.

I ride the bus, crowded in amongst people wearing scented products, drive with friends in their new cars, go to regular appointments and events, get togethers and parties, concerts, movies, swimming in chlorinated pools, rollerskating in rented skates that have been sprayed with air freshener, go for medical procedures including IVs, meds, medical tape, medications, etc, go to a ten-day music festival in the woods with 1500 people (many covered in bug repellent and sunscreen, much smoking around me, though thankfully there was a rule of no smoking on the dancefloors )...

... I can read brand new books, magazines, and newspapers, and use many art supplies including acrylic paint and pencil crayons (I used to be unable to be in the room with a single one due to reacting to terpenes from the wood).
I'm able to use some select mild amounts of essential oils. I can be around coffee, orange peel, fresh cut mint, vinegar, and more.

Some of those things, with long enough or intense enough exposure, still cause reactions but the symptoms are generally mild and I recover quickly.
They rarely interfere.

The are still things (eg solvents, chlorine bleach, nail polish, ammonia) that would cause more severe reactions but my experience with those has changed as well. Things that previously could have been life-threatening and landed me in the hospital or ill in bed for weeks, might instead cause mild coughing for a few days, or a tight chest and difficulty thinking clearly until I get to fresh air. I avoid these things when possible but am calm when I'm exposed.

Spending time with people who are covered in scented laundry or personal care products, or in spaces with lit incense/scented candles or air freshener are still things that I avoid when I can, and often get headaches or migraines if I do choose to expose myself, but this does not amount to a life changing limitation.
I rarely wear a mask. I can't recall the last time I did. Perhaps it was on a many hours long road trip in a car that had strong gasoline fumes inside it.
Or if I was painting an entire wall in my apartment.
The poor masks are lonely in their box and I bet the local safety supply store misses my business.  ;-)

Well, that's all for now.
Wishing you all well.

**For those asking if I used a specific protocol to heal, no. But in the upper ride hand sidebar of the blog, there is a list of links to things that were important components of my own healing journey.
We are all individuals. Maybe some of those may benefit you, maybe you'll discover your own approach! Listen to your intuition and inner wisdom. That is what guided me to my path. It can be really hard to listen when fear and suffering are almost all we know. It's okay to start with very tiny baby steps. That's what I did.


June 29, 2012

Hair Salon Visit! A MCS Healing Milestone

Now that life is so busy, I have been posting very infrequently.  I wanted to let you know that my recovery from MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) is still progressing well.

A few weeks ago I got my hair cut in a hair salon for the first time since before MCS got severe in 2004!
It felt like a huge milestone on my healing journey.  No mask of course.   :-)
Here's a picture I took before going in:

I brought my own shampoo and conditioner but other than that, I made no accommodations at all to MCS.
There were people around me getting highlights and it was wonderful to be able to just relax, knowing that my body can handle that kind of exposure now, with no ill effects.

My appointment took 1 hour and 15 minutes because my hair is very thick and long.
I wore their cape, sat in their chair, was surrounded by the products used by the salon... and I was just fine.  :-)  No reactions while there or afterward!

It was so exciting to feel so 'normal' and be able to do a positive, self-esteem boosting thing like getting a nice hair cut.

For those who are not at this stage yet, and want a hair cut, many towns have hairdressers who make house calls for people who are less mobile.  It generally isn't advertised.  I have found that service by calling various hair dressers or seniors residences and asking if anyone has heard of someone who gives cuts at your house.  If you have a yard or balcony, they should be able to do the cut outside so that you don't need to bring them into your home (if you would react to scents on them).
If you are lucky enough to live in a city that has an eco-friendly or chemical-free hair salon, they may be an option for you.  Check out this great article about that type of salon on Planet Thrive here: Less Toxic Hair Salons

February 17, 2012

MCS Success Photos

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at home after having been out at Walmart and also the grocery store (both with no mask) and I had one of those surreal moments that I have sometimes since being on a healing journey.
I suddenly looked around and was aware of all of the things I was sitting near that I couldn't have even been in the room with without reacting to before I began healing from MCS. Even after I had begun healing but was still early on, many of these things caused reactions and I had to avoid them. I am now so completely nonreactive to them that it feels normal to be around them and most of the time I forget they were ever an issue!

I took some photos that day and tried to identify all that I was now okay with.

Here are a few photos, followed by a list of what is shown - all of the items listed are signs of healing, signs of success! Keeping a tidy house is not one of my skills so please excuse the mess :-)
  • acrylic yarn bought that day at Walmart.
  • crochet hook bought that day at Walmart - it didn't occur to me to wash it.
  • toilet paper bought at grocery store in same aisle as laundry products (the store smell on the plastic would have been a big issue in past).
  • computer and printer in same room as me. I used to have them in another room with the cords for keyboard and monitor coming through wall into my room. They've been in the same room as me for many months now.
  • table with wood exposed (used to be entirely sealed in foil due to terpenes in wood. the glass top on it now is just to protect it from cat claws - not for MCS reasons).
  • package of canvas boards on table is from Michaels craft store, a very stinky place.
  • you can just barely see the books on the tables - 1 new and 1 from library (inks, other people's scents etc).
  • exercise ball
  • what is not shown is my body and hair. I no longer need to shower or wash my hair after being out - even after hours of browsing Walmart! I simply wash my hands and change my clothing.
  • the pants I'm wearing were ones I was able to wear after just one wash with my safe soap. no detox necassary.

Also, though you can't see it in the above photo, I was sitting a few feet from a pair of brand new boots. New leather, new rubber, new everything. They didn't bother me at all - either to be near or to wear (though sadly I did return them because the left one was too tight for some reason :)
In the left lower corner of the below photo you can see the fabric of the chair I'm sitting on. I left that in to show how nearby the boots are. I shopped for boots at almost every store I could think of, trying to find the right pair. I didn't wear a mask in any of the stores. The new shoe smell was very strong but it didn't bother me.

February 1, 2012

Others Who Have Recovered Or Are Healing From MCS

Hello! I haven't posted in a very long time and I want to let you all know that MCS is still improving. I ride the bus regularly, go in any store I want, walk through the perfume or scented candle sections of big department stores, eat at restaurants (with some limitations due to food sensitivities still), attend appointments and socialise all without a mask!
I can also use 99% of public washrooms without a mask.

There are now so many others who are also healing or fully recovered that I've felt less pressure to post here since the internet is now rich with inspiring stories of hope and healing from MCS.

I invite you to check out a new page I've put up on my blog with a list of some of those who are healing along with some links to their success stories.
It has been so encouraging and inspiring to see the numbers of people who are healing from MCS grow over the years.
It is my belief that for every story shared on the internet, there are many more who have not created blogs or websites. So each of the people I list below stands, in my mind, for many more!

Some of these people have healed 100% and are living lives unhindered by reactions to chemicals! Others are in the process of healing and have had dramatic improvements, able to handle exposures that previously would have been devastating... and, importantly, have not experienced backsliding or relapse after these exposures.

Click here to read more:
Other stories of healing and recovery from MCS