January 4, 2009

Celebrating MCS Improvements Part 1

How do I know I am healing?

I noticed tiny things at first...

  • a few extra moments before a reaction set in
  • a reaction less severe than I was used to
  • a faster recovery after exposure

Then my body seemed to reach a point where the healing took on a life of it's own. A momentum had picked up and I seemed to move forward steadily.

  • I could use the blender, vacuum, toaster without wearing a mask - as long as I did it quickly and left the room afterward.
  • I was able to read select books again if they were not too old, new or scented.
  • terpenes from grass didn't bother me much anymore (in small doses)
  • I could touch paper whitened with chlorine without an instant skin reaction.
  • I could walk in a pine forest without getting instantly 'stoned' from the terpenes
  • I could eat small amounts of foods that had 'flavour' as an ingredient (many chemicals in flavour are similar to ones in fragrance due to how our sense of taste is connected to sense of smell)
  • I could be around leaf mold, coffee, potted plants and more with much less reaction
All of the above are things that only a few years ago caused such severe reactions that I went to great lengths to avoid them.

Now I can read most books - even new, old or somewhat scented. I can even read books from the
library (notorious for having picked up fragrances/smoke from people's houses).

I vacuum, use the blender, toaster and more
without even thinking about it. I don't have to hold my breath, leave the room or worry about how long I vacuum for!

I go to a few restaurants, garden with no mask, have a few potted plants in my house, cut my own lawn (electric mower)... I can even have certain cut flowers from my garden inside my house. It used to be only totally scentless flowers I could tolerate but now I can even have higher VOC flowers inside.

Small exposures to dryer exhaust, wood smoke and cigarette smoke from neighbours while I am in my yard cause little or no reaction. This is such an awesome thing because I can actually use my nose as a warning system and still have time to go inside before an actual reaction happens. Before, even a few seconds was too much/too late.

When did all of this happen? I don't exactly know.
The dramatic changes happened sometime in the last year I think - the lesser ones in the year before that. Most of my healing happened so gradually and softly that I only notice things in hindsight.

I know how good it makes me feel now to notice so I've been trying to do it often.
If I had noticed more as I went along, I think I might have healed even faster due to the mind-body connection.

As I move forward, my 'normal' keeps shifting. I keep having a new normal.

It's exciting to think of how far I have come and know that one day, the way I am now will be far in the past and will seem incredibly limited!


  1. I appreciate your attention to the positive. I am in a boat not far from you, noticing the changes that expand my world: 60 minutes in a neighborhood restaurant with many other people and small unscented candles ... and minimal reaction. It takes a lot of courage to venture beyond MCS. I know today that fun is a powerful antidote, and then sometimes the answer is rest. Thanks for this Liberty. Mokihana

  2. That's wonderful Mokihana!!!
    I love hearing others share their 'moving forwards'!
    It's so exciting and inspiring.
    I hope your meal was delicious and I applaud your courage!
    I hear you about the balance of fun and rest. There's a right time for each.

  3. Your list is delightful and the other comments, too. I keep lists of improvements. I love when I do something without thinking, like opening an old book or cleaning a room.
    I am not sure how to answer your questions on my blog...I guess just comment back?? Well, keep going. there are great moments in every day!

  4. PS THE little morning glory is precious...a special flower to me...I have a collection of pics somewhere:)

  5. hi Wild Canary,

    that's how I reply to questions people put in the comment area - I just comment back :-)

    I, too, love it when I do something without thinking that used to cause reactions. It's neat how the new 'normal' eventually makes it's way into me on a deeper level and I don't hesitate anymore.

  6. HI, I was really interested to read your blog - it's great to see such positivity. I run a support group for MCS at ChemicalFree.co.uk. We have a free quarterly newsletter. I wondered whether you might be interested in allowing us to print some f your blogs in our newsletter as inspiration to others? If you would like to discuss it, please do email me: nicki@chemicalfree.co.uk

    Thanks and keep writing!
    Nicki Greenham

  7. hi Nicki,
    thanks for commenting. I'm so glad that the positivity of my blog is reaching out to the world :) Thank you for the invitation to be included in your newsletter. I will email you privately about that.


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