May 9, 2009

Celebrating MCS Improvements Part 3

Along with all of it's many gifts, Spring has brought me many opportunities to notice ways in which my health is improving and moving forward!

With MCS, one can react to any source of VOC (Volatile Organic Compond) - even a 'natural' source such as flowers, mold, fresh cut grass, wood etc.

All of the things on this list caused very bad reactions only 2 years ago - bad enough that I had to avoid all of them. Last year I was much better than the year before but still quite restrictive however... this year is dramatically better than last year and I feel no restrictions at all to these four things listed below! This is absolutely wonderful and feels like such a gift and blessing. I'm outside for hours each day and it's so good for my soul.

Gardening: rarely, if ever, do I react to mold from soil now. I garden every day! I used to have to wear a mask and gloves. I garden maskless now but do sometimes wear gloves if my eczema is acting up.

Fresh cut grass in the neighbourhood smells fresh and lovely to me! This blows my mind since only a few years ago, the terpenes and other VOCs released from fresh cut grass felt like poison to me and I had run and close the windows if I heard anyone mowing their lawn. As long as the grass smell was in the air (often days) I had to keep the windows closed and stay inside or only go out wearing a mask.
*note* there is an interesting PDF file paper here that shares results of research done on VOCs emitted from grass - it gives the actual VOCs and amounts after specific time periods (includes formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and more! ack!).
If PDF form is a problem, you can view it in text form here (hope that link worked!)

Fragrant flowers blooming in the neighbourhood such as Lilac, Hyacinth, apple etc are enjoyable instead of making me nauseous and terribly sick (and necessitating the same frantic run for indoors and battening of the hatches as cut grass used to). What a joy to be able to appreciate a pretty, natural smell instead of feeling it's the enemy. I still don't bring fragrant flowers into the house but can envision a day when that will be possible!

Raking leaves: mild to no reaction to leaf mold (I used to get 'stoned', exhausted and incoherent).

As a wonderful added bonus, my reactions to the following chemicals have also dramatically improved. I suspect it's been happening gradually over the winter and spring is giving me the chance to notice it since I'm outside more and wanting to open windows.
When I say 'reaction' I'm also including recovery time improving.
It takes more of a substance to cause a reaction, even then the reaction is much milder than in the past and my recovery time is much shorter. Yay!!!

  • dryer exhaust
  • lawnmower fumes
  • BBQ fumes
  • car exhaust
  • cigarette smoke
  • tar (including new roof smell - a neighbour just got a new roof)
  • wood smoke
  • perfume, cologne and body spray
  • laundry products on people's clothing, scented products on their hair and skin (I've actually been able to meet some of my neighbours after living here for a few years!)

I get so much hope and inspiration when I catalogue these improvements!
If any readers have noticed improvements, I love hearing about them - please share them in the comments section if you'd like to.

If this post was of interest to you, you might also like:

Moving Forward... Noticing The Positive Part 1


Celebrating Improvements - Noticing The Positive Part 2