MCS Letter To Oprah
Photo: Katy Winn/Getty (Source: Huffington Post)
Today I read this:
Bearing in mind that there is a 2000 character limit when writing to Oprah (and anyone who reads this blog knows how challenging it was for me to keep it to 2000 characters), here is the letter I sent today to Oprah regarding multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) :
My name is Jeanne. I have multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). I’m in the U.S. & was diagnosed in ‘92. I have many other chronic illnesses including 1 that has resulted in 7 surgeries. However, at this point in my life, the illness that has the biggest impact on me daily is MCS. I can’t pump my own gas. Mall trips are a thing of the past. Toxic fragrances emanating from stores with candles & bath/body products make me get dizzy, nauseous, feel faint, have trouble breathing, etc. & make it too dangerous for me to be in a mall. My husband does the grocery shopping because the detergent aisle alone makes me so sick. “Air fresheners” have become ubiquitous in public places like rest rooms. (Due to my other chronic illnesses, I have a need for rest rooms more than most people; these “air fresheners” are a serious problem)!! These products contain toxic fragrances unregulated by the gov’t & known to contain carcinogens, neurotoxins, and/or endocrine disruptors. Fabric softeners contain many toxins & there are times I have to step away from a person whose clothes are so coated in fabric softeners and/or detergent that I become ill simply from standing next to them! Some MCS patients have a definitive light bulb moment where they know their MCS started. Others, like me, had a more gradual onset. I’ve been chronically ill since I was 13 years old; I’m now 41. I think my body was vulnerable to developing MCS due to the nature of pre-existing chronic illness plus exposure to medications & environmental factors that acted as triggers. I have severe reactions to exhaust fumes, commercial cleaning products, “air fresheners”, perfumes, cigarette smoke, etc. With the devastating oil disaster in the Gulf, there will sadly be more & more patients getting MCS. Already there have been cleanup workers who’ve sought medical care for MCS symptoms. Many MCS patients are housebound or homeless. This serious illness needs attention!
Readers here most likely know that what I meant when I said “Due to my other chronic illnesses, I have a need for rest rooms more than most people; these ‘air fresheners’ are a serious problem)!!” was that illnesses such as interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, and irritable bowel syndrome require me to use rest rooms more frequently than most people.
So, aside from becoming housebound by my MCS (a possibility which I try not to think about even though I know it could happen to me), that means that I get exposed to even more of those toxic “air fresheners” than an average person would. The last thing I need is to be inhaling “air fresheners” . However, if I am out and about… rest rooms are not optional. So, I continue to be exposed to these on a regular basis and it makes me furious.
Do you have MCS? Perhaps you don’t have an MCS diagnosis but you clearly have some issues with chemical sensitivity? Will you write to Oprah to draw attention to MCS?
This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.
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