Helping women with chronic illnesses

Today Is Awareness Day… May 12, 2011

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could fill billboards with the messages we hold dear?

While I had many ideas for what I was going to write about today, several circumstances that were out of my control (including losing Internet access at my house and currently linking a smart-phone to my computer in order to finish this post) prevented me from spending the time I was hoping on today’s post. Therefore, this year’s May 12th post will be a short one. It is no less heartfelt. Hopefully a short post is better than none at all for the purpose of raising awareness about several chronic conditions that are recognized either in the month of May and/or on May 12th itself. I hope that you’ll check out the links below for more information on these conditions:

Last but not least, I haven’t had the opportunity to see the film Under Our Skin, about Lyme Disease, but the trailers look compelling. According to the film’s website, it is currently airing on PBS stations. See the listings on the site for dates and times: here.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. For information about a Lyme Disease protest on May 21, 2011 in Washington D.C., click:

Please help spread awareness about these and other chronic conditions. Thank you!

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

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Reading: Today Is Awareness Day… May 12, 2011


1 DarleneNo Gravatar { 05.13.11 at 12:26 pm }

Thank you Jeanne again, for another amazing blog. There is so much excellent information. It will take some time to read it all, but I wanted to comment how appreciative I am (we all are) for all of your dedication. You are not feeling well yourself with all of these conditions, but you always do your very best, to keep us all informed. Hugs to you! Darlene

2 ccNo Gravatar { 05.16.11 at 9:42 am }

I just went & toured 4 new manufactured home on a lot…by the 3rd one I started feeling woozy…we noticed really strong chemical smells when we started…and by the 4th one I was suddenly overtaken by dizzyness & a terrible feeling in my tummy….I collapsed once outside & ended up in the ER…they think it was exposure to chemicals..has this happend to anyone else ever? I just discovered you Today & am grateful…I have often put off cleaning due to the chemicals but have never ever had such a terrifying experience as I did 2 days ago in the parking lot at the manufactured home place. I am grateful for any input you folks may have for me. It makes me a bit more calm just knowing there are people out there with similiar reactions & sensitivities.

3 JeanneNo Gravatar { 05.16.11 at 10:47 pm }

Welcome cc!

I’m so sorry to hear how sick you got touring the homes you mentioned! That must have been really frightening.

Sadly, building materials are a very common source of exposure to various toxic chemicals. Whoever made the connection between your manufactured home tour and your subsequent trip to the emergency room sounds like they were onto something.

You are not alone in becoming so ill from exposures like this. Sadly, finding safe housing is an issue for many people who are chemically sensitive. I’m glad you found my blog too. I was diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity in 1992. There is a spectrum, as with so many illnesses, of severity. Some people are more severely impacted than others. Different people react to different chemicals.

The type of commercial cleaning products typically sold in grocery stores can contain all sorts of toxic chemicals. Many people find simple things like baking soda and vinegar are very effective for cleaning.

I’m so sorry you had such a scary experience the other day. I have fainted in public places many times due to exposures to toxic chemicals and it’s scary.

While several of my readers are chemically sensitive and I hope you’ll visit here again, if you really want to meet a lot of people who are, check out The Canary Report. There are over 1,200 people on the social network there.

It is reassuring to meet other people who “get” what it’s like to have a particular illness or set of symptoms. There are definitely a large number of people with sensitivities like you have described.

Many of my Facebook friends are chemically sensitive as well. Feel free to send me a friend request, if you wish, using the Facebook icon in the upper right sidebar of my blog. If you do send a Facebook friend request, please attach a message with it so that I know it’s you. (You’d be amazed at how many message-free friend requests I get from total strangers. I disregard friend requests if I don’t know who they are from).

Thank you for your comment and I look forward to getting to know you!


4 DarleneNo Gravatar { 05.16.11 at 11:08 pm }

CC, I am sorry you had such a scary experience with MCS. I have heard of many that have had similar experiences. There are so many toxic chemicals in every area of life.

I recently purchased new leather furniture. It has been almost a year, and my eyes still burn and tear when I go into the room. If I smell fresh paint (even low odor formula) my two conditions, interstitial cystitis, and vulvodynia, are greatly affected. I can feel almost an immediate burn. I notice also when I have my hair colored in a salon, I wake up the next day feeling sick, like I am getting the flu. Thankfully, there are some products you can purchase that are less irritating.

Welcome to this group. I hope you learn a lot of info and coping skills. Jeanne is a great teacher!!


5 JeanneNo Gravatar { 05.17.11 at 12:00 am }


Thank you for welcoming cc by sharing your own experiences with chemical sensitivity.

I didn’t realize that you have been reacting to your furniture. 🙁 (If you mentioned it previously, I must have forgotten). Paint can really be a problem. Last weekend we drove to one of our favorite restaurants. It’s not around the corner by any means. We were about halfway out there, though, and decided to make the remaining drive for the sole purpose of going to that restaurant. We took one step inside it and pivoted around and back out because they had been painting. I never completely made it over the threshold and in the door!

I didn’t even need to verbalize why I was turning around. My husband (who has very little sense of smell) could smell the paint – and it was also readily apparent visibly. I am sure they were not using low-VOC paint. The smell was just overpowering.

It is important to note for cc’s benefit that it isn’t the smell of such products that makes people sick but rather the toxic chemicals in those same products.

I am unable to tolerate hair salons at all anymore. I hopped from salon to salon for a few years. Finally, I had to accept the fact that it’s just not safe for me to be in a salon (no matter how small/well-ventilated it is or how carefully I schedule my appointment for a day when no one else will be getting their hair colored before me or next to me).

After months of research, I found a chemical-free, organic hair color that I can tolerate. Now, my husband cuts and colors my hair at home and I don’t have to worry about whether I might pass out at the wheel on the way home from a salon.

Darlene, I’m sorry you wake up the day after a salon visit feeling sick. It is really a shame that salons routinely use such harsh chemicals.

Thank you again for welcoming cc. You are sweet, Darlene. You teach me new things all the time!


6 Three Wonderful Years! — { 06.01.11 at 12:23 am }

[…] I have written about various awareness days or months such as this post where I mentioned Lyme Disease, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. […]

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