The MCS Diaries

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Welcome to my MCS Diary.

First of all, what is MCS. MCS stands for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. This is a condition where a person has been overexposed to one or more chemicals and now reacts and becomes ill from even small amounts of chemicals in his or her environment. I recently became ill with MCS after I inherited a piece of furniture which contained a high degree of formaldehyde in it. Formaldehyde, as some of you may know, is the main chemical used in embalming fluid. It is also a component of thousands of other products such as plywood, pressed board, varnish, paint, sheetrock, clothing, shoes, flu shots, inks, personal care products (shampoo, conditioner, etc.), carpeting, fabrics, yarns, and many other products. Formaldehyde has been banned in Europe from most consumer and building products, but the U.S. continues to use allow its use despite the known hazards of this substance. Basically formaldehyde is an inexpensive chemical that is used as a binder in adhesives and fabrics. The sicknesses it causes seems to be one of many of the chemical companies' dirty little secrets.

Oh, and beware of aspertame! Do your research before sipping that next Diet Coke. In the body aspertame breaks down into methane and formaldehyde. And it looks like we slowly poison ourselves each time we imbibe. Do yourself a favor and borrow a film called "Sweet Misery" from your local library. It details the impact aspertame has on the human body, why and when it was legalized in the U.S., and the collateral damage that it causes in human beings. Yes, in us. And in our children.

By now you may be thinking, "Oh, she's one of those nuts. Those environmentalists who are against everything that modern society holds dear." I assure you that I am not. Or rather, I didn't start out that way. Now I am forced into exile in many ways because what's happened to me. And .... this could easily happen to you. Or to your family and loved ones.

During the two and a half weeks that the formaldehyde-laden desk was in my home, I became sicker and sicker. And after that I began to react to everyday chemicals in an astonishing and life-limiting way. When exposed to chemicals, I begin to wheeze, become nauseated, have blurred vision, burning mucous membranes and skin, weakness, fatigue and body pain. Within a week of the desk being in my home, my right eye developed a constant twitch, and the left side of my face was numb. Despite removing the desk (and other furnishings which contained formaldehyde) from my home, I now become ill when exposed to even low-levels of these poisons. At first I was scared and then I became angry, and then I found others who were like me and shared, in their own way, in my plight.

This blog is not meant to present scientific evidence on MCS nor is it meant to recommend treatments or paths to wellness. It is my story only, and perhaps in some way my story can help someone else. Others have shared their struggles and successes with me and that has helped me in more ways than I can even begin to say. It goes without saying that you should consult your own medical practitioners, and that this blog is not meant to provide medical advice or expertise in any way, shape, or form. Although I may write about different treatments that I am involved with, I have no credentials to offer these treatments to others. I also have no affiliations with any companies or sellers with regard to any products that I may mention that have or have not helped me. I mention them only as a possibility for someone else, and again, I have no medical expertise to determine whether these products are appropriate for you or your condition.

The purpose of this blog is to share my experiences on a very real and day-to-day basis. MCS is exhausting. It requires careful planning and leaves little room, if any, for spontaneity in the person's life. It is limiting. There are losses you cannot even imagine when this journey begins. I want to share my struggles in the hopes that others will relate and share their' experiences. Feel free to post stories of your own journey. We are all in this together.