Stripper Cough

Have you ever had a stripper cough? I don’t mean to say you’ve worked as a stripper or that you frequent strip clubs. Hey, I’m not judgin’! I have a stripper cough. I think.


No, I didn’t get a second job down at the “Gentleman’s Club” but I did get the flu. Quite a different flu from what I’ve had in the past. From the flu… or whatever, I got a very bad sinus infection that involved copious amounts of blood and nuclear-plant-green globs that I’m pretty sure did glow in the dark.

I got over it (though it may not seem like it since I’m still talking about it), with a little bit of a lingering dry cough. Then more than a week after I felt all better, I went to the grocery store, which in itself can be a hazard for us folks with environmental illness. Within a few minutes of being in the store I got that fuzzy brain thing, a little light-headed, etc.

By the time I made it to the checkout I asked the cashier if they had fumigated during the previous night. Right away the woman behind me in line spoke up and said she had a headache too. There was only the slightest smell of something chemical in the store, most people wouldn’t notice it. The cashier said they had stripped the floors and she didn’t feel well either.

My dry cough came back full force from that visit to the store, which was nearly two months ago and I still have the annoying cough and scratchy throat off and on. It’s almost like what I would imagine a minor case of asthma would be.

Now I’m going to have to find out if my chemical sensitivity has launched me into further complications or if this cough is due to a worse than usual allergy season here.

See, I’m not a stripper. No offense to anyone who is, I’m just too old!


Working from Home with MCS

What do you do when you can’t work in a “traditional” work environment? If you’ve made your home a safe environment – and if you haven’t you better work on it – you work from home. Simple right?

Not so simple. Read more

Questions and Answers from Peggy Munson

I came across a website, an inner page of a site, that is about MCS. The first thing I noticed about the page was the font, it was courier, which many of you may know, is typewriter font. It made me wonder, “How old is this information?” and that is a superficial reaction to first appearances. It doesn’t matter how old the site is (it was made with Adobe GoLive which ceased in 2007) it’s still relevant and you never know what similarities you’ll find with personal blogs and websites.

The Courier font lends a bit of seriousness and nostalgia to it. The website I found belongs to Peggy Munson, who if you go to her homepage is most versatile in her talents and ventures. This particular page – entitled Myths and Facts about Chemical Sensitivity – has a series of questions and answers, which she calls Myths and Facts. The questions or statements are very familiar and the answers… well, the answers help to speak for those of us with chemical sensitivity, which we often times find very difficult to do for ourselves. Especially difficult to speak up when we are in the midst of a fog of perfume wafting off of someone. I especially like the last statement about, “Accidentally” forgetting to not wear scents.

Here below are her Myths and Facts reproduced with permission from her page (thank you Peggy), and she notes that some information was compiled from “The Hidden Dangers of Fragrances” from the Environmental Health Coalition of Western Massachusetts. Several of the links on her page were dead, so I’ve removed them.

You may see the page at: Myths and Facts about Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Question Marks

Myth: People who have negative reactions to fragrances simply have allergies. Why is it necessary to structure my life around someone’s allergies?

Fact: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or MCS, is a progressive neurological disease that can result in death. Asthma, which often causes sensitivity to fragrance-containing products, can also result in death. Whereas people with allergies might be inconvenienced or temporarily ill from exposure to an allergen (although some allergens are life-threatening to some people), many people with MCS suffer extreme harm from chemical and fragrance exposures, sometimes resulting in progressive and permanent brain and organ damage. Although filter masks, portable oxygen, and other measures might help those with MCS, they do not prevent most exposures.

Myth: People with MCS don’t like the smell of fragrances. Why can’t I smell nice if I want to, or just use scents in my own air space?

Fact: MCS is not a smell preference but a recognized disability. Fragrances aren’t merely “nice smells” and they don’t stay confined to an air space. For example: dryer sheets, which were found in an EPA study to contain chloroform, can contaminate whole neighborhoods. Fragrances contain carcinogens and neurotoxins that cause severe health problems in susceptible individuals, and these chemicals linger on skin and clothes for weeks after use. According to the Environmental Health Coalition of Western Massachusetts, 95% of the chemicals used in fragrances are neurotoxic, including “benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and sensitizers capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.” The EPA has found that asthma, fatigue, immune system damage, kidney and liver damage, cancer, and brain damage are associated with the chemicals in fragrances.

Myth: I use shampoo from the health food store, or products labeled “natural,” and I don’t wear cologne, so I am scent free.

Fact: “Natural” is a pretty loose term these days (see “The Ever-Unstable World of Labels“). The synthetic fragrances that contain the toxins mentioned above are found in most body care products, including many at the health food store labeled “natural.” Even some items labeled “unscented” contain a masking fragrance, which is a synthetic fragrance to cover up the smells of the product. Essential oils are also a problem for chemically sensitive people, and they can be impure — meaning they might contain solvent residue from extraction, or pesticide residue. Many essential oils also contain seizure-inducing compounds, a problem for people with MCS whose brains have lowered seizure thresholds. Using natural products does not make you scent free unless you buy natural products labeled “fragrance free” or “unscented” (without masking fragrance or toxic additives).

Myth: But I really LIKE my scents. Can’t we just negotiate a situation where I get to wear some scents so everyone wins? Why do I have to make all the sacrifices?

Fact: People fall into the “negotiation” trap a lot with the disabled, particularly those with non-apparent disabilities. Imagine how ridiculous this argument would sound if you used it on someone in a wheelchair: “Hey Bob, can’t we just negotiate and build the ramp halfway up the stairs?” There’s no halfway about disability. Invisible disabilities may seem vague, negotiable, or flexible to you, but they are not to the people who are disabled. People with invisible disabilities have experienced devastating, life-altering changes. They can’t be flexible about their disability any more than a person with a spinal cord injury can get up and walk on command. There’s no negotiating when it comes to chemical injury: if you expose someone with MCS to scents, they will experience physical damage that can potentially be irreversible or progressive. As Carolyn Gage writes, “Forget your assertiveness training, your skills at compromise, or your ‘getting to yes’ negotiating expertise. If I need to leave an environment because it is toxic to me and you want to stay, it is not a solution for us to stay fifteen more minutes. Those fifteen minutes may result in my spending the next two days in bed.”

Myth: There are other places with people with MCS to congregate, so why do they have to be in this venue?

Fact: The sickest MCS patients are barred from public parks (where pesticides and exhaust are present), stores, churches, medical facilities, schools, street fairs, homeless shelters, public transportation, courthouses, libraries, airplanes, public meetings, and almost everywhere else you can imagine. They are often driven out of their own homes. Many end up living outdoors or in their cars. A survey in Western Massachusetts found that 57% of the people in that area with MCS had been homeless at some point in their illness. People with MCS are often gradually pushed to the margins of society until they live nomadic lives, traveling to remote areas where they won’t be injured by the chemicals most people use. “One woman in my most current study sent me a drawing of her ‘home,'” wrote Pamela Gibson, PhD, “which consists of a wire mesh cage to sleep in. Because she must sleep outdoors, she has constructed this cage to protect herself from dogs and wild animals. Her home is literally a five-foot cage.”

Myth: If I don’t wear scented products on the day of a fragrance free event, or on the day I visit my chemically sensitive friend, I’m set.

Fact: Residual fragrances from hair gel, shampoo, soap, detergent, lotion, makeup, hairspray, cologne, and other scented products will stay on skin and hair for weeks or months. Synthetic fragrances are designed to be “sticky,” which is why commercials brag about how long clothes will smell “fresh.” As a proactive step to protect yourself and the environment, it’s best to give up toxic fragrance-containing products completely. Since the fragrance industry is protected by secrecy laws and not required to prove the safety of their ingredients, you will be helping yourself as well as others.

Myth: I won’t get MCS. I love the smell of fragrances and they make me feel great.

Fact: Most people with chemical sensitivities were injured by a chemical assault of some kind (i.e., pesticide treatments in a home) and then developed chemical sensitivities. A person who has not yet been afflicted is certainly not immune. In fact, most people with MCS had many exposures before getting sick, and appeared to be immune until their bodies broke. Commercials have managed to normalize the practice of slathering damaging chemicals on the skin and hair where they might be readily absorbed — some who use these products may form the next generation of people with MCS.

Myth: If a chemically sensitive person got sick from my products, that person would tell me.

Fact: People with MCS are so disenfranchised, and so used to be ridiculed or ignored, that they may not ask for what they need. Furthermore, they won’t be able to get close enough to you to ask, since your scents could be making them sick. People with MCS also experience cognitive and neurological impairment when they are exposed to toxic products, which means they may not be able to think clearly enough to form the words to even express how sick you are making them — their speech may become slurred and their word-finding abilities and memory may be obstructed. Just because a person with MCS isn’t telling you that you are too scented, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t making that person sick.

Myth: It is too hard to make an event fragrance free.

Fact: In some places, particularly in Canada where there are many scent-free schools, hospitals, and public venues, fragrance free policies have been coupled with educational efforts to make a more healthy environment for everyone. Most people with MCS live in devastating conditions because the “too hard” argument is used. Every turn toward social justice is initially hard, but it gets easier as people create movements and promote peer education. It does take extra work to plan a scent-free event, but remember, people with MCS and other disabilities don’t have a choice in these matters. Others do have a choice. If they don’t want to give up scented products for the sake of a scent-free event, they might miss one event, but that event will likely be the only accessible event for a long time for most people with MCS. If you plan a scent-free event, you will also be setting a precedent for the next event.

Myth: Asking people to buy a bunch of new products to be scent-free is classist. People can’t afford to go out and buy new products.

Fact: Being scent-free can be achieved through the use of common household items such as baking soda, gelatin, olive oil, and unscented glycerin soap. Also, you’ll most likely be fighting against classism if you stand up against ableism. The working poor in our country are often the most likely individuals to be exposed to the type of occupational hazards that tend to cause MCS, such as pesticides, solvents, and industrial chemicals. Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, which can cause MCS, also disproportionately afflicts people who are working class. Veterans of the first Gulf War, who were exposed to large quantities of damaging toxins, represent perhaps the largest cluster group to be afflicted by MCS. In addition, disability tends to put people into a state of forced poverty. Social Security benefits are sub-poverty wages, and disabled individuals who receive them are often poor.

Myth: Why should everyone have to make a change to help a small minority?

Fact: That statement is a tired historical argument used to fight any attempt to end discrimination against any minority. According to the Environmental Health Coalition of Western Massachusetts, one in five people experience health problems when exposed to fragrances, and 72% of asthmatics have adverse reactions to perfume. This means that an event or venue that doesn’t have a scent-free policy could be excluding or harming many of those who might attend. In addition, the Fragranced Product Information Network reports that 17 million people have asthma, 35 million have chronic sinus problems, 9 million have rhinitis, 25 million have migraines, and 1-2 percent of the population have skin allergies — all can be negatively affected by fragrance. People with chemical sensitivities are shoved to the margins of society where they live in various states of chemical exile. To get a sense of how some MCS folks live, check out the story of young Jonathan, one man with CFIDS/ME and MCS, and numerous MCS homeless living in the Southwest. These stories may change your viewpoint on accommodating fragrance-sensitive individuals.

Myth: But this is a Women’s/African American/Queer event. Can’t we plan a disability event another time?

Fact: Amazingly, there are individuals who are disabled AND also women, African American, queer, Latino, rich, poor, literary, environmentalist, Democrat, Republican, Green, Christian, Jewish, Midwestern, Australian, Muslim, Native American, country-music-loving, antique-car-driving, quilt-making, even flower-growing. In fact, almost 3 out of every 10 of today’s 20-year olds will become disabled before the age of 67. Please remember that categorical exclusion of disabled people is no different from the categorical exclusion of a group based on race, class, gender identity, etc. Your country club may not “feel like” admitting black members this week any more than those in your organization “feel like” accommodating disabled members. Those feelings don’t erase the underlying bigotry in the notion that excluding others is somehow okay.

Myth: Why should I have to be part of a radical political movement I’m not comfortable with, due to a few militant activists? What if I just give up scents for a day as a show of political solidarity?

Fact: People with chemical sensitivity don’t want to make a political statement: they want to survive a world of constant chemical assault. They want basic rights and accommodation, not political solidarity. It’s great to put pressure on corporations by boycotting toxic products, but wouldn’t you rather accommodate those who desperately need it? Also, almost every bit of activism around chemical sensitivity has been done by chemically injured people who are trying to save their own lives. Few of them have the energy to be militant. They are too ill to testify before congress, march in a congested city, stand in front of a crowd, or do any other action to fight for their own rights. If you want to show political solidarity, throw out your scented products and speak up when you see barriers to access. Certainly, chemically sensitive people will thank you if you go the extra mile and become an activist.

Myth: People with MCS seem angry about every accidental slip-up I make around scents, and everything seems to make them sick. Aren’t they overreacting? It’s just laundry detergent.

Fact: When you “accidentally” forget to not wear scents or when you use chemical cleaners around a person with MCS, you have just “accidentally” inflicted physical harm. You also unwittingly give the message that a “fresh clean scent” is so important that you don’t care if a friend spends months in bed because of it. Nobody should have to choose between isolation and physical injury. Don’t make people with MCS fight for their safety. They are used to coping with denial, anger, combativeness, and outright aggression when they ask for accommodation, and they need you as an ally. And yes, people with MCS are reacting to almost everything — physically — because, sadly, our society is so laden with chemical products that it is nearly impossible to avoid them. It’s painful for people with MCS when others choose synthetic products over the value of their lives. Instead of pathologizing the reaction of someone with MCS, why not ask yourself why you would choose the contents of a plastic bottle over a person you love? Why not ask how you would feel if you had to give up your job, your relationships, your house, your physical functionality, and your security in the world instead of just your hair gel? Why not ask what you can do to create a better society for victims of chemical injury?

Who Killed the Canary?

Several years ago I was searching the internet for information about Chemical Sensitivity. I didn’t obsessively search for others like me, or for cures or tips, because for years I had found virtually nothing helpful. 

But on this day I found a whole website with a forum, articles and very kind people who welcomed me to their site. There was an exchange of ideas and possible natural remedies, not to cure, but to alleviate some of the overwhelm onslaught of symptoms we experience from simple tasks like going shopping or working in an office that happens to have, oh, I don’t know, other people and furniture, and carpet. Some way to be normal again!

I liked it. I liked the site, though I wasn’t on every day, it was there and I’d check in. The information didn’t tell me that I was crazy, (as science did with postpartum depression or menopause years ago). I was so over people flip-flopping from expensive saunas, to taking 50 pills a day, then it’s someone who will inject you with jet fuel (smack head) to make you immune. 

Then about two years ago I went to that great site to see what was new, only to find that they took their own site down because it was “cured.” When I read that the largest MCS community website was going out of business and why, I had visions of the old snake oil salesmen that traveled the carnival circuits curing people with hooch. To say I was skeptical is an understatement!

Who Killed the Canary?

So the person who ran the site claimed to have been cured (can I get an Amen!) using neurolinguistic programing from Gupta and DNRS. 

Let’s break this down for those who did not ace medical school. Neurolinguistic is defined by the Linguistic Society as:

“Neurolinguistics is the study of how language is represented in the brain: that is, how and where our brains store our knowledge of the language (or languages) that we speak, understand, read, and write…”

Programming has many definitions, the one that comes to mind in this instance for me is mental programming. Could be re-programming for those rescued from some cult or fanatical religious sect.

The claims from this “director” are outrageous. Buy (see that’s the key here) a DVD, think about it, and presto, You Are Healed! Brain Retraining. Just stay calm, it says, stay in the moment, blah, blah, blah. I would love to see the firefighters and other first responders on 9/11, who are now suffering extremely server Chemical Sensitivity, reply to someone saying, “Just think positive, it’s all in your head.”

The testimonials cite the DVD which instructs you to drink water, do yoga, mediate! To soak your feet and get rid of that negative energy (you know you’re so negative you manifest your illness).

I had followed the link on the canary website to this quackery site and I was enflamed. But then I thought about the person who took their own site down. If a person with Chemical Sensitivity has an informational website to help others with the condition, is suddenly cured wouldn’t he or she want to continue to share this information with as many people as possible? Talk about it and Preach about it? Sure, I would!

If some guru – that presents itself like a Sunday morning infomercial hawking a miracle cream that will make you look like Angelina Jolie – comes to offer certain benefits for publicly endorsing their product and be cured, something doesn’t smell right. I’m not saying that’s what happened… I’m just saying that canary was a bit too mercurial for my tastes. 

Thankfully, there are people, many of whom I’ve found with this blog and Facebook page, who are not so gullible and I’ve found medical doctors who suffer as we do and forge ahead doing legitimate research the even though it’s not as lucrative as Viagra.

So who killed the canary? I’m not sure but I’m going to think positive thoughts about it and gosh darn it, everything’s gonna be fine.

~ Laura

The Return of MCS Awareness

I didn’t give up on MCS or the MCS Awareness blog. There was quite a hiatus in the postings and it’s one of those things when you haven’t called your friend in a while and you want to, but it’s been a while, then it’s  been a long while and now you are just too damn embarrassed.

I wasn’t embarrassed, but I had been busy, thankfully, and I wanted to move my posting off of the domain onto my own personal site, Then I stopped to ponder (for a long time!), should I still call it MCS Awareness? I let the domain name go eventually since I knew I would move my posts over. Recently I noticed that the mcs-awareness domain was still active on the Blogger platform on the site I created, even though someone else had bought up the domain when I let it go. That’s odd that the guy registered it with Godaddy and the DNS pointer still pointed to my space on Blogger. It was still alive!

So the posts are moved to their permanent home here and a lot has changed since I first started writing about my experiences having chemical sensitivity. There is more “awareness” about it, and unfortunately, that’s not because of discoveries of any cure, but due to the fact that more people are realizing there is an actual condition for the suffering they endure. This in itself is encouraging to those who finally realize they’re not alone, take my word for it! Another reason for more MCS awareness is because, as this world becomes more and more polluted by toxins and chemicals, the number of people affected by and afflicted with MCS, and more deadly diseases, is growing exponentially.

So as I’ve often debated the small conundrums (in my head) like where to move my blog and should I still call it MCS Awareness – since I can call it anything after moving it from that old URL – I think the name doesn’t matter, but the substance does. Substantively, anything I write about or you the reader comment about that has to do with MCS raises the awareness and validity.

We shall just keep on keeping’ on… like a bird that flew…


Chemical Sensitivity is Like Being a Vampire

Have you ever considered that being chemically sensitive (MCS) is kind of like being a vampire? Okay, not the part where you are young and gorgeous (though you might be!) or that you will live forever, quite the contrary there. But the other side of being a vampire – if there were vampires, I’m not confirming or denying – the down-side. Being shunned, misunderstood, having to be very careful to what you’re exposed. Read more

My Caustic Neighbors – exhibit B

NeighborBIn my neighborhood most people have a lawn service cut their grass… except for that creepy guy who never makes eye contact. The neighbors catty-cornered from me also have a lawn service, not once every two weeks like most people, not once a week like some people, but twice a week every week. Doesn’t matter if it is 7:30 in the morning or the evening, or if it is a Saturday, a militia of lawn cutters, blowers and trimmers start their offensive maneuvers with a cacophony of gas powered machinery.

From the number of men clambering around their yard and the size of the riding mower and number of tools, you might think my neighbors have at least a couple of acres. Nope. Not at all. The job should be done in about 3.2 minutes, but it takes forever! They are loud and polluting and annoying!

Caustic Neighbors B are very showy and can’t seem to actually do anything themselves – they hire a company to do everything for them (more on this in a later blog!). So twice a week, without fail, a cloud of dirt rises in the air mingling with the cloud of exhaust air pollution. Nary a rake is to be seen too. Does anyone use a rake anymore? Yes, we do. But we’re weird, you knew that, the creepy guy even thinks so. Leaf blowers are the norm.

So last Saturday, said neighbors had more pallets of sod delivered (see I told you, they hire someone to do everything for them). This is about the third time this year. Then yet another visit from the lawn company followed as they hurriedly laid down the sod on top of the thinned out grass in the yard. The next Monday the monthly visit from the poison distributors came – they spray the entire yard with pesticide every month. Then ANOTHER visit from the lawn people who mowed the new sod! and breathed in all the pesticide that was just sprayed the previous day.

Caustic Neighbors B really cannot connect the too frequent mowing of the grass with the lack of grass? When the yard guys start dropping dead from cancer will Caustic Neighbors B even stop to think that their spraying poison might have contributed?


My Caustic Neighbors

NeighborACan we talk about my neighbors?

It’s okay, everyone talks about their neighbors. Even the Cleavers did! Where, oh, where shall I start?

I’m on a corner, so I’ll start with my neighbors on the next corner, who today are cleaning their roof. Let me explain… I live in Coral Gables, Florida, where most roofs are covered by barrel tiles or similarly easily sullied surface. The heat and humidity here causes everyone’s house roof to become really dirty and moldy every year.

So there’s my neighbors (or whoever they hired) up on their roof this morning cleaning their roof with a water pressure cleaner. You’ve seen how powerful a pressure cleaner is, right? We use them here a lot, on the houses, the roofs, the boats. Very powerful!

Not powerful enough, apparently, for my neighbors. Because not only did my neighbors stupidly take the actual pressure cleaner itself up on the roof (hello! you leave that part down on the ground and lead the water hose connected to it up on the roof!), overkill enough, but they are also using BLEACH! They are spraying bleach on the roof tiles, while the other guy sprays water over the area – making everything airborne!

I unfortunately had an appointment this morning and had to run from my front door to my car and still got a head full of bleach-filled air. And nothing triggers my chemical sensitivity worse than bleach.

These particular neighbors are clearly very pro-bleach. The wife decided one day to spray bleach on some dirty spot on the outside of their house, holding the spray bottle above her head and spraying upward. She found out some time later (much later than when I had to run into my own house!) that “what goes up must come down” includes bleach.

I guess they haven’t learned and I can’t go out in the yard today. But I can’t wait to see the paint on their cars later today!


Just Like Seasonal Allergies

This person I know, who shall remain nameless, said something rather shocking to me the other day. So shocking that I think my jaw hung open in a most unflattering way.

Before I get to what this person said, let me say that this is not a friend, but an acquaintance. A person with whom I have discussed my chemical sensitivity problems over the last several years. We have talked, make that I have talked, about my physical reactions when I go to Target, the grocery store, his office, a friend’s house. How the last movie I saw in the theater was Gone With the Wind… just kidding! I’ve talked about my very difficult situation of employment. I cannot work in a conventional office as I used to. And working from home is challenging to say the least.

I have described my physical reactions of headache, dizziness, fatigue, exhaustion when I am exposed to these common places. And how sometimes, I don’t “smell” a thing and still may get a migraine.

That should all be pretty darn clear, right? So, we’re talking the other day about my Web Design work that I do from home and how slowwww it is right now.

Okay, here it is. He says, “I was talking to to this woman who has allergies and works in an office. And I asked her what she thought about someone not being able to work (in an office environment) because of allergies, and she said she can do it. She just takes some medicine when she gets home.”

(Insert blank stare and the sound of crickets here)

Really? She has seasonal hay fever and sniffles and you are implying that there is some similarity in our conditions? She pops some Benadryl and everything is fine, so why don’t I try that? During certain months of the year she sneezes and splatters her computer screen. While all year long I get tachycardia and migraines followed by two days of complete exhaustion if I go buy sneakers at JCPenney.

broken-legThat’s like a person with a pulled muscle berating the person with the broken leg for not finishing the race.

No matter what, some people don’t get it!

I’m OK, You’re OK… Or Not

When it comes to the people around me, who really try to accommodate my chemical sensitivity condition, I realize I sabotage their good intentions sometimes by trying to accommodate their accommodating gestures.

Wait, don’t get confused yet, there’s more. Maybe you you should lie down on the couch.

Am I running through Dr. Thomas Harris’ levels of Transactional Analysis? I’m guilty of that with different people in my life. Who doesn’t become the “Parent” or “Child” when interacting with siblings. Right? It’s not just me, is it?

The “I’m OK, You’re OK” I’m talking about is my own personality trait of being… well, I’ll just say it, A People Pleaser. Why am I like this? We won’t go there, but I have my suspicions. Still, after nine years of dealing with and still learning about my own chemical sensitivity, I still struggle with being completely forthright in declaring my needs to others.

When I am around a friend or relative, I can see (they tell me) that they have made every precaution in anticipation of our gathering. They did not spritz the perfume, they did not slap the face with aftershave, or, and this doesn’t usually occur to people, they did not re-wear the shirt they wore the other day when they did wear cologne. I am so grateful to them and I don’t like the attention. I also do not want to make them feel bad if there is still some chemical element that any “normal” (which I’m not) person would consider.

So I try to “be okay” since they went to so much effort. Does this work? You know the answer is NO! And if you know about MCS, then you know that as I sit there conversing, my head is beginning to pulse, I start getting brain fog and eventually get agitated. Then I run the risk of saying something in a tone that I never intended.

So, I’m not OK! Let me just say that. And unfortunately, the people around me are not so OK either. I have never liked to complain because of the subsequent sympathy. I feel as though that is all I get and yeah, I just said that as if it is a bad thing. Therefore, I must make a paradigm shift in my view of how others view me. And I must develop the ability to tell people what I need.

Why is that so hard? Well, when someone comes into my house with a cloud of car-freshener stench around them, how can I possibly ask them to get a new car?

I’m going to work on it though.