Monday, 15 October 2007

Environmental Illness (EI)

(or: “Get rid of the perfume, please!”)

Things aren’t quite as good here as I make out.

“Oh, what a surprise.” I hear some of you say. “All that false bravado. It’s getting a bit tiresome.”

Well, okay. Practically-speaking, I admit it. Not so good.

Spiritually? Oh yes, and, praise God, there is a joy in suffering (see previous posts).

But, on a "this world" level? Ah!

Tom, bless him, wants to leave (who wouldn’t?). It’s getting him down all this MS and being trapped with Mum at 27.

And I don’t blame him. I’m sure he needs to for his sanity (if only MS had a “sell-by” date, as one physio. called death!) but no. Someone like Tom thinks it will go on forever and that’s scary (see last post).

Anyway, it would be fine (in theory!) if I didn’t have Environmental Illness (EI) and could have carers.

But I can’t (oh, I’ve tried – agony, in every way). I’m allergic to them. As to almost everything (chemical; food; material; animal (except poodles who don’t shed!)), etc..

And, while I can conrol what I eat (see MS – My Scene: Anti-Candida Diet), I can’t – no matter how hard I try – rid people (especially carers!) of perfumes.

And they make me so ill. Completely defeat the object (which is “to help” I believe). In fact, they make everything, including my MS symptoms, a lot worse.

Environmental Illness (EI).

Chicken and egg.

I have Candida Albicans (see MS – My Scene), multiple sclerosis (MS) and multi-chemical sensitivity (MCS).

But who knows which one came first? We can’t know.

Research proves only a guessing game in medical communitiies as more and more people report problems to doctors. Sometimes sufferers are forced to give up work/change their lifestyles/live, like me, as a semi-recluse. The search for answers grows ever more fevered as the disease reaches a wider proportion of the population. And, note, it’s not a contagious dis-ease being passed from one individual to another. No EI spreads as the environment becomes ever-more dense with toxins.

When it comes to perfumes – and my particular intolerance apropos “carers” – we’re talking not only about the pretty, flowery/musky self-adorned smells here (and certainly not essential oils in their pure state which are fine but synthetic/chemical ones which cause the trouble), we’re talking: biological washing powders; softeners; (I feel sick writing this!) hair-sprays; deodorants; air-“fresheners”; soaps; shampoos; poodle groomers (!); sometimes new clothes; second-hand clothes; carpet-cleaners; carpets; glues, etc. etc. etc..

[Disclaimer: here I must stress, I know nothing about science and much of what follows is just a synopsis (possibly incorrect) of what I understand from my own reading and browsings on the Net.]

And we haven’t even mentioned petrol/diesel pollution yet (I think I should have said ‘agoraphobic semi-recluse’!) Ah, all the carbon/nitrogen/hydrogen gasses and oxides that go to make up the particulates that suffocate lungs. And the Benzene that causes cancer, etc. - commonly found in perfumes.

All these allergens (they cause the mass of allergies which, with their own complex symptoms form EI (someone like me is called a “universal reactor” i.e. reacts to everything)) must be avoided if an EI sufferer is to feel well.

Which brings me to the main purpose of this Comment.

I have used my own situation as an example of what EI can do to a person and the state of things in our society. But, what if that person doesn’t have a voice? What if he/she is a child? Children are suffering as a result of our foolishness.

How many are described as having/diagnosed with Attetion Deficit Disorder (ADD)?

How many have asthma? Eczema?

All these are symptoms of EI (see below). And the list goes on.

Are the teachers/pupils’ own bodies and clothes free from pollutants. How was the journey to school? (Did their drivers add to the problem or did they walk and inhale? Either way it was dangerous.)

When there is a toxic overload things will explode.

So, as well as killing the planet with all our pollutants, we are killing even those children we “allow” to be born (i.e. don’t abort (see pevious post).

Is this really the world we want to leave for future generations? One where only the strongest (and probably most self-serving) will survive?

Ah, but yes. And then the healthy/wealthy among them can do it all over again, when they take over another planet.

Suspected causes of EI:
- Candida Albicans (yeast overgrowth in the gut (see MS – My Scene: ‘Candida Albicans and MS’));
- toxic overload (i.e. massive dose of, or prolonged exposure to, pesticides, perfumes and/or other allergens).

Symptoms of EI:
- chronic fatigue;
- ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder);
- aphasia (difficulty remembering words);
- confusion;
- headaches;
- mood-swings;
- aggression;
- depression;
- skin problems (i.e. eczema);
- itching/watering eyes;
- rhinitis,
- breathing difficulties (i.e. asthma);
- joint pain;
- swollen limbs,
- etc.

Site helpful to those with EI - here

Blog Note: this is my environmental piece for Blog Action Day (today). I’m sorry it was a bit hastily put together. VP