I think the answer is yes, at least I hope so. I found out that our front desk attendant was spraying OFF. I think she was using it like a room spray. It was all over the room. I informed her that that was not a good idea. I went down again this evening and the fragrance from it was very strong. Unfortunately she had just sprayed it and I am trying not to have a reaction. When you have had success in recovery from having had 20 years of MCS, you really don’t want to be covered in bug spray.
I think my amygdala is trying to go into overdrive. I have done the short version of the retraining several times. I am feeling better, not really symptomatic, maybe just exhausted from the emotion of it.
I don’t often blog in real time, but tonight I feel it is important. Yes, I think we can be safe, but there will always be surprises.
They have switched the cleaning schedule for our building lobby to the early evening hours. Those are the hours during which I retrieve mail and packages or exit the main entrance to take an evening walk. I had a rather severe reaction last night to the cleaning chemicals. I am better this morning. I did a full retraining, but the flood of memories of more perilous times came roaring back. I felt the helplessness, the hopelessness all over again.
It seems I always want to change people. I am reminded of an episode in an office where I once worked. It was a small office in a converted Victorian house. There were ants all over the front stoop. (Which by the way was seldom used). I had what I thought was a very respectful and informative meeting with the office manager. I was armed with pamphlets about the uses of harmful insecticides and their effects on even the non-reactive humans. I thought she was listening rather attentively. At the end of the meeting her only comment was “I just need to kill the ants”. And the pest control people were dispatched that very afternoon.
I don’t know that you can change people’s minds. When you are in recovery from anything, really, there is a feeling of constantly having to let go. When can I just be heard? Isn’t anybody listening?
I was talking with my attorney today about being exposed to the new paint and carpet. He said we need to plan ahead to protect my health. Don’t wait until they have to carry you out on a stretcher with cardiac arrest. I have tried to educate him about MCS and the symptoms. He is a good man and a good attorney. He helped me out of a very tight spot in 2013. I plan to write about that experience in detail at some point. For now let me just say that my illness was criminalized. There will be more on that later. What I learned today, though, from my conversation is how hard it is to actually explain the symptoms of MCS. It is not like a heart attack and very few of us would call 911 when we have an exposure. At least I know I wouldn’t. I think people are used to certain conditions having a certain set of symptoms and MCS just does not fit well into that model of illness. It is such a strange and multi-symptom condition. How can people relate to brain fog? How do people react if you tell them that their cologne or perfume makes your brain feel like two metal knitting needles are being jammed into your forehead and through the back of your head and that your brain now feels “jerky?” It is a dilemma.
I remember the first time I saw a button that said, “Your perfume, my poison.” I thought, “Well, that is a little harsh.” Now I believe that it takes harshness.
Why would anyone intentionally poison another person? Particularly when the one being poisoned has made it abundantly clear that, yes, indeed you are poisoning me. What is it about people that makes us want to defend a poisoning? You can’t handle the truth. People are poisoned for telling the truth. People die everyday for telling the truth. Entire industries are at risk if the truth is told – governments as well. The greatest risk for my building management is a lawsuit that they know will not be believed. They are free to poison at will. Practically, I have nowhere to go. This is about new carpet. Thankfully it is cooler outside and I don’t have to keep starting the car to run the air conditioning. I went to the country today and walked my favorite labyrinth. Do you long for a safe place to pray?
We have had an apartment in a high rise for 17 years. For all of those 17 years we have fought the night time cleaning of the brass in the elevators. They use things like lacquer thinners that create very toxic fumes. We were finally successful in getting the management to use a non toxic cleaning company. We got notice the other day that the old company was coming back for the cleaning. They do this at night in a residential building while people are asleep. It is an older building so the fresh air comes into the apartments from the hallways. The fumes from the cleaning products come up the elevator shafts and fill the hallways and thus come into the apartments while people are sleeping. I suppose that we can be grateful for small victories. This time they are, at least, doing the cleaning during the daytime.
I have to be out of my home most of the day for a week. I work from home as do many others in the building. I used to have to stay out overnight and with chemical sensitivity that would usually mean sleeping in my car or driving around town.
What does this have to do with mysticism? My contemplative nature allows my mind to explode and all normal reality is shattered. The idea of this cleaning is so far out of my reality that I can only be silent and still and let the absurdity pour over and through me. It really is about alternative reality. After many years of meditation and stillness and quiet, the mystical template is the only thing that begins to make sense for me.
I have tried to educate and people cannot hear. I am currently rereading The Hope, by Andrew Harvey. I suppose that finding my voice is part of what he is calling Sacred Activism. It seems to be the case.
I had intended to write about some of my history of chemical injury, but today brought one of those days when I just felt like I had been poisoned. The symptoms are so hard to describe. Only another chemically injured person would really understand. The bare bones of it is that you feel like your body is disintegrating. You just feel like you are disappearing. Picture a bug that has been sprayed with insecticide and you can get an idea of what I feel like on a day like today. I spent the day in my car as that is the only place that feels safe. I seem to be able to do things that are routine such as driving, but not anything that requires too much brain power. I would not have driven a distance on a crowded freeway.
The only thing to do is to wait until my body is able to process whatever it is that I have encountered.
Stay tuned for more more of my history and coming soon will be a series of posts about the beginning of it all.
Thank you for visiting!