Archives for October 2012

My Impending Doom

I can’t live like this: anticipating pain, struggling in life, and smashing myself to pieces because I can’t fucking win. It’s all stacked against me. The smells. The chemicals. The people. The questions. The answers. The requests. The outcomes. It’s all doomed. I can feel it sitting on my chest, this doom. (Heavy, dragging me down into a dark stagnant pit of despair.) Lately, whenever I tackle the next task on my mental list, the next task to try and secure clean air: at home, in the classroom, at the dentists, the doctors, I stutter; I fail. It. Can’t. Be. Done.

(I’m lying to myself, and you, because I know it can. Well, not all the time: exposures happen, and they make me ill. Sometimes for days. But you’d be amazed at what is possible when you ask the seemingly impossible, the absolutely ridiculous, and the extraordinary requests that chemically sensitive people need to ask just to be able to do the basic day-to-day things that others take for granted. I’ve amazed other people and myself. I’ve even shined a light showing other chemically sensitive people the way. And for regular people who have no idea that minute amounts of so called ‘safe’ chemicals can be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of people, like myself, and those unfortunate people even sicker (50 x sicker) than myself, I’ve used this light to illuminate the issue for the unenlightened, bringing them an understanding that not only benefits me, but is sure to benefit the next chemically sensitive individual that crosses their path.)

But for me, that light is no longer visible. Not today. Or if it is around here somewhere, it’s hidden in amongst this thick mist of oppression and silence that surrounds me; or perhaps, it’s hiding under the energy used up in the negotiations fraught with anxiety over a whole clusterfuck of struggles and persuasions, I’ve been involved in of late.

When I sit down to do my homework and assignments, the impeding doom weighs heavy above my solar plexus; with it’s overwhelming pressure, it pushes me to cry and break. Again.

How do I concentrate on one thing when I can’t do one thing? How do I do one thing when I keep getting sick? I’ve been excluded from classes due to fragrances and/or deodorants and/or hair products that other students have a right to wear, except when it’s making me ill because then it’s a health and safety issue. But it still happens. So I wear a mask. But I still get sick. So I stay home from classes (except for one, where the students have been amazing in the lengths they’ve gone to accommodate me) and I struggle to do the work from home. For five weeks now. And yes, I still get sick at home. It’s all doomed I tell you.

My neighbours are mowing and the fumes are throughout the house. My eyes, my nose and my breathing are affected, but it’s the pain in my back that’s the killer. My three Austin Air purifiers, and one InovaAir purifier futilely push the fumes around, taunting me with their promise to filter the air, which they will do—eventually—but not until the vomiting of two-stroke fuel into the air from the mowing and whippersnippering has stopped.

I seriously can’t, can’t live like this. The pain in my lower back is throbbing its discontent until it feels as if a person wearing steal cap boots has kicked me in the lower back, emanating throbbing pain towards my kidneys or liver or whatever organ(s) does this ‘thing’ with exposure to mass amounts (amounts that are massive to me) of petrochemicals (or sometimes but not in this instance, solvents).

So I swallow my supplements, drinking over a litre of water because—the drinking of mass quantities of fluids—it is the only thing that lessons the back pain, and I hide in the one room that I can: my Safer Room. Because my regular Safe Room, my bedroom, has the lawnmower’s two-stroke petrol fumes in it that have leaked through the cracks in this façade of a house.

This safer room is a depressing sight, accentuating this gloom and doom perception I’m locked into: Aluminium foil on the floor; a metal single bed stands solemnly alone; in contrast, an organic cotton bedding welcomes me; while a polyurethane mattress wrapped in foil threatens me with what lies beneath the foil (yes, I wrapped another mattress in foil, even though the last time I did this, it turned into a mouldy disaster, but I don’t plan on making a habit of sleeping on this—it’s for emergencies only); and an air-purifier promises me to keep the air clean. This room has windows sealed with painter’s masking tape. And I seal the door closed too. And… the air is clean in here.

But when I’m in here, I feel like my spirit is crushed. And the impeding doom is my ever-present companion. Sitting on my chest, weighing me down. And then there is the fear… the fear of what? The future? The negotiations? Yes, but mostly it’s the fear of how I feel right now, in this moment. Doomed.

I feel like I should apologise for sending these doom-vibes out into the blogosphere but this is how I feel, and perhaps by sharing it, I’ll feel less of it. Or when I wake up in the morning and remember what I’ve shared, I’ll feel like my readers (all 21 of you) will see me as a melancholic, hyperbolic idiot, and I’ll rush to delete  this post.

The one bright thing: My Boxer dog, Bellamissio, sitting on the floor in my Safer Room

Thanks for reading.

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

End Sex Trafficking: Women and Girls Are Not For Sale

Today is End Sex Trafficking Day, a day when you can help change the world by buying a book: End Sex Trafficking – Let’s Be Impossible to Ignore

The book is due out 26 October 2012. Here’s the gist of it:

When Erin Giles learned about the incredibly vast & nefarious sex trafficking industry, her heart broke open. She couldn’t stand in silence. She had to do something. But what could one person do?

As it turns out – more than she’d ever dreamed possible.

End Sex Trafficking is a collection of 60 essays written by award-winning entrepreneurs, bestselling authors, and inspiring voices from around the world. You’ll find first-hand accounts of the Southeast Asian sex trade, interwoven with essays about love & compassion, the essence of freedom, and the power of knowledge. It’s a resounding call-to-action, with a message that hits straight to the core:

One voice can start a revolution. And that voice can be yours.

All of the authors proceeds for End Sex Trafficking will go directly to the Not for Sale Campaign, in support of the fight against sex trafficking.

I’ve ordered my copy, how about you?

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Australian Hospital Guidelines for MCS and Chemical Sensitivity

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MCS/Chemical Sensitivities: Hospital Guidelines from Around Australia

This is a list of all the hospital guidelines throughout Australia for patients who are sensitive to chemicals or identify as having MCS

Western Australian Hospital Guidelines for patients with chemical sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity/ Chemical Hypersensitivity Guidelines for Hospitals

'Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A guide for Victorian hospitals' retrieved from the document library

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a debilitating condition described as serious physical symptoms initiated by chemical exposure. Since there are no diagnostic or clinical guidelines for MCS in Australia, it is possible that some chemically hypersensitive individuals have symptoms more aligned with MCS.

Patients with an MCS condition may suffer from a variety of physical symptoms as a result of exposure to chemicals. The physical symptoms are likely to undermine patient treatment whilst in hospital, affecting recovery, health outcomes and wellbeing.

The chemicals or incitants (agents that produce clinical symptoms) vary considerably and are often found in hospital environments. These incitants may be in food and drink normally provided to in-patients and/or may include hospital cleaning and disinfectant products, as well personal products such as perfumes or hair care. The hospital stay of patients with MCS is ideally planned with hospital administration prior to admission and managed by health professional staff on an individual, case-by-case basis.

The purpose of this MCS Guide is to provide guidance and raise awareness of the need for hospitals to develop local policies/guidelines; it is not provided as a definitive MCS text or to argue the aetiology of the condition.

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South Australian Health. MCS Guidelines for South Australian Hospitals

"[These MCS Guidelines] are designed to help hospital administrators and health professionals to best respond to the needs of people with MCS requiring hospital treatment thus ensuring access to effective, quality care and improved patient health outcomes. Meeting the environmental needs of people with MCS who require medical or surgical treatment in hospital is likely to reduce length of hospital stay and improve individual health outcomes."

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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