Today, I came across the book Which Poison Will Change Your Life by Glenna Chance. She’s an illness activist who has written this book seeking to reverse society’s toxic trends.
Due to an illegal pesticide application in 1988, Chance was poisoned. At the time she was pursing a career in music; the life-changing diagnosis of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity sent her in a new direction where she has had to deal with the physical implications and lack of legal parity that often accompany MCS disability. She has worked hard to bring attention to the disease and support those who suffer with it.
From the PR website:
“The book introduces and explains the author’s own illness, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and related “invisible illnesses” which include Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Autoimmune Disease among others. Comprehensively addressing government involvement in these illnesses and the problems they create, Which Poison Will Change Your Life encourages readers to question the medical status quo, seek scientific truth, and support environmental and disabled law.”
Which poison will change your life? That’s an interesting question. The poisons that may have been responsible for changing mine—in this order—would be: swimming pool chlorine (Yep, I accidentally inhaled some while servicing a pool. I kid you not.); the solvents used in the application of artificial fingernails, their removal, and their decoration; the use of perfume (Oh, but mine were designer brands; surely that makes a difference?); and the use of *normal* household cleaners—Spray and Wipe, Morning Fresh dishwashing liquid, that type of thing—and finally, the use of more *normal* products out in the garden such as RoundUp, and Weed and Feed. Apart from the chlorine exposure, these were supposedly normal products to be exposed to. I didn’t have a clue that these behaviours would one day contribute to me being sensitive to chemicals. And if someone had told me, or I had come across a book like this one, I can’t honestly say if I would have absorbed the warning …
Anyway, Chance is the founder and director of MCSAdvocacy.com, an agency which advocates for the MCS-disabled and their families who need assistance in finding housing, benefits, non-toxic products, and medical and legal resources
Interestingly, while digging for research, I found these House Rules (no, not Jodi Picoult’s House Rules ) on the MCSAvocacy site. These remind me of the time I had my boyfriend over and I made him take his clothes off while standing outside in the driveway (it is closed in from the street’s view) because he had those artificial-rose-aromatic-solvent-air-freshener type fumes emanating from him. He’d already come into the house, and my eyes were already itching, and the inside of my nose was burning, and I’d said, “Get the hell out. You stink!” So there he was outside, butt naked, while I turned the shower on, got him a towel (verbally bounced him into the shower), turned the air-filters on high, and threw his “contaminated” clothing into the wash. It’s all about being an assertive woman, I tell you! You should have seen him afterwards, wearing my pyjamas while his clothes were in the dryer. Funny! If only I had a photo to post. (If I actually did that, I don’t think I’d still have a boyfriend—well, not this one anyway.) The point is, we now have house rules. Because it’s pretty shitty if I’m wearing a mask while out shopping, driving, and going to Uni, doing my best to not breathe in chemicals that cause symptoms, and then I let my *honey buns* into the house with aromatic solvents on his clothes, and then get affected. Isn’t it? (Note: the Rose smelling air-freshener was sprayed out over him (by a fragrance emitting device (FED)) in the toilets at his work.)
Perhaps I should do a post titled, ‘How to have a boyfriend while sensitive to chemicals’? It has been a hard won battle that’s for sure! And boy, have I got some tips. The first one would be: it’s not like it’s necessary to wear a mask (just so I can breathe without getting sick around my boyfriend) in my own home, when I can persuade him to be fragrance free instead. And besides, I could always just take my bra off and wear that over my face, I’m sure that’d convince him!
I digress, if you’d like to read more about the book, click here: New Perspective on Big Issue: Why Are We So Sick?
Here’s to going mask-less and braless!