Ordered Eating, Sublingual Testing, and Traffic Fumes

Last Thursday week (of JANUARY this year!), I went to see my treating Immunologist and Allergist, Dr Colin Little. It’s a 3 and a half hour arduously long drive from this new-ish property up near the Surf Coast of Victoria, Australia; I was lucky enough to have a friend drive the hour and half it takes just to get to my house so that he could then drive me to the appointment. I can no longer do this for myself. For, even though my car has a Foust, 160AN Auto/RV, Air Purifier running in it and we always pump up the air-conditioning (no matter the temperature outside), and I wear a mask, it’s a truly sickening journey:

Foust 160 AN

Foust 160 AN Car Air Purifier

First, we have the freeway going into and past the city of Melbourne, now, if I plan my appointments, leave early or travel only at certain times, I can navigate this without my health getting too adversely impacted on (if not, and I get stuck in peak hour traffic, bottle-neck like traffic jams, or behind too many trucks I can be sick for days); did I mention the trucks? Diesel is not my friend and likes to eat my health for breakfast, causing intense sickness (this was the reason for a trip to see Dr Little, to have sublingual testing and try and find a safe dose to help me with symptoms caused by inhalation of diesel fumes, that and another diet check-up.); then we have the Westgate Bridge and by then, a massive throbbing headache, swollen glands, which causes pain when turning my head, followed by breathing that becomes painful (this can last for days, also): this makes for one dangerous driver, but usualIy, in an anxious kind of way, I’m overly careful and still drive okay; but after this we have the part that just makes driving here impossible: the Burnley Tunnel:

Burnley Tunnel and Pollution

Burnley Tunnel (source: Wikipedia)

this is an underground tunnel that goes under a part of Melbourne, and a few of her suburbs, then under a river: this tunnel is a diesel gas chamber for people like me and it’s not safe to navigate my way through because the symptoms are just too intense. I can only liken it to what I imagine it would be like to be slammed over the head with a hammer while drunk, then trying to drive with a mask over one’s face and a screaming need for oxygen); after that, we have the Eastern freeway, by now the car is full of diesel fumes and I’m just a shadow of my former self: besides being chronically ill, my ability to make decisions is gone, I can’t make sense of my thoughts, nor can I remember them, but worse, I can’t remember how to get to the doctors, I start to mumble, obviously a danger to myself and others, so I have to pull over. Hence, my request for a friend to drive me this time.


Another Melfie: This time wearing a heavy-duty silicone mask

Another Melfie: This time wearing a heavy-duty silicone mask

is how I handled the drive this time. (The mask, a Sundstrom, is made from silicone, it’s 9 years old, and has (finally) outgassed enough for me to use it. It’s something I keep around for emergencies like bushfires—or building a house, perhaps—or any other type of possibly catastrophic event. However, I’ve always been too fearful to wear this type of mask in public because of the reaction I might get from people. Although, wearing it in the car is hardly wearing it in public: I can’t hear any rude comments, teasing or other people’s non-filtred loud speculations as to why I’m wearing it. Plus, after my last post (which really was so long ago. February to be precise), I felt such an incredible wave of support from fellow mask wearers around the world that my perspective on wearing a mask has evolved to a whole new level of bravery and pro-activeness that leans in even further to helping me protect my health, by wearing this, err.. contraption just to travel through the Burnley Tunnel. Thank you, lovelies xx (Ergo, I don’t plan on wearing this type of mask into a shopping centre anytime soon! Rather send my friends to the shops for me, yeh?)) I sat in the passenger seat, almost symptom free: traffic fumes, unbelievably, still made their way in (the filter on this thing is as old as the mask itself). And I made it to the doctors, still able to cope with testing that needed to be done.

This doctor’s rooms are fragrance free, air-conditioned and contain private rooms for those who need to be away from others when being tested. (I mean, let’s face it, how does someone get tested for fragrance (or anything), or try to find a dose that can help with symptoms when you have a face full of washing powder fumes? Most of the people who go there do their best to be FF but, for some of us, it’s still a cornucopia of shampoos, hair gels and laundry products: all tests would render positive and all clearing drops would render negative results!) By the time I get there, I’m in need of fresh air and with all the air purifiers, air conditioners and non volatile building materials in the building this particular allegist’s rooms are a haven!

Dr Little: 324 Stephensons Rd Mount Waverley, VIC 3149

Dr Little’s Rooms: 324 Stephensons Rd
Mount Waverley, VIC 3149, Australia!

In the past, by the time I leave, I’ve usually recovered from getting there. On this day we were there for 5 hours. Not so long, considering we’ve had days where we’ve stayed all day. One lot of testing and finding clearing drops can last an hour, or so. If you get really sick, like I did for perfume the first time, you’re gonna be there for a while. My daughter underwent testing for chemicals and moulds; thankfully, thankfully, she was negative on all those. However, she’s also got the food intolerances to deal with so underwent her own diet review. For this lucky duck, everything is fine…

I underwent testing for chlorine and petrochemicals. The chlorine suprised me because it bought up symptoms i suffered in the old house. Symptoms I thought were mould related! They were part airway related and part something else–to do with how I feel…

What I love about this doctor is he’s proactive on every level. He’s a wealth of information. He’s covered by Medicare (if you’re in the US, think Obamacare), which makes him a real doctor. (I say that in jest, please, any doctor who helps someone is a real doctor, it’s just doctors who are on the Medicare system have more power to change the world because the government listens to them; this one also publishes peer reviewed studies and is in the process of developing a blood test that could really help people like us.) He has access to the latest information; does thorough testing; approaches issues logically rather than basing his advice on the latest ‘new’ treatment or ‘latest’ superfood or ‘trendy’ new pharmaceutical. He has had lots of practice with people who are allergic to many allergens and/or sensitive to chemicals, which makes him an expert. (I’m sure his wife actually says: “I knew I married Mr Right but I didn’t know I married Mr Always Right!”) Oh, and, you know? He’s mostly right about things. With me anyway:

Our battle with food has been going on near on 3 years. For the first 7.9 of this illness, I didn’t have any food allergies or intolerances. My gut was made of iron, I’m telling you. But when these food issues rolled in, they snowballed; and even after I moved to cleaner air, made more changes to my living environment, they persisted, burping their indigestion into my life after every meal. It sucked. Without this doctor’s help, I couldn’t tell the difference between physical symptoms caused by chemical exposures or food intolerances. They were all starting to blur into one big problem.

Last May, we started an elimination diet. It was torture. Then it bought freedom; but it was still total utter torturous, because I’m an emotional eater. I’m a spiritual eater. I’m a totally mental eater. I eat when I worry, when I over-think, when I write, when I’m sad, happy, everything. Milk chocolate and coffee have always, since I became a non-smoker (quite sometime now), bought me intense pleasure. Then there was the comfort I found in having the same foods everyday. Then. They. Were. Gone. (Who was not my favourite doctor then, hey?)

I’m not very good at taking instructions about what to eat and what not to eat; it makes me want to rebel and just eat whatever it is I bloody like. When that backfired, I towed the line and, once I had a good idea of what the right foods were, I ran with ‘this special diet’ thing. So this has taken a while (7 months and 40 milk chocolate bars longer than what it should have). But what I did find was that once I had a list of decent tasty foods, I was happy with that because my stomach was feeling so much better, my skin and scalp stopped itching (thanks to kissing sugar, pears, pineapple and mango goodbye). I can happily eat the same foods everyday with just a little variation, I’m like that. Deprivation is self-torture, emotional comfort is self-love!

This is what my comfortably safe food list looked like when I went in:

  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Chicken (only a little, or I have indigestion)
  • Porterhouse (only a little, or same thing)
  • Salmon
  • Prawns
  • Zucchini
  • Carrot
  • Pumkin
  • Spagetti Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Lady Finger Bananas
  • Apples (practically a staple)
  • *Spelt Toast (one piece only, two give me chronic indigestion)
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Nut Butters (Almond, Hazelnut, Cashew)
  • Walnuts (from the Shell only)
  • Almonds (however, I keep getting mould effected)
  • *Miso Soup (Organic, fermented)
  • Organic Tofu
  • Bonsoy Milk
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • *Garlic
  • Tumeric
  • Ginger
  • Coconut Cream
  • Coconut Water
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Green Tea
  • Raw Cacao
  • Raw Honey
  • Dark Chocolate (85% cocoa, no milk and only a little sugar)
  • Pureu Water

Not a bad list of foods. I had adapted to this. Had. The Miso is fermented so I have to give that miss for a while. The Spelt bread is off the list because, for someone whose immune system is bucking up, and their digestive system is failing to function properly, it behaves the same as wheat. (If you want to frustrate an allergist, try telling them you are fine with only a little bit but if you eat a lot you feel unwell… But, you think you are fine with that food if you stick to eating just a little?!) The garlic has to be retested. And on it goes… I really thought that I’d be well by now; and it’s frustrating (and that’s just the least of it) that I haven’t recovered like I thought I would when I first moved out here, nearly two years ago.

I have some clearing drops that I can try using for diesel exposure. There is a build happening this year, and guess who’s project manager? I’m busy going through the motions leading up to having a contract drawn up so that people who work on the house understand what they can and can’t do. It’s a scary ride because I’ve not been well, and I can’t fathom how I am going to cope physically with this. Just day to day life has all these issues that need constant forward planning, attention to detail and energy. Energy is something I’ve been running out of. I’m hoping that those couple of *foods I’ve now eliminated are the answer to that problem.

PS: coffee is back on the menu! It’s real coffee… beans we crush ourselves and put into a percolator. Just like the good doc recommended. Whew! Life is still worth living; I kid you not.


Read More…

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.

Organic Farm Photo Essay

The time when I lived on an organic farm at Newham, Hanging Rock, is one of the fondest memories to be found anywhere within my retrospective treasure chest of old. For, not only did my quality of life improve, and I miraculously improved with most of my sensitivities to chemicals, but I was able to fulfil a dream of mine: living off the land! Now, I stretch the truth here, because by ‘living off the land’, I mean we grew our own vegetables, which we ate; our ducks laid eggs, which we cooked with; but the rabbits, sheep, chickens, horse, lizard, birds and dogs, were all pets—we didn’t eat any of them. (I know: How very unPalaeolithic of me!)

My days were spent gardening, digging in compost, creating no-dig garden beds, and taking care of the animals (in between those, I studied online, and worked volunteer for AESSRA)

My days were spent gardening, digging in compost, creating no-dig garden beds, and taking care of the animals (in between, I studied Business Admin online, and worked as volunteer for AESSRA)

Was it really so miraculous that I recovered, considering what a clean lifestyle I was living? Even the house was amazingly clean (by clean, I mean free of chemicals): there was no chipboard (which is a particle board type of wood, used in most modern kitchens, and in the manufacturing of furniture; and it’s made using glues, containing one of the nasty chemicals in the news at the moment: formaldehyde) in the house—at all. There were some brand new Ikea shelving units out in the garage; yet, for the first time since I’d been tested and diagnosed as sensitive to chemicals (formaldehyde, being one of them) I had no upper respiratory symptoms while breathing around them, not that I hung out a lot in my garage, anyway! (And that was a feat, because in the last rental house in Portsea, we had to seal the underneath of the cabinets with foil (This was suggested by one of my treating specialists because of the health problems I experienced with that particular brand new kitchen.) This recovery happened in 2009, five years after my diagnosis in 2004; my symptoms started in 2003, so it’s not like I recovered overnight, but I did recover! And it happened here, in this amazing house…

(Below is a photo of the cottage before it was renovated; it was featured on the cover of couple of catalogues for the Woodend, Mt Macedon Ranges Tourism Information Centre. The extension included a kitchen, single garage, and another bedroom— mostly from recycled and natural materials, but, with the integrity of the architectural era of the cottage’s style kept intact, it still looked like this, just wider.)

Source: google.com.au via The-Labyrinth on Pinterest

And, there was no chlorinated town water; all our water came from the Mt Macedon underground spring. The spring water travelled through two filters before reaching our taps, via a rainwater tank that also collected rainwater. (I have a blog coming up about an accident I had with pool chlorine, where the wind blew some in my face, which I then inhaled through the left side of my nose, sneezed it out, then copped some stinging and a rash for a couple of days; this happened three months before any sensitivities or ‘allergies’ to chemicals occurred. I’m still not sure if chlorine is a problem (or whether it ‘injured’ me in some way, or sensitised me to chemicals; however, it’s hard not to focus on it as a missing link (You know, get rid of all the chlorine in my life, and I’ll be cured, right?) But I’ll blog about this another time. Just know this: I’m not convinced chlorine is a problem. I think it might be more a problem of the level of many groups of chemicals in my body at one time. That’s the theory I’m running with today! But when I get the chance, I’ll try living without it for a week or two and see how I go—not an easy thing to do in the city (By this, I do not mean that I won’t shower for a week, I mean living somewhere where there is only filtered rainwater on tap!)

The property had a spa bath, not that that was on my list of requirements when looking for a suitable rental property for someone sensitive to chemicals, but it was so, so sooo lovely to be able to soak in epsom salts after a hard day’s work in the garden. With mud caked skin, climbing into that tub, surrounded by the hue of beeswax candle’s flames flickering as if to mingle and dance with the torrents of steam rising out of the tub, I was in heaven. Up above, on the ceiling was a roof window, where on a clear night, I could see the stars. (From. In. The. Bathtub!) And [insert excited girly voice], for the first time in years, I was able to use products like these, not the unscented versions that I use now, but the ones with actual (pure organic) essential oils. (If you’ve never been chemically sensitive, along with having to avoid all scents, natural or otherwise, you may not be able to appreciate the beauty of laying in a warm tub of water, inhaling the scent of rose geranium and sandalwood, and feeling as if you are finally home after a long, tiresome journey. (One where you’ve had to wear a mask around everything, while trying to avoid breathing in everything (which is impossibly difficult and stressful.).)

If you look at the top right hand corner of this pic, you can see a part of the glass ceiling

If you look at the top right hand corner of this pic, you can see a part of the glass ceiling

The two bedroom cottage, which had previously been used as Bed and Breakfast holiday accommodation (I think it was called ‘Picnic Cottages’), had all hardwood floors, doors, archways, and window frames—some of them had been recycled. This old cottage had been remodelled with such love, care and home-and-country style, that, only the photos I’m about to share with you can explain just how special this house was!  Notice the roof windows in the kitchen, and the glass ceiling in the sitting room, where the stone fireplace is. We sealed the interior of the fireplace with a foil blanket, so as to not have old woodsmoke remains, outgassing into the house, or leave the chimney open as a point of entry for woodsmoke, if it happened to be smoky outside. The windows were double glazed; and the insulation within the house, and underneath the floors, was made from wool: in winter, the house stayed warm all by itself right up until 9 pm each night!

Horses, rabbits, ducks, chickens, pigeons, cockatiels, dogs, a sheep and a lizard became members of our ever-increasing brood. My daughter, also presented as the ‘Bindi Irwin of Sorrento’ at her grade six graduation, by her teachers, two years previously, became even more of a let’s-bring-every-single-animal-home-and-see-if-mum-lets-me-keep-it type of child. With all the wild animals she kept bringing home, only to be coerced into releasing them again, there was only one responsible thing left for me to do: persuade her into applying for a Wildlife licence!

Bindi Irwin, aka Cas

Bindi Irwin, aka Cas (photo used with full permission)

Another Blue-tounge lizard, one of many bought home, and then, reluctantly, realised back into the wild

Another Blue-tounge lizard, one of many bought home, and then, reluctantly, realised back into the wild


My daughter's first licensed wildlife reptile, Nidhogg (his name is taken from Norse Mythologies’ dragon of the same name)

My daughter’s first licensed wildlife reptile, Nidhogg (his name is taken from Norse Mythologies’ dragon of the same name)

Hamish, the sheep, Benny, the horse, and the rabbits came with the property; this was on the condition that we take care of them, and call the owners if we no longer wanted them. Cas begged me to take the property; it was no longer about Mum’s sensitivities and her desperate need for clean air. No, it was about the animals!

So yeh, we were so lucky, and even luckier because the owners understood about environmental sensitivities, and made a few—but luckily, I didn’t need many—accommodation adjustments: one door that had been treated with Estapol, and two cupboard doors, which needed painting, had to be removed from the property, which wasn’t a problem for these amazing people. So, in every way, this place was absolutely the best place for me to be. It was perfect…

I could walk in the rain, down into gullies, near running creaks: I could smell damp soil, but it wasn’t overpoweringly strong, nor was it hurting me to inhale the smell or the spores through my nose. It didn’t cause sinus pain, or any other symptoms. Mould was no longer effecting me. Hence, being able to hangout, nursing and nourishing my compost bins (a stall of three, all one cubic meter in size). (I have developed the most perfect compost recipe; and it’s my goal in life to be able to revel in making it once again.) (If I could choose between my love of shoes and my love of all things gardening, I’d choose gardening!)

We climbed Hanging Rock at least three times a week. And I walked the back tracks surrounding Newham, Kerrie, and Woodend for two hours everyday: a one hour stroll in the morning fresh air, and again with my daughter after school when the kangaroos were always hanging about in large groups. Newham was so peaceful, barely a car on the road, or the dirt tracks; gum trees nestled around us, shrouding us in old-growth and wisdom, while the local Kookaburras laughed us into harmonious country strolls in the evenings. Our two Pomeraniums, husband, and wife, Bouba and Butchy, chased rabbits they could never, ever catch, collecting prickles in their fur as they went.

Bouby and Butchy: Pomeranian, Wife and Husband, terrors of the bush!

Bouby and Butchy: Pomeranian, Wife and Husband, terrors of the bush!

Here, my daughter and I became friends for the first time; before she entered into the turbulence tunnel of teenager-hood; and after our life, perhaps, a tad more difficult than most people’s: Since my daughter was seven she’s had a hands on roll with the shopping, and many other ‘adult’ tasks and errands, so life has not been easy, she’s grown well into it; however, living on this farm gave us both far more freedom, fun and relaxation than we had ever dreamed of… And, Cas mastered horse riding, while I overcame my deep, long-held fear of horses! (And I’ll always have Benny to thank for this, he was the kindest, gentlest, yet tallest horse, I’d ever ridden. He was part Clydesdale, so that accounted for his size, but he was so damn friendly, who could resist that charm‽)

Here, Benny is getting his weekly wash and groom. Cas, my daughter is minuscule standing behind him. (Note: the chair she needed to reach him.)

Here, Benny is getting his weekly wash and groom. Cas, my daughter is minuscule standing behind him. (Note: the chair she needed to reach him.)

Now, Hamish, the sheep was a special guy. Definitetly part human, but also very temperamental. He was bit of a Ram; his horns were removed when he was young, but he still developed ‘Ram’ behaviour, and that’s what he chose to do, on occasion: ram! Cas thought it was funny, and she’d tackle him and make him stop; she had him trained. But Hamish had me trained too. Trained to run! Every time he was close to me, he had a go at ramming me. On his hierarchal scale of all living things on the farm, I was way below him, and all I could do was climb up onto the nearest fence or car bonnet. I think my fear of horses transmuted over to male sheep! But bless him, after I moved out, I found out he’d stared in this movie, on the same property! (There were two houses on this five acre property, and the bigger one was rented by someone else. I’ll blog about this later too; it’s important, because this experience with this neighbour was how I became so awesome at tackling local councils.)

Now, I’ll leave you with this clip, Hamish – Short Film, winner of The Hope Awards 2008, Sony Tropfest. Our Hamish was the star, along with Claire his owner/mother/carer. It’s a great little film.

I felt sad watching it, because I miss this place so much! But, at the same time, I’m filled with heart-tugging gratitude for having had the opportunity to live, and experience a rich and full country life, and to have recovered from chemical sensitivities while I was there. And, just sharing this with you, reminds me that it’s all so doable once again (Oh, what impending doom‽)



here’s to finding my way back to that same peaceful, healthy, equilibric, metaphorical place once again.

Somewhere different this time, but if I can follow the same philosophies, heed the same cues, and, chuck out the old, ready for the new, then the path up ahead, leading out of the labyrinth of chemical sensitivities, lays bare and waiting…

(More, on the subject of change, and moving on: How leaving attachment to things allow doors to open ♥ from my lovely and supportive friend, author, Michelle Cashmore, over at one of her many blogs: Calm Amidst Chaos)

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.

Goodbye Emerald Green Strappy Heels

Photo 5-01-13 8 40 35 PM

Emerald Green Strappy Shoe

Here is a joke for you all:

Q: What is the definition of self-torture?

A: A woman who has a shoe addiction, yet has also been tested and diagnosed as sensitive to chemicals!

~ aka ~  Michellina Van Loder

I’m not really that type of woman… What ‘type’? I hear you ask. Well—the type of woman who finds the gratification of buying and wearing shoes, intensely emotionally satisfying. Don’t get me wrong, I still find them satisfying on many levels. I just can’t buy them anymore, and I have nowhere to wear them. And, as you’re about to see, I now, have to wrap some of them in foil, and put these babies away until the day comes that they no-longer effect my breathing. So, yeh, I’m no longer that type of woman. Besides, can someone please tell me: what’s the point of buying shoes like these?

Emerald Green Satin Heel with Ankle Strap. Brand: Obsession

Emerald Green Satin Heel with Ankle Strap. Brand: Obsession

Or these:

UrbanSoul Leather Slingback heel

Tan Leather Slingback heel. Brand: Urban Soul

The UrbanSoul pair, I don’t have to wrap. They are made from quality leather that just happened to outgass quickly. The leather is soft, and doesn’t have that thick, waxy conditioner through it. (You know the one: it’s a bit new-expensive-shoe type stinky, and it never goes away.)

I bought these at the end of 2009, when I recovered. My daughter, her grandmother figure, and I, hit Westfield shopping centre at Highpoint. It was a great day for us all. We were like a normal three generation trio of women out for a spot of holiday shopping during the Christmas sale period. After living almost six years in isolation, avoiding chemicals, I was high on finally being able to shop, especially with my teenage daughter. (It’s only now, I can look back and see how much of a bonding experience it actually was/is/could be.) Like I said, we were just normal women out shopping. No weird stares at the woman wearing her mask, because she wasn’t wearing it! The only funny look I got was from my boyfriend’s mum, when she saw how much I paid for the shoes. I paid just under half price, they were on sale at $220. Like Mia Freedmon, I can justify my spending on the fact that I actually saved $260!!! I don’t suppose the fact that I bought two pairs helped the situation either. (Spending this much on shoes is not normal behaviour for me. But you know that saying: one good quality purchase can last for years? That’s what these babies were supposed to do.) In hindsight, I don’t regret it though. The shoes, and being able to wear them was symbolic of my freedom. The look in my boyfriends mother’s eyes made me feel bristling, young and crazy… For a day. I suppose that is the point of buying shoes like these! That, and the modulation of my emotions: shoes = happiness? These shoes did make me happy…

Yeh, I know. It was just a couple of pairs of shoes…

Now, the emerald green shoes are a ‘cheap’ pair from Payless shoes (an el’ cheapo shoe shop, here in Melbourne, Australia) and they cost $29 on sale. I bought them to go with a rather expensive emerald green silk dress that I wore when my boyfriend was invited to his first cousin’s wedding. Macedonian weddings are big affairs. The type of events where a new dress is a sub-standard requirement. Well the amazing dress needed an amazing pair of shoes to wear to this wedding, which just happened to be held at Flemington Racetrack, along with a few hundred people. And you know what? There was so much perfume there, yet it didn’t effect me. I had my mask in my handbag, yet didn’t need it. It was an amazing fun long afternoon and evening. (The last six weddings or so, I haven’t been able to attend. Even with my mask, with that much fragrance, I know I’ll get sick.)

Fast forward exactly three years, and I notice this: The ends on the heels are made from cheap rubbery plastic. You know that synthetic-petrochemical-K-mart type of rubber? All this time, I didn’t notice it until these last few months. And enough is enough. I can’t stand going into my closet anymore; I feel like I could choke on the air—especially in this hot weather we’ve been having.

The eagle has landed.

Emerald Green Shoes About to be Wrapped in Foil (for a while?)

Emerald Green Shoes About to be Wrapped in Foil (for a while?)


I’ve been sorting my shoes, and like many things to go away around here (Like me. I need to go away. I’m looking for a rental by the sea. Still!); these shoes need to go away for while too.

Along with these:

These 'Witchy' Looking Shoes, need to Get Put Away for a While too...

These ‘Witchy’ Looking Shoes, Need to be Wrapped in Foil


The witchy looking shoes (Don’t they just look like something out of Anne Rice’s Novel, The Witching Hour?), these have that stinky leather conditioner on them, and it stings my nostrils, so they must be going away on a holiday too.

So while I embrace this shoe storing, it befuddles me as to why I would want to wear any of these shoes that give me headaches and cause symptoms. So I won’t. Because I don’t want that. Yes, but why keep them? I hear you scream. A: perhaps I’ll get better and be able to wear them again at a later stage? Besides, on an epiphany level, maybe this is a step in the right direction, out of the Labyrinth of chemical sensitivities…


here’s to making changes that benefit our health!

 Update (6 Jan 13)


These shoes are kind of special to me. Kathryn down in comments said that perhaps wrapping them and storing them is paying homage to the life I once had. That had me in tears. I think the tears are, maybe, for the realisation that I’m not meant to have that life. You see, when I was first diagnosed in 2004, I threw out everything I owned. I had too. The perfume was too strong; the symptoms where too full on; and there was nowhere to store all those clothes and shoes I couldn’t wear. (Not anywhere where they would not have effected me.) So I gave them away to a charity, which needed a truck to take it all away. And I started again. I bought mostly natural material clothing, and not a lot of it. So when I recovered in 2009, I guess I went a little bit overboard with the new me, and the new shoes, and all the places I was going to wear them. So, going by that bit of information, perhaps I’m not meant for a life wearing those types of shoes? Perhaps, this is some type of journey where I’ll find out who I really am? Those shoes were a part of my identity. An identity, which is no more…

Kathryn, over at allergictomylifemybattle, had to go through a similar, if not worse, experience of throwing out all her clothes (several times) and starting again. It’s raw and it’s sad peeling of the layers of our identities in the name of detoxification, and healing, but Kathryn’s life, her journey (and soon to be released book) are all testament to the healthy living that can wait for us on the other side of this.

(My daughter turns eighteen in a week, and I’m in the final process of organising a fragrance free birthday party (which I’ll blog about later—cause it’ll be amazing if it is actually FF) where I’ll get to wear a pair of my shoes: the UrbanSoul leather ones up top—the ones I saved so much money on buying?!)


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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