Lazy Incompetent Doctors

(THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED in March 2016 to reflect the true meaning of the post, not the byline that was coming up in the google search bar. It will be submitted to the robots so they can update the search engines soon.)

I’m going to share this tale in the hope that it can help someone else who may be struggling health problems to chemicals. Physical symptoms from chemicals that are, or seem like an allergy, which it is, only the mechanisms are different:

When I first became sensitive to chemicals, I couldn’t work out what the blazing hell was going on. I’d spray the bench top with Spray and Wipe, a product I’d used for years: my eyes would sting; I’d spritz on perfume, my eyes would sting, yet when I went in the sun, they would burn; I’d burn essential oils, and it would feel as if I’d got some in my eyes. Everything was impacting on my eyes. Then came the headaches. And the rashes. And then, a smoky haze of hell descended over life as I knew it: it wasn’t so much the symptoms but the disruption to my life as I knew it. At around the time I got sick, I was a smoker, Marlboro Reds, actually:

I was the type of woman who, while washing in the shower, waiting for the hair conditioner to absorb into my locks, I’d take the time to give the shower a quick clean with Exit Mould. So while that was eating away at the discoloured stains between the tiles, I’d quickly finish rinsing my hair, wrap in the a towel and then rinse the walls of the shower. Efficient, hey?

Even cleaning with products I'd always used became a problem

Even cleaning with products I’d always used became a problem

I didn’t have a General Practitioner (GP), as I’d moved from interstate, and didn’t need one. If I did treatment, I’d go to the local Medical One; it was convenient. Anyway, it usually involved my daughter, who was six and a half at the time, and like most six-year-olds, had the occasional accident and would need the occasional vaccination, or an earache that had to be checked. Finding a GP was just something I hadn’t got around to doing—yet. I’d recently had a huge lifestyle change and prided myself on my new healthy attitude towards life; therefore, why did I need a family doctor to visit? Why couldn’t I just go to Medical One?

On the time I accidentally inhaled chlorine, 2 – 3 months before I was became chemically sensitive, I went to the local clinic to get treatment for the rash on my face. I got a creme and left. I was told I would be fine, thought nothing more of this incident for years.

Besides, I was so healthy; and I was proud of myself, and to add to this new fit me, and please my daughter, I was also in the throes of giving up smoking. It wasn’t easy. To reward myself, I bought designer perfumes, liberally, spritzing them on whenever I felt the need to praise my efforts. I also spritzed my books, my handbags, my clothing, my child and furniture. Hell, sometimes I’d spray it on the light bulbs just so the fragrance could heat up, enveloping us a cloud of ambient scent. Other rewards included chocolate. (Pity I hadn’t just stuck to that!) As my symptoms worsened, I gave up smoking quickly (Amazing how fast you can give up when it’s causing intense pain!), replacing it with coffee. A habit that has still stuck today.

Uncomfortably, when my eyes stopped producing tears (the mucus type; not the crying ones), all smells would hurt my eyes: it became unbearable. At the time, I drove a convertible 4WD. It wasn’t the type of car where it was possible to stop traffic fumes entering into the cabin space: my eyes were literally burning with pain; and, during peak hour traffic, my head ached intensely. I asked around with friends and family, and went to see a Chinese doctor, called Dr Chew in the suburb of St Albans, Victoria, Australia. He was a lovely chap, very well respected and highly praised by everyone I know from that area.

This doctor had a good reputation, so, as I’m prone to do, I made a list: my symptoms, and some ideas as to why this may have been happening to me:

  • two months previously, I’d had an accident with swimming pool chlorine. I’d accidentally inhaled some as the wind blew it into my face. A rash had developed over half my face, and the doctor at the local Medical One had prescribed me some Cortisone cream, banged on about the possibility of Hives (a nervous disorder caused by stress, or allergies), and said I would be fine;
  • I’d recently been using Roundup on the gardens around our pool; the only reason I mentioned it was because, like most products I was using, it stung my eyes when I sprayed it… Ergo, the stinging was extremely intense compared to other products;
  • the problem had seemed to start around the time I changed my fragrance to Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea;
  • and the guilt induced one: had I done too much cocaine in my youthful-I’m-invincible-party days, the damage just showing up now? The doctor laughed at that one. (And every doctor that I’ve seen since (has not laughed) however, saying that it is most unlikely because it would show up on scans!)

Over the next six months, as my condition worsened, I was sent to many allergists, some of the top ones here in Melbourne: Dr Siemensma. Then I saw an eye specialist in Footscray (you can see the results here), and then another. I was tested for Sjögren syndrome: a condition that is know to cause chronic dry eyes. The word ‘allergy’ was thrown around a lot. This caused massive confusion for me:

If it were an allergy, then how was it that I kept removing items that my eyes were reacting to, but the symptoms were getting worse? Just that bit there, was sending me batshit crazy: for after reacting to my new Radiant washing powder ( I tried like, 10 washing powders in 7 months!), I changed to another; after reacting to my own blankets, I’d change to a different one; after reacting to my favourite perfume, I’d change to another; after reacting to my own bloody car, I’d try to drive less (an impossibility with a six-year-old child); after reacting to cooking fried chicken that burnt on the stove top, I began to cook outside; after reacting to the products I cleaned with, I stopped using them (and had no idea what to use instead); after reacting at the hairdressers, I stopped going; after reacting to the shampoo and conditioner (designer products) that the hairdresser had recommended to me, I stopped using them (with no idea what to use instead): life was getting tough.

Where were the guidelines for dealing with this elusive fucking allergy? What exactly was I allergic to? If I could just find that out, then I could get some relief, and get on with my life. Then, thanks to Dr Chew, I met Dr Colin Little, Allergist and Immunologist, someone who specialised in ‘allergies’ of the chemical kind. (Dr Chew did say to me, “This is the best doctor in Melbourne for your type of allergies.”)

I met Dr Little, was asked many questions, filled out my history, went through my daily diet and chemical history use. I forgot to say about the chlorine, but the good Dr Little, did note that the use of solvents in the application of false nails twice a month stood out like dogs balls on and elephant (Obviously, I am paraphrasing here!). And then, testing began:

First I found out that rubber was a problem. Then I found out that polyester (even my own PJ’s), Polyurethane (the foam inside mattresses and couches) were causing symptoms the same as those elicited by the testing and clearing drops used throughout the tests.

I changed my PJ’s for cotton ones, moved from my bedroom, housing my new foam mattress, and started sleeping on my tiled floor in the kitchen. Even though, my suburb, St Albans, was renowned for its high crime rate, I slept with my windows, which faced the street, open. And, for a time, I had some improvement.

Only at night though.

Finally, a doctor who could help me! Then winter came, along with woodsmoke, and so did the chronic headaches and nasal inflammation. Was there no end to this torture? (Praise the unicorns and fairies that I didn’t realise how bad it was about to become because I may have necked myself!)

I got rid of my soft-top convertible, buying a tiny hatchback instead. It was fine when I test drove it but later, in the sun, as I breathed in the fragrance emanating from the newly-detailed carpet and cloth seats, the rash on the left side of my face flared up, my left nostril burned and I had a headache, How could this be happening?

Three weeks away from my second testing appointment with Dr Little, the next day, head pounding out pain from behind my eyes, my sinuses pulsing out pain with each inhalation of air, my mind bent from trying to understand the connection between smells and their chemical components, I went to see Dr Chew. I was crying, a little hysterical, totally premenstrual. “You have to be able to something…”, I said.

So far, Dr Chew had given a Quartizone spray for my nose, a heap of different anti-histamines, and many referrals to many specialists, including the good Dr Colin Little.

But I guess, being a woman, and walking into his office, sobbing, almost hyperventilating after having sat in my new-second-hand fragranced car while waiting for our appointment showed me in a different light.


I began by explaining how I had changed all my personal care products, cleaners, washing powders, trying to find out what the cause of this allergy was. I felt doomed and my exact words were: “This is Driving me crazy!” And that’s when Dr Chew suggested that it was all in my head. All. In. My. Head?! (I am paraphrasing here.) He explained, perhaps in a gentle words (but the picture he was painting was totally menacing and I felt like kicking him in the balls), that sometimes when women get hormonal, or depressed, this can cause an imaginary illness, where the symptoms appear to be real… And, if he could just write me out a script for some antidepressants, I could take those and see how things go?!

I stopped crying. My view that had narrowed down to only seeing the turmoil and physical symptoms in my life, suddenly widened in anger. Anger that this dweeb of a doctor could suggest such a thing. Was he right? I questioned myself. Was such a thing even possible? I thanked him for his offer of a script but declined. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

For the next three weeks, until my appointment with Dr Little, I questioned my own sanity. There’s a saying: If you are asking yourself if you are crazy, then you are probably not. I knew I wasn’t crazy, but I also knew that this illness was defying all logic. As soon as I went into Dr Little’s office, I told him what the GP had said. And do you know what he said? He said: “If a doctor really thought you were mentally ill, then why would they spend six months trying to cure you? Why give you all those medications? Why would they refer you to some of the best specialists here in Melbourne?” He then went onto describe (and, again, I am paraphrasing here) how some doctors may say things like that to make ‘allowances’ for their own failures at treating, or ‘mis-treating’ their patients.

Finally, in that area, things began to make sense.

That, my dear readers (as of April 2013), was 9.5 years ago (and as of March 2016, when I last updated this post, was 13 years ago); and ever since then, I’ve been careful about the doctors I see.

As an example, the family GP I now have, knows not an iota about chemical sensitivities (I’m her first); yet, she listens to me, helps me where she can, vaccinates and gives check-ups to my daughter, hands us referrals where needed, and is an excellent, patient, thoughtful doctor. She allows me to educate her about my illness. She even goes so far as to photocopy all the documents relating to testing, letters for university, and anything else I bring in to show her: these she adds to my file. This doctor’s name is Dr Irani, and she too, is in St Albans. Same suburb, yet a whole world away from that incompetent doctor who tried to prescribe anti-depressants for a physical illness. (I believe these medications have their place; in fact, one of my beloved family members is on Prozac. You can read about that princess here.)

In Pamela Reed Gibson’s book Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide, she makes the suggestion that we should treat finding a new doctor or specialist like an interview. One where we interview them to see if they are good enough, knowledgeable enough, patient enough to see us and our loved ones through our medical care. After all, they are being paid, usually by us, and if a doctor is going to sprout out some crap about a physical condition being some kind of a somatisation disorder, then it’s best put up onto the operating table early on: our health and our time are too precious to waste on doctors who hide their incompetency behind massive egos and statements that betray their willingness to look a little deeper, run a few more tests and treat people with dignity,

It’s not just illness that relates to chemical sensitivities to chemical irritants that the ‘Lazy Incompetent Doctor’ situation applies. I imagine that many people suffering with invisible illnesses could have this problem with doctors as well. (It bothers me, as an older woman, that young women could be told a similar story when they are facing serious health problems. Not that mental health isn’t serious, it is, but being told you have a mental health problem when you don’t, is only going to add to the physical problem, not detract from it. And all health problems have their own innate psychological elements; these shouldn’t be mixed up. By a doctor.) We are already having to deal with a situation that’s changed our lives in a major way, or we’re facing the challenge of trying to find the brighter side of that situation: things that are made all the more harder by lazy, incompetent doctors.

Have you had an experience like this? How did you handle it? Please, jump up on this soap box and share!

(Cleaning image source:


Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: Obsessive Fragrance Wearers

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.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. Kelvin jolley says:

    Not the same topic but worth a mention . I get emails every day re health from Agora UK. Agora is a greek word for open space for meeting or market. One email says that the company that produces Roundup (Zero has Same chemical) is NOT telling people about the affects on the body of glyphosate. Also they are creating genetically modified crops that will not be killed by glyphosate while weeds are killed resulting in glyphosate residue in food crops,Kelvin

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      No, not the same topic, but on point because many people have been chemically injured by the use of these products. Quite often, the average consumer doesn’t have a clue. For example: one of my neighbours recently sprayed the whole empty block next door to where we are building just to kill the grass rather than mow it. We asked him not to do this but he still did it again. Thankfully, that block is now up for sale. Thank you for your comment: it’s so important that people are made aware of the effect of this ‘product’ on the health of our planet, the animals, sea life, humans and our food supply.

      Have a great day, Kelvin :)

  2. Thank you so much for this post.
    I have read it, and this is providing me with some hope. I have now seen countless specialists, who are renowned for their medical prowess in discovering and attributing reactions to causes. However I am yet to receive a diagnosis.
    I suffer from idiopathic (unknown) anaphylactic reactions, requiring me to carry an epic pen at all time. It has significantly changed my life, from my work, to friendships, mental health as well as to just every day life.
    I have been given a referral to Dr Little, and I am just awaiting on an appointment time with him. Hopefully he can also provide to me, what he has provided to you.
    I thank you for sharing your story, and realising it is difficult for all of us. At the age of 27 (I am now 29) I am still struggling and your post has provided me with some faith, that I was really beginning to lose. Thank you!

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      That’s wonderful news! Dr Colin Little is an amazing doctor with so much knowledge in this area. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for his thorough testing and medical advice. Thank you for your comment, it’s lovely to know that sharing my story has helped others. It can be daunting at times sharing so much but it’s comments like these that make it all worthwhile. Good luck with your appointment :) Let me know how you go, hey? I have a hunch the good Dr Little will get to the cause of your reactions. xo

  3. Domonic says:

    Hi there.. As a male in my 40’s I also struggle to get help from doctors. I had one try to refer me to a psychologist, another told me that my problems were due to my ‘Body Type’. Yes.. These people really exist. Honestly, I’m fed up with Doctor’s too.

    I’ve seen several around Melbourne now and they’re all the same. You wouldn’t dare suggest you have an issue because they’ll spend all your time and your money fighting any suggestion that you are right.

    I hope they read this because the next one to looks down at me this way is going to get sued.

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Hi, I’m sorry you have experienced the treatment of being marginalised and pushed to the side because the doctors you’ve seen so far have not been able to help you. I’ve read somewhere that it takes between 8 to 14 years and at least 10 visits (my numbers might be wrong, but it’s something like that!) to specialists to get a diagnosis. I wasn’t big on seeing Doctors of Environmental Medicine due to the bad rapport I’ve heard from other specialists and information on the internet; and the remarks given after having visited one in 2008. However, after advocating for another patient– who was then diagnosed with MCS–and, now, me, living 14 of MY years getting worse while going nowhere fast. Luckily, I recently saw Dr Mark Donohoe who said I don’t “present as someone with MCS” or if I do have that, I’m not typical of someone with it (I can wear new clothes over old etc.). Straight of the bat, he said I have CIRS from mould illness. which a subsequent MRI and NoeroQuant reports showed actual evidence of. I’ve been saying mould is the issue since 2012 because in 2009 I recovered fully but once moving into a mouldy house, I became sick again, which made my chemical sensitivities 10 fold. Rain and damp soil make me chronically ill; it hurts to breathe and all odours, natural or chemical inflame my already inflamed airways and sinuses. I now get an awful pain in my head, and headaches that last 6-7 days after exposure to diesel or mould; when I breath these in my head hurts; and now an MRI shows why!

      My point is: don’t give up. Keep seeing different doctors until you get your answer. I do hope that, like me, you don’t have to get worse for a doctor to get that light bulb moment. You can read about my diagnosis and what I had to go through to prove I have CIRS. I may still have MCS but it’s not recognised by the AMA so I guess I don’t have it, LMFOL.

      Another thing, once you find the right specialist who is willing to write letters on your behalf, order tests based on their knowledge and possibly even your own internet research, it could be a great idea to find a new GP who can be informed about your condition and asked not wear fragrances and sprays for your visits; especially to specialists. I need to do an update to this post, a part II if you will. For now you can get a list of doctors from AESSRA for a small membership fee (no affiliation on my part, apart from being a member myself); or visit The Labyrinth’s patient-based and referenced doctor’s who treat people with conditions related to chemical sensitivity with the dignity and respect they deserve. Dr Colin Little is great, albeit hard to get in to see, he was the first doctor who was able to give me a clue as to what was wrong with me, “Inhalant Allergies”, and what to do about it, major changes to my living situation: aka avoidance of chemicals. Testing is great because it can give you a good place to start; and better quality of life because you know how to manage your condition the best you can.

      PS: suing may help if you have the strength for that but I think going in the backdoor via disability rights gets us further. Call the shots on the rules: Human Rights: Access to Goods and Services!? One other tip, and I should post about it: I don’t use the term ‘MCS’ to medical staff ever. I always say Inhalant Allergies as that’s my first diagnosis and people, including doctors, can related to it more. I also have CIRS to say now; so I am like: chemical sensitivities is a symptom. “I think ‘MCS’ is a dirty word.” will be a title of one of the next posts. (Thanks for the Inspiration.) And DDLS (Disability Discrimination Legal Service) in Victoria are an excellent resource for those of us who want to stand up for our rights.

      Good luck

      Thanks for reading, and do let us know how you get on. Cheers Michellina

      There’s also a brilliant and insightful post from Amelia Hill that, in my opinion, says what many of us need to hear. Stay strong, my friend.

  4. Wow! One, you’re are so entertaining, and two, you don’t share the frustration of chronic allergies alone! May I ask your thoughts on Dr Simensa in East Melbourne? I have an appointment in 6 weeks with him for chronic hives. I manage to have 1-3 days a week from if allergy and it’s been this way for the last 8 years. I had it as s teen and it fixed itself somehow. I believe my body is too hot internally. Just a theory. And perhaps caused by intense stress – I’m a worry wart. Did you think he was helpful? I found your blog via googling his name! Tell me, how are you now? Thanks for sharing, Nicky :)

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Oh, thank you, Nicky. If I can achieve anything in the world via my writing it would be to make people laugh, smile and feel better about having such an illness during this time. Thank God we didn’t have to go through this during the 80s or 90s when bloody Barrett was citing his poppycock as science. Now, darling? Where is my time machine so I can blitz us into the future where there is not only a cure for illnesses related to chemical sensitivity but also the recognition, and most, MOST importantly, the public education needed for us to be able to live full, rich lives with the same work/school/family access as everyone else. :) Have a lovely day 😉

  5. sabrina029 says:

    I think the majority of doctors know very little about Firbomylagia, chemical sensitivities, CFS/ME Which is now being changed to SEID, for Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease in case you dont know….I’ve been reading most of your blog since I found it last year and you seem to tick all the boxes for those illness. You know you can’t go to a main stream doctor in Australia and say you have MCS dont you? I see you write about MCS in Australia but we dont have that diagnosis nor do we have a disease code for it. My GP who treats my Fibro didn’t know what I was talking about she just looked at me blankly when I showed her the MCS Hospital Guidelines from this blog. People in my support group say doctors will laugh in your face if I say MCS… In Queensland its really hard to find a doctor to treat symptoms of chemical sensitivity and I am thinking of trying to get an appointment with Dr Colin Little and flying down to see him. Does anyone know how long it will take to get to see him? I just need help with desensitizing to petrochemicals from cars and tractors and also perfume. One of the other comments says how expensive the other doctors are,,, What other doctors? I cant find one to treat me. And if I dont I wont be able to work two days I week that I do cause all the aerosols set my asthma off. Since reading this blog and others, I think it might be the perfume or something in them? (Cigars and Ciggerettes do this too)

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Hi Sabrina, I think there might be a waiting list of between 3 – 4 months I am not sure. I had to wait that long and that was over a decade ago. You could refer to this list here: List of Doctors who Treat Patients with symptoms of Chemical Sensitivity or you could join AESSRA, they have a list of doctors and specialist who have been recommended by their members. This is the link: AESSRA It stands for the Allergy, Environmental Sensitivity and Support Research Association. They also have the latest news on the condition relating to Australia, and have a library where, if the borrower is completely fragrance free, they can borrow from an extensive range of books on the subject. They also sell the type of mask that I use: 3M Carbon mask. There is an organisation in Queensland but I’m not sure if they are still up and running; the pages do appear to have been updated though: ASHEH QLD (Don’t know what acronym stands for). As for the hospital guidelines, you might be better off getting a letter from the doctor who diagnosed you with Fibromyalgia and just asking for Disability Accomodations based on that. If say you have Fibromyalgia and symptoms of chemical sensitivity then you don’t need to use the ‘MCS’ word. Don’t worry, things will change, there are lawyers and solicitors who work in the human rights and disability sector and have made great leeway for us :)

    • Hi sabrina, was taking my daughter to see dr little but he was just so difficult to get into we stopped going. He is really good. The wait time was 4 to 6 months i think. When you ring make sure you tell them you are coming from interstate and want all the testing done at your first consult.he runs a tight ship and when you are there every thing is very organised. It is just getting an appointment that is a problem.

  6. Yup those supposedly competent docs and hospitals are out there and are alive and well.
    That isn’t the case for patients who suffer under their poor medical care.
    But we are the lowest species on the planet as patients when it comes to suing a bad doctor or bad hospital. They are protected by their peers and our government.
    Wonder if they would be able to pull that on the Prez?

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Probably not, but it’s an interesting scenario. If the president or someone in mainstream media or politics did get chronically ill from chemical exposure, that would be too bad for them; ergo, it would be a win for us because there would be some education for the masses in store! I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but you do know it’s bound to happen to someone in the public eye, don’t you?

  7. There is a book “Are you allergic to the 20th Century” by William Vayda.
    I saw him over 30yrs ago and after a combination of restriction diet – allergy shots and major diet and lifestyle changes my life was much improved.
    I now cook almost everything from scratch and use leaf tea (no tea bags), real coffee (no instant) – avoid colourings flavourings and preservatives as much as possible.
    My allergies have changed over the years and I still find that certain clothing will bring me out in a rash but not always. If I do need to be in contact with thing I’m allergic to I apply the rule of no more often than once every 2 weeks – there is a thinking that the body forgets after an absence of the allergen and if reintroduced you can have it once – the body will then remember and the next time you have it you will react.
    I use goats soap and try and avoid scented products (natural or otherwise)
    Definitely time consuming and at times expensive but I can now mostly keep my allergies under control and avoid those things that will set me off

  8. I spent decades wasting my time and money visiting incompetent Doctors in a desperate search for help, they usually pronounced me as “depressed”, wrote out a script for some anti-depressant cocktail of chemicals and pain killers which I have since discovered have added to my chemical load, and am actually allergic to some of them, and sent me home lighter in the pocket and feeling completely lost and even more depressed. As a result I distrust them in general these days (putting it politely) and try to do my best without them.

    Probably the worst one I have seen was the seedy “old guy” who spent most of the time probing me about my sex life, at which point I informed him that I was not comfortable answering these questions, I couldn’t see how it was relevant to my health problems, and that it was none of his business. He then told me to go home and have more sex with my husband, at which point I gave him a filthy look and walked out. I just wanted to scrub myself clean with a wire brush, I felt so disgusted.

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      I’m so sorry you went though that horrid experience(s!). Gives an additional meaning to the word ‘Quack’ :) Thank god for the good doctors in our lives, now! Whew, what a journey past all those cruddy duddies to get to the point where there is access to good medical help, hey? I’m so happy Dr Colin Little is around. I’ve heard there are no decent doctors for MCS in Queensland–not one.

      Years ago, I had a real estate agent ask me if I had been abused as a child. Then, while my mouth was still hanging open in shock, he explained further that he thought *perhaps* my chemical allergies where due to some repressed trauma suffered as a child. Meanwhile I was just about choking on the fumes of some Armani or whatever he still had the residue of cloying to his cheap suit. Lesson: fragrance and ignorance = trauma

      • Just realised that I am talking to you from the past, it’s still 2014 here 😀
        I have found a few “ok” Doctors over the years but none I have actually seen for the MCS. I have also made a few appointments with certain Doctors who are GP’s but “specialise” in mystery Illnesses and do a lot of expensive tests while they charge $190 for a half hour consult. I always cancel due to two things; I don’t work so it’s not really affordable, and I begin to see them as greedy grasping people who don’t actually care about patients they just want to make a heap of money from a niche market.
        The smelly RE agent might have had a point. There was a school of thought about abused children growing up with mystery Illnesses which may have been either caused or acerbated by the trauma they suffered. There does seem to be a link with emotional trauma in some of us, although it’s probably not the actual cause.
        I’m glad you have found someone you trust and who can help you. Next year I am going to get some tests done through a Naturopath who is pretty clued up with things. I feel it is time to do some further exploration.

        • Heather says:

          Just an update on my earlier comments… I have found a pretty good GP with quite extensive knowledge of different health conditions and treating them through diet, supplements etc. I took my health “resume” and a list of what I wanted done and what tests I wanted and questions I wanted answered, he looked at it and was able to converse knowledgeably and with experience. He was terrific actually, and although a little dearer than the general GP I didn’t feel like I was helping him pay for his new Yacht. The tests he ordered were mostly bulk-billed as I had a Health care card and he explained about the tests that would have to be paid for, although this was done directly and not though him. I would recommend him, but the staff and the patients visiting the surgery are not scent free so take a mask just in case. I stood outside and asked the receptionist to gesture to me when I was called. He has special interest in Thyroid Disease, Male & Female Hormonal Health and Nutritional Medicine.

          A Member of the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, and does HAIR ANALYSIS

          Dr Robert Cullingford. Stirling Lakes Medical centre. 1/734 Karrinyup Rd, Balcatta WA 6021

          • Michellina van Loder says:

            Wonderful, thank you from all the people who may receive adequate health care in the future. I will update the list with these details asap. Bless you <3 xx

          • Michellina van Loder says:

            Updating the list now. Sorry for the delay xo

      • You have to be kidding me!!!!! What do you say in reply?

        • Michellina van Loder says:

          I was young, I was distressed, and only 10% sick as what I am now. I didn’t know what to say, however, as one intelligent, highly esteemed Allergist discussed with me recently in regards to the US theory of chemical allergies aka MCS being all in our heads (after I complained about ENT who works in Geelong who made a general sweeping statement of, “People who say they have ‘MCS’ actually have a psychogenic illness,” to my carer and me, while pointing across the room towards a group of, apparently, invisible people!), of to which this sensible, science-based Medicare accredited Immunologist said: “You can say that about 1 person, and it does happen with all diseases–there are a few people who have somatic illnesses that mimic even ones such as Multiple Sclerosis [Which was also called ‘Idiopathic something-or-rather in the 50s’ and also slandered as a collective mental illness that manifested as physical symptoms. Talk about diagnosing peeps with ‘Woo’!] or other medical conditions; but you cannot say that an illness is psychogenic for a collective group of people.” And, if you think about that, it’s true. xo

  9. Harry Clark says:

    Great Site Miche! So many people needing help should know about it!

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Why, thank you, Harry. I need it too! I’ve noticed a few others have popped up while I’ve been away. :)

  10. I also think highly of Dr Little. I was sent on a runaround by GP doctor referrals to so-called allergy specialists before I found him by word of mouth from a chance meeting with a patient of his. The last specialist before him told me he wanted to do dust mite injections to desensitise me and he said, quote, “If we get the dose wrong, it will blow your brains out.” He was in the Toorak – Malvern area. It was a shocking experience, added to being so ill. When I finally encountered Dr Little, great improvements occurred.

    Someone above mentions WorkSafe doctors. We had this at work and the doctors were said to do everything possible to stop sick people getting the medical and other restorative health support they needed and were entitled to after some cursory interview.

    When doctors are not acting in accord with their promise to “first do no harm,” how do they keep their registration?

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      I’m not sure how they keep their registration. What I do know is that doctors who are on the Medicare system carry more influence in the medical field than those who are not. My GP says that it’s because they have to have science backed methods of treatment for the government to be able to give rebates and all.

      He’s a great doctor. I have to do another post for ‘Competent Doctors’ soon. All suggestions welcome :0

  11. Excellent post!!!! Lazy, incompetant doctors is the quality that is coming out of the medical schools today. There are very few diagnosticians and they use lazy terms such as “somatic” and “its all in your head” because they are too lazy to investigate whats wrong with the patients or actually say “its out of my area of expertise.”
    Please do make a list of doctors, so people dont have to suffer from malpractice ever again!

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      I will make that list as I’ve found some great doctors (and dentists) over the years. If they take the time to charge money and try to cure you, then say your mad, it’s obvious they have a hard time saying: “Sorry, I don’t KNOW how to help you.” They should just admit that and send people elsewhere. It’s kind of like the medical equal of Tony Abbott: stuck in the 1950’s

  12. Gretchen B says:

    I’m in the middle of something similar. I have no real history of allergies, at least not enough to make note of, other than pink soap and metal on jewelry — both skin allergies. The I bought an off brand memory foam mattress. I’d spent several years either on air mattresses on the floor, couches, and uncomfortable hand-me-down mattresses so I was elated that I could finally be comfy.

    Fast forward a couple weeks, sore throat followed by persistent cough, followed by waking up in the night with my throat closing up and I can’t breathe from my mouth for a minute or more. When I cough another throat closing episode happens. I threw out the gel cover on my mattress, which was the worst culprit, made with formeldahyde and other nasty chemicals.

    1st doc (actually a NP) that I saw for a routine physical treated me like I was in her way, told me I had post-nasal drip, and said I could take a Claritan if I wanted– this was when I was still in the persistent cough stage. The not breathing eventually sent me to the ER, doc said “allergic cough” gave me an albuterol inhaler and told me to see my regular doc in a week.

    I was still perplexed, neither claritan nor the inhaler have much affect. I googled phrases like “choking on air” and in a forum someone mentioned laryngospasm. I researched further, and sure enough the symptoms fit me to a T. I have my ER follow up in a couple days, and next week I am scheduled to see an allergist. I’m hoping someone will be willing to think outside the box for 5 seconds to actually give me a real diagnosis and suggestions.

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Finding a good doctor is like going through a process of finding a good apple. you will need to touch on a few icky ones, one–hopefully, no more than two– and possibly an arrogant, ignorant one, until you find the right wholesome one. They are out there. I’m creating a list here:

      Usually, a doctor of Immunology who specialises in chemicals, foods and inhalant allergies can be of help. Or a doctor of Environmental Medicine (albeit expensively) may help. A good general practitioner can be great even if they don’t have a good understanding of this type of illness (as it can be many faceted) but if they are able to listen, refer and then learn, then they are doing their job.

      Hang in there. Come back and let me know how you go. You could try a different mattress, perhaps? One made of cotton or wool? It’s hard to say what you would be okay with without getting tested (or trying/avoiding many different things). Once I found out that polyurethane was a problem, my life became easier. Getting a good nights sleep is paramount when ill. (I too, had just bought a brand new foam mattress.)

      I can start another list for doctors globally. That way people can add their doctors to it. Cheers, I hope you find a good apple soon :)

  13. My boyfriend went to a doctor today complaining of a seizure, blackouts, dizziness, headaches, ear pain and bleeding from the ear. The doc looked at him for three minutes and declared it a psychological problem. “Advanced ENT Care Newtown rd, Danbury CT” Buyer beware!!

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      I’d keep going to different doctors until the right one is found. Even though we may be ill, finding the right doctor is kind of like attending an interview. And the question to be asked: does this doctor meet the requirements needed to treat me? Good luck, and I’m sorry your boyfriend is suffering. (Physical symptoms diagnosed as psychological usually mean that the doctor is not brave enough to say: I don’t know. Go see a specialist. Hopefully, they are a dying breed.)

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Finding a new doctor is like going to an interview. We ask them questions to see if they are good enough to treat us!

  14. Miche

    Those kind of comments and actions came from the worker’s compensation doctors for the defense in my action. Once when I mentioned that I had lost 25 pounds in a matter of months the doctor looked at me and said I didn’t look too thin. Another one talked in his report about a somataform disorder, another suggested a psychiatrist. On the positive, all my treating doctors have been very understanding and willing to look outside the box.

    I am so sorry for what you went through and am extremely happy that you now have someone who will listen and try to understand.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:


      You are an amazingly strong woman. That was my only bad experience; albeit it was the first doctor I ever saw about my condition, probably the reason it shocked me so much. But for you to have gone through that many times, is just horrid. We know we are on the road to recovery when we have doctors willing to look outside the box, and as well, show us science based research for our ills.

      Thank you, I’m glad we both have decent doctors now also. :)

  15. Excellent post! Thank God for anger… it can be such a motivation! When I went to my local clinic to see about getting an official diagnosis the N.P. asked me if I had been seeking psychiatric help for this, and then later on she asked me if I even had any real symptoms, but refused to look at my symptom log I brought in with me. Another doctor, my daughter’s, diagnosed me as having a somatic illness without even ever meeting me in person and only talking to me on the phone for less than an hour. Gotta love know it all doctors that have tunnel vision.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      *Giggle* I never thought of anger being something to be thankful for… but yes, you are right. Someone should start a list of doctors who are positive and who are negative. We could ‘out’ them all. I hope you have found a better lot of doctors now! It makes all the difference; after all, they are there to help us. (They sure get paid enough, with out getting all ‘egotistic’ about it!)

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      I hope you’ve found better treatment since, please let us know if you have know of an excellent doctor in your area that I can add to our list of Doctors Who Treat Patients with Chemical Sensitivity. <3


  1. Dry Eyes says:

    […] the lack of an explanation for my symptoms just made the whole experience worse: I blogged about the doctor who, unkindly and unethically, made the psychological aspect of this medical condition worse. […]

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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