In 1988, a common household cleaning product changed my life forever. Exposure to the product triggered my multiple chemical sensitivities, MCS.
Bedridden for most of the next year with debilitating symptoms, I was unimpressed with traditional medicine’s response to my condition. I was told my condition was “all in my head,” despite very real symptoms. Such as labored breathing, extreme weakness and new onset allergies to many things. Others told me I wouldn’t get better – an attitude acknowledging my condition but offering no practical help.
Finding such explanations unacceptable, I chose to reclaim my health. My Journey Back to Health, Living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities recounts my experiences. Working with a sympathetic doctor and alternative medicine practitioners, I did what many thought impossible: I learned to control my MCS symptoms and reclaim my health. I have removed some of my symptoms entirely.
MCS has both emotional and physical consequences, affecting your interactions with everyone around you. In a special chapter on growing up with a MCS parent, my daughter offers a family member’s perspective on her struggles living in a home that was very different from most of her peers.
I feel that people with MCS are canaries in a chemical-laden coalmine. MCS, also known as Environmental Illness, is an indication of the effects that our reliance on chemicals has on our health. That I was able to overcome this condition offers hope to all that suffer from MCS and their families.
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