Hi everyone , today I want to talk to you about one of my wife's health condictions. Multi-chemical Sensitivity is a very real and hard decease to live with. I will be talking about symptoms both physical and how it can cause psychologically problems too. And how it affects our lives and also me as her caregiver.
MCS also known as multiple-chemical sensitivity or environmental illness, is a condition in which individuals experience a variety of symptoms in response to exposure to low levels of chemicals and odors often in the environment.People with MCS may experience a range of symptoms such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, confusion, memory problems, and gastrointestinal symptoms. The exact cause of MCS is not fully understood yet, but it is thought to result from a combination of genetic, environmental, stress and lifestyle factors. It can also vary in symptoms severity, and there is one thing that they don't tell you. They don't tell you about how their reaction triggers that they are exposed to can also change, meaning one day that trigger could effect them in a negative way and then minutes, days or weeks later it might not be a trigger for them at all. My wife struggles with that one, it causes her to have high anxiety because she lives in fear that at any second she could go into a bad reaction do to a snuff of an odor. There is no specific medical test to diagnose MCS, and it is often diagnosed based on a person's symptoms and medical history. The same as you can only hope to manage the symptoms but staying away from anything which has an odor, maybe doing a lifestyle change, and managing symptoms best as possible with medicines. Now lets talk about the psychological part of this decease.
Psychological symptoms can be high anxiety and depression according to doctors. I also say they can get PDSD from this too because any odor that they smell triggers them and that is something that they can not control at all. I see the fear in my wife's eyes everyday like she is just waiting for something to trigger it and send her into the pain. She tells me it is like this. " I get a soar throat, difficultly breathing, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and I feel like my life's energy has been suck out of me leaving me on deaths door". Now this can remain for minutes, hours, days, and weeks. So just put yourself there.Any odor or smell at any second could put you at deaths door, that is hard to even wrap my head around. The constant panic state that she must be in, she is a very strong woman to me for that. And she even gets up everyday excited, and hopeful for a good day. She still takes the time to make me smile, laugh and just have a positive outlook on life. She is my hero. Now I will tell you how it affects our everyday life.
Every time before we leave the house, we consider these things: what time of day it is because we need to go out when they is less people for less chances of odors, which stores we have to go to because of the odors that are in the store, and the season it is because of the smell/pollen of the plants and trees for on the drive to the stores. We have had to change our laundry detergent, underarm deodorants, cleaning supplies, where we buy our clothes because of their odors. We have even had problems buying our food because the odor that they can off gas. I go grocery shopping alone now and I have a lot of extra steps that I have to do because of her MCS. Because of covid I also wear a mask and gloves every time I go. So first before every store I have to mask and glove up, then I get the groceries and put them in the trunk of my car. Then I get into my car take off my mask and gloves and wipe myself with a disinfect-end and any part of the car I touched. I put on fresh mask/gloves for every store I go into and then bag them when I take them off. Then I get home and park in the garage. I glove/mask up again and put the groceries in tots and the fridge in the garage for about 3 days. Once the 3 days are up, I turn our air purifiers up to high ( have 4 portable ones throughout the house )and I bring the food into our house.I take them out of their packaging and put them into baggies that I have off gassed already (I found paper brown bags work best for off gassing something ). I then take the packaging outside to my garage containers. I finish up by putting my clothes into a special tot I bought for my clothes to off gas/ decontaminate, wipe everything I touched with a decontaminate and then I shower. Here is my final thoughts.
This decease will change their lives and everyone who is a part of their lives. It will take a lot of patients and kindness towards them from friends and family. For their caregivers to be very patient, supportive, know that they may look ok but they are still in emotional destress even without the physical symptoms. I can say I feel like I am the luckiest man alive because my wife gets up everyday and just lives life to the fullest with me. She makes my life so much better and filled with so much love. On that note I will say bye for now, may life bring you a smile, laughter and love.