Daily Gasp 03.18.13

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Wood Smoke…
beware it can be quite harmful

I sit here on the couch writing this latest Daily Gasp, doing just that, gasping.  I have had light chills and fever, body aches, a nasty headache and a most unusual sore throat, for the past 48 hours.  All due to wood smoke.

But I’m ahead of the story.  Let me take you back to where it started; Why and How I got here and most important, HOW to prevent the same situation for reoccurring.

Over the past couple of months, we have been noticing a disturbing smell in our house.  The smell of hot dust. You know the smell. The one you get when you turn on a lamp – that has set undisturbed for some time  – after the bulb warms, the collected dust heats us creating a distinctive odor without any smoke or flame.  Because the odor diffuses quickly it is very difficult to track down the origin.

Each time I sensed the odor – and I did so quickly – I would rush between outlets, feeling each cover and equally feeling all the areas of wall around each outlet for warmth. Nothing. Grabbing up power strips to smell and touch.  Nothing. Only the pungent smell. The more we sought to find the source, we were able to determine that the source had to be downstairs, but that was as far as our investigation went.

A most annoying and frightening mystery.  The premonition of the condo burning was not pleasant.

We awoke as normal on Friday morning last, to a cooler than normal house. The furnace, we found out, was not working.  I called and was able to get a repairman out that morning.  After a couple of hours of troubleshooting and repair, he announced, ‘it should work’..  And it did all day Friday.  But again we awoke Saturday morning to no heat.

It wouldn’t have been too bad, had the weather report held with what was forecast at midweek. But, alas, it didn’t! The weather and temperature took a very seasonally strange turn toward COLD!  Wind. Temperatures with highs in the low-20’s and windy, made for a rather miserable time.

We were not going to be home, so we just ignored the cooling house and figured we could ‘hold-out’ until Monday; in order to keep from paying for ‘weekend HVAC repairs’.  Besides – we had the little fireplace to ‘knock-the-chill-0ff’.  It wasn’t a problem since we’d it for the last couple of years – off-and-one – with no negative problems.  Cool ..! We’ll just light-up the fireplace and enjoy some romantic, old-time comfort.

Famous last words ….

The Turn of the Tide

I did just that. Prepared the fire, as I had done many dozens of times before.  I grew up on a farm. For years we heated with wood heat, from a stove.  My parents moved from the farm and built a new house with a fireplace and woodstove insert. I knew all about building a fire and what wood to use.  What I was not prepared for was the result of inhaling wood smoke as an MCS sufferer.

The fire started and the heat was rolling out.  Ohhhh! It was nice and welcome.  For roughly 6 hours we enjoyed the familiar and cozy warmth of a wood fire.  Then the wind began to blow.  By 10 PM the wind was blowing about 20 mph with gusts to 40+. That was when I noticed the puffing of smoke out of the fireplace doors.

This wasn’t something of too much concern, since most fireplaces have ‘backdraft’ problems when wind gusts get too strong. Past experience told me it would be ‘smokey smelling’ but that would dissipate rapidly and then we’d be back to normal.

But it didn’t work that way.  Shortly after the smoke began to roll out the doors, I began to become quite congested.  Soon after a headache began. Within an hour I was into full-blown MCS FRAGG!  Fibromyalgia. Chills. Headache. Cough. Rash. Foggy-brain. The whole shebang!

By this time I had managed to extinguish the fire. But the damage was done.  And we had to open the windows and doors in an attempt to air the condo out.  Well after about 2 hours, my wife could no longer stand the cold and we had to shut the windows.  For her the smell of smoke was gone. For me it was imprinted upon my olfactory like an indelible tattoo.  The saga had begun.

Sunday I awoke more in the realm of the dead-walking, than in the living. I could barely move – and chose not to.  Bedridden except for mandatory bathroom trips.  My wife was both angry and perplexed.  We had never encountered this reaction before.  And what were we going to do, if the furnace could not be fixed soon and the temps -constantly falling- were not looking to warm up for several days.

Showering would have been an exercise in masochistic insanity.  But since my wife had to go to work on Monday, we needed heat! But the fireplace was a total ‘NO WAY’.  I was in bed all day; in and out of a state of pain induced confusion.  I was no help and going south fast.

Fortunately the HVAC pros were able to come early on Monday and finally fix the furnace.  As it turned out the cause of the problem was ‘factory-based’ – so the repair was covered under warranty. But that was the only good part of the whole ordeal.

I don’t know how I will react to wood smoke from this point forward, but I can say for sure, I will be avoiding it at all cost.

UPDATE  04.20.13 —-

Over the past month I have encountered wood smoke:  a) outside the condo from others burning wood in their fireplaces;  b) while walking;  c) driving down the road – in each case, the reactions – thought not as severe, have all had the same results: it make me sick.  Just the slightest smell is all it takes to set the MCS FRAGG into motion.  In this case.. it may be a pseudo-MCS; smell induced memory, in which neuroplasticity is at play; that is the true culprit. Regardless, the smell-of-woodsmoke induces an MCS FRAGG reaction.  I have not allowed myself to go far enough into a FRAGG incident to see it the results equal that night with the fireplace. And frankly, I am not that self-experimental and don’t have that much desire to know.  It happened once – and that was enough for me.

More ‘casual-causal’ observations will be needed to draw a full conclusion. In the meantime… I am avoiding ALL wood smoke.

Just one more thing, which I enjoyed before-MCS, I have now lost.   MCS is a tragedy to life.


Daily Gasp: 01.21.2012

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MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity)is a condition I have lived with for now, just over 12 years. And due to the nature of the condition, will live with, for the rest of my life.

Really sad part: It did not have to be this way.

MCS is a very serious health erosion problem for those who suffer daily from the loss of immune stabilization, due to synthetic chemical exposure; as well as myriad of other ‘modern society’ conditions.

What many are totally unaware of is this: MCS is already affecting each and every person: those who are reading this and those who are not. No one is immune from it’s reach.It’s a time bomb. Steadily ticking; with your number rolling up; whether you’re aware or not.

Educate yourself about MCS.

  • Know what it is;
  • How it hits;
  • Why it hits;
  • Whom it hits.
  • But most important – learn how you CAN AVOID getting hit.

I’m reminded to post this because I just read this article: http://www.photozz.com/fizz/24603903.aspx

Very well stated; with stats that will no doubt surprise many. And sadly, those stats aren’t the half of the reality.

Got questions or comments: talk to me at http://YOSAKIME.wordpress.com/. Be proactive – your future will thank you.


Daily Gasp 07.21.11

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I have been under treatment since May 2006 to counter the affects of MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity). The treatment is NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Treatment) .  It is working.

I no longer get violently sick when exposed to most fragrances and cleaning chemicals.  Emphasis on MOST.  Since at any time I can run into a new variety of chemical formulation: either new on the market or ‘new’ to my NAET treatment: and it will toss me back into a very painful period – from 3 days to a couple of weeks – before my system regains control.

Today, I can actually tolerate being in close proximity with a whole array of chemicals without getting violently sick. Exposure to most chemicals is now more a matter of being uncomfortable. Because I have become hyper sensitive to the fragrances, what most people consider a wonderfully fragrant perfume, cologne or other personal care product,  for me is a gag-reflex, congestive, air-way clogging experience. Not something one would choose to be exposed to.  BUT, quite unlike just 6 months ago, since the last four NAET treatments, I have NOT gotten sick due to exposure. This is NEW.

I have had a number of people ask, “Well if it doesn’t make you sick anymore, then why don’t you resume social contact activities?”   My reply is simply this.  For me, reverting back into the constant exposure to the chemical swill, is no different from the person with an addiction who avoids – for the rest of their life – whatever they are have as an addiction.  Just as a person is never cured of an addiction, for the MCS person – whose protective barrier; the bodies immune system; that buffers such toxins, is broken and there is no cure that would allow re-exposure without very costly results.

Just because I don’t currently get sick from exposure to the chemicals does not preclude it won’t happen again.  The NAET treatment eliminates an allergy reaction to whatever the treatment is for. NAET removes the negative-state reactions the body and immune system fall into, thus allowing for a more natural process of healing.

NAET is NOT a cure!   It IS a restorative process; a re-alignment with a state of BALANCE (more on this later);  NAET offers the body’s immune system a path BACK to health.  Change paths; veer off the path toward health and immune system restoration; and you’re right back on the path to illness.

Here’s the real kicker.

Every human alive WILL BREAK and become MCS  *WHEN*  they are exposed to the level of chemical trauma beyond what their body is capable of buffering against.


Incursions are accumulative.  Each chemical-FRAGG-incursion builds upon the previous:  steadily destroying the immune system’s ability to buffer chemical exposures.  Insidious and slow – until, one day, the entire system crashes and the person is no longer capable of tolerating the chemical assault.

Coming back is a long process. It requires avoidance of all the foreign elements that caused the problem in the first place. In today’s society this becomes more difficult with each new fragrance product, cleaning chemical and now – genetically modified products – that come to market.  Avoiding the chemical onslaught becomes more difficult with each passing year.  The number of places, on planet earth, where a person can go for relief, shrinks with each passing year.

So, for now I will continue to be a FRAGG AVOIDER.  Being isolated from the majority of society is NOT my desired path, but it’s the path I am on now.  I can either walk the path or set beside the path.   I can choose to drown in self-pitty and disintegrate into a drain on society.  That’s not my style.  Or, I can take-back control and develop a path that works best for me and my health.

Truly, so much in life should (read: MUST) be lived in the mode: It’s NOT about me, to fully realize the benefits of others and the fullness life can offer.  But in this case – as is the case with a number of personal illnesses – one MUST adopt the MCS 1st Amendment, to this 0therwise priceless wisdom.

The MCS 1st Amendment is this:  “When you are broken, your first priority is repair and to do so, life becomes all about assessing and providing your needs first.”

This in no way means to imply, suggest, promote – or in any way shirk – the responsibility of every MCS person to be a caring, thoughtful, servant to others.  In NO WAY!  One of the best ways to counter the loneliness of isolation  is found by ‘reaching out’  to others. It  is a powerful tool in our mental healing. And that has vast influence on our physical condition as well.  In our efforts in reaching out, don’t overlook (consciously or not!) the benefits in continually forgiving others, who knowingly or not, trespass and do us harm.  Avoid the increased stress brought on by ill-feelings toward others, when their ignorance or callousness causes pain.  One source of pain is enough.  Don’t feed another more damaging source.  LET IT GO.

This is my style. Writing about the problem and the changes needed.  My style is kicking up the dirt until someone is willing to filter the air.

My access to an enjoyable time with other people and with the outdoors is now a compromised condition at best.  In most cases such access is gone. and a thing-of-the-past  So. there’s no chance in HELLO that I’m going to keep quiet about it.

I’ll take my medicine. I share in the blame for my lack of good health principles.  But, everyone who is responsible for the chemical swill we are forced to live in, will hear about it.  WHAT they are doing.  WHY they do it.  HOW it affects and hurts many for the benefits of an economically increased minority. WHEN they do it.  WHO(M) they are hurting.

I forgive each offense and the offender.  But will not forget the greed fed callousness that rains hurt and destruction upon the rest of society: the canaries first, the rest in due time.

So, to those who dare to offend – be forewarned.


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Daily Gasp 08.25.10

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Botanica & Inhalers: Usage, Safety and MCS attention

I am a member of an MCS Online Community called, MCS News Australia #1.  One of our members mentioned a couple of things in a post that I addressed and will repeat here.  These are important issues to anyone, even more important to the MCS sufferer, who has very little leeway when it comes to sensitivity … of any kind.

The comments and questions are related to these two topics:

  • 1) Eating botanica to inoculate against allergic reaction
  • 2) Use of inhalers

About ‘eating botanica‘ to essentially inoculate against reaction.

Well, if you’re not worried about seeing the sunrise the next day .. go for it.  However, if you enjoy living .. it would be ill advised to try it without seeking serious professional counseling.

Here in the States (USA), growing up in the country of what we call “Hoosierland” .. a colloquial and official state nickname for residents of the state of Indiana, we have our fair .. maybe ‘unfair’ .. share of country (aka, ‘home’) remedies; not unlike many rural locations around the globe.  And like those of our global neighbors, some are very good.  One however, which I have very personal experience with is not: eating poison-ivy.

Growing up in the country, as a kid, I lived in the woods, along the streams and in the fields- daily; all day long. My encounters with poison-ivy were hourly.  I never was overly allergic, but I got it; and sometimes pretty bad!  But, hey, it’s only a minute fraction of the human population that do not react to the urushiol oils of Toxicodendron radicans, and it’s worldwide brotherhood of plants that make you itch!

Toxicodendron radicans, is but one of three plants in North America that produce urushiol.  The other two are poison-oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) and poison-sumac (Toxicodendron vernix or Rhus vernix), each type is grades worse than the previous in the order they are named here.  And we have all of them in the Hoosierland.

The ‘home’ remedy was: eat some of the leaves of the plant, when they are blistered, and you will immunize yourself to the ‘itch’.  Well, part of that is 100% true.  You eat those leaves and you will become immune.  Cadavers have never been known to be bothered with itching from urushiol !   Great.  But I really don’t think the desired result is DEATH!  At least that wasn’t my intention.

Obviously because I am writing this .. it didn’t kill me, though I – my parents and the doctors – sure thought, for a time, it might!  I fortunately survived this stupid experiment.

In my case, this ‘experiment’ was conducted without any knowledge of my parents; I knew they’d say ‘NO WAY’.  But the local gent who told me about this ‘remedy’ assured me he’d done it and it worked for him.  I thought he was pretty cool – so why not give it try?  Ah, the logic of a 10 year old… how can you fight it?  Well, you don’t .. you incarcerate it!

When confronted by my dad, the ‘local purveyor of home remedy information’, said, “Hell no I didn’t try it!  That’d be nuts!” And when my dad told him that I DID try it … because of HIS advice, he again parlayed this bit of rich local ‘wisdom’;  “Hell, Jim, I’m really sorry, but I didn’t think your boy was that stupid.”

Two miracles occurred in that moment:  1) Ol’ Jake lived to see the next day and  2) Dad had to agree with the village idiot that he didn’t think I was that ‘stupid’ either.  But he did, however, give ‘Ol Jake a piece of his mind and some choice words about the ‘gullibility of a kid‘ to think on before leaving him.  Guess it took, Ol’ Jake never dispensed any home remedy advice to me – at least – ever again; I didn’t ask either… !

My little experiment turned out to not be a fatal lab failure, but it was not without a real string of ‘side-effects’.  So, let it be known … unless there is any doubt among our audience… side-affects are NOT limited to drug company pharmaceuticals. Any ingestion of a compound used to ‘treat’ …whatever! … has side-effects.  Some are just far more noticeable than others.  “. o

The main ‘side-affect’ was the event actually increased my sensitivity to urushiol – fortunately not permanent – but for the next 5-7 years, my outdoors time was a very nervous experience. One could say I had a ‘decreased level in ‘quality of life’; at my own hands.  Secondarily I had some really nasty scaring on my face – from the blistering. Time and a beard have concealed most of this evidenturium stupidae (to coin a wee bit o’ Latinesque lingo).  And as well, inside my throat – though I’ve not endoscoped that area – and have not had such a procedure (on that end!) yet – I have little doubt there would be, at least trace of, scar tissue in my throat as well, because there were blisters all the way into my lungs!   That is the real danger; pneumonia and anaphylaxis.

So, I would strongly advise you get serious professional assistance before trying any ‘botanica inoculation’ efforts.


I agree with the comments previously made:  1) be cautious  2) make sure the the inhaler is CFC and petro-chem free  and  3) use sparingly.  I will – however – add two more cautions: CONTAINER and ENVIRONMENT.


  • a) Plastic? Be sure the plastic is medical / pharmaceutical grade and NOT a petro-chem derivative; and if so, free of PVC and other toxic petroleum-based plastics; this includes the point-of-contact; where you put your mouth or stick up your nose!
  • NOTE: In the States our FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has just introduced some very tight regs on the use of plastics in medical supplies.  Other countries are not so careful.  In reality, even in the States, WE have worry. Business is business and if the company can cut costs they will do so. For the average human consumer that may not be a problem.  However the…

    MCS sufferer is NOT AVERAGE !!!

    Even WE sometimes forget this.
  • b) Metal? Aluminum is the most common form of metal used in inhalers.  Again, for most people, this is not an immediate problem (no one should use bare aluminum to eat from, drink from or take medication from over long periods) .. but MCS sufferers are far more likely to react negatively to the effects of aluminum.
  • NOTE: The most reaction free materials that could be used would be glass or ceramic.  Both are 100% inert and do not pass on negative materials to the MCS user.  It would be nice if such materials were made in refillable containers for those of us who are sensitive to the more ‘commonly used’ materials.  Hard to get this kind of attention in a mass-production society.


I list this last, but it should be the #1 thing we think of when using ANY INGESTED MEDICATION.
Ingestion occurs in 4 ways:

  • Skin (cutaneous)
  • Mouth (oral)
  • Eyes (ocular)
  • Nose (nasal)

Ingestion is NOT ONLY about eating.. it’s a manner of ‘taking in’.

So, when you use that INHALER or NASAL SPRAY … think of this … and be cautious:

As you INGEST in ONE of the 4 methods – the other three are also ingesting whatever is in the local environment. Thus making your body and ‘mixing-bowl’ of chemicals.

To avoid potential the potential contamination of your medication moment:

Medicate -when possible- in a controlled environment

  • no wind
  • no fragrances
  • no pollution
  • no chemicals
  • no sun

If such an environment is not available …

  • close eyes while ingesting
  • hold nose if doing an inhaler
  • close mouth if using a nasal shot
  • cover as much exposed skin as possible
  • limit sun exposure; ingest in shaded area
  • if you use a ‘mask’ – reposition IMMEDIATELY following an ingestion dose

Basically, what you are doing in these steps is attempting to eliminate ambient contaminants from being ‘mixed’ with the ingested medication for at least the first 30 seconds to a minute following ingestion.  If you can do so, you will allow your body to integrate with the medication on a more ‘level playing field’ than if you just ‘took your dose’ – without any concern for ambient environmental contaminants.

Now .. how many of you actually thought of this?  Seriously!  I would like to know.  Please comment here.  Your response will help me guide the level and depth of my comments.  Thank you.

Again, all people are affected in this manner. But the MCSer will suffer the slightest level of sensitivity infraction.

I hope this has been helpful.

Continue to read the YOSAKIME blog and follow me on Twitter for regular commentary, updates and … well, stuff like this.  “. )

Here’s the URL to the commentary on MCS News Australia #1 for which this piece was written.  Be advised you will need to be a member to read it.  The group is an open group and we invite all who either have MCS, are family, friends, employers, co-workers of MCS suffers to join the group to learn of the needs of the MCS community and how you can help.


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Marketplace Produce Placement: It’s WRONG, help Fix It .. NOW!

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One of the members on the Australian Forum, MCS News Australia #1, Katarina Holgersson, has begun writing a proposal for grocery stores in Australia to separate the scented/fragrance products from the foods, unscented and hypo-allergenic products.  Katarina’s article will come out soon, it is currently being edit and review stage.  I will point to it as soon as it is released.

Meanwhile Katarina, at the suggestion of another member of MCS Australia (Judith Hombravella) has started a Petition to gain signatures, worldwide, to get changes in the product placement of fragrance/scented products away from food, unscented and hypoallergenic products, established in groceries around the world.

To sign the Petition go here: GoPetition: Supermarket Food Contamination MUST Cease!

Even if you’re not a sufferer of MCS you should sign this Petition for three (3) reasons:

  • 1. Chances are you know someone – whether you know it or not – that is an MCS sufferer and you will be doing them a great service in supporting this change in marketing and point-of-purchase operations.
  • 2. No one knows when or if they will become a member of the MCS community.  MCS is not genetic or communicative. MCS is not a disease or sickness. MCS is a condition and it CAN happen to anyone… even YOU.
  • 3. Supporting the health and safety of your fellow human is of the First Order of the Social Responsibility Imperative: “Do unto others as YOU would have THEM do unto YOU.”  It is the right thing to do.  You would appreciate it IF it were you in the sufferers position.

So, please support the MCS movement for products safety in the grocery and supermarket environment TODAY!

Again, the Petition is found and signable HERE >  GoPetition: Supermarket Food Contamination MUST Cease!

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