Daily GASP 03.01.13

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Demarle Silpat® silcone/fiberglass non-stick cooking sheet

Empirical evidence is what is needed to ‘prove’ the danger of anything. Empirical data is hard to come by when huge amounts of money are involved. It seems to clog up the common and good sense orifices of society.

I am writing this while setting in our dining area, just off the kitchen, typing this with a splitting headache, beginnings of fibromyalgia, congestion, growing nervousness and topical itching spreading across my upper torso and stomach.

I am MCS (mutliple chemical sensitive). I have been for nearly 12 years. Though I am nowhere as troubled by incursions as I once was, mainly due to NAET treatments and franky, isolating myself from exposures to chemicals.

My body has begun to stabilize; again able to buffer against chemical incursions so that, as long as my exposure is kept to within tolerable limits, I avoid serious setback. But my sensitivity is as intense as ever.

My wife recently purchased a Demarle cooking sheet, at an ‘At Home’ party sponsored by a friend. I had no idea what the party was about – other than a ‘cooking party’.  I was not attending the party, mostly because, due to the MCS, I must severely curtain my contact with groups and unknown environments.

As we pulled away, after picking my wife up from the ‘cooking-party’, my wife began telling me about the ‘wonderful’ product she had been introduced to and how ‘amazing’ it was for baking. I asked what it was made from: she said, spun fiberglass, coated with cooking-grade silicone. She then told me she had ordered a cooking sheet and a cake pan.

It was probably a good thing it was dark in the car. She couldn’t see the grimmace on my face.

I asked one question and did not ask another. Those who know any MCS family/relationship/person, understand the ‘tension’ that can rise when, ‘once again’ — the questions begin.

My question I asked,” Did you smell anything ‘non-food’; chemical; acrid?” She said no. My wife does not have near the sensitivity I do in sensing odors, but she is alert. So, I felt, ‘OK, this might not be a problem.’

The question I did NOT ask, “Did the host mention anything about ‘burn in’? I wish I had.

Had I asked that I would not be setting here with a growing sense of malaise washing over my growing headache and body pains.

She mentioned the ‘host’ said there were no VOC‘s. I am not a practicing scientiest, but have worked in several accompanying positions with many scientists, in a number of fields:chemistry and physics; engineering; applied sciences; natural sciences. I’ve also been long involved in the industrial and commercial end of business. One of the reasons why I eventually went MCS.

So I know a good deal about VOC’s, volatile organic compounds. These are what ‘off-gas‘ when a material is heated. This is a grave concern to the MCS person. And the first thing I thought of when this product came to my attention.  As I found out later, the only thing the company says about ‘VOCs’, is that they clain there are no VOC’s given off in the manufacturing of their products. Nothing is said about any ‘VOC off-gassing’ in the USE of their products.

I should have said, ‘No thank you. I don’t think this will work. It’s not worth the risk’. But I have to say this so often. This is a serous personal and social problem MCS people face.

We are to leave early in the morning for a weekend with friends and our son and his family: our only grandchildren. IF this is a ‘fragg’ – then I will be sick for the next 48 hours, at least. IF not, no worry; just a temporary ill-feeling; bummer of an evening, but juice for this article. But, I seriously doubt this is a mere ‘ill-feeling’. The pattern fits an all too familiar scenario.  IF it’s a really bad ‘fragg’, we won’t be going anywhere.

I began a search on the product Demarle shortly after the conditions began manifesting this evening. Yes, this is something I should have done the very moment I heard what my wife had ordered; but I did not. I get so sick and tired of being on ‘constant vigilance as a chemical-detective.  Again, a real problem for the fraternity of MCS sufferes. That won’t happen again.

I find the Demarle is a French company, started back in 1965, by A. Guy Demarle.  The product that he invented, has revolutionized the baking industry. No doubt it has been greatly responsible for our access to so many types of well-baked breads.  But of course, we really don’t need to eat as much ‘grain-product’ as we do .. but that is a whole other can-o-worms.

Suffice it to say, a company that has made such advancements in the cooking and baking industry; being quite responsible for many profit margins and incomes – is NOT going to just role over and cease – because they produce a product that is harmful to a few: though a growing few: people.  This is the nature of business.

In my research this evening I came across a blog post, on a blog called, GREEN YOUR WAY, with an artical titled, Is Silicone Bakeware Really Safe?. The article written by Katie, was posted November 7, 2011.

It was a resonably well written article and it tried to address the issue of the title.  But, the author eventually admitted she, in-the-end, wrote another x-number word article that didn’t say anything new on the topic: Is Silicone Bakeware Safe. There are a number of Internet links on this subject. Some are interesting. A few are worthy of reading. Most are rants and raves with nothing more than vitriol and not worth clicking on.  Still I found the article a useful piece.  For no other reason than to highlite the real problem.

Empirical data. 

If one cannot produce deep, repeated, authoritative empirical data that – in the minds of Government, Law, Commerce and the Boardroom – that the product in question is a proven problem, then ‘forgetaboutit’. Move on. Drop it. There is no problem. Case closed.

Empirical data is treated with the class of a diety.  Nothing can be valid unless there is acceptable – to the ‘knowing class’ – empirical, scientifically derived data. Nothing else is valid.  It may be of interest to discussion, but not in decision making.

That really does not sit well on my already very discombobulated nervous system.

Empirical evidence? No, I can’t say I have that. Not in any form an official science-official would accept.

But … A very bad – and growing, worsening headache; aching muscles and joints; burning/itching sensation and overall nervous condition that makes it really hard to concentrate and not make typing mistakes? Yes. I have a lot of that.

My wife began baking her ‘granola’ on that Silpat sheet at 8:15PM EST GMT -5. At 8:14PM EST GMT -5, I felt just fine. At 8:16PM EST, GMT -5, from inside the downstairs bathroom, with a strong exhaust fan running, I got a whiff of what I can best describe as a ‘thin line of an acrid hot-chemical smell’. I know the time, as I was looking at my phone at the moment. Before 8:20PM EST GMT -5, my headache began. Early signs of a fibro-attack began under a minute later. Then roughly 3 minutes later the itching and burning, wrapped in the nervousness, began.

At 8:27PM EST GMT -5, I walked into kitchen saying, ‘Turn on the fan!’ NO, I was not calm or nice. I was in pain. My wife had not even noticed the ‘thin line of an acrid hot-chemical smell’. I am not surprised. It was masked for her by the cooking granola smells. By the time she cleared the food off the sheet and took it out to the garage, 10 more minutes had passed. The entire house -for me- was inundated.

It’s 31F outside. I opened an upstairs window and turned a large fan to blow OUT. It ran for over 30 minutes. The house cooled down. But the smell? It persists. If I go outside, I will NOT be able to return.

It is now, 12:35PM EST GMT -5 and the physiological conditions persist and are elevating. This is not a good sign. Ten plus years of experiene tells me I am in the early stages of a ‘major Fragg’. The next 48-72 hours will be very painful.

Empirical data? Maybe not.

But I’d sure love to have a collection of those scientists who say this product is safe and free from any environmental dangers, stand in front of me right now. As I could provide them with a descent replication of Michael J. Fox, during the mid-years of his ‘Spin City’ TV show. Nervously moving about, near-uncontrollable… and have them tell me that it’s purely subjective and merely anectdotal.

Maybe if I puked on their shoes, they’d feel a bit less egotistical and truly ‘see’ that clinical evidence of my suffering, is actually quantifiable empirical data.

Then again, data is always subject to analysis.  But at least they’d have the stench of that puke to forget … wouldn’t they..?

YOSAKIME

Daily Gasp: 05.01.12

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Lend your VOICE to getting the word out about harmful chemical products. If you don’t – it may not get out.
photo courtesy EcoWatch/EPA

EcoWatch posted an artilce today on an EPA announcement that they have ordered a SSURO on ZEP Formula 165 dissinfectant.  The report from EPA stated,

“… EPA issued a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order (SSURO) on April 16 to Zep, Inc. for its product “ZEP Formula 165.”

In addition to this announcement, the article reveals the laxity of EPA’s ability to keep up with the load of testing and reporting the products that need verification of their efficacy and product advertising claims, within the ATP parameters.

This article only covers Insecticides. What of the many other chemicals that are NOT insecticides? Are we to assume they are held any different?  Up to PAR?  Very doubtful.

The article goes on to state,

“…according to the OIG report, “EPA does not have a strategy for informing hospitals and other likely end-users of failed test results or when enforcement actions are taken.” It simply relies on posting a notice to the ATP website. This means that ineffective products that can potentially be of risk to public health often remain in use by hospitals and health professionals.”

Thus, the REPORTING that is essential for industry and populace alike, is reliant upon:

  • Entities that could be fined to check out their own culpability
  • Entities that could be fined for selling and shipping to check their own culpability
  • Entities that could be harmed or even killed – by exposure – to check out their own safety

This is a lot of assumption that the entities would act with PAR:  Personal Action Responsibility  (PAR). Which is NOT PAR-for-the-course of most people and definitely NOT PAR for entities who are responsible for the violations.

Therefore, reporting of the vital-to-public-safety findings is left to those who are willing to dig, post, cry-aloud and report to the public.  And where it can do the most good – in the forum of public opinion!  – let the corporations hear – publicly-  of their own culpability by letting them know …WE KNOW.

For those are able and willing to be the VOICE the EPA lacks, here is the URL to the EPA’s  Antimicrobial Testing Program (ATP) .

Check on it regularly and post in your blogs, Pinterests, Facebook, Twitter, or other social medai and online outlets.  As well, put the information in front of organizations, groups and news outlets as you have opportunity.

Never assume the news agencies are looking at this material, let alone regularly reporting it.

This is a PAR moment.  If we don’t take on some of the responsibility  – as we are able – then if and when we are hit with the results of our own laxity, we have only ourselves to blame.

Keep on PAR.

YOSAKIME

REFERENCE

Article Title: EPA Orders Hospital Disinfectant Removed from Market

Article URL: http://ecowatch.org/2012/epa-orders-hospital-disinfectant-removed-from-market/

The EPA, Antimicrobial Testing Program (ATP) URL: http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/antimicrobial-testing-program.html#results

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.

YOSAKIME !!!!

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Daily Gasp 12.27.10

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I was just reminded to write about a situation that ‘FRAGGED’ me the other day.

First what reminded me: the EHP Online Journal (Twitter: @EHPonline) Research Triangle Park, NC USA, posted, this morning, a warning, on their Twitter account, that retailer Sears Canada, Inc., just announced a major recall of reusable shopping bags due to high levels of lead. “???”

OK. I’m going to assume this contamination has something to with the printing ‘on’ the bag. For putting lead ‘in’ the bag – though such an action may be an interesting way to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ people buy – would be at best idiotic, at worst criminal!

What I’m going to write about, does not lead to or deal with LEAD, but it does concern shopping bags.

Last week my wife and I engaged in one of our regular shopping routines. I drive her to the store – providing a driving service and watchful guardian-eye as she steps from car to front door and back again. While she is inside shopping, I remain in the car – out of the chemical soup that so many stores have become. It’s the only way we have been able to retain some relationship to our outings ‘to the store’ of yesteryear, these days. To the choir I speak, I am sure. But it is none-the-less irritating and aggravating.

My wife, Deb, is careful to wear clothing that is not – or at least minimal – absorbent of fragrances. She doesn’t wear wool into a store or FRAG ZONE. Instead she will opt for hard cotton in warmer weather. In cooler-to-cold weather, for a top coat, she wears a pile coat – made from synthetic materials. Synthetics are less effective in absorbing the chemical odors; though they do ‘catch them’.  These ‘remora fragrances’ are relatively easy to dislodge by

  • walking into a wind or
  • by waving the clothing around to create a ‘breeze atmosphere’.

She does this to avoid bringing the odors back into my ‘auto-environment’.

The store she went to was J.C. Penny. For those unfamiliar with this company – specifically those overseas – J.C. Penny began quite humbly in 1902, in a small town in Wyoming. It soon grew though, into becoming one of the most prominent catalog based stores in the USA. Though not as big as SEARS, they have outlasted many others, and they carry a very influential position in the retail world. This was her first time shopping at J.C. Penny for several months.

Lesson #1: Expect ALL Stores To Toss You the UNEXPECTED!

When Deb came out of the store – as we’ve adapted to for several months now – I drive up closer than where I’d been setting-and-watching, from the parking lot area – but far enough that she is able to ‘air out’ a bit before getting into the car. This protocol has worked well for the past several months. Thus we continue it.

Lesson #2: Be Prepared To CHANGE!

This night was -partially- different. Different store. Different incident. FRAG was still distasteful.

The fresh and falling snow, and the winter night’s darkness in a not-too-well-lit area, sped up Deb’s normal entrance into the car. She tossed the ‘bags’ into the back seat, closed the door and entered the passenger door. I drove off. OK. All as normal.

YOW! Not so fast. Within 20 feet I expressed an all too typical… and for Deb, annoying, “OOOOO! You stink!” comment when she gets swathed in chemical soup and brings it unknowingly into the car.

Her reaction was one of, “What are you talking about? I don’t smell a thing.” I did remember seeing her doing her bird-flapping-it’s-wings routine as she came out of the store .. to do what she could to air out in the short time she went from door to door. But still, she seemed to wreak with the ‘sickening sweet odor of some perfumminess’ that just seemed to languish in the car!

Disgruntled and miffed (both of us!)… I drove on.

Lesson #3: Don’t Take It Out On Friends!

By the time we got to the Post Office (last stop before heading home) – maybe 15 minutes of driving – I was feeling the effects of a ‘mild FRAG’. Shortness of breath, sniffle, headache, upset stomach and itchy eyes.

She got out to pick up the mail. While she was gone, I still smelled the ‘odor’ (aka, fragrance!). It wasn’t a lingering odor, either. It was really quite strong. So, it quickly became obvious that Deb was NOT the source of the odor. Immediately suspect #1 became – the ‘bags’.

I reached for one and was slammed back the moment I moved it. “Wheeewwwweeee! That thing stinks!”, was my immediate outburst! I may have profaned the ‘thing’ a bit, too. Don’t remember. But it ‘could have happened’!

Immediately, I tossed them both outside the car and slammed to door. Backed up, rolling the windows down and pulled OVER 3 spaces. Yes, that was new ‘stuff’ my wife just purchased in those bags. But I didn’t care! Much faster than anything of value, they had become pain-causing-items-to-avoid. And I did!

It’s called, survival reaction.

Fortunately, my wife came out quickly .. before someone drove up and ‘over’ the bags and goods inside. She was not too happy to see the bags on the ground. She was less happy about not being allowed to put the bags back into the car.

I wasn’t exactly sure how to deal with this situation. I knew what I wanted to do – but that wasn’t going to happen. Plan B?

I did have choices, but they weren’t all that clear-cut.

  • pull the goods from the bags and toss the bags; seems obvious right? Well, yes and no. The ‘stuff’ inside was likely wreaking as well. So what do we do with that ‘stuff’?
  • leave the ‘stuff’ in the bag and tie the bag to the roof rack or back wiper. We didn’t have too far to go, but it was snowing pretty good and we couldn’t (she couldn’t!) tie the bag up tight enough to keep the snow out.

Solution was good.

I retrieved a length of cord from the tool bag, wrapped it around the bags tops, closing them, and tied them to the rear wiper. We got home with them all just fine.

Lesson #4: Best Solution is NOT Your First Reaction!

Now, wouldn’t it seem sensible to think that driving a mile on a cold (12° F) night, with heavy snow, would ‘wash’ the bag free of smell.

Not a chance.

I was walking out of the garage when my wife came by with the ‘offender’ and it nearly knocked me off my feet!

WHEW! that was strong.

Donning rubber gloves, my wife pulled out the goods – hung the clothing in the garage and left the paper containers setting on the floor. She put the ‘offending bag’ into another plastic bag and tied it up tight, putting it into the garbage can.

The next day I left the garage door open for a while to air it out. Then when I drove to pick up my wife at work, I took the offending bag – tied to the roof rack – to a nearby dumpster and got rid of it.

Man! How much more of a PiTA (no that’s not a misspelled word – just think of ‘new’ translation for this acronym!) can a plastic bag become. Just one more reason for NOT using plastic bags.

Lesson #5: Plastic Bags Do Not Offer Solutions Worth Their Costs.

But a bigger question: How can a company consider themselves ‘socially conscious’ at all, when they intentionally put your products inside of a time bomb for anyone with MCS? !!! Oh, I forgot. That implies they would even care. Right?

There are more and more such incidences. I’ll write more about another such incident that ‘hit’ me again: using fragrance in marketing. Really! No, really! You’ll see what I’m talking about when you read my commentary.

I’d love to hear your stories of unexpected FRAG incidents. The stories need to get out and be told. So, please, help me tell the whole story. Send me your comments!

Until next time, take care and be aware.

YOSAKIME

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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Daily Gasp 11.30.09

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At the first flutter – as I opened my eyes – I knew getting out of bed was not going to either fun or easy. Just how difficult I didn’t fully realize, until I found myself on the floor.

That was a first.

Not even after waking up from too much ‘liquid party’ the night before had I so quickly become one with the floor. To say I was surprised is to be an understatement.

Finding I was OK – nothing broken – bruised maybe – but not broken, I thought, “What a way to start a week!” The rest of the week went a bit more stable and I entered December.  But it was not without it’s ups and downs.

The pain in my joints, muscles and ligaments has been relentless – if not punctual.

It seems that I can set my watch by the onset of a series of muscle aches and pains that arrive, on schedule at 2PM EST.  Whether I’ve been dealing with the pain through the morning or not, the 2PM Pain Express rolls into the assigned sections, right on time.  Oh, were it only a bit more like the U.S.railroad system!!

There was a bit of relief available, found in alternation of ibuprofen [1] and acetaminophen [2] in far too much and too large doses.  In an effort to avoid their special brand of problem, I refuse to use them until I just simply cannot function without. The occassional 3-fingers of ‘briarhopper elixer’ [3] brings a bit of relief in the light wave of euphoria that follows.  But not to worry that this will become a habit.  That stuff is on the circuit as my beloved Highlands uisge beatha (water of life) [4]… UP!  I simply cannot afford it.  A situation of which I’m aware to all aspects of ‘cannot afford’.  I just don’t need another albatross[5].

A ‘new twist’ has begun to form in the last couple of days.  A question was posed to me by a collegue, friend and client.  In a conversation with Dan Small [6], I mentioned the recent bout of aches, pains and increased fatigue.  Dan asked if I had considered the possibility that I had Lyme Disease [7].

Actually, yes I had.

On Sunday 19 OCT 2008, my wife and I were in Wisconsin Dells, WI. [8]  We were entertaining our grandchildren for the afternoon. Having fun rolling in the yet green grass, feeding the overly tame ducks bits of bread and giggling with delight, I had a conscious awareness of the ‘deer tick’ potential in an area crawling with deer.  Wisconsin also has a substantial number of Lyme disease cases each year; 8th in the nation. The Wisconsin Dells area is among the highest.

After playing, my wife and I went over the kids with a fine-toothed-comb search to be sure they were ‘tick free’.  They were.  While playing, my grandson, Wyatt, a most addictive little character, who has enough energy – that if only we could store it, humanity would never have an energy problem again! – can be quite rambunctious in play.  When we were going through the ‘tick search’, I noticed that I had an odd scratch on my right calf. I just brushed it off as a ‘scratch from Wyatt’s wrestling’.

The next day the ‘scratch’ now had more the look of a ‘bite’. A small red dot with a faint outer halo look. Yes, I immediately recognized the similarity to signs of Lyme. But, I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. Then life took a sudden and abrupt 90 degree change for us.  On Tuesday 21 OCT, my wife took a phone call from her mother informing us that her father, a 15 year stroke victim, had fallen on Sunday and had broken his hip.  Dad was 84.  Immediately he fell into the stats column of less than 10% chance for survival; regardless of the success of any repair of the hip.

Though we chose to not head to my wife’s home town of Lexington, KY, to be with mom and dad, to help – all of our attention quickly became focused on dad.  The ‘bite’ was just lost in the shuffle.

Mom was worn out. Her weakened condition, being the sole caregiver for Dad, precluded her from being able to be his interpreter and to stay with him while he recuperated in the hospital. My wife couldn’t do it. She could not do the ‘late nights’ and she wasn’t all that good at ‘stroke-charades’ .  So, it was let up to me. I was well trained and adapted to do both the ‘night line’ and dad and were a first-rate team at ‘stroke-charades’. It was up to me to fill that gap.

I did. That tour-of-duty lasted  for 20 days; with only one night’s return to the house to sleep in a regular bed.  It took its toll.  I broke out in a nasty red rash, not all that unfamiliar to me.  I was constantly tired. And I hurt in every possible place.  Hospital seats will kill you!  Finally, I had to raise the flag of surrender.

We went home on Saturday, 08 OCT.  I was going to ‘rest up’ and be back, ‘on duty’ again Tuesday.  Best laid plans of mice and men .. often just get trashed.  Sunday morning I woke to a condition not unlike those who frequent ‘Night of the Living Dead’ story lines.  Zombie or not I had to get better and get back to helping dad. Monday wasn’t much better, but I was able to function.  Tuesday, I awoke to the total immobility of being … well the same as paralyzed.  I could not walk.  I couldn’t move!

This was not good.

But, despite feeling a bit of paranoia creeping in, I told my wife I’d give it some time – it might just be a momentary condition. I convinced myself it would be gone by afternoon.  Well, it was more like midnight, but it did leave.  Tingling through the night, at least on Wednesday morning I was mobile.

I had a haircut appointment that afternoon.  I had to get my mane whacked off: over 2 months since my last coif left me both overheated (extremely thick hair!) and feeling, well, nasty … I don’t like long hair, on me.

By 2:30PM I was just mobile enough to make it to the shop. When I got back home there was a message on the phone that kicked our ‘whirring blender world’ into puree: Dad had died that afternoon.

We rushed back to Lexington and spent the next 36 days in a house that was always an environmental disaster for me. Consequently, my already ‘bad condition’ took a complete lunge into disaster.  By the time we arrived back into the safe bosom of our condo, I was in a state of near complete shutdown.

The rash that appeared; the fatigue; the headaches; the joint pain .. all of it was written off to the return – again! – of a problem that has plagued me for 10 years. One I have ‘affectionately’ called, “RABS”.  So any other ‘answer’ to the condition were not even considered.  All thought of Lyme was lost.

On the last day of March 2009 we made another mad emergency dash to Lexington: mom was in bad shape. When we got to the house, she was about as near checking out as one can get without having a pre-punched ticket.  Ten day hospital stay, after getting a 6-units-of-blood refill over 2 days, mom came home.  Fourteen days later we leave, with mom, her car and a future of unknown unscripted lines, in tow.  We had just become an elder hostel.

I went though the next 6 months with a wide variety of pain and suffering.  Slowly, and I do mean slowly, I began to recover. The overall skin rash left.  The fatigue left. And the leprotic-like condition [9] that had taken over my right hand and seriously impacted my ability to work: I work with my hands!: it too, slowly left and real, pink healthy skin returned.  By June 2009, I was looking – well – normal!

I had an invitation to go to Michigan to fish the fabled waters around Grayling [10] with my friend and colleague, Dan Small.  I took my best fishing buddy, Ed Hauser with me to make sure I got there.  There actually was a question with all the stuff of the past 6 months.

The cabin we stayed at during our time in Grayling was right next to our guide (Sam Surre) [11]. Ed and I went to Sam’s house to interview him and take photos. As soon as I walked into the house I knew trouble was lurking.  It was during that visit I developed the term – ‘hit’.  A HIT is what I use to describe being overwhelmed with an airborne chemical invasion; my own version of a toxic terrorist attack.

I was told, by another friend -whom, Ed and I were to go spend 5 days with following the fishing trip – had suggested I ask our guide, with a huge blast from the moth balls, [12] a chemical pesticide, [13] used to protect the gentleman’s impressive assortment of natural fly-tying [14] materials.  I knew I should have left within seconds of being there. But, I wanted to see the collection, get photos and do the interview. A very bad move.

Two days later, I had to cut short the 7-day trip to return home.  I was a mess! For the next 6 weeks I once again had to deal with a lot of pain. Though I finally began to improve, I was now finding a new ‘problem’ rising. That PROBLEM: a sudden and painful conflict with being around any type of fragrance and chemical odors. I found myself embroiled in a constant dance to avoid being around such things as fragrance from perfumes, colognes, shampoos, sprays, lotions .. you name it. Everything that fuels the ‘look good and feel god about yourself industry’ in our modern society.  For those who have never experienced this, it’s difficult to understand.  There is a huge barrier to ‘normal living’; being able to be around other people with a no worry about what you would be breathing.  With an onset of MCS, this all stops; immediately.

Since this all started I’ve read and studied everything I could get on the condition called MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) [15]. Everything I have been experiencing over the last 7.5 months points to MCS.  Thus I don’t deny that I am suffering from MCS.  My question NOW is this;  WHY?

Thus I am heading to my GP Doc, Thomas Bridge [16] to get a full physical and to discuss testing for Lyme disease.  That will be the subject of future posts.

So, with that I close out this Daily Gasp.  Also, I’ve noted that the ‘Gasp’ has been less than ‘daily’ in their frequency. Though, in the near future, they will become far more frequent, for now they will be posted on an as needed and as time allows, publication.

Talk soon. Stay clean and FRAG FREE.

Yosakime

REFERENCES
[1] ibuprofen
[2] acetaminophen
[3] ‘briarhopper elixer’
[4] uisge beatha
[5] albatross
[6] Dan Small
[7] Lyme disease
[8] Wisconsin Dells
[9] leprotic-like condition
[10] Grayling, MI
[11] Sam Surre
[12] moth balls
[13] chemical pesticide
[14] fly-tying
[15] MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity)
[16] Dr. Thomas Bridge

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Daily Gasp 11.20.09

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Well, my ‘few days’, since my last post on 14 NOV, has turned into a ‘few more days’ than expected.

Thank you, MCS and other related,  and … unrelated interrptions.

It will be a few days – maybe weeks – before I get to releasing the images I’d mentioned in the last post. I will release them.  They are planned, just not produced … yet.  I’ll  tell you a bit more about them though.

SUPPORT YOSAKIME PRODUCTS
I will release three (3) images on the YOSAKIME blog as FREE downloads.  The downloads will be available as screen-savers ‘n backgrounds (usable on computer and phone screens) and as PDF printable images.

These and other images will be available on Zazzle and other selected outlets.  I will release the images to be available on the ‘standard fair products’ such as:: T-shirts, mouse pads, coffee cups and more.

There will be more, too.  But I’ll let that reveal come a bit later.  I think you’ll find both the images and the formats to be interesting.

Whatever is made off the sale of these items will be used to fund my efforts with YOSAKIME.

NON PROFIT SEARCH
I will be looking for an existing 501 C3 non-profit willing to take YOSAKIME under its wing so we can make application for funding support, too.

NEXT 30 DAYS … COOL PROJECTS,  SO – HELP!!
I have a number of items planned to release over the next 30 days.  I wil produce a podcast – weekly to begin with – if there is enough material and interest I might make it daily.  Podcasts will cover information I find of interest, discussion of scientific, medical and social issues of relativity to MCS and other environmental illnesses.  I will also include interviews of people who are themselves MCS sufferers, medical professionals, scientists, social workers and interesting people from the commercial world.

All in all I will make YOSAKIMEpod (a work in progress name – for sure! .. any ideas? ) an interesting, informative and – hopefully – entertaining 30 minute program.  And yes, I will be seeking sponsorship for the program.  If you are interested in sponsoring – or know of someone who is – please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

I will also be working on a monthly video cast.  At first I’ll be writing script and lining up interviews and shoots.  When I have a year’s supply in what I call the ‘pre-video can’… meaning, the stuff I develop while I come up with video camera.  Hey, anyone want to earn a quick 6 month sponsorship?  Provide me with a video camera and I’ll push your ‘front and center’ on the YOSAKIME network for 6 months.  24/7/365 promotion.  If you’re interested .. contact me.

Until the next Gasp.  Stay clear and FRAG FREE!!

yosakime

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