You might ask yourself what is MCS?
MCS stands for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and is a condition where everyday chemicals make you sick, and can be quite debilitating…
While each person with MCS is unique and will often have their own set of symptoms, there are a few that we share… One of the most common symptoms with most if not all of us, is being super sensitive to fragrance chemicals.
What Causes MCS?
There are many theories about MCS, and despite the fact that there has not been a lot of research done for MCS, our knowledge, and understanding of what it is and how to treat it continues to grow.
One widely held belief is that that the person with MCS may have problems detoxing common chemicals from their bodies causing them to build up in their systems, making them toxic and sick.
Can Detect The Smallest Trace Of Fragrance Chemicals
The person with MCS will often be able to detect the smallest traces of fragrance chemicals in their environment. They will smell fragrances on things and in places the average person would never notice.
It All Started When I Learned To Make Soap
In 1999 I learned to make soap from scratch, When I started I did not know that I would have access to commercial grade fragrance chemicals,,, in a very short time I found myself a member of several, soap making lists, where other members sold manufacture grade fragrances… It was a very exciting time learning to make soap with so many lovely fragrances, Milk & Honey, Plumeria, Dragons Blood & Green Tea are some I remember and still think I smell from time to time.
My joy and excitement didn’t last long almost a year,,, making soaps, buying and selling soap making supplies online, Taking my soaps to Craft Fairs. Everything was good until I got treated for a stomach pain, I was given several drugs, all with very serious side effects. On top of the medications that I was already taking, along with manufacture grade fragrance chemicals that I was inhaling and absorbing through skin contact, I think it was the “perfect storm” so to speak, for bringing on a condition that I would not wish on my worst enemy.
My Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
In 2000, I came down with a rare condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. I was so very sick that I didn’t believe that I was going to survive. I was in pain from head to toe and had vertigo so bad that when I looked at myself in the mirror I barely recognized myself. I also found that perfumes had become a worse problem. I say worse because I have always been sensitive to perfumes, they gave me cold/allergy symptoms when I was exposed, but this was different I not only had the original problem but now I could not even be in an area where someone is wearing something perfumed. Car exhaust and bug sprays were also a problem.
I was so very miserable, with pain, anxiety, panic attacks, and fragrance sensitivities; of it all the pain was the hardest to deal with (at least that is what I thought at the time, now I would say it is the isolation.) besides hurting all the time, constant pain is exhausting. I went to countless doctor visits, but none of them could help me, they did not think I had a problem, but if you have ever been sick and not been able to get help, you might understand.
Eventually, quite by accident I read a post of a woman who I met online in a soap making forum describe a medical condition that she had, it was the first time I had heard of MCS, and to my surprise, her symptoms were very similar to mine, with fragrance sensitivities being the main problem. I eventually found a doctor who felt that my symptoms were consistent with MCS.
In addition to the MCS I also have had depression since the age of 13, which I was dealing with, but having the MCS now not only was I depressed I no longer could enjoy the company of people who do not have the condition because everyone is scented even if they do not use perfume, that is because almost every product on the market is scented, including garbage bags, and many things that you would not expect to be.
Unscented Can Mean It Still Has A Masking Fragrance
Even products that are labeled “Unscented” most always have a masking fragrance, and smell of fragrance, by law companies are allowed to call it unscented because they use amounts below a certain level, a level that most people would not notice it but someone who is chemically sensitive will. So even though you may use unscented products you may still be scented.
Moving To Less Polluted Area
Back in 2002 we decided to move to an area where the air was less polluted, with the hope my sensitivities would improve; one of the things that I learned is that when someone has MCS the best way to treat it is to avoid the allergens, so we moved to get out of the big city pollution. My biggest motivation for moving was that the pain that I had did not go away, and I had been in pain for the past few years. If there was a chance that I would get better by getting away from the pollution, I was ready and willing to go.
We moved, (and yes there is a place or two with less pollution, if you want I can tell you where we moved to) by 2005 I was doing better, the pain had lessened, I even got to volunteer full time; teaching others the Bible, and it was the most wonderful year of my life. After living there for 4 years we ended up leaving the area, because of the isolation (less polluted areas are not very populated), and the need to be near to grandchildren.
Using Scented Products Again
The move had helped, my MCS was so much better that after a short while I began to use products that were scented again. At first with essential oils, which are very different from fragrance chemicals, I started with one and with the exception of a few, was able to use many that I could not when I first got sick. I was still chemically sick but I was able to handle essential oils, and eventually added two lighter fragrance oils, that later I became sensitive to.
Vegan Diet Made My Sensitivities Worse
Last year after changing to a Vegan diet, My sensitivities became worse, I am not back to where I was when I first got sick. I don’t have the constant pain or vertigo and do not want it, but now I have a worse problem being in areas where there are people who are scented, or with things that have been in places that are scented. My sensitivities have been preventing me from going to meetings or places people congregate.
Depression Has Gotten Worse
In addition to the MCS, my depression has worsened, to the point that I am not good at putting up with people who do things or say things that cause me distress. I tell them what I think, and it can be blunt and rude without me wanting to be. My regret is always immense afterward, bringing pain worse than the original distress. I believe that everyday chemical exposures, especially fragrances are toxic to the nervous system fueling my impatience.
Not Able To Do What I Want To
With depression, I often know what I need and want to do, but can’t do it. And for me medication is not the answer, before my chemical sensitivities got bad, I was taking an antidepressant, and later found out that the way that the anti-depressants work is by breaking a detox pathway in the liver, by doing that it prevents the feel good hormones or chemicals from leaving the body, the bad thing about that process is that it also prevents all other toxins from leaving the body.
In other words taking anti-depressants causes MCS to be worse. I do not foresee taking another medication for depression by choice again. Just so you know I have tried numerous other cures, and have gotten sicker and have gone broke in the process, trying things that did not help. In fact, now I avoid Doctors as much as possible.
I Have An Invisible Illness
To look at me you would not know that I am sick; MCS or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities is an invisible illness. You may hear some doubters say well she does other things and that is true, I do, I am not housebound or brain dead, but choose my battles, 2 hours of breathing toxic air or 15 minutes when I have to, what would you choose?
Fragrance Chemicals Are Insidious
The fragrance chemicals are so bad, that even if I do not go into a scented place I am still affected by the fragrance that gets on others. For example, when my husband comes home from a meeting he is scented, everything he took to the meeting is scented, his hair, skin, clothes, books, literature, and bags that he carries his literature in are scented.
Just by his attending meetings with people who do not have a problem using scented products, he comes home so saturated with fragrance, it is almost as bad as if he used the products himself which he does not…To help me out he keeps his meeting clothes, book bag and literature in our garage, so that I am not assaulted with the chemicals on them. But usually, that is not even enough, his hair and skin absorb so much fragrance he needs to shower to bring the fragrance exposure down for me. The hard part for him is that he does not smell the perfumes,,, and has to take my word for it…
Most People Use At Least 5 Scented Products
Did you know that most people use at least 5 scented products a day, and many people use more. Most laundry soaps are scented and clothes stay scented forever in some cases when washed with scented laundry soap. When thinking of scented products you have to consider; laundry soap, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, air fresheners, scouring powder, cleaning products, soaps, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, hair gels, hair sprays, make-up, perfumes, and aftershave.
Fragrance Chemicals Designed To Last Up To 8 Hours
While many of these products are wash off, the scent is designed to remain long after the product is washed away, I have read that the formulator strives for 8 hours of lasting power from a fragrance and uses a mixture of chemicals and technology to achieve that goal. The chemicals and manufacture techniques not only make the fragrance last it also allows the fragrance to come into the air surrounding the user. So, if there are 70 people in a meeting using 5 products each the air in a meeting place is quite toxic. 70 people times 5 is 350 scented products, but most people use more than 5 scented products. Not to mention the chemicals used in the building itself; such as fumes from carpet, paint, and building materials that gas off and you do not see and usually cannot smell it.
The Air Outside Is Scented
Is the air outside your home scented? Mine is depending on what my neighbors are doing, washing or drying clothes or spraying for bugs, weeds or such. These things are scented and stay in the air for some time, it is very unpleasant to go outside and breathe air that does not smell of air, but perfumed products.
The Food Is Scented
Is your food scented? My Food is when we buy groceries from our local supermarket, everything comes home scented, even the broccoli, in fact, all store bought produce, foods, and products that come from a store is scented for me. Many things we use have to be stored in the garage till enough of the fragrance dissipates. And yes there are areas of my garage that are perfumed and I have to avoid, but it is better than inside our home.
Everyone Is Scented
While some people I know try to accommodate me, many more do not. Regardless EVERYONE is scented whether they know it or not, including me, some much worse than others. Because of that, I was not able to have my daughter; grandchildren with one being a new baby (if you have grandchildren you may be able to understand the pain of not getting to be with them) and mother visit me this year due to the fact that my sensitivities have worsened. I don’t enjoy needing to leave someone’s company when they are scented it’s embarrassing and I tend to be exposed unnecessarily. It’s worse if they are in my home when I realize that their fragrance is killing me.
Fragrance Chemicals Are Dangerous
In mine and many others, opinion cigarette smoke has nothing on man-made fragrance chemicals, we all know Satan is trying to make us miserable, break our integrity, or kill us. What better way than put fragrance chemicals in everything, chemicals that would be regulated in any other industry, and considered poison, put into products that we have been accustomed to using, everyday things that we would not suspect to be harmful.
I Hope This Helps You Understand MCS Better
I hope this helps you to better understand what it is like to have MCS or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and if for some reason it still does not make sense, just try to imagine drinking the worst smelling tasting chemicals you can imagine, or better yet imagine drinking after shave or cologne, or eating your deodorant. If you did you might be able to imagine what it is like for someone with MCS when they are exposed to fragrances, even if it is only second hand.
Canaries Of This World
It gets in my mouth, nose, sinuses, lungs, on my hair, my skin, my clothes, my books & it gets into my blood stream, and my liver is not able to get it out, it goes everywhere. Kind of like the bad spirit of the world, it permeates everything. Some people think that those of us with MCS are like the Canaries used to test the safety of the mines, well brothers & sisters the mine is poisoned, and not safe for anyone, but especially for those with MCS.
Just as with Bible truth, most people are blind or choose to take a blind eye to MCS. Many of our spiritual brothers and sisters are among those sick and dying with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Many cannot attend Religious meetings, and are not able to associate with their spiritual family because their family does not believe that there is a problem, and continues to use toxic products.
Just like someone allergic to peanuts, I have to protect myself; no one else is going to do it for me.
Let Me Know What You Think
I would love to hear from you, please leave me a comment or question below… Thank you for reading… 🙂