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TOPIC: Best places to live with MCS???

Best places to live with MCS??? 5 years 8 months ago #1

  • javan999
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Hello everyone-

I'm so happy to have found this site- I emailed 'Matthew' the site's founder and he asked that I post this on the site so he could answer it and its reply could be seen by everyone.

My email said:

\"I was thinking the other day- trying to figure out locations that are good to live with this condition and it occurred to me I ought to ask another with this condition.

I was living in Southern California and the smog affects me considerably. I came back to Colorado to visit my family and am thinking about moving back- however even their smaller (Greeley, CO) town has considerable smog as well. Do you mind me asking where you found was a good place to live? Also- if you have time- I was curious if you might be able to tell me how you manage to keep yourself well, what you avoid, what you've had to do about housing- etc.?

I don't want to 'overload' you with questions, but if you have time or get a chance I was also curious if using the computer bothers you at all? I have noticed I have to limit my time on the computer otherwise I start to get similar feelings as if I'm around something that is affecting me. My mind begins to get real foggy, I begin to become agitated, my central nervous center starts to feel like it is being over stimulated, and sometimes I will start to ache all over after using it for a while- I am not sure what causes it exactly. Whether the fans from the computer put out a smell w hen heated up, or looking at the screen affects me, or whether there is even electro-macnetic fields that come off of it, affecting me that way. I really don't know.

I'm staying at my parent's house right now- which still affects me, and I'm looking for a place to possibly move to. \"<br /><br />Post edited by: Maff, at: 2008/12/22 18:34
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Re:Best places to live with MCS??? 5 years 8 months ago #2

  • Maff
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Hi Javan,

Welcome to the site and many thanks for posting your email here :)

For me it didn't really matter where I lived as even the exhaust of a single car or venting of a neighbour's gas-fired central heating/water boiler was enough to trigger my symptoms. In theory the best places to live are in the mountains and near large bodies of water (i.e. the ocean and lakes) where the air is generally cleaner. Smog tends to hang around at lower altitudes and large areas of water absorb pollution.

Some people with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) have moved to such areas or into the desert completely away from civilization to avoid becoming increasingly sick.

I live in an average sized town on the edge of the countryside but as I mentioned I found location was unimportant. It IS important to strictly avoid chemical triggers for your symptoms but at least in my case this was possible without drastic relocation.

I had to get my own place which I did by applying for council housing and having a doctors letter with the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome/M.E. and MCS to back it up. I was lucky that my local council saw my case as important and fast tracked me so I had a flat/apartment within months (rather than years as is common).

I then made sure my flat was painted only using natural paints from a company called ECOS and purchased only second-hand furnishings so that any 'off-gassing' of chemicals would have already occured. There is no gas supply in the flat, only electricity for heating and cooking. To start with I didn't use any cleaning agents other than pure unfragranced soap.

Despite this I still found I needed to wear a carbon filter mask (I Can Breathe!) in both the kitchen and bathroom or my symptoms would be triggered. To this day I don't know what trigger was as I had removed all chemicals I could think of. Sometimes it is just impossible to know.

For around 3 years I also had to wear my carbon filter mask whenever I went outside or had visitors to my place. It worked like a charm and I had no reactions while wearing it....other than severe embarrassment at all the stares I got (I'm not a natural at being in the spotlight!).

After 3 years of this strict avoidance and use of various treatments which I won't go into now (they included DHEA, antioxidants, 5-HTP) I found my chemical sensitivities starting to become less severe. I have now been free from MCS for about 3-4 years.

Computers have never bothered me (apart from brand new ones) but can put out a host of chemicals which could trigger your MCS. Also you may be suffering from electrical hypersensitivity.

Interesting I have spent a lot of time in LA (albeit more than 30 minutes from downtown) and found I felt better there from all the sunshine. Just goes to show that everyone is different, even among those of us with MCS, it's a matter of learning all you can from others but finding your own path to wellness. I hope I have helped in some small way!
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re:Best places to live with MCS??? 5 years 8 months ago #3

  • javan999
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Thank you SOOO much Matt for posting that... very helpful.


Like I've mentioned before- you're just simply awesome, thanks for putting this all together. I didn't realize how detailed and informative your site was. I try to spend as little time on the computer as possible as to avoid triggering my symptoms too greatly.

When you get a chance, I was intensely interested in 'what' exact masks you are speaking of.

I'm aware of activated carbon and how it 'traps' VOC's etc., however I've tried a couple 'car painting' masks that have the cartridge of carbon attached so you look a little bit like a 'bug', and I found I seemed to react to the smells of the plastic/rubber used to create the mask.

I've tried using paper filters that have a 'thin' carbon layer which is intended to be used for a very short amount of time while still being effective because of so little carbon in the mask- however the chemicals they use to make the mask, the paper, etc., often end up triggering me just as much, sometimes even more than the environment. I suppose I should say that I react to most things, not just chemicals, i.e., pollution, car exhaust, gases from oil fields, lots of pet dander, dust, allergens in the air, cleaning products, glues, paper and news papers, and computers.

So I'm curious if you were able to find some unique masks that contain little to no chemicals in making them- or anything along those lines?

I would wear a mask in a heartbeat, except the several masks I've used still effect me... any suggestions (from anyone really)??

Would you possibly have a link to show the mask you would use? I understand that all sufferers are not the same and don't react the exact same- but there is a chance you found something I haven't.

Again- thanks for all you do, and PLEASE keep up the good work... You are a life saver.

-Jason
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Re:Best places to live with MCS??? 5 years 8 months ago #4

  • javan999
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BTW- I've come across a few things that lead me to think you are from England, or even Australia or New Zealand?

Am I correct?
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Re:Best places to live with MCS??? 5 years 8 months ago #5

  • Maff
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Hi Jason,

I'm so glad the site has helped you :)

I put the link for the type of mask I and many other MCS sufferers have found helpful in my original reply but here it is again - I Can Breathe! Mask

You can visit the company's website at http://www.icanbreathe.com/

...and yes you are right I am from Yorkshire, England where it is currently around 40F and very cloudy! ;)
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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