A Blog For Those Affected By Environmental And Invisible Illnesses Written By Fellow Survivors
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My name is Victor. I was born in smoggy Los Angeles in 1963 and lived there until the age of 15, when my family moved to Irvine, CA.
My mother was a dentist. I have been told that she kept me in a sterile environment as a baby. My mother suffered from hypothyroidism after giving birth to me at the age of 42. She was born and grew up in the country of Latvia, which is low in iodine
My father, also from Latvia, smoked up until the time I was about 10 years old. He had some psoriasis on the nails of his feet. His sisters (my aunts) both suffer from psoriasis.
Both of my parents had some slight allergies. My father suffered from sinus pressure.
I did not have major health problems as a child. I do remember catching a cold about every six weeks.
However, as puberty came upon me, some months before my 14th birthday I started to experience significant levels of fatigue and an increased susceptibility to soar throats and the like. My brain fog may have started, or at least increased, at this time. I was no longer able to continue my daily jogging routine. In the following months I was treated for sinus infections with antibiotics, but my fatigue did not subside. The fatigue came before my use of antibiotics.
My health improved when my family moved to Irvine, CA when I was 15 year old in 1978. Back then, Irvine was much less smoggy than L.A. (I generally feel much better in rural areas than urban.) However, I still did not have my prepubescent health and vigor. My tonsils were constantly producing pus and they were removed during my senior year in high school. I remember having significant brain fog in high school.
For the first two years of high school, I somehow managed to play on the tennis team. However, deterioration in my health prohibited me from doing this during my senior year. Physical exertion left me feeling increasingly bad.
Taking the antihistamine Entrex during the fall of 1979 gave me more energy, but did leave me a little drowsy and irritable. In general, antihistamines do not agree with me and make my brain fog systems worse.
Also, during my senior year in high school, I experienced a constant chilly feeling over my body. My body temperature was consistently 98 degrees Fahrenheit at this time. These chills disappeared that next summer – the summer of 1981.
The fatigue and brain fog became worse during my first year at the University of California at Irvine. I was still living at home. In 1982, I started receiving immunization therapy for my allergies. I actually felt worse for the first few months, but then considerably better when I reached the maintenance dose. I continue to receive these monthly injections. I had been tested for allergies about three years earlier, but at that time the allergist did not think the skin tests warranted my receiving immunization therapy. However, my allergies and sinus problems had increased and now I was receiving the shots.
I felt better, but I wasn’t cured. In the summer of 1983 I started my studies at U.C. Berkeley. I did well that first semester, but then my brain fog increased during the 1983/4 winter and became so bad during the three years that I spent at U.C. Berkeley that my short term memory was significantly impaired. It probably had something to do with the house in which I was renting a room. Probably my strong acne facial scrub played its role.
It was at this time that I became aware of my chemical sensitivity problem. This led to me making all sorts of changes in my life to cope with this illness: changing detergents and discontinuing the use of the acne scrub, antiperspirants and synthetic shampoo. Despite all of these changes, I still was not able to work in office buildings due to significant brain fog.
In the spring of 1990, I was still living with my parents. My father had our wooden shingle roof sprayed with a fungicide. While my parents did not seem to be effected, I was floored. I had never experienced such a dramatic negative effect upon my nervous system from a chemical sensitivity. I became very irritable and could not think straight. It was horrible. In the subsequent 14 years I could only spend several hours in the house, if the windows and doors were closed, before the symptoms would become unbearable.
In 1993 I moved to Latvia in NE Europe. Here I have had a brain fog problem with a new house I bought in 2003 – with either the lacquer on the hard wood floors or perhaps with the treated wood in the attic.
Gaining weight in the 1990’s, my psoriasis, which had been confined to the heels of my feet in my youth, spread to the nails of my hand and feet and later to the skin on my legs and elbows.
I have had many blood tests in my life. Except for elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, nothing much else was found. One blood test many years ago showed a problem with liver function, but that may have been due to a drug, which I have used to kill of yeast in my gut (?).
While I was living in the problematic house in Latvia, blood tests revealed a compromised immune system, but these results improved after I discontinued living in the house. I was susceptible to staph infections at the time, but this subsided when I moved out of the house.
Years ago I tried synthroid in the belief that my problem was thyroid related, but even a little bit of synthroid left me unable to sleep at night. I do not remember any blood tests showing any abnormality with my thyroid. Recent blood tests definitely show normal results.
With the weight gain of the past 10-15 years, I have had to watch how much sugar I eat. Otherwise I have too much sugar in my blood and become very thirsty. It seems I have some insulin resistance. However, even when I do a fair job of limiting my intake of sugar, I still have considerable thirst and drink much water, but without the accompanying weakness of when I overdo the sugar.
In recent years I also have developed borderline high blood pressure. As needed, I use natural supplements to help normalize my blood pressure.
My eyelids are puffed up and droop a bit. My right big toe hurts on occasion – apparently gout; cherry juice keeps it under control.
I have tried all sorts of supplements:
- vitamin C
- zinc (and copper) for my prostrate
- E for my prostrate
and other supplements:
- grape fruit seed extract
- detox liver stuff
- sabal palmetto for my prostrate
and other things.Many of these things I still use, but nothing has cured me.
A few years ago I tried a massive amount of various pro-biotics combined with a low sugar diet. My brain fog did seem to improve, but I was not cured.
I have noticed that when my sinuses become dry due to the dry indoor air of winter, I experience increased levels of fatigue.
I have had pain in my prostrate, but the pain in my prostrate disappeared once I discontinued using caffeine.
I am 46 years old. To this day, I still experience allergies and sinus problems, brain fog and memory impairment from multiple chemical sensitivities, a heightened susceptibility to soar throats and the like. Now I also have enlargement of the prostrate, insulin resistance issues, borderline high blood pressure and increased psoriasis.