Earlier this week as I was browsing through news updates in my email inbox I came across a story which put a big smile on my face. It seemed that a member of the US House of Representatives was taking a stand against a medical board who were staging a witch hunt for doctors who dare to treat people suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).
As someone who has suffered from severe
chemical sensitivities and knows the reality of it, I happen to quite like doctors who also acknowledge this and try to help people like myself and many of you who are reading this.
We MCS sufferers feel like we are under attack from all corners. First of all there's the terrifying realisation that more and more everyday chemicals are making us very sick with symptoms ranging from breathing difficulties and dizziness to severe muscle aches and depression. We see our lives disappear in front of our eyes as we become increasingly isolated trying to avoid the multitude of substances causing our symptoms.
Then we face the indignity of every healthcare professional we consult telling us that MCS does not exist so the problem must be psychological. Besides the very real possibility that the mechanism involved in MCS causes depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions as symptoms of the condition, I defy anybody who goes through what MCS sufferers go through (loss of job, relationships, social life etc), not to show signs of mental and emotional distress!
Finally, I have repeatedly heard stories of the medical establishment bullying and threatening doctors who treat MCS patients, despite the fact that their patients may be very happy with their treatment. These doctors have the courage to stand up against accepted medical opinion and do what is best for their patients. They are often the only people who keep hope alive for those struggling with the consequences of chemical sensitivity.
So, when I saw this news story about Rep. Fred Brown of Texas had called a special legislative hearing to investigate whether the Texas Medical Board had been too aggressive in its oversight of the state's physicians, I was surprised and happy.
Rep. Brown had said that what motivated him to take the action was hearing about the case of Dr. William Rea of The Environmental Health Center-Dallas who had been accussed of "pseudoscience" by the Texas Medical Board for treating patients with MCS.
So now I was getting very excited thinking perhaps this could be the start of something and medical boards will back off and let environmental illness aware doctors treat those of us who need their expertise. Unfortunately things started to unravel as I read on....
It seems there is a conflict of interest which could lead many to conclude his stated motives for calling the hearing are not his true motives. Rep. Brown is apparently the business partner of a gynecologist, Dr. Royal H. Benson III, who also has a disciplinary action pending before the medical board. Dr. Benson is also reported to have made a contribution to Rep. Brown's political campaign back in 2002.
Of course we should give Rep. Brown the benefit of the doubt but unfortunately for us MCS sufferers it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer for a powerful political figure to truly fight our corner.
News Source: The Dallas Morning News
About: Matthew Hogg ("Maff")
Diagnosed with M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome aged only 11 years old and subsequently associated illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Despite his own struggles he has constantly sought to educate and support others suffering from such "invisible illnesses" through his website, The Environmental Illness Resource. He fully recovered from MCS using his own approach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Health.