Monday, November 29, 2010

The Groundswell of Frenzy

Thanksgiving has past and the surge of frenetic activity rises until it becomes the impending form of a tsunami, headed for Christmas.

I remember when Christmas was about the baby Jesus, being born in a lowly manger. Christmas was about Christ; the gift that God gave mankind so that there would be someone pure enough to pay the penalty for all our sins. Christmas was about hope, and joy, and the fulfilling of a promise....

Now it seems as though it's about marketing. They even market 'hope' and 'joy', as seen in every made for TV 'christmas special.' It's about shopping. It's about scrabbling and pushing and shoving to get the best deal. It's about senseless buying and eventually returning. It's about tinsel, glitz and lights, packaging and window dressing... All of this frenzied activity, as people desperately make every vain attempt to recapture that illusive feeling of Christmas that they remember from their childhood, or that they have been taunted with on TV. I don't know if the current generation ever got to experience it first hand? Or was it obliterated amid the rush of over scheduled lives, punctuated by endless rounds of electronic gaming?

Oh sure, we want to get presents for people we love... But, do they have to be bigger and better, every year? Do they really have to be expensive at all? Couldn't they be, as originally intended, thoughtful or handmade? I didn't think I was that old, but I remember when nearly everyone made their own cards! I remember when, "it's the thought that counts" was taken at face value.

I was horrified to hear on the news that the majority of Americans still hadn't paid off their credit card debt for last Christmas' expenditures!!! Are you kidding me?! That doesn't seem like "hope & joy" to me. It sounds more like stress and despair.

I wonder how many of the rest of you out there see it? Or is this just another unique blessing from my disability?... Having been forced out of the mainstream, sidelined, benched, and isolated, I see the bigger picture. Standing on the outside looking in, I see just how crazy this all seems. I see how valueless all the stuff is, when just a few minutes of another persons time means all the world to me!

In that pungent stable, on that long ago spring night - no it was not winter; the sheep would not have been in the hills, where the angels went to tell the shepherds the good news, if it was winter. Livestock was brought down into the valleys during the winter. That was a modification the Roman Catholic church promulgated when Emperor Constantine mandated catholacism as the state religion, to appease the people who worshiped the winter solstice...

So, in a pungent stable, smelling of urine and dung, on that long ago spring night, a pure and holy child was born. I sign of promise to all the people! Had that child been born in a kingly palace, amid the wealth and splendor, the pomp and glitz and material goods, He wouldn't have been accessible to everyone. So God spurned the glitz and glamor, the window dressing the frenzy of high society, and instead, came into this world with humility. Mary and Joseph were grateful for what small blessings they had. Shelter, clean bedding, warmth, privacy, a safe delivery of their child... Shouldn't we also count our blessings? Shouldn't that be the model of peace and joy this Christmas?

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Peace of Winter

Winter has always been the traditional time of peace. In olden times before the advent of modern warfare, cultures with seasonal weather, took time out from fighting during the winter months. It was just too hard on the troops ~ frigid temperatures and no food. It is poetic then, that for those with Toxic Injury, the winter months again, mean peace.

It is snowing. A lovely blanket of white begins to cover the ground. Scrubbing the air clean, dampening the strident sounds of the freeway, more than a mile away. To me, it heralds the return of freedom... While most of my neighbors are snuggled into their recliners, enjoying some relaxing time in front of the tube, I am roaming my domain. I take it back from the villains and brigands that forced it from my grasp during the more temperate months.  All threat of spraying is, at least for a while, abated...

Now, like ancient war machines, farm implements are silenced! Their grinding and roaring hearts which poured forth toxic fumes into the air, are stilled. They sit miserably hunched against the cold, comatose until spring.

And I, I am free! What to me is a little cold, a little damp? The stinging kiss of erstwhile snowflakes? Only the joy of life and land, welcoming me back.
I foray out, taking stock of cattle and sheep, I had not seen all summer. They too have been struck hard by the vagaries of pesticide drift. I have no recourse, no weapons to fight with. I cannot protect them, the law won't allow it. The invisible marauders sift across the land, and round the globe, unimpeded. Killing, maiming destroying. Now, the land, the animals and I rejoice. Blessed respite!

Many might suppose that winter is harsh against livestock. Not so. They are far more prepared to deal with it than we. Their rough warm coats repel the weather. With sufficient food, they are unconcered. My cows munch contentedly on field side shrub and bramble. Augmenting their generous breakfast of premium alfalfa. They rejoice in the suppression of the chemicals spewed forth during the agricultural season. They run and gambole, enjoying the snow. Niether rain, sleet nor wind, distresses them. They are more stalwart than mailmen.  And I, I wander among them, breathing their breath, listening to their lowing, checking for damage. Who needs supplements? Who needs extra care. This I can do, released from my prison. I get but 4 short months. I make the most of it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Roller Coaster Ride

Well, unbelievably, when the spray trucks set out to do that field, yesterday, they discovered that the pump wasn't working! Yeah! They told me they would be coming the next day. Which is today. Boo. They of course said, again, it was weather dependent. They would have to wait till it warmed up... About noon. Yeah! I'd be able to do another day of horses. Yeah! It warmed up about 10:00 a.m. But I already got the horses done. Then unbelievably, the wind came up. They can't spray if the winds blowing! Yeah. Yeah! They will probably try again, maybe this afternoon if the wind stops blowing. Boo. Or tomorrow, boo, weather dependent. And I would get another day of horse work. Yeah!

We are supposed to get snow this weekend, into next week. They can't spray with snow or too much moisture. Yeah! for me. (Boo! for my farmer friend, that really needs to get rid of those weeds.)

If they put off spraying until Monday or Tuesday, that's too close to my trip out to the Dr. And will be severely life threatening. BOO! Booo! Boo! I'm praying that it will freeze really hard, and they won't need to spray at all. Yeah!

We live on tenter hooks. Other peoples decisions make such a huge impact in our lives. Our lives are controlled by so much outside of ourselves.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Aaah Piss!!!!

It's mid November. They are spraying again! They are spraying the field right in front of the house. It makes me want to cry! The chemical they are using is an organophosphate, Bromoxynil, really toxic and dangerous. It volatizes for 9 days.

That means I'm locked inside the house for 9 days. I can't work my horses, I can't potty the dogs. I can't even safely drive myself to the doctors next Tuesday. I could get a hit so bad that I'll "crash" on the way and get stranded. Even the door opening and closing as my family members go in and out, is a risk. The outside air rushes in and with it, the pesticides! Aaaarrrrgh!

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that they are letting me know. That does help. I'm grateful that they are being careful about windspeed and direction. I make a point of expressing my appreciation and being cheerful when they call. It's just that I know this is going to hurt. It's going to hurt me bad. And there's nothing I can do to prevent it.

I know what you're thinking, Stop it! Do you know how many times people ask that? If there was a safe place I could go, don't you think I'd go there? I used to go to my mother and father in-laws, but my one sister in-law, got jealous of our relationship and started putting on fragrance and coming over and deliberately toxing me. So, it's no longer safe. There's no point in running to a toxic safe house.

Sure, I have other family and friends, but it takes a special kind of person to be willing to go to that much inconvenience to make sure that their home is safe for someone as sensitive as I am. I know very few people that would do that, within a distance that I could drive. Remember how I explained earlier that it is extremely difficult to identify that which you can neither see nor feel? Well, most people clean to the limit of their perception. Then, they truly believe that it's clean enough, and become offended if you infer otherwise.

I've battened down the hatches. I've brought in firewood. - burning a fire draws the toxins out of the inside air and burns them off. I use non toxic, non paraffin candles, too.

Research shows that in 98% of 2,4D applications within 500 ft. Of homes, a substantial amount ends up in the home. Even when the home is closed up and on windless days. This chemical is a 2,4D mixture. DRIFT! This is going to hurt. My kidneys are already damaged. I've been peeing brown off and on for days.

I remember an article I read about religious and political prisoners in China. When they are first sentenced to prison, they are told that they will receive 2 beatings. One when they first arrive and a second one, anytime during their sentence. They are assured that the 2nd will be much worse than the first. The first beating is to within an inch of their life. The expectation is debilitating. This is like that. Any spray event could be worse. Any spray event, could kill me.

It's so wrong. It is morally and ethically wrong for the country that styles itself the leader in civil rights and justice to deliberately poison any group of it's people.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Trade Off

You can't do everything. That's the bottom line. We want to do everything, but we just don't have the energy for it. Take today. I have this blog to write, the horses to work, the kitchen and house to clean. I should answer that email from the dog trainer and those 3 from the holistic pet health forum. I should do laundry and pay those bills. I have to order the yarn for the hat I"m knitting for the young man who mows my driveway if my husband can't get to it...  I should eat. I'm supposed to rest. And, there's always the protocols. (forget about cooking dinner, it's leftovers tonight!)

So today I chose, protocols, eating, horses, ordering and answering half the emails. Which I discovered, I did a crappy job of, due to the fact that I used up all my glutathione working the horses. I didn't discover it until after I posted. Of course.

When you use up your glutathione, your thinking gets muddled and you can't talk straight or make nice clean sentences... How am I doing by the way? Sometimes it's so bad, I type and type, thinking I'm writing this really great stuff. I even read it as I'm typing it. When I go back to edit it, its complete gibberish. That's scary.

I can read something over a hundred times, on tox days and not see the mistakes. FYI, I don't drive on those days. I get some one to take me. Frustrating and scary.

I am loving working with the horses. It's a shame I have to give up one for the other.  I can't research on the days I expend a lot of energy. My brain won't process it. There just isn't enough " glute" to go around.

When I was sicker (yes, not a word, I know) I could only do one thing more than my protocols a day. I actually embarked on an exercise program to remove the toxic fat. My doctor bumped my glute up so I could process the toxins I dumped when I burned the fat. I actually only exercised a total of 2.5 hrs on the Wii, each day. It took me 10 hrs a day to complete it. I'd do one excercise, 30 seconds, to 2 min., then rest. etc. I didn't get anything else done on those days. It was boring! And the Wii has a smart mouth!

I lost 30 lbs. I've gained it all back over the course of two spray seasons. The toxins hit my body, my body encases them in fat and stores them in adipose areas. I also experienced the same kind of mental fatigue that I do when I work horses. Working horses is much more fun. Not boring. So we'll see if this helps burn toxic fat! I'm going to take it a little easier. I want to be able to still have a functioning brain!

That's all I have time for tonight. I have to turn the horses out to pasture.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Fearless Leader

Peggy is my fearless leader. She runs the "MCS"Beacon of Hope Foundation. ( Finding her was one of the biggest blessings I've received from this disability.

I came across Peggy and the Beacon 6 years ago, while researching my condition on the net. I really liked their mission statement, and was considering volunteering with them. I made the call.

Peggy answered. The first thing that poured over me, thru the line, was the warmth of southern hospitality. Pure comfort. I could tell, with in the first few minutes,  I was talking to a compassionate, tenacious and feisty woman. One of the first things that she wanted to know was, what did I need? As in, physical stuff.

By this time, I'd acquired enough knowledge to know that the majority of TIs lose their jobs, and subsist well below the poverty line. I think she had a tough time believing that I didn't need anything. TIs need: speaker phones, computers, (these are their safest connection to the outside world and to their community) as well as a host of other pieces of equipment that makes their disability easier. Peggy's foundation provides this kind of equipment to TIs that can't afford it. It was great information, even though I didn't need help purchasing it. What impressed me most was how much she wanted to help. I liked this woman.

Now, you all know, I tend to be blunt, so I squirreled right in and asked, her some point blank questions. It didn't phase her a bit. This was a woman I could work with!

That was the beginning. Over the course of the last 6 years I've learned that she is one of the most honorable people I know. She has the kind of integrity that you don't find much anymore. She still gets outraged by evil, and still battles for righteousness. In fact, her daughter Julia (the co-founder) and I have to reign her in, or she will work her self into the ground, to help others.

She is the driving force behind the foundation. Not only was she taking calls, counseling and comforting any and all that inquired, but she drives a campaign to all the heads of government to raise awareness and education about toxic injury. She's the one that puts in months of work, making contacts and laying ground work to get the support and signatures for the proclamation, every year.

She's always there, just a phone call away. I've laughed with her, cried with her and problemed solved both her symptoms and mine. We've shared anger over injustice and triumph over break throughs. The triumphs are too few. This disability is so little recognized, and so disrespected in the public sector. The battles we fight are not only public, but personal, eveyminute, of every day.

I worry about her. She's poured her life out for the cause. She herself can't benefit from the Foundation, yet she has medical needs she can't afford. Most effective treatments for TIs aren't covered by insurance or Medicare/medicaid. Very few doctors are trained in Environmental medicine. Of those who do practice, most don't take Medicare. So while I work with her, problem solving for other's, I'm constantly aware of her disintegrating condition. Julia and I worry that we are going to lose her.

We are trying to come up with ways that we can get her the help she needs. Fund raising is our biggest barrier. We can't get out in the real world to do it. We refuse to charge for our services. It is unethical to ask a drowning man for $20.00 or his credit card #, before throwing him a rope. That is what so many of the other groups do... That seems like exploitation to me.

So if you have any do-able ideas, please leave a comment. I don't want to lose her. That would break my heart; she is a devoted friend, a mother, an inspiration, my rallying cry, my general, my Fearless Leader!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Field Trips for TIs

This is Silver Falls State Park, near Silverton, Oregon. It is a beautiful temperate rainforest with a succession of spectacular falls and miles of trails. If you go during the week, you hardly meet anyone. And more importantly, the bathrooms are fragrance free.

TIs need get-a-ways too!

My husband, daughter, son in law and his sister, and I took a terrific 4 day vacation to the Oregon coast this last May. We stayed in a yurt, south of Newburg. The park rangers there were wonderful, and arranged to have our yurt cleaned with non-toxics and the bathrooms, to be done the same.

On the way back, we spent 4 hours, hiking the trails at Silver Falls, with my father, who met us there. It was wonderful to get out, feel a fresh breeze and smell the understory.

We visited many beach locations while away and made a local healthfood store our deli of choice. We cooked chowders and grilled salmon steaks over an indian fire...

If I got tired, I napped in the car while they visited the more fragrant sights. It helped that we had an extended cab pickup with a canopy on the back. That way they could put the jackets, that they wore into the smelly locations, and their packages, in the back and not tox me. The jackets also helped to keep their clothes from picking up toxins. I always prepare take a long food that eats cold. This trip, I made pizza pockets with a gluten free crust, that were a success even with my Normal family members. It was wonderful, and I felt like a real person again.

I even got to go into the Yaquina Head Museum!

We visited the light house at Yakina Head, as well, and took pictures of the sea lions, resting on the rocks.

Another safer thing I can do, away from home, is sledding in the winter. We always go cut a fresh tree and have a snow day. That's actually me, sledding down the logging road. O.K. so extreme adventure isn't on my itinerary, yet...

Ron, does the manly job of cutting and hauling, after the rest of us plough around and find the 'perfect' tree. We take along cookies and hot cocoa, and if I really beg, they'll sing Christmas carols with me.

The scenery is spectacular!

Well, that's about all I have time for today.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chicken House Cleaning Party

Well, the party was a great success and as they say in all those family news letters you've ever seen, " A good time was had by all."  I figure if they can say it, so can I. After all, it's as much true here as it ever was there...

The work got done in short order and refreshments were served following shower and sauna procedures. I provided an excellent braised beef roast, broccoli smothered in a home made cheese sauce, with sweet potato chips, followed by cake, chocolate and ice-cream. Sorry you missed it.

Of course, the chickens were anti-social. That's to be expected. They are rather flighty...

We had a lovely time playing with horses before the work began. I'm still working on getting Mariah's hooves up. She did have one little temper tantrum, and I had to get sharp with her... She was instantly sorry and is starting to figure out just what I want. I'm happy to report that she coming along nicely. This morning I got all 4 hooves up and cleaned.

It is a unique experience trying to train a horse to give you her feet when you can't tolerate any resistance. If she pulls away, or resists at all, I can't restrain her. You see, when you have glutathione depletion, you have no muscle tone or strength. If I try to hold onto her feet, like any regular trainer would, I'll tear muscles. I have to let her take them away. Then keep touching and picking until she gives in. It takes a whole lot more patience. I use a lot of voice inflection. My ferrier hates it. He thinks she's spoiled, cause she "gets away with stuff." Short term yes, long term no. I'm relentless. It is beyond "whispering." More like singing.

I told you Dan was old and curly. I took a picture this morning to show you. Can you see the curls growing in?

So, the party was fun, we played all kinds of games like, Sweep Shit, Toss the Dead Mousie Out, and Flood the Floor.  I find that chicken manure is not toxic. No, I don't breathe the dust. I wear a particulate mask. (Come -on!)  I've missed being  around the hennies during spray season. It was nice to get out and get that barn in order.  I'm going to be sore for a few days, but it was worth it. Next time, I'm hoping for a bigger crowd.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Good News!

I'm getting my hunting poodle! Oh, boy! O' boy, O' boy! I don't know which one yet, but I'm very excited. I like to check the website and see the latest posts of pictures and videos.  Very cute! My trainer, Krystal, is giving me lots of homework. I'm enjoying it thoroughly. It's great exercise for the mind and another layer of the toxic injury onion to peel.  So much to know.

I found out some interesting tidbits while researching optimal dog food: Many dog foods that contain certain ingredients have been found to contain euthanizing chemicals. Here's a quote from an FDA report. "... rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals." I have in my files somewhere, an article, that raises similar concerns about "by-products." Specifically, it was highlighting the tendency for diseased and rotting animals, as well as feces, to be included in the mix. 

I've also found some very nice products for flea and tick control. They are much safer. No poisons. One, has some castor oil. While I know this is toxic, it's been used for decades as a liniment and is commonly accepted. I spoke to the company, and I'm waiting to see if they change the recipe...

It would be nice not to have to make everything from scratch.

I joined a pet health news letter from Dr. Mercola and Dr. Becker (vet). They are on the same page, as far as consumer product and environmental toxins. They are a great resource and have safer products.

I made hand lotion and lip balm. This I did mostly for fun! It wasn't that hard, and it is nice to have products that are entirely safe. My lip balm is so much nicer than commercial brands. It stays on for hours. My hand lotion worked out better than I expected. Looks like real hand lotion, and lasts a lot longer, as well. I found that the tiniest dab was all I needed. I used some of my own organic lavender, so it has just the lightest hint of safe fragrance. I think that most personal care products that use essential oils instead of "fragrance" make it way too smelly. I also put in immune system boosters and cancer fighting agents. Its lovely. 

I've been working my horses. O.k., so not yesterday ~ another sick day, but several times now. I so enjoy it. The weather has been crisp and cool.  You know how I like getting outside.

Does anyone besides me think that it was more than coincidence that when I was working Mariah this last time: Mrs. Evil drove by on her way to town - saw me and slowed way down to glare: Then 5-10 minutes later, Mr. Evil ran out of the house, got on a tractor with a hay mow on the front and drove over to his shed, next to the fence. He appeared to be bringing hay to put in the shed. Then when Ryan and I went in - he quit.  Even better, when we went to the Dr.s later that day, there wasn't any hay moved... LOL

I laugh because, he didn't manage to tox me with his diesel fumes from the tractor. In the past, he's done that. Drove over to the fence and left his tractor idling close to or up wind of where I was working. He'd get off and just leave it there. (and yes, he knew it would hurt me.) I'd had to quit. and go inside.  I didn't this time... I'm getting better! LOL!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The "Normal" Spouse

All of my interpersonal contacts are fraught with danger. I risk physical harm with every one. The more intimate the relationship the more potential for harm...

This condition steals personal interaction. Of all the relationships that are damaged, the one that TIs have with their spouses are the most heartbreaking. I married my husband because I wanted to be with him. My husband and I used to be "work-a-holics." We were doers. We did it together: Farming, ranching, surveying, hunting, fishing. Now I'm left behind.  Imprisoned in my solitary existence- my safe house. Every one of those activities that we did together involves toxins. Farm fuel, chemicals, a myriad of exposures. Not only did this disability take away the things I used to do, it's taking away my best friend.

Because life goes on, someone has to take up the slack. That falls to the "Normal" spouse. It is horrendously time consuming. The burden is almost unbearable. They are doubly burdened because not only do they have to do the toxic "chores" of the TI, but they have to avoid toxins and decontaminate constantly as they move from toxic environments to their spouses safe-house. This wears them down, until they have no energy left. Then, having been exposed to the toxins, many times the same ones that put their spouse over the edge into disability, their own bodies reach a point that they can no longer break down the the toxic substances. Their bodies now excrete toxic substances. They out-gas toxins. They themselves have become toxic to their spouse, driving an even bigger wedge between the couple. They are forced into a battle zone they can't see or detect, knowing that one wrong move can harm their partner. Harming their partner is inevitable. The guilt is terrible.

98% of marriages, where one partner has Toxic Injury, ends in divorce...

So many people disregard their wedding vows. Remember, "... for better, or for worse... in sickness and in health..." The onerousness of day to day living with a TI becomes too much and the "normal' spouse leaves. The criminal part, it seems to me, is that it could have been avoided. I believe much of the 'leaving' can be contributed to the lack of understanding that the 'support populations' have.

Before toxic injury I was an active member of a common denominational church. I participated in the uplifting support and ministry to other couples, where one of them contracted a well known disabling condition, like cancer. The whole church body surrounded the family. They did chores, ran errands, brought food, called, comforted, counseled, much of this was to relieve the burden on the healthy partner.

In families where the disability is a chemical injury, we don't see that. I didn't see it in my case, and I've never heard about it from the thousands of TI contacts that I have. The church abandons us. I felt used. They only had an interest in me, when I could contribute to others. Once I had a need, they disappeared like cockroaches in the light.

When I first became disabled, I had a couple of wonderful pastors. Those two men made a huge difference. They led their congregation in coming to worship with me, fragrance free. It was a tremendous blessing. I felt that I wasn't totally forgotten and abandoned by a small group of people (10) in my community. A community which once encompassed more than 20,000 people. But those two pastors, both, very shortly moved on. Then, the real character of that church surfaced. They stopped coming. The leadership began discriminatory action against us. Out of 250 members, two couples maintain contact. One of those couples moved for a job. My husband received no support or nurturing from that church or any other church in our area.

Ironically, he continues to donate 50% of his services to local churches and charitable groups. He's helped more than a dozen churches, locally. Not one of them came to help him in his time of need. Not one of them is concerned about the state of his soul. Do they all know? Oh, yeah. I participated in a number of ecumenical ministries in our area. I asked them to support him. Not one of those expressed their concern for either of us. Are they really churches, or just social clubs?

One of the tragedies that I see when the normal spouse eventually succumbs to toxic injury. They succumb because they don't believe the necessity of guarding themselves from toxins. Many times they have been exposed to the same toxins and didn't end up sick like the TI. This happened in my and my husband's case.  I now know why.

Pesticides, for the most part are xeno (chemical) estrogens. They kill what ever, by acting upon the endocrine system, overwhelming it with estrogen. Women are more vulnerable because their bodies run on estrogen. Men, have a greater degree of protection, due to the fact that their bodies run on testosterone. So, while we can be exposed to the same toxin, women are more vulnerable because we start at a disadvantage. Many other industrial chemicals are classed as endocrine system disrupters.  In fact these xenoestrogens are in the majority of consumer product and environmental toxins.

When men reach a sufficient amount of exposure, they too succumb to toxic injury. For men, it generally shows up as: heart attack, stroke, cancer (prostrate, liver, pancreatic, etc.) erectile dysfunction, mood disorders (rage, depression). The silent killers. Unfortunately, way too many never connect the dots.

Men like to think of themselves as "stalwart." They feel diminished, and they don't go in and have it checked. If they do, they go to a GP, who runs a standard blood test. By in large, standard tests, find chronic abnormalities, once they've occured. GPs and other typical specialists, use further toxic treatment to mask these symptoms. The underlying toxic poisoning is never addressed. The problem continues until it claims their life.

I beg every Normal reading this, take it seriously. Take the TI's word for what is harmful to them and do all that you can, to protect yourself from the same substances.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Maybe Tomorrow

It's not a good day.

I woke up in the middle of the night with spinal pain (the icepick) nausea, bloating and not being able to pee. I got up. did what I could. sauna, showers, meds, detox. It just keeps getting worse. Can't think. Can't write. Can't be, without pain. Agitation.

Maybe later I can write again. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Is that a rainbow? Chase it! Chase it....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Connect the Dots

Many people live with conditions that detract from their lives and never connect the dots to Environmental Exposures. They suffer dermatitis/eczema, acid reflux or hyperactivity, just to name of few of the most common conditions.

When my children were little, I noticed that after breakfast they'd get wild. I could almost imagine them racing about the top of the room like "Tom and Jerry." They got cranky and squabbled. At the same time my daughter developed the round red rash.,, The family doctor identified the rash as "ring-worm." He prescribed an ointment with a pesticide. (icide is latin for -killer.) And like a good little sheep I  did what I was told. The ring-worm didn't go away. I took my child back in. He advised painting it with iodine. We did this for a month. I burned my child's arm every time I applied. She would scream and cry. It didn't matter what I said to that Dr. He insisted that I continue the treatment. I decided he had to be wrong. I tooke her to a dermatologist. He diagnosed it as eczema and insisted I put cortizone 10 on it. Corizone is a hormone. It is dangerous to mess with hormones. The disclosure sheet that came with the creme was horrifying. I broke away from the flock and began to study the various causes of red rash. I came across data on red food coloring that said it caused red rash. (red dye also causes hyperactivity and irritability.) Ron's mother was allergic to red food coloring! I read all the labels. Turns out the children's vitamins I was giving them were loaded with red food coloring... I switched to a "clean brand, without coloring, and no more rash, no more hyperactivity and squabbling. (since that time I've discovered that nearly all red food colorings get there red color from lead...)

As a substitute teacher, I had the opportunity to observe thousands of students. I worked 4 different school districts in two counties. (I like a challenge and I like variety) Substitutes always get lunch room/playground duty. I would see these kids in the morning, during lunch and in the afternoon. After lunch even the nicest kids could turn into monsters. I made a point of noticing what they were eating. There was a direct correlation in the amount of additives they consumed to the degree of loss of control.  This was not necessarily a discovery for me, but a confirmation.

Years ago, I had developed horrible, disabling headaches. I had seen a "60 Minutes" special on MSG, with Dr. George Schwartz. When I cut out the MSG, my headaches went away. Dr. Schwartz also spoke about hyperactivity, out of control kids and MSG. Even though we had cut out all the MSG from our diets, the red food coloring still caused similar problems. Those are the roots of the 26 years of study that I have put into "cause and effect of environment on health."

There is a growing epidemic of acid reflux in our country (it's in all the other 'developed' countries, too). It is ironic that traditional medicine doesn't actually look into the root cause but attempts to mask the problem with another chemical substance. Instead of simply eliminating toxic substances from our diet/environment, things we were never designed to eat or use, they prescribe us known toxic substances to treat the condition. I queried several doctors and pharmacists. They all say, "All pharmaceuticals are toxic. All pharmaceuticals have side effects." There are NO non-toxic pharmaceuticals! When you take prescription drugs you are exchanging one set of symptoms for another, and most times the second set is far worse, long term.

Take a look at the disclosure statement that comes with your prescriptions. Many people are not aware that there is another more graphic disclosure statement, intended for the physician, that the pharmacist takes off. My pharmacist didn't. I read them. I suggest you ask your pharmacist for those statements as well. Take the attitude that you will get those symptoms. Don't just assume that it will be someone else. That is our human tendency.

Think about it folks, how many lawsuit commercials are out there asking people if they've been hurt or injured by taking this and such drug? Really look at the symptoms that are cited. They are serious stuff!

I've mentioned the movement to reform the Toxic Substance Control Act in a previous blog. Do a web search for "The Health Case for Reforming the Toxic Substance Control Act." It is the report, put before the legislature, that was compiled by a group called "Safer chemicals, Safer Families." It compiles research by some of the best professionals in our country.  It links specific chronic health conditions like, all heart attacks, strokes, all cancers, all neuro-degenerative diseases (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Autism....), birth defects and reproductive disorders to consumer product and environmental toxins. It goes on to theorize that the same is true for all chronic illnesses.  I've personally read research by the worlds most credible scientists that verifies the same for pretty much all disease conditions. Even viruses get a "leg up" from the damage that consumer product and environmental toxins do to our bodies.

Start thinking about your personal environment and diet in a way that protects you from unnecessary chemical exposures. There are safer products and safer practices out there. Take advantage of them. Yes, they are a little more expensive and a little physically harder, but those things are an investment in your health. We could all use a little more "exercise." We could all use better health.

Yesterday I focused on 'not fragrance' toxins in consumer products. I mentioned that "fragrances are trade secrets and can't be monitored by any government agency." Its a loop hole that has been exploited to the detriment of people world wide. Independent research says that, on average a fragrance (whether cheap or expensive) contains 600-700 ingredients.  Approximately, 200 of which are known toxins. All fragrances contain pesticide, or you'd be swarmed by bugs. Mostly, the biting, stinging kind ~ bees, wasps, ants.... Merchants are driven by profit. They are interested in producing things cheaper, faster, boosting sales and increasing their profit margin. They are not interested in your best interest. Just because they sell it and promote it as good for you, doesn't mean it is. You need to take control of your life and start thinking again. Know what you're putting in and on your body.

Toxins are accumulative. They collect in your tissue. Then they combine in your tissue, producing even more deadly effects. It's called synergy. When they examine a particular chemical for safety, they don't take account of synergistic effects. They study them and test them one chemical at a time, in optimally healthy bodies. To date there has been almost no testing for synergistic effects. I've only found record of one. It was concerning food additives.

In 1978 a small scale experiment, on synergistic effects of food additives, was performed on rats. All the additives were taken from the GRAS list. When they fed the food additives to the rats, one at a time, all rats were fine. When they fed them to the rats in two additive combinations, all the rats got sick. When they fed them to them 3 at a time, all the rats died in 14 days.

This is horrifying considering that most people sit down to a meal containing, on average, 12 -16  food additives, 3 times a day.

Bare in mind the rats used in these studies are brought to a state of excellent health before any testing can begin. Rats with health issues are excluded from the trials. They are fed an optimal diet. There are few people living who have a state of excellent health or access to an optimal diet. We all have health issues due to the fact that we live in chemically inundated environments. We are being poisoned, everyday.

Many people, just haven't connected the dots, yet...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Hair Cut

My husband got his haircut a couple of days ago. Normals would immediately think, "Yawn...." Not so in TI world. It just so happened that I was upstairs when he got home. I heard the door and the dogs. I scuttled down the stairs to greet him. Before I reached the bottom of the steps I was engulfed in cloying fragrance that would drop an elephant. He was already in the laundry sink, washing his hair. I rounded the corner and popped on the exhaust fan. "You get a hair cut?" I enquired. I was met with an apologetic look, cast out under his armpit, as  he was busily lathering and rinsing. He'd already contained the contaminated clothing. I turned on every other exhaust fan in the house.                                                                                                                                  
            "My regular guy was out. The other Jim, who does shaves, cut it this time. I told him it had to be fragrance free, so he didn't use anything on my hair but water." Ron, groaned out. He could smell it himself.
             "Did he wash his hands before doing you?" I asked, eyes streaming from the vapors, even where I was standing by the air purifier 20 ft away.
              "He rinsed his hands in water." my husband said, simply. I lit candles to burn off the fumes and Ron headed for the bathroom to wash his hair in the shower, several more times. (Further discussion revealed that Ron believed it was the aftershave that lingered on the barber's hands.) I could feel my lymphs swelling and burning. I headed for the shower and sauna. It was only an hour or two and boils began to break out. As I devolved, Ron headed for the shower again. I was still tracking fumes off him.  By bed time, I went through the shower again. Even after 4-5 shampoos Ron's hair still reeked enough to burn me. He had to sleep in another bed, in a different part of the house.

People just don't realize how pervasive, their fragrance really is. 

I got a pretty good nights sleep. The headache that I went to bed with was mild by comparison to some I'd had. I woke up with the same headache. Not too bad, considering. Ron washed his hair thoroughly again that morning. I checked it. Still reeked.

By this time the lymphs in my jaw, neck and throat  were so swollen most of my teeth hurt and I couldn't chew. My pituitary gland began to hurt and it escalated through out the day. Now I know your thinking, Ron's not there. So how can she be getting worse? Remember symptoms peak within 20-48 hrs. Not only that, the VOCs that came in on Ron, didn't all stay on him. So the surfaces in the house are now contaminated with VOCs as well. That means lots of airing out and cleaning of surfaces, for me, in addition to revolving detox procedures. shower sauna clean clothes, shower sauna clean clothes... and all those meds.

He washed it again,  when he got home and again before bed that night. Still reeked. He slept in the other bed again.  He kissed me goodbye this morning when he left for fishing. The level is down to the point where I can't smell it unless I stick my nose in his hair. Unfortunately that still out-gasses. From trial and error, we know that even that level will cause me to wake up with cranium cracking toxic encephalopathy in the middle of the night.

People don't realize how toxic there fragranced products are.

It is incredibly horrifiying for me to read lists of ingrediants on personal care products. While fragrances are 'trade secredts' so they don't have to list what's in them. There are sufficient number of other toxic products on the label to do considerable, covert  damage to the user and drop a TI like a hot stone. For instance, here are the ingrediants from a well known lotion for "sensitive skin." I've colored every petroleum product/by-product red... These are all on the Generally Recognized As Safe list, GRAS, that is put out by the FDA, a munufacturer's interest based government agency.

water, butylene glycol, mineral oil, petrolatum, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaparate, PEG -40 Sterate, C11-13 isoparaffin, glyceryl sterarate, Tri PPG -3 Myristyl Ether citrate, cetearyl alcohol, dimethicone, methylparaben polysorbate 60, DMD hydantoin, carbomer, ethylparaben, propylparaben, disodium EDTA, sodium hydroxide, xanthan gum, butylparaben, titanium dioxide.

I did a quick search and found out that:

Butylene Glycol: Used in cosmetics to resist humidity, to retain scents and as a preservative.  Has a similar toxicity as ethylene glycol, which when ingested may cause depression, vomiting, drowsiness, coma, respiratory failure, convulsions, renal damage, kidney failure and death. It is a petroleum product that is a biofermentation of a particular red algea. Think toxic red tide that they don't allow shellfish  harvest during...

Mineral oil and petrolatum are just ultra refined and processed crude oil. These are known carcinogens!

Cetyl alcohol was originally derived from whale oil, now it comes from petroleum or palm oil. Palm oil derivitive is listed as palmityl Alcohol.

Propylene glycol, while rated as safe for humans is a known carcinogen. There is a Environmental continueing Ed course put out by the CDC for medical personnel that relays the hazards of this and its more toxic cousin Ethylene glycol. They are recognized to cause toxic injury. In addition it is a Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon. These chemicals are very similar in process and symptomology to Butylene glycol. See above for side effects...

PEG-40 is poly-ethylene glycol derived with castor bean oil. Castor beans are the source of ricin. A neuro toxic chemical weapon.

isoparaffin is a petroleum based hydrocarbon like Cyclopentasiloxane, known carcinogens.

PPG-3 Myristyl Ether is a polypropylene glycol ether of myristyl alcohol. Citrate is a MSG containing substance. Myristyl is added to promote skin permeability.

Cetearyl Alcohol is the same as Cetyl alcohol.

Dimethicone is silicone and is a known carcinogen.

parabens, wether methyl, ethyl, butyl or propyl are known to be the leading cause of non-hereditary breast cancer. They migrate through your body and congregate in breast tissue.,They are known to be allergins, neuro-toxins, and endocrine system disruptors. It is the ester of methyl alcohol and p-hydroxybenzoic acid; 
Benzoic acid is produced commercially by partial oxidation of toluene ( a petroleum product) with oxygen.  

Polysorbate is a petroleum sugar...

DMDM hydantoin is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative! It's also made of pee. LOL. They used to label it urea, I guess they got too many negative comments, so now the name has been sanitized.

carbomer, this is a "poly acrylic that contains benzene

Titanium Dioxide, is known to be the second leading cause of autism spectrum disorder.

And this company had the balls to label this product as "For sensitive skin..."

July '10 a bill before the legislature to revise the Toxic Substance Control Act, was defeated. They are already working on resubmitting. Contact your legislatures to support the revision of the Toxic Substance Control Act! It hasn't been revised for something like 60 years...

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Day Outside

Yesterday was an unusual day. I got to go outside and play. The weather was gorgeous. Nice and cool. Upper 50's, I think. So I slipped out and gathered up the horses. I need to work Mariah. She needs her feet trimmed and is unruly after a summer without personal attention. Dan and Lottie are well broke in, and are fairly cavalier, even when pulled in right from the field after a long sabbatical.  You see I was training Mariah when I first went down. She hasn't had the handling she needs. Now, on good days, I try to go out and do it.

They came running. Catching was easy. I just opened the gate. Lottie and Mariah, came rip-tearing down the pasture and charged in. Dan, who's somewhere around 20, ambled in. He's the old man.  I closed the second gate on the girls because the llama's wanted to join in on the fun and mess everything up. When Dan got there I closed the first gate behind him. The girls did not want to be caught up once they realized food was not involved. We did a few laps around the pen until Mariah joined up first. 

This sounds fairly routine for horse trainers, for TIs there's always an additional 'backstory' going on. Let's replay what we have so far and review the back story...

Open door, carefully test air quality. Scan upwind properties for farm implements, especially spreaders. Step out and scan propeties left and right. To my right is my evil neighbor. The one who is abusive and likes to hurt vulnerable people, like me -disabled, his wife and kids.  I don't see any rigs from this vantage point. I go ahead.

Seem paranoid? It's not if someone is actively hurting you. So the whole time I'm going out to gather up the horses, I'm checking and processing what else is going on all around me. Especially the mean neighbor and his family. They've all participated, (except maybe the daughter). In fact, I have to keep up surveillance the whole time. I've had times when I've been out, and suddenly Mr. "Evil" will run out and grab his sprayer or scream obscenities and threats at me. Mrs. Evil has done the same kind of screaming. She doesn't usually wave her arms around and march back and forth or charge the fence like Mr. Evil, but you get the picture. I ignore the screaming, and threats. It's when he discharges toxins that I have to take evasive action.

So resuming the fun part; I didn't see anybody outside while I was out playing. What a blessing. I got to smell horse. I truly believe there is a theraputic component to the smell of horse. It always makes me feel better. It can't be synthesized, by the way. And it only works if the horse is living. So it can't become a commodity. No, you can't use the methane gas from horses, either. I can just see some of your entrepreneurial minds cranking over, "Healthy
Glow ~ Horse Fart in a Can." That's not what works. It's the smell off the neck, or a warm flank. It smells like life and health, and living.

Any way, I did some grooming and picked up Mariah's feet. One at a time. Just a hair or two. Just enough times so she would start to remember.  When she was a foal I could pick them up out in the field with no lead, and even while leaning over her back. She's been wild for a long time. Then I moved on to my two pros. It was very restful. Old Dan is so old he's become fuzzy and curly. He's a Kieger mustang. Here's a younger picture.

When I turned them out, that naughty Mariah, broke the hot wire connection. So I got to spend some more time outside. Fixing the fence. It was almost like the old days. I also paid a visit to the chicken house. Needs cleaning. I'd planned on starting that today after I worked the horses again, but I got an exposure last night and am down with a head ache. Not a bad one, but I have to work on detox, that takes up all the extra time. Maybe tomorrow....  Any volunteers for the chicken house cleaning party? LOL I'll serve treats,... not bar-b-qued chicken.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

On a Lighter Note

Well, yesterdays entry was depressing. Let's talk about something more fun.
Fiber. Not the eating kind. The other kind. I  blogged about injecting fun things
as part of the therapy. So today I'll share about that. Since when you first get
diagnosed, you are so sick that napping is your largest hobbie. All other
hobbies after that have to have low energy requirements. I began with
spinning. Spinning is some thing you can do with a simple drop spindle or a more complicated spinning wheel. My first drop spindle from college was still hanging around some where and I trotted it out. We used to raise sheep for lamb, and I happen to have a few fleeces hanging around. Now these are not "fiber fleeces."  Fleeces grown specifically for luxurious hand spinning. They were only 2.5 inches. Of course, we had been raising Suffolks. A meat breed. My husband agreed to get some more sheep. He wanted more suffolks.  I bought some Montedales. Bright white, fine, 4-6".  In the mean time, I chose a yearling fleece, less course, and began experimenting. We'll just skip over the cleaning, it was long and drawn out. I had to do it in short spurts, which required a lot of soaking. I also had to find a fragrance free degreaser. I did discover, lots of soaking is good.  My first yarn was bulky, but I was hooked. I eventually got a spinning wheel and fleeces from my new sheep. That's one above.

 I spun up this lovely 2 ply and we dyed it blue. Our favorite color! Then I spun this grey from a suffolks x mont lamb. (below) I also have llama's, I spun that. I ordered a sample box and spun all kinds of cool fibers, long wool, merino, bunny, camel, goat, bamboo, silk, synthetics, kapok, flax.

I joined the guild and began practicing so I can take the certificate of mastery. It's been a lot of fun and is very relaxing. The sheering of the sheep is hard work, but it occurs in the spring. Before the spray season begins, so I can do them one or two at a time. I'm currently working out how to spin straw into gold...

You're probably wondering what I am doing with all this fiber? I knit, I crochet.  I'm also   learning to weave, so I need to spin enough to make a warp and a weft! That will be cool.
Here's some pictures....                                                                                          Here on the right, you'll see a
pair of "$300.00 hunting socks."
I made them as a Christmas 
present for my father in law, by request. 
- - - - Just don't dry them in the dryer!                                                                                                   
This photo is of my first handspun, hand knit vest (suffolks) and my all time favorite montedale sweater.  You can see I love cables. The extra challenge helps my brain to heal.     

Yes, I did the afgan as well. It was long ago, before hand spinning.  

Another thing I like to knit are hats, because they are small projects, quickly finished and intricate enough to be challenging. The deer stalker hat on the left is made from handspun/ dyed mont. and lined with my handspun llama. The pill box on the right is commercial silk, mohair.   I get a lot of requests for hats. I must admit I really love the wild ones.                                                                                                                                                                  
I made this kabuki hat for this young man. He loves crazy hats as much as I do. He wears it in public, too! LOL 
I've been forced, out of necessity to do some other interesting knitting projects, as well. I can't wear synthetics. Like elastic and spandex. They make my skin slough off and me reek. This is a problem.  
So I knitted up a few bras... Here's the prototype.  I used organic ready made for this project. I haven't spun cotton yet. I wanted cotton, not wool. eeeeh! itchy bra? No way!    This is a pattern I made up out of my head. I discovered that if you break things done into itsy bitsy pieces,  you can figure most stuff out.

Hope that was fun for you.                         

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Day in the Life, part 3, The Hazards of Going to the Doctor

Not every 'outworld' trip goes this badly, just a certain percentage. I've filled my quotient...

It was July, the 27th. It was Dr. Day. Every Tuesday I go to the doctors to have my immune system squished back in. They perform this miracle by injecting me with IV glutathione, either a push or a drip. The drip has other biologics that I'm deficient in and need to have bumped on a less regular basis.

It started out like any other Tuesday. Except that Ron was gone this week on a fishing trip in Canada. I was on my own. So far this summer had been a rough one. It seemed the spray applications and fly overs had been non-stop. There had been a recent 2, 4 D spraying and we were still inside the VOC window, but the applicator had been very careful and it was a little farther away. He was also covering the chores through the VOC period. I was going to risk the trip to the doctor's as my glutathione was so low. I wasn't doing too badly that morning, but the extra exposures were draining me. I could tell I was running low; I was feeling diminished: weak, a little shaky, very vulnerable.  I began my usual routine, doubling up on some of the particular supplements that recharge spent glutathione and would help me cope with the innumerable exposures TIs gets when they leave their safe-houses. My appointment is usually early afternoon. I plan my trip around the errands I can do at safer locations, like fragrance free stores, drive thru banks and PO. Some of the stores and the PO provide car-side service as an accommodation.

It was mid-morning when I felt the"crash" coming on. All of the sudden my legs buckled and a sultry wave of sheer exhaustion and the feeling of losing consciousness washed over me. My guess is systemic apoptosis. That's when groups of cells, all over your body explode. They commit suicide. It's a complete systemic crash, due to glutathione depletion. The emotional backwash that losing control brings up is like a second physical blow. I hate losing control. Panic pounces and I struggle to remain calm. What I need right now are massive amounts of C & B complex. I have to get to the box: point and shoot. Legs aren't working, heart's not working, I'm passing out. I'm turning into a rag doll. Can't breathe.

I literally crawl from the living room to the kitchen, stopping when forced to, to rest. I make it to the kitchen and pull myself up to stand using appliance handles and drawers. I've got tunnel vision at this point. I'm pushing, I'm pushing. There is no one else here. No one else could arrive in time and be safe enough not to put me over the edge.  I normally leave a glass there by the box. The box is next to the fridge. The fridge dispenses water. There's oral glute in the fridge for emergencies. It's all right there. 'I can make it, I can make it" I'm telling my self. My hands are shaking, I can barely keep the water in the glass. I can barely hold the glass. I fumble with the lids and take double doses. I gulp them down; they burn my throat. I slide to the floor, breathing hard, tears streaming. I hate being out of control.

In a while things come back on line. I climb up the counter face and take a few more supplements. I struggle to cook some broccoli. My oral glute contains soy, an estrogen analog. I have severe estrogen dominance. It's caused me a tumor, endometriosis and a ruptured and hemorrhaging cyst.  Broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables help the body eliminate toxins and especially excess estrogen. (most pesticides are xeno (chemical) estrogens... I eat two to three cups of broccoli a day. Finally, I take my broccoli, and wobble back into the living room to collapse in my chair. My plan now is to rest and eat the broccoli. It takes a while.

O.K., I sigh, I still have to get to the Dr.s for the treatment. Otherwise, at this rate, I won't survive the week. I use my "phone a friend." There's no answer. I don't leave a message, because it would only alarm them. I'd have to do it myself. I mentally re-prioritize my errand list. I can survive on the groceries I have in the house. I was supposed to pick up a package at the P.O. It's important. a must. Ryan needed me to deposit his check in his bank. I can do that through the drive up window, quickly, with minimal exposures. It was his new bank account and the old bank hadn't released his funds because of some internal error. He needed money in there, to begin his new job in Utah. I had to.

I rested as long as possible, then showered to remove the toxic sweat (it reeks, by the way. I try not to do that to the doctor's office) then got ready and wearing extra covering, with my mask in place, I bolted (in a ragged line) to the car. Once locked inside with the purifier running, I stripped off the extra covering and sealed it in the bag.  I left my mask on until the purifier had a chance to work. I headed for the post office. I was feeling considerably better by this time. Crisis averted!

My postal encounter went very well. Mary came out to help me. She was entirely fragrance free. What a blessing. It was a quick hand off through the barely open window and everything was taken care of. I pointed my car in the direction of Ryan's bank. When I drive, I am so careful. I honestly believe, that if I were to ever hit someone or cause an accident, I'd die of grief. So rest assured I'm very careful. Its the up side of being hyper-sensitive. Your aware of everything. It does make you a safer driver.

When I got to the bank with Ryan's check, things started to go along smoothly. Unfortunately, the teller decided to call over her supervisor. Could of been the mask... It was, I should mention 98° out. I was running the air conditioning, to keep it cool. I'm horribly heat intolerant. One of the legacies from Organophosphate poisoning. It was taking too long. I couldn't keep the car cool without the motor running. I can't keep the motor running if I have to talk out the window, because the fumes get me. Finally we finished and they sent back papers. The supervisor had handled them and her sickeningly sweet stench filled the entire van. I stuffed them into the ziplock bag as quickly as possible. Too late. A hit.

I was heading north, out of town on the highway when I noticed the engine temp gage. It was really high. Crap! I turned off both the air conditioning and the purifier. They draw  the engine and keep it hot. I decided I had best have someone check the coolant as Ryan and I had had previous problems with it a few weeks ago. Maybe there was a pinhole leak? I made a parking lot u-turn and headed back to a vendor's who routinely works with me. My feed store. I went to the back and asked the young man there to check my coolant. He was not mechanically inclined, so he called in someone else who worked there.  While they were checking it out two unfortunate events happened. A semi roared by with-in 10 ft and another customer pulled up and wandered t'wards us. It just so happened that it was at the moment that the guys had asked me a question which required me to step out and answer them. I was totally exposed. I was injured. I could feel it. The guys did say the reservoir was completely full. I thanked them and went on my way. The engine had cooled somewhat, so I determined that if I left the air-conditioning off until I reach highway speeds, and kept the air-conditioning at a minimum, I'd be o.k. So that's what I did. I drove constantly monitoring the engine temp and responding as necessary.

It was going alright. I crossed the river and headed north. The doctor's is 50 min. away. I live in a desert area. There's no trees. It's very hot. I was about fifteen minutes into my trip when I realized I was shaking all over, my hands were cold and numb and my arms were becoming paralyzed. Shit! I thought at first that it was adrenaline and kept telling myself that everything was fine. Then I realized the other customer probably had pesticide on him. It began to be difficult to breathe and I could feel myself starting to pass out. Oh, crap! I knew I needed to pull over. If I pulled over along the roadway, with the temperature climbing to above 100, I'd boil in no time. I needed to reach an exit and find some shade. I new the next one coming up had an underpass. I struggled to hang on. I pulled over partly and drove slowly along the shoulder, until I reached the next exit. Of course I had to turn off the air.  I drove even more slowly down the off ramp fighting to see, fighting to stay conscious, praying I wouldn't crash into anybody. There were a few people down there in cars. My car crawled slowly to a stop. I turned my head stiffly to the left. The shade under the freeway looked like a mirage in the desert. I took my time. I double checked. "God, I don't want to hurt anybody!" I prayed. Carefully I edged out and directed my car,  with air off, to the shade. I stopped the car and turned off the engine. I collapsed panting hard.

After a few minutes, I reached up and adjusted the mirrors. I wanted to see what was going on behind me. The tears were streaming. I could tell my condition was not going to improve on its own. I phoned my friend, again. This time she answered. I sobbed out my location and what I needed. She said simply, "I'm coming. Hang on." This is a really great friend. (Some of you are probably wondering why I didn't call 911. They are toxic. They wear fragranced personal care products, like cologne, aftershave, deodorant, laundry product. They idle their diesel 'bus' while retrieving you and the back fills with really toxic diesel fumes. Their uniforms are dry cleaned. Dry cleaning chemicals remain toxic for months. They clean the bus with really toxic chemicals that out-gas for days. They clean it every day. They wouldn't take me to my doctor's. They'd take me to a hospital. Hospitals are toxic. They're not set up to treat me. In this state, it would kill me.)

Even under the overpass, the interior is heating up. Because the engine was overheating I couldn't run the air-conditioner. I'd reclined the seat. I open the door slightly, with a weak hand, to get some fresh, cooler air. "Oh, my God" I cried out in desperate prayer, in my head. There's non-stop traffic driving on the highway over head. All the exhaust fumes are pouring down beneath the bridge. The air is thick with carbon monoxide and the stench of diesel and gas exhaust. I continue my mental prayer, it was really more like a lament. "O God, O God, O God."  I close the door. My panic rouses me somewhat and I realize there's a lot of people parking under the highways or near the end of the ramps down here with me. It takes me a few minutes to realize they are doing drugs, drug deals and really gross sex. Ah crap! I lock the door and continue praying. As the heat climbs I'm slipping in and out of consciousness. I'm fighting to stay awake, because I can't leave the door unlocked. I'd be easy pray for the less than exemplary citizens frequenting this sight. If I don't unlock it, my friend won't be able to get in. I have bottled water. I try to keep sipping that. I'm wearing coveralls, to protect me from exposures, so I drop the flap to help disperse my body heat. Finally, after an eternity, I call her again. She was almost there. Right at the off ramp. (really it was only 40 min. She was at a yard sale on the other side of town. She had dropped what she was doing, rushed home and showered, putting on clean clothes, so she wouldn't tox me. She even came to me with out make-up. That's heroic. She'd never done this before. What an incredible friend!) I unlocked the door and moved (a very ponderous, undignified and difficult task, about which I will spare you the details. Feel free to use your imagination, there's no way you could come up with anything worse than what it was) over to the passenger seat. By this time the interior was over 120°. I had, during the wait, tried opening the door  a few more times when the heat was too much. Each attempt was toxic. I was now wearing my mask because the fumes in the car were so strong and I couldn't run the purifier any more than the air-conditioning. I was no longer crying, there were no more tears.

While driving me to the doctor's she was attempting to make light conversation. I wasn't responding. It was taking every bit of my willpower not to die on her. I could feel the systemic collapse happening. I was willing my self to make it. I knew if I died, she'd never forgive herself. It wouldn't be her fault, but she couldn't help it, she would take the responsibility. I was limp and dying and I knew it.

We made it to the doctor's office and at that point I roused. You see, I knew she couldn't carry me. I couldn't risk exposures from anyone else, trying to help. I had to, I had to make it in under my own steam.  She pulled up at the end of the walk.  I swung my arm down, from the shoulder and fumbled numbly for the disabled placard. She was asking me if we could park there. She's been a bus driver, so I figured she would know about the placard. I mumbled something about it. I doubt it was coherent. I can't recall if she actually put it up. When she opened the car door , I sucked it up and lurched up the short walk way. I'm still not sure how she got to the office door ahead of me. I staggered into the office. Dr.s mother was there, that day. She looked shocked. I knew I was standing twisted and cockeyed. My skin was livid red, my breathing was rapid, labored and short. Rich, the RN came through right at that time. He immediately said, "In here! Right now!" and helped me to the chair, pausing only long enough to swipe my IV off the counter. The fragrance in the office that day was high. I could smell it through my mask. I couldn't take off my mask to breathe easier because of the smell. I couldn't have taken it off then, anyway. My arms and hands were still paralyzed and it wasn't long before Rich had the needle in one and was filling me up. But unlike usual. I wasn't recovering. I was still panting, breathing hard. I could tell when the fragrance cleared out but, for some time, I was still too paralyzed to reach up and remove my mask. Rich was checking on me constantly. He wanted to call an ambulance. He told me it was the worst he'd ever seen me. I panted out, "I've been worse. There was a time I couldn't even get out of the car. Dr. would treat me in there." (Those were days Ron brought me.) I couldn't breathe. My mask was suffocating me. It was damp with tears and sweat. I couldn't remove it. I lay there. propped in the chair.

Rich went for Dr. and he began some other detox procedures. Eventually I was able to remove my mask. My breathing continued labored. He was really worried. It's bad when you can tell your Dr.s worried. He ordered me, and he doesn't usually order me, "to detox therapy right now!" I responded, "It's not up to me. You have to ask my driver. So they brought her in (yes she has a name, but she's a very private person, so I'm omitting it.) I could tell that this is not what she wanted to do with her day. With the powers of hyper-sensitivity, we see everything. But that's not what she said. Now she's giving passed when it hurts. I started to weep again. They didn't know why, I didn't enlighten them. Dr. called the Nurse who does the detox therapy and the soonest she could see me would be 7:00 pm. It would take 4-5 hrs. I'd just commandeered my best friends entire evening and half the night.  She marched into it like a trooper.  When I recovered enough to stand and walk and not resemble the hunch-back of Notre Dame on a drunken binge we crawled out of there.

My girl friend asked if I minded her driving by the Nurses place as we headed out of town, so when we came back in the evening, 4 hrs. later, she could drive right to it. I told her about the engine overheating and I manned the air controls while she drove. We managed to keep the temp gage in the proper range, all the way there. It was in a small neighborhood. Lots of stops and starts. The engine didn't like it. As we pulled out on to a main thoroughfare, a few blocks from the highway that bisected the town, things began to heat up.

We could hear this rumbling, like a "hog." My girlfriend was looking in all the mirrors, trying to locate the cyclist, so she wouldn't cut him off. She switched in to the protected left turn lane and the light turned red. All of sudden, bells began clanging and screaming, the temp gage had instantly hit the top. I cried out, "Turn it off! Turn it off!" She knows a lot about engines, as do I, so she countered with, "What if it won't start again?" I came back with, "We'll worry about that at the time, TURN IT OFF!" She did. The rumbling continued, but we were distracted from possible great big motorcycles by worrying about the car overheating. Finally after an eternity the light turned green. We held our breath and prayed. The engine started. I told her to head for the nearest shade and park, at least the engine, in it." There wasn't that much shade at that time of the afternoon. But, in hardly a moment she had done just that. We were parked on the west side of the road in the parking lot of a mall. We were about 20 ft. off a 4 lane highway.

Then the rumbling had turned to roaring. She got out and opened the hood. The fluid in the reservoir was boiling heavily. It was spilling out over the asphalt. There wasn't a 'hog', it was us. The fumes knocked me back so hard I began the third crash of the day. This time I descended into autism spectrum disorder. This is not lovely. I began rocking and stimming. It's totally humiliating. But  it got worse... Of course the engine was in shade and the body of the van was in the sun. It was now 106°. My girl friend called her husband, to come for us. He couldn't get away from work. His supervisor was away and he'd have to wait until he came back. I called Lane. He's my son's friend, a friend of the family and a wonderful neighbor. You see, I knew I couldn't leave the car in the parking lot 'til Ron got back from Canada. I knew I couldn't have it commercially hauled; they'd contaminate it with fragrance and petroleum and I'd be without transportation for months before I could get it cleaned up safely. I knew Lane was resourceful and a farm boy. He can do stuff! We own a car hauler. Lane would be able to get it and come get me. (He was on call, if I had any trouble, an arrangement Ron had made before he left.) I figured if we got the car hauler, I could drive the car onto the hauler, we could get a bunch of bags of ice and pack me and Lane could drive us home. The reason I was figuring on riding in my car is that Lane is a farmer, he might have chemicals or petroleum. When I got Lane, he said, "Not a problem." In fact he was in town, at a friends, who had a hauler and he'd be there as soon as possible. We told both guys what was going on and it was now a race to see who could save us.

Meanwhile, my girl friend was expiring in the heat. She was trying to prevent me from exposures, while not  leaving me to suffer alone. She decided to get some water for the reservoir as it had boiled dry. She also picked me up some mocha latte and herself some tea. She chugged her liquids, I chugged mine. The coffee was a brilliant idea and a life saver. I started to sweat. With the sweat, out comes the toxins. She saved my life more than once that day! She also called the Nurse and cancelled my therapy, telling the nurse to call me back and reschedule later. I was beat red, rocking and stimming and devolving rapidly away from coherency by the time the guys arrived. It ws about 40 min. They arrived within minutes of each other. Lane got there first and we discovered he'd been working on a friend's vehicle. I couldn't drive the car by this time and I couldn't remain in the car while it was moved to the hauler as Lane had petroleum on him. They parked me against the building. Due to the gross amount of ethylene glycol and the petroleum fumes from the highway, I began to hemorrhage. I could feel blood running down to my knees. I called weakly out to my girlfriend, and a passerby relayed the call. She came over quickly. I asked her, still stimming and drooping against the wall, "Is it sweat or blood running down my legs?" She looked me right in eyes, not even glancing down and said with authority, "It's sweat." Bless her heart. She lied through her teeth.  Her husband arrived. My friends husband had revved up their air-conditioner all the way there, so high he was frozen, by the time he got there. As soon as he arrived they swept me in to the frigid interior. What a blessed relief. Her husband helped Lane and then they took me home. They'd also gathered up my airpurifier and I sat slumped over it in the back seat, just breathing and struggling to recover. (Also the heavy towels I have on the seats, so I wouldn't leave a mess.)

When they got me home and I made it in the door, my girl friend looked like she felt she should stay and help me. I lovingly kicked her out and told her to go home. She'd done so much and she was stressed and exhausted. I then began my decontamination and detox procedures. I "had miles to go before I could sleep."