I have learned a lot during the last 8 months. You would think that at 57 yrs old I would know quite a bit, but life is an endless learning process. When I became so ill in October, I never guessed what an extreme life changing event it would be and to what extent those changes would have on my life and those around me. It took me at least six of those months to start feeling just a little bit secure with my own body again and another month or so to start trusting in my bodies reactions to the world around me. End result, I almost feel like myself again, eight months later, but not quite.
What I have found is that my whole attitude on life has changed. Most of the changes I believe have resulted in a positive change but not all. One aspect that has taken me completely by surprise is anxiety. I never considered myself someone who got anxious. My past always dictated that I remain in control, stay strong and handle every problem that came my way, be it working in law enforcement, medicine or handling all of life’s problems that develop at home, especially with a special needs child. Never once in all that time do I ever remember feeling anxious.
The other day when I left the house I felt fine and while driving I was overcome with this unreasonable, dreadful fear. I couldn’t even tell you what this fear and anxiety was about. I was taken completely by surprise. By the time I arrived I was literally in tears. Why? It wasn’t something I was expecting. I was terrified. What? Me? Terrified? All I was having done was a consultation with the dentist on what work we had to complete next, a couple x-rays and a look see and I would be on my way. I sat in my car praying to the Lord that I would calm down that I would understand this anxious feeling I was going thru. As I breathed and prayed I remembered that God never promised an easy time here on earth. Nor is life guaranteed to happen in the manner in which we choose.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Since Easter, when I temporarily went off the deep end, I have been working hard at understanding this reaction to chemicals and other smells and what I can do to help myself and those closely associated with me. I have found a lot of support in others who have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). Much information and ideas have crossed my desk, so much information that it all got a little overwhelming. So since my last post I have been weeding thru, sorting out and trying some things. No surprise, but what had the most impact was the amount of people who share MCS with me. Support has made a huge impact on my mental state and knowing that I am not crazy or alone is such a great feeling.
Many MCS sufferers utilize some sort of neural training to change the bodies’ limbic system since the body is traumatized over and over and has an inability to distinguished between a real threat and perceived threat to the system. There are many approaches to this. It is felt that if a sufferer can change the neural response to the chemicals that assault the senses they can calm the Limbic system down allowing natural healing to occur.
I recently began the HAMR approach which is a hand actuated mental retraining approach. I started it a couple of days ago and will keep you posted on my thoughts and any progress. Here is the link: http://www.hamr.com/
Another approach recommended by a sufferer is:
Dynamic Neural Retraining. (below some quotes from the site)
“Trauma can also initiate an inflammatory response in the central nervous system.
The condition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity indicates that the brain is stuck in a distorted self-protective mechanism.
This cross wired neuronal circuitry directly affects the physiology of the body and manifests in a range of neurological, immunological and endocrine system abnormalities.
In response to a chronic trauma cycle the body's abilities to rest, digest or regenerate are affected.
This interrupts the normal growth cycle and detoxification process catapulting the brain and body into a cycle of chronic illness.
This destructive cycle leads to Limbic System “priming", which means less and less stimuli are needed to produce the same reaction. This can also lead to "Limbic Kindling", which is the brain’s inability to discriminate between stimuli and the sensitivity can spread from one stimulus to another.”
If you don’t have MCS and would like to know some of the symptoms that your loved one or friend may have below is a list:
“Some typical symptoms can include; acute sense of smell, difficulty breathing, cognitive impairment, brain fog, extreme fatigue, sore throat, loss of voice, muscle and joint pain, pain in chest or abdominal region, asthma, excessive mucus production, skin irritation, contact dermatitis, and hives or other forms of skin rash, headaches, racing heart rate, body flushing, neurological symptoms (nerve pain, pins and needles feelings, weakness, trembling, restless leg syndrome, etc.), tendonitis, seizures, visual disturbances (blurring, halo effect, inability to focus), extreme anxiety, panic and/or anger, unexplainable mood swings, sleep disturbance, suppression of immune system, digestive difficulties, nausea, indigestion/heartburn, vomiting, diarrhea, vertigo/dizziness, sensitivity to natural plant fragrance or natural pine terpenes, dry mouth, dry eyes, overactive bladder and food sensitivities.”
The website address for Dynamic Neural Retraining is: http://dnrsystem.com/mcs.html
Still another approach:
Ashok Gupta’s AMYGDALA RETRAINING FOR MCS
I don’t endorse these approaches and haven’t tried anything but the HAMR as yet. Do your research and talk to your doctor before deciding on an approach for you.