Big Problems and Slow Solutions / Rants and Silver Linings

Tilted Mom’s Mileage May Vary

My backyard on Anna Maria Island, which always works for me.

My backyard on Anna Maria Island; I get a lot of mileage out of this.

MCS patients bring a whole new dimension to the YMMV acronym frequently used online. Your mileage may vary is a phrase used to explain that everyone’s experience may differ. And because there are many different paths of injury and exposure that can lead to MCS and because there are many different biological systems involved in the symptomatology of MCS, successful MCS treatment can be incredibly varied. Not only is there variety between patients, treatments can vary in their success for each patient over time. As we try to re-balance our health, our bodies may require different approaches for recovery.

To further clarify, there is no universal cure for MCS. If there were, we would all do it – no matter the cost or consequences. Patients have increased their chemical tolerance to varying degrees and duration. But for the most part, having MCS is a one way ticket into chronic illness. Our main intent is to minimize our reactions, eliminate chronic pain, and improve overall health.

Things That Have Worked for Me (that anyone can do without out a physician)
*Avoidance; a simple concept but an incredible amount of work. I cleaned out my home, my air space, my cleaning and bathroom products. It was a long and exhausting process but it’s always, always worth it.
*Clean water; got a whole house filter.
*Organic whole foods; rotated when necessary due to correctly identified food sensitivities.
*Exercise; the immune system and thusly the detox system depend on a circulating lymph system to clean out our bodies. And lymph needs movement to circulate.
*Spiritual centering; meditation, journaling, church, swimming in the ocean, 80s movie marathon watching.
*Massage; most EI patients try different touch therapies and eventually find one (acupuncture, chiropractic, reiki, etc) that works best for them. Any therapy is only as good as the practitioner.

My church.

My church.

Things That Have Worked For Me (that require a physician)
*A doctor who, at best, knows what they are doing or at least is open to learning and listening. Though I have worked with multiple doctors whose expertise qualifies them, I have had the most success with Dr. Grace Ziem.
*Regular blood work to check nutrient levels; preferably some lab work that goes deeper than your basic CBC. The most revealing I have seen is Spectracell’s Micronutrient Testing.
*Nutritional supplements to address deficiencies; always done with good lab work, doctor dosing, and quality brands. Otherwise you are wasting time and money and asking your body to do extra digestive work. Ziem’s Neural Sensitization Protocol gave me much improvement, because under her care, it was individualized for me and frequently adjusted.
*Far Infrared Sauna to help with detoxification.
*Nebulized glutathione; for past heavy metal exposure and ongoing cognitive dysfunction as exposure reaction, nothing works better for me. It is a part of the Neural Sensitization protocol but I wanted to emphasize it again.
*Chelation therapy; if you have heavy metal toxicity like I did, you have to do some of this fun stuff. I gag a little just thinking about it.

My sauna, cleverly disguised by sea oats.

My sauna, cleverly disguised by sea oats.

Treatments I Have Tried That Did Nothing for Me (but others swear by them)
*Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET) ; combining allergens with acupuncture or acupressure.
*Low Dose Allergen; based on EPD which is no longer used in USA, this treatment is designed for IgE mediated allergies which can sometimes contribute to MCS.

Treatments I have Never Tried (and probably never will)
*LDN low dose naltrexone; claims to reduce abnormal reactions to the body’s own tissues and allergens and increase the ability of the body to fight infectious agents.
*Dynamic Neural Retraining System, Emotional Freedom Technique, Amygdala Retraining Programs and others like it.

Things That Have Worked for Me allow me to volunteer at my kid’s school, be on the town’s environmental committee and travel occasionally. The chemical sensitivity is greatly reduced, though not resolved, and I am not in chronic pain. However, I have not been able to maintain consistently solid health such that I could go back to work outside the home. On an MCS scale that still makes me a freakin’ success story. And I am not done; I always believe I can make it a little better. My food sensitivities are spreading, as are my 8 year old daughter’s, and so my gastrointestinal system is an obvious piece of the puzzle that needs further analysis and treatment. Unfortunately none of the GI specialists in my area take my insurance anymore, so the Big Problems, Slow Solutions continue.

Whole organic veggies from my CSA.  Thankfully, I am not allergic to any of these.

Whole organic veggies from my CSA. Thankfully, I am not allergic to any of these.

If you are new to Environmental Illness, please read as many resources as possible. Because the one treatment I did not list, that every patient of every sort should start with, is Become Your Own Advocate. I have some ideas for a post on just that subject but since I am cranking out posts at the incredible rate of one a week (I mean it when I say Slow Solutions), it may be a while before I get to it. In the meantime I cheated and linked to a decent WebMD post. Is that really cheating? No, that’s Tilted Mom being expedient!

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