Big Problems and Slow Solutions

TILTed Update

In looking back over my little blog that I started 15 months ago, I am reminded of quite a few victories. That’s not why I was looking over old posts; in fact, I cannot remember why I was reviewing it. It probably had something to with a big picture grand plan which I promptly forgot. Instead, I kept thinking, “Oh yea, hey that project is working out” or “Hey, that’s gotten better!” It’s like looking back over your past journal entries and realizing you’ve made some progress. So I thought I’d share some updates today.

DSCN4245The Great Sofa Search, part 3. Love, love, love my sofas. They are beautiful and functional and make me feel like a grown up after years of patching up the old ones because I couldn’t risk new ones. I was worried that the latex interior would have me developing latex allergies but my concerns (for once) have been ungrounded. I cannot smell the latex nor am I being exposed to any degree that would sensitize me. Yay!
DSCN4296Tilted Mom Serves and Protects. One of my first posts was on purging my kitchen of plastic food containers and such. The results of that project are still working well and I still feel a bit smug whenever I see a large stack of leftovers in their little matching Pyrex containers in my refrigerator. At the time, I thought I had over purchased, but having enough containers to be clean, be dirty, and be in use means I have not cheated and gone searching for Ziplocs. My kids still love their Planet Box lunch boxes and use them every day.

IMG_1504The Bathroom Sign. Last spring, I blogged about one particularly bad (though not uncommon) week of exposure and pointed out how I could have avoided at least one aspect of it. I needed a warning sign in my guest bathroom. So, I made one! I drew it to match the Story People print that is also framed in the bathroom so it all ties together. Matching bathroom art – another step towards an adult house.
IMG_2100Garden. I am trying my garden again this year. A few weeks ago (remember the FL growing season is reversed) I got two beds planted, with manure enriched soil. I am working to get my trees trimmed down, so more sun will reach my boxes before I plant any more seeds. But my little sugar snaps and cucumbers already look more promising than they did last year.
DSCN3339Road Trip Freedom. Our pop up camper has now seen us through two great summer vacations, the latest one was just a few months ago. It is like a little two wheeled box of freedom just waiting in my driveway. Thanks Livin Lite and the lovely family who took care of it for 3 years before us!
IMG_1406The Orange Chair, aka Lingering Denial. The chair has outgassed quite a bit and so I can actually sit in it for a while now. It’s my Sunday morning, have a cup of tea, in the sun, spot. One cup of tea is about how long I last before I get worried I am getting a headache from the fabric treatment on the chair and it’s also how long my kids will let me sit alone quietly. So that works out.
IMG_2097The Home Renovation. I can be in the new utility room now, filled with stuff, thanks to construction material choices that outgassed quickly. In fact, the new room became safe for me quicker than the rest of the house got the renovation dust cleaned out of it. So big note to self on that. Controlling the air flow is just as important as material choices!

Tilted Mom Tries to Change her Intent. This has been a very long convoluted struggle with inconsistent progress. It began with these questions I posed to myself over a year ago “What if, instead of getting around my health problems, I start with them? What if my life is centered around great nutrition, improving my family’s health, and sharing the journey however I can (like blogging)? With the right intent, can I make a largely domestic life enough? If I start with my health as a focus rather than as a limit, can it transform my life into something larger?” About ten months after I wrote those words it started to feel vaguely feasible. While I may not ever be able to love domestic work, I have really come to cherish the connections that writing has brought. The energy, physical and mental, that I do not spend on trying to get around my health problems has meant that I have more energy to put into living with them.

Then my new protocol from my nutritionist kicked in and my chemical sensitivities dropped dramatically. Mind you, the chemical sensitivities have not been truly challenged in a mainstream way because my life is set up to avoid exposures. Additionally, this sort of health improvement has happened to me before and so I know not to overdo it and relapse. But this is a surreal turn of events. Just as I was achieving some sort of acceptance with the life-long limitations of chemical sensitivity, they receded. The is the first I have really talked about it. I have only whispered it to a few family members. Literally, whispered. And then I took a few baby steps. I just started tutoring a few grade school students in math at my community center. Shhhh. That’s working outside the home. I know, I buried the lead. It’s my equivalent of blog whispering. I will try to take it slow and keep you posted!

7 thoughts on “TILTed Update

  1. You have had some great successes.
    I like the bathroom sign.
    It seems that once we start managing our illness, rather than letting it manage us, we start feeling better and we can do more.
    The tutoring sounds great. You are not only teaching math, you are teaching the students to stay away from chemicals.
    Success stories like yours give others hope.

  2. Wonderful to hear ❤

    It is so important to celebrate success stories as well as the challenges, both for ourselves and others.

  3. I just found your blog and have been binge reading. It is so good to see and hear for someone with MCS being able to have some travel, renovation and new furniture buying success! I would love to find out where you get your masks. I clicked on the link but it had expired. I am also trying to travel to your area and wondered if you know of anywhere in the Sarasota area to stay? I have what my doc considers as severe chemical sensitivity and I have not successfully traveled for 6 years.

    • It took me many years and many different treatment attempts before I was able to travel a little so I understand your frustration! My little victories help me stay positive but I still can’t work full time outside the home and travel has to be done infrequently and very carefully. Having said that, I soooo wish I could recommend a safe place for you to stay in the area, but I really don’t know any. The good news is that the temperate weather and breezy conditions make our winters an easy time to be outside a lot and keep the windows open. So that’s my first suggestion – get close to the water and make sure the windows open. My apologies for the bad link on the mask; I just fixed it. Here it is directly You still need to email Sandra to place an order but as of 6 months ago she was still answering her emails and making masks!

      • Thank you so much for your response! It is so great to connect with other MCSers. I am very lucky that here in Seattle there are some good docs for EI and many of the treatments I have tried have help me improve over the last 5+ years. My boyfriend owns property in Sarasota, all rented out right now, and he goes there often and would love for me to join him. He is there now volunteering for the Dragon Boat races and he is staying on Long Boat Key. We have been trying to find folks in the area that might have info on safe places for me to stay. One idea is finding an Airstream to convert or teardrop trailer. If you hear of any please let me know! I love the Gulf Coast and hope to get back there.

      • This area has been key for my healing so I think I need to step up my research in the accommodation area. In the meantime, you might check out the EI Safe Housing group on Facebook. Also, just a thought, but if you are open to the Airstream idea you might also look into LivinLite campers. They are mostly aluminum construction and I have tolerated ours very well.

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