Living with Environmental Allergies
What is it like....living with severe environmental allergies? How can you truly explain a debilitation that effects every single aspect of your life and yet is nearly invisible to persons you meet?
On the outside, I look very much the same as I did before. Before, I was what most people would call 'normal'. I was a 52-year-old grandmother, healthy, had tons of energy, slept well every night, had a good job, friends, lived in a nice apartment, could travel, go to any social event I wanted, eat in any restaurant I pleased, spend time in libraries reading and researching, go to friends houses with impunity.
And then, suddenly, overnight, I couldn't sleep, couldn't stand to be in my apartment (or even in town), had to quit my job (after collapsing from it), was constantly exhausted, can't travel...and my friends and family think it's all in my head.
What do we who have environmental allergies go through? What do we live with on a daily basis? Imagine the worst case of flu you've ever had...remember the exhaustion and weakness that lingered for days afterwards...imagine that never going away. Exhaustion so mind-numbing the only thing you can do is simply sit...and do nothing. Think of the worst headache you've ever experienced, and then imagine getting into your car, knowing that it will produce one, and get more and more intense the longer you try to drive. Remember fingernails on a chalkboard? Think of that shivering, screeching pain that goes on and on and on....unless you get out of that building. Try holding on to a bare electric wire....think of that feeling...and then transfer that feeling to your hands whenever you touch a computer mouse, and your right leg as you press down on the accelerator of your car. Make it grow to a sharp, shooting pain that is so intense you can't keep your foot on that accelerator, you can't touch that mouse. Ever had someone sit on your chest and felt as if you were being crushed? Ever had asthma or pneumonia? Experience that horrifying shortness of breath whenever you get a whiff of some candle, perfume, fabric softener, hair spray. Then magnify that feeling a hundred times for new carpet, new building materials, aromatherapy products, herbicides and pesticides.
I've always been one of those people, who, when dealing with a cold, flu, or some other malady, could just 'grin and bear it', and in time it would pass. Reactions to environmental toxins are not like that. Reactions we have while being exposed are intense and cannot be ignored. They continue to grow, becoming more and more intense. Our immune systems are screaming at us to get out of that toxic environment, and then makes staying there so painful that we have no choice but to do just that...get out. But the reactions and pain don't stop when we leave. The headaches, pain, sleep deprivation and exhaustion can, and often do, linger for days, weeks, if not months, after. The longer and more intense the exposure, the deeper our reactions, and the longer it takes to recover. Those who live in constantly polluted environments, never do.
In addition to the pain...now try to imagine the loneliness, isolation and frustration forced upon you because of the bombardment of toxins that now permeate our modern society. You can no longer go to your favorite social function, be it a meeting, church group, art event, whatever, because they just installed new carpet and you can't breathe. The cafe with the best coffee in town just installed wi-fi that gives you a splitting headache. The auditorium which produces educational and stimulating programs that you crave is so toxic you can't stand to be there for more than 5 minutes. Even your favorite picnic place or park is now inaccessible to you because a cell phone tower now looms over it. Imagine trying to find someplace safe to live with no chemicals, electricity, wi-fi, or cell phone towers...which is a story by itself, but one that I won't go into here.
If you think it sounds like a miserable existance...you would be correct. Many afflicted try to drown their pain with alcohol or cover-up symptoms with mind-numbing drugs. Some decide, from the depths of despair, that the only way to stop the pain is to finally end it all.
I am one of the fortunate few who have found a way to live relatively free from the environmental toxins with which man has polluted the land. Although an isolated and difficult lifestyle...few could do it...it is the only way I can survive. But you'd better learn. As the bombardment of man-made toxins escalates, so do the cases of environmental allergies. Yesterday, I was like you...but tomorrow, you could be me.
In fact, because of what we now know about electromagnetic and radio frequency/microwave radiation, there is no living thing, be it human, insect, bird, wildlife, or tree, that is not effected, whether you can 'feel' it or not. Researchers now know that the frequencies being used by wireless communication is the very same as that used between cells in our bodies. It's broadcasting in the very language of DNA. Think about that one for a while.
One of the most disturbing problems I am constantly confronted with, when dealing with other hypersensitives or when people find out about my own sensitivity, is that everyone wants to 'fix' us. Everyone has something to sell that will 'cure' us. Just take this, or do that. But the last thing they want to talk about is doing something to 'fix' what is really wrong. 'Fix' what we're poisoning the planet with.
There is nothing 'wrong' with us. We don't need 'fixing'. What is wrong is with what we're doing to ourselves, and the entire planet. What needs 'fixing' is our environment. Think of us as a sensitive, sophisticated alarm system. If you had just spent $10,000 on an alarm system for your house and it went off, you wouldn't think, "Oh, must be something wrong with the system," You'd get busy to find out what it was screaming about. Our bodies are doing exactly what an alarm system is supposed to be doing - screaming that there is something terribly wrong with this environment, and we'd better get busy and fix it.
For more information about Ruth, her lifestyle, or environmental allergies, contact her at; firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.smartshelter.com.