Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Two Eyed Purple People Eater

I'm surprised to see that it's been a while since I posted a blog here, but then again I guess I shouldn't be. I've spent the last several days in a brain-blitzed fog with keel-over, jelly-kneed, weakness type fatigue to go with it not to mention the assorted other lovely symptoms like tingling, pain, sinus, and the feeling of wearing sox when I'm not wearing sox at all.

I've had moments when I found myself falling asleep in the middle of the day which is totally untypical for me despite my usual fatigue. It's not the these symptoms were unfamiliar but rather the intensity, duration and combination of them which told me something was different.

Like many other times like this I started going through the mental check off list---Is there flu going around? Is this like other (cfs) crashes I've had? Have I eaten anything new-different? Have I been around anything different? Having CFS and MCS and FM it's often difficult to sort out what causes what.

You might think it doesn't make any difference what the cause is, but to me it does because SOME things I've learned little tips and tricks to do that help, and I sure want to know if it's something I can avoid or need to get away from!

Then I recalled a succession of things that happened several nights back. I'd gone to ask my neighbor something and when she answered her door I was greeting by a mushroom cloud of fumes! She doesn't apply perfume inside her suite but of course no matter where she's put it on it's in her clothes, hair etc and therefore weasels its way into her apartment where it can come up my air vents.

I hadn't run into that strong of 'fumes on her before (tho ya she's been a stinker sometimes) and so wasn't expecting it. I backed up the stairwell a few steps thinking I could complete my mission and after a few moments no longer noticed the smell ---but---suddenly I noticed the sound of my voice was changing! Kermit had appeared! I started sounding froggier and froggier until I was sure I was croaking. Sure enough I started feeling that horrid, scary feeling of throat tightening. Then I was coughing...

Oddly I hadn't had this happen for a long time. Years ago I had had several episodes when exposed to perfume which sent me rushing to the Dr. who gave me a cortisone shot. I was becoming convinced recently that my reactions had changed over the years as my "early warning alarm" seemed to have disappeared. Back in those early days when exposed to perfumes I would first get a very sore throat, like I'd drank acid. That would tell me to EXIT FAST! If I lingered too long or if the 'fumes were especially strong the swelling throat would follow. Several weeks ago it had occurred to me that I hadn't had that for a long time but wondered if I hadn't developed a more delayed reaction of a different nature.

I made the great escape from the stinky stairwell and tried to 'air out' a bit praying the tightening wouldn't progress. Sometimes that helps if I move fast enough. After a short 'airing out' on the back porch I decided I felt as good as I was going to for a while and went into the house.

About an hour later I went outside again, only this time I was slammed by air thick with someone's laundry soaps! Laundry smells often drift through the air but wouldn't you know, that night it was ten times thicker than usual. Yucko! I shake my head in amazement wondering how come people really believe that super-stinky laundry is somehow cleaner than laundry with no smell. There must be a bunch of them convinced of that as they all seem to use the most awfully stinky stuff out there. It's not a pleasant smell, more like one that sticks a bony sharp finger up your nose and twists. Phooey! Needless to say I quickly turned back into the house.

Now I'm really not a glutton for punishment but perhaps more a creature of habit. I often go out and sit on my back porch for a few minutes throughout the day. The house can get to feeling rather stuffy. So a while later I ventured towards the back door again. I barely had it cracked when I noticed yet another horrible smell - burning plastic!

I'm really not paranoid but the fact is that plastics are NOT a good thing for people with MCS to be around much less molten, burning plastic! Shudder! It made me recall burning electrical wires I once had the misfortune to experience which quickly made me holler for husband to come take a whiff. Why is it that when we think we smell something that we know will cause us trouble that we always seem to require a second whiff to make sure?! ???

Husband came out, took one whiff (he has MCS too but doesn't react to as many things as I do - but enough he shouldn't be whiffing anything toxic and neither should any other sane human being!) and pronounced "burning styrofoam". YUCK! Did you know that two people can not squeeze through one screendoor opening at the same time?

And so it was earlier tonight that I recalled that night of stink and wondered if perhaps that is what lead to these days and days of dysfunction. Problem is that at this type I can't recall if I was already feeling so dysfunctional before that stinky night or when it all kicked up. Argh. Some detective I am huh? ---but I figured it was possible...

...or perhaps it is 'a bug'?? I was feeling a tad warm earlier today, feverish without a real fever and my daughter's friend who was here a bit over a weekago came down with the flu the day after...

...or maybe someone had sprayed a lawn???

...or maybe it's some combination of junk ??

Then the front door opened and in walked my teenager after a weekend of overnights with a friend. She promptly pranced into my bedroom to show me her freshly done "pink" hair which was more a shade of pink-magenta! It seems the friend she'd gone with earlier tonight has aspirations of being a great hairdresser and figured this was the perfect color for daughter dear.

Well--- it didn't look to bad on her---not the sort of color one would assume one was born with--or that elderly ladies might approve of--- but it reeked! --- or perhaps it was the smathering of hair wax the friend had used to make it ruffly looking?? ---or the hairspray they'd added as the final 'fix' ??? ...

Regardless, all I know is that I've been done in by my two-eyed purple people eater! ...or perhaps more accurately I should say "finished off". Yuppers I'm now totally done in, as if the last few days crash hadn't been enough.

So from the confines of my closed off bedroom I bid you goodnite.

...wonder how many days it will take for the smell to wear off her hair?? I did turn the hepa on full blast, opened up all the windows and turn a fan didn't I ???? ....

...have to make a note to self to have husband take a whiff and see if the air is clear in the morning...


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