The Woman Behind

Meet the Woman Behind

Q. You describe yourself as having been sick for 10 years before you knew you had allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities. Can you be more specific?

A. I was known among friends as the “headache queen”. Every day started with a severe headache for which I took heavy-duty prescription medication. Sometimes the headaches lasted for days, and I was not able to work. It was exhausting trying to work against all that background of pain.

Q. So what changed?

A. After a weary trail to 20 different doctors, and thousands of dollars later, I was correctly diagnosed with allergies. Previous diagnoses had run from TMJ and liver problems, to depression. But, I never lost hope that I would find out what was really wrong with me.

Q. So, what did you do?

A. The best thing I did in the end was move from my beautiful, but old, dusty, moldy, Victorian house into a modern, air-conditioned town house. I also changed to nontoxic household cleaners, put dust mite covers on my bedding, eliminated a whole bunch of carpets and draperies, controlled the humidity, used a central vacuum, and installed a number of HEPA air cleaners which keeps the number of particulate in our indoor air down to a minute level. There was more that I did, but these are the highlights.

Q. And now how do you feel?

A. On a scale of 1-10, I feel an 8.5 or better. I still get some sinus-related congestion a few days a month, but it quickly disappears with one inhalation of nasalcrom (available over the counter from your pharmacy). If I didn’t have 3 Siamese cats in the house, I believe I’d be 100% symptom free, but I am a cat nutcase. I do believe I enjoy good health; I am active in skiing, tennis, and golf and I have what most people would call a high-energy lifestyle.

Q. Any recommendations to other people?

A. Don’t give up! Every allergy sufferer needs to make their own interventions into their health. What each person needs to do is very individual. I consider the number of change I needed to make minimal by comparison to some stories I hear.