MCS and holidays – bah humbug

DO NOT mention Thanksgiving or Christmas to me. Do not tell me to have a happy holiday. In fact, avoid me, period, until after all this Hallo-Thanks-Christmas crap is over.

Like many people with severe chronic illnesses, I actually CANNOT

  • Go out to a restaurant or go visiting. I have too many special food and environmental needs.
  • Go visit friends or have friends over. I am allergic to perfumes, lotions, hairspray, makeup, smoke, hand sanitizers, deodorants, breath mints, toothpaste, dog hair, cat hair, and a good deal more.
  • I cannot travel as buses and planes are communal environments and contain things dangerous to me, and I cannot afford gas for long trips.
  • I can’t share a meal or eat most of the traditional foods, and I cannot eat food from a communal, restaurant, or small kitchen.
  • I cannot buy gifts for people – not even those I love, much less those who I am only tied to by tenous levels of obligation. My healthcare and basic food costs eat LITERALLY ALL of my money.
  • I cannot receive gifts. I am allergic to wool, mothballs, detergents, books and magazines (paper/ink) and most other chemicals. And sadly almost no one ever EVER gives me something I might actually want anyway. Also sadly those people giving me things I don’t want can’t really afford to be giving me stuff either. So keep your money. Write me an email, text me, or if you really want to help materially make a donation to my HEALTH CARE ONLY fund at http://www.gofundme.com/Saving-Elaine. People who send me gifts will have them returned. 

So in summary, you would all be wise to just leave me alone until January of 2014.

I am also aware that I am currently very bad company indeed. Frequently angry, often irritable, prone to cynicism and verbal attacks. Chronic illness and isolation can do that to one. Even the best of us, and I am far from being the best of anything…

This does not mean that I do not love you or care about you or value your friendship. You, who are and have been there for me are all valued and cherished and I wish you all happy holidays and pleasant lives. I wish I could share these times with you. I wish I could give you things that would make you well, make you whole, or make you happy.

I cannot. So here are my best wishes to you, in the hopes that these things find you without my aid…

D. Elaine Calderin

P.S. for those who want to know I will be spending Thanksgiving eating fish and carrots – no salt, pepper, seasonings, or condiments – and watching a movie on my DVD player.

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9 thoughts on “MCS and holidays – bah humbug

  1. You said it well and I know where you’re coming from. Holidays are very difficult when the chemical sensitivities prevent you from socializing with friends and family.
    This time of year is a highly scented time of year – people wear perfume more often and it seems everyone has some sort of fragrance/chemical producing item out (candle, scented pinecones, etc.).
    I have learned to love the quiet evenings at home watching Christmas movies. I also will admit that I don’t feel bad about not fighting the crowds in the stores. My husband and I have created new traditions and my holidays are a lot less stressful than in my pre-chemical sensitivity days.

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    1. I am glad you have found ways to adapt to the season. This is my first year in this state so I am still working out how I will cope. And you are on the money, I had never realized how scented and artificial our world is – especially around the holidays – until after being released from the hospital.

      Like

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