Poisoned: failed by Western medicine, modern construction and corporate interests
This is the story of one woman’s struggle with environmental illnesses, several other diseases, and a health care system that is baffled, indifferent or worse.
Keywords: environmental illness, MCS, MCAS, EHS, light sensitivity, fibromyalgia
She was born in 1984 in Southern Indiana, which is a rather poor part of that state, where health care may not be as sophisticated as elsewhere. She was sickly right from her start in life, which she ascribes to a new drug her mom was prescribed while pregnant. The drug was soon after withdrawn from the market. Thus starts a horrific story.
The doctors were baffled by all the problems the little girl had, so they sent her to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist sent the girl back with a note that she was not mentally sick.
As a young teenager, things escalated with migraines, sensitivity to light, sound, and latex. Her skin became so sensitive, her parents could no longer hug their daughter.
Finally they took her to a university clinic in Pennsylvania that specialized in hard-to-diagnose illnesses. They diagnosed her with fibromyalgia ˗ the first teenager they ever saw with that.
At one point she was taking 75 pills a day, as more diagnoses piled up by all the different doctors.
Despite her trouble, she had good grades and went to Purdue University, where she met her husband. They married soon after graduation and settled in Southern Indiana.
Housing was difficult as she didn’t tolerate mold and tobacco smoke from the neighbors, and both were ubiquitous in the region. They had to move many times.
By 2012 it became clear that no physician in the state of Indiana could help. Her primary physician was helpful getting her referred to the famous Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. It did not go well:
It was as though the humans there – secretaries, nurses, and physicians – had crossed into some strange trans-humanistic existence and could only register what their computer screen told them. …After two weeks and thousands of dollars, I had my final appointment with the lead physician from my case. He shrugged his shoulders and wished me well.
Until then she had blindly trusted the doctors and taken all the pills they prescribed. The Mayo Clinic and the events around her mother’s death were a turning point. She discovered many of the pills were useless and just made her sicker. The arrogant failures of the medical system made her bitter, which is very understandable.
As she wrote:
We don’t fit inside the tidy boxes of medicine, and thus make for easy targets. After all, if our experiences don’t “fit,” it simply must be our fault.
Things continued to get worse. She started getting anaphylactic shocks when exposed to latex, she became intolerant to a lot of foods, cleaning products, fragrances, and much else that gave her hives and asthma attacks.
She had to stop working and apply for disability, which was denied, as it always is on the first try (unless you are in a coma). She didn’t know she could appeal and thus was dropped by the social safety net.
She eventually became electrically sensitive too. On a visit to a health food store, she got very sick for no obvious reason – until discovering a small cell phone tower had just been installed across the street. It was camouflaged as a tree, so she didn’t notice it.
The story ends as positively as can be expected, given her chronic incurable illnesses. Her life finally gets under control in a safe setting, but the cost to get there was tremendous.
Her fortitude is remarkable. Many people would have given up and committed suicide, as we have seen in too many other cases.
Throughout the ordeal, her saving grace was her husband. She says little about him, but he was always there when needed, and didn’t run away as so many do. He is one of the many unsung heroes of the chronically ill.
The book has some shrill statements, such as “we are all harmed on a daily basis.” The sentiment is understandable, though most people do seem happy with the toxic and wireless lifestyle and so far the average lifespan has not dropped (yet?).
Late in the book there are some parts that make even a sympathetic reader raise the eyebrows. She reports eating no food for eight months, while having daily anaphylaxis, and still survived with no organ damage. Is that even possible?
There are also some myths and conspiracy theories, that are best left in the social media echo chambers, where such unfortunately can gather strong followings and thoughtful voices are not welcome.
She reports getting symptoms when passing a wind farm, which she explains are caused by their strong magnets. That does not hold water, but her symptoms fit perfectly someone affected by the powerful infra sound (vibrations) generated by the spinning blades. It’s called “wind turbine syndrome.”
She also states:
Social media websites in particular send significant EMF hits via the mouse and keyboard, so I have basically abandoned social media…
The mouse and keyboard radiate all the time and are in no way controlled or affected by any website. Their communication is basically one-way only.
These two myths were new to this reviewer. More common ones are also presented as fact.
Despite these things, this story is overall believable to we who have seen and experienced similar. Her story is not as unique as it may seem.
That she has little understanding of electronics and EMF should not discredit her story. We can’t expect people to be experts in all things just because they are sick. But those who work to discredit us love to point out such myths as “proof” we are making up our illnesses.
She writes she intends to write further books about non-toxic housing. That is highly welcome, as she clearly has a lot of experience with that. We look forward to reading them.
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