MCS awakening

We had a bit of a setback this weekend. Chris arrived Saturday morning in a U-haul filled with mattresses, kitchen supplies, and radio equipment. We drove the 20 minutes to our next rental home with eager anticipation. We were beginning a new chapter. One filled with stability, improved health, and a return to “normal” life as a family. Eagerly my daughter and I set out all of the medications in the kitchen. We had an entire pantry to set them in! No more living out of suitcases. The kids were ecstatic. 2 hours into the move Megan noticed some new rashes spreading rapidly. Within four hours Brandon came running to us with a bloody nose. (We have not seen a bloody nose in the 2 months since we started the ketaconazole nasal spray.) Soon he had a second one and by bedtime had a total of 4. My heart was sinking. By 2 in the morning I found myself unable to sleep due to a severe tightening in my chest. By morning I noticed unexplainable “cuts” all over my hands. Kristen woke up with a sore throat. A couple of the other children woke up with labored breathing. Colin had a strange welt on his back. The back of his hands were breaking out. We called our doctor and also talked with the woman who had re-located to Arizona after a mold exposure in the Virgin Islands. She is about a year ahead of us with all of this. From these conversations we determined the cause to be chemical rather than mold. We wiped down a utility closet with white vinegar after we found weed killer on the shelf. Weed killer is particularly dangerous to immune compromised individuals like ourselves. (An interesting note: the plastic bottle does not “contain” the toxins. This is why it is important to keep all pesticides out of the indoor home environment.) We moved all of our mattresses away from the new carpet in the bedrooms and into the tiled main living area. This moved us away from possible formaldehyde exposure. By the end of the Super Bowl it was clear that not only were the Arizona Cardinals going down, we were too. We moved our mattresses to the backyard and a number of us slept outside Sunday night. We were all able to breathe better by morning but my rashes were escalating as were Megan’s. We stayed outside most of the morning and still the rashes were spreading. The owner came to the house and offered to remove all the new carpeting, wipe down the house in vinegar, whatever we needed. He told us the area around the house had been sprayed with the weed killer a few days before we moved in. And several weeks ago the home had been sprayed for termites inside of the house. Mystery solved. The inside and outside were uninhabitable for our family. It takes 6 months for the outside pesticides to lose their toxicity in the immediate environment. Far longer inside. We are now in the elite group of those who suffer from MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity). This is a common diagnosis for those who have had a high level of mold exposure. Our 4353 genetic pattern pre-disposes us to this. Chris does not have this pattern so he will do better with pesticides. We knew we could not afford to stay another night. Chris stayed behind to sort through the situation while we drove to Benson to a hotel proven to be a safe haven for us. This is where I am as I write this and I know nothing about our next step. I do know that next time we will ask about pesticides as well as prior water damage in the home. I know that someone reading this may do the same. I am devastated but unwilling to allow this to deter us from our goal of restored health for our family.