MCS: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

I have not been diagnosed by an M.D. yet, but I’m 99.9% sure I have multiple chemical sensitivity as a result of breathing the air from Ground Zero in New York.

It only takes one inhalation of second hand cigarette smoke to spit up phlegm build up in my lungs. The smoke doesn’t have to be thick. I can smell it and mucous builds up.

On Friday, some house cleaners were using what smelled like Fabuloso, a purple cleaning product that can be found in 99-cent stores. The stuff works great. It takes little effort to spray on the Fabuloso and clean up whatever is in its path. By this morning, two and a half days later, my lungs feel heavy, like there are gobs of mucous sludge oozing up my bronchioles. I’m a little dizzy and taking deeper breaths than normal.

This is the same sick feeling I had back in February when discovering the bathroom deodorizers at work were causing this phlegmy reaction. Lying down helps. I’m writing from bed now.

I made an appointment to see a doctor October 15. It’s the earliest appointment I could get with Dr. Benson Chen, highly regarded pulmonary specialist. I saw him a year ago. He told me to call his office 30 days later if the medication he gave me didn’t work. I called. The answering service person asked me if I wanted to speak to the doctor on call. I said, “Okay.” The message that I felt sick from the medication never got to Dr. Chen. Now a year later, the WTC Victim’s Compensation Fund is looking for medical records with my diagnosis.

It’s not going to matter that I feel like crap now. I have a job. My job allows me to work from bed. But MCS has reduced my quality of life. Can I get compensated for that?

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