We took a quick trip to Portland, Oregon this past weekend to celebrate the retirement of a dear friend. He was the principal of the elementary school our children attended when we lived in Oregon (in a past life), and along with his wife and two children, we developed a friendship that has survived great distance, in time and miles. It was a quick visit, just overnight, but we had time to talk and catch up with each other. To our surprise, in the course of conversation, his wife expressed her dismay at developing sensitivity to fragrances.
I was so sorry to hear that yet another person I know has succumbed to chemical sensitivity, but I was able to sympathize with her as we commiserated over the discomfort of the symptoms (her eyes get all swollen) and the frustration of dealing with insensitive people. This family lives in a beautiful secluded spot on the edge of the city, and they have always been environmentally conscious and used as few chemicals as possible in their yard and home. But she travels for her job and finds it difficult to know when and where she might run into a problem, with perfume or cleaning products.
The more I talk to people about my own problems with MCS, the more I hear of others having problems themselves. Discussion is good, even if it only validates our own feelings. But I think it does more than that. It educates, and it encourages awareness and accommodation for the many people who must avoid fragranced products.