I am a human Canary. I am not alone. Our numbers are growing – and that’s nothing to sing about!
You may have heard stories about days gone by when miners would use canaries to determine underground air quality in the shafts in which they were working. Simply said, the canaries warbled away if breathing conditions were ideal. However, these pretty little birdies are very sensitive to minute quantities of carbon monoxide and other noxious chemicals. If the little songster died, it served as an early warning system for the miners to vacate the area right away or suffer adverse health effects and possibly fatal consequences.
In that context, there are increasing numbers of individuals worldwide who are challenged by miniscule quantities of chemicals that are commonly found in the environment – in our air, food and water. We often refer to ourselves as ‘canaries’ because our immune systems do not tolerate even the smallest exposure to toxins. We develop diverse multi-systemic reactions to these substances. Because of our chemical intolerances, we think of ourselves as an early warning system for what could potentially harm everyone else.
Although my disability is usually invisible, it presents itself in numerous ways and has caused many ill effects. It’s also known as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or Environmental Illness (EI). Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia are often involved as well.
Thankfully, there are physcians who are environmental medicine specialists, as well as naturopaths, homeopaths and other qualified health practitioners that can treat this condition. I have benefited tremendously from their expertise.
I also moved to a small, relatively unpopulated and unpolluted Caribbean island that does provide me with cleaner air, food and water. It does make a difference – most of the time. Nowhere is perfect, but I have learned to manage my health challenges as best I can.
This blog will present some of my life experiences and health challenges as a human Canary. It will also showcase some of my previously published articles on this subject, most of which are not readily available elsewhere.
Yours in good health,
Canary Gal (aka Gwendominica – Ti Domnik Tales)