Talking Allergies

Anyone else have wearing a personal respirator outside?
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Author:  quacker10 [ Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Anyone else have wearing a personal respirator outside?

Hello All: I an new on this website and I can relate to many of your allergies be they food, nature, or man made. However it is the manmade chemicals which are deadly to me. I have an allergy to nuts,mold, trees, iodine dye , cigarette smoke as well as a sensitivity to latex.........but the biggy is the chemicals which carry the scent in almost everything this world produces. At least that is our best guess as I too do not fit the allergist usual mould of a patient. I even had one of the most highly regarded asthma specialists in Toronto tell me I needed a phsychiatrist and so i went to her phsychiatrist only to be told I had nothing wrong with my phsychy, but had allegies. I went to the hospitals for their test to be told I have no allergies. So it is back to the family doctor who I have ended up trusting more than anyone. He has treated me as if I have asthma and a terrible immune system and has kept me alive. About 3 years ago he basically told myself and my husband that my lungs had patially collapsed so many times and that my body was so immune to the big guns antibotics that I would die if this routine kept happenening. I was getting sick each time I left my house......even going for a checkup at the doctor was a major health ristk for which I often paid big with yet another reaction of a type of asthma like reaction followed by a tightening of the esophogus(which usually brought on some panic and I felt I was drowning) and then that would be followed up by brochitis, pneumonia, pleurisy or a combination of one or the other followed by yet another........and on and on it went. From going to an outdoor church service for 5 minutes one August day, it took me 5 months of meds to recoup. If I went to the clinic to get some ventilin treatment, they would rush me to the hospital and get my oxygen satuation back up then send me home, only for me to be sick upwards of 5 months from being in the hospital atmosphere. I have taken every puffer I think is known to man and allergy meds too. Maybe not, but it feels like it. Well, my brilliant husband decided he wasn't going to let me die and went out and bought me a papr system from a safety equipment store. His theory was if it was good enough to clean up chemical spills in a factory, it should be good enough to help me get out of the house. Sort of like the boy in the bubble only portable. It is a personal air pressurized respirator and I use it with an organic hepa filter. I have now been healthy lungwise since a year ago Jan 26. This coming Jan it will be 2 years off antibiotics and I have managed to fight off 2 head colds. Yeh: ! However this thing is heavy, expensive and I am unable to find anything like it in the medical if anyone of you can send me info.......send away...........I am still looking as unfortunately this system does not allow me to sleep in it and it also puts pressure on my migraine area..............that is why I am searching for something better. Also it is expensive. I have had my mp and mpp get in touch with our ministers of health both provincial and federal and they say they cannot help me as there is no coverage for safety equipment and no special applications are allowed. This has been the answer from every agency I have contacted. This thing is a wonderful item..........but as you can tell itcomes with a heavy price both financially and medically. As far as I know there is no one else wearing anything like it for my specific reason........................heh it has kept me healthy............but search for more info I do. I joined an online allergy group in the past but most of them just wanted to complain..................I am hoping by sharing my info with you readers, it will be informative and help someone else or myself even..........but to complain to each other does no is hard enough to keep the depression down sometimes. My batteries run for 8 hours, then need to charge for 16 hours. I have to have 2 just incase..........they have nothing on them that tells you when they are running out until it is hard to breath.If the power goes out I have no way to be sure if it has charged fully and the filters clog easily so I avoid animals etc. I too have allergies like a lot of people to foods and trees and molds, but seem to the most part to be able to play the avoidance game.............but for my triggers of soap, shampoo, detergent, toothpaste, household cleaners, dishwasher cleaners, perfumes, hair products, aftershaves, deoderants etc etc etc.........I must rely on my hood - it helps when I am outside of my home. Inside of the home we have no pets, only a small carpet at the doors(which get steam cleaned by my dear hubby and no one is invited in or allowed unless they have not bathed recently and do not have freshly washed clothing on. So I do not have to push my grandchildren away, we keep clothing here so they can change if they want to cuddle and their parents think they had no scent on them and I think they do. It is not unheard of for them to have to wash here with my soap. We have honeywell air cleaners upstairs and down -I highly recommend them and to cut costs my husband blows the filters clean outside away from the house with the blower from his shop vac. We also have an airconditioner as the windows need to stay shut. I use mostly Nature Clean products which are readily available in my area at The Great Canadian Club Store .........careful though not all their products are unscented. I have found what says scent free and unscented are not necessarily so for me. Handcream was the hardest......and must use the one I have very sparingly. I hope me writing this long saga has helped some of not feel sorry for me, just pass on any useful info to anyone that needs it.....and please, do be careful for a lot of physicians, allergists just cannot understand as they do not live with yuor unique problem 24/7. Sorry for such a long story.Regards Quacker10

Author:  Helen [ Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Quacker,

I'm not too sure what a papr system all involves, but I think I get the general idea from your description. It sounds like a brilliant idea.

Not too many months ago I was skimming through a medical journal and stumbled across a study which compared the development of environmental allergies among urban and rural populations and found to the researchers' surprise that people were more likely to develop allergies in the city even though the pollen counts were higher. They suggested that in the country that the exposure to pollen actually acts on the immune system like allergy shots are supposed to. When reading this, I couldn't help but wonder if the air pollution in the city is what lead to an increased risk for developing allergies.

Anyways, I would guess that in the near future cases of "multiple chemical sensitivity" will be much less likely to be dismissed as being symptomatic of a psychiatric disorder as we learn more about the effects of chemicals on people and more people develop chemical sensitivies.

Your description of the feeling of tightening in your esophagus sounds to me like it could be "vocal chord disfunction." VCD is often misdiagnosed as asthma and sometimes to make things more complicated occurs with asthma. (I say this, of course, with the usual disclaimer of not really knowing what I'm talking about.) A sensitivity to chemicals can trigger VCD so that's why I thought you might want to look into this.

Thanks for sharing your story. I think it is important for us to learn more about chemical sensitivities especially since so many people with allergies do tend to be sensitive to perfumes, etc.

Author:  Helen [ Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

I forgot to mention in my last post---when you mentioned that you react to some "unscented" products I remembered reading on a website that some "unscented" products are actually scented but have another scent which covers up the scent. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but here's the website where I stumbled on this:

Author:  Kelly [ Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Welcome

Welcome quacker 10 to the Board.:D

Good link thanks Lisa I will have to take some time and do some serious reading.


Author:  quacker10 [ Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  more info from quacke10

Thank you so much to all of you who repied. To answer a few questions a papr or powered air personal respirator is made by several companies and can be used with a variety of filters for individual needs. I use the organic hepa filter. Many companies and factories use them from custodians painting lockers to chemical cleanups in factories. That is why my husband thought of it, he used to work for General Motors before he retired also for medical reasons(different ones though). He immediately thought of seeing people there wearing them. Now in some places they are working and all their hoses are hooked up to a spot in the wall and they are like umbilical cords keeping each person safe. In my situation we found it best to use the one 3M makes and we purchase it through a nearby safety equipment store(Ackland Grainger). 3M consultants have been great but there is nothing better in the works for me to look forward to at this point. Money talks and there are not enough of us out here who need this type of equipment to warrant them trying to make them more user friendly for longer periods of time. After one visit to my local hospital for a cat scan(which I got sick from-like we didn't know that was coming) they put me in touch with the company that supplied their needs when sars was in the air. Can you believe that they didn't even have a product to filter the air enough. They did send me free of charge a few items they still had in their warehouse but nothing that filters the air. They actually were based mostly on splatter control. They admit if something else comes similar to sars we are all in trouble because the funding is not there to produce anything that would help................once talks and our government doesn't think this is a big enough issue at present. I have even offered my services to test equipment if they do this in the future.......but I am not holding my breath...........I know not funny! As for the vocal cord malfunction (I did try to answer one person privately) my case I don't doubt I suffer from that, but it would only be a small percentage of my problem and to diagnose it, would probably be at too big a price for what that diagnosis would help my everyday life. For the time being Nature Clean is for the most part the company that sells truly "unscented " products.....they also sell scented I think, so be careful. We called when we found an odour in their shampoo and as they can no longer get the raw products for unscented, they warned my husband to run and buy all he could of their older stock, so we have $500. worth of their old shampoo.........they knew my life would be in trouble if I used their new one...........great people. ......they are a great company to deal with. Even sent me a couple of large samples free. I get most of my personal and household supplies through my local Great Canadian Club store but they will do home deliveries. I have found their one product -an all purpose cleaner, does most anything I need at home. For anyone else with a similar problem, or if you just don't like the scent of cleaners, you can get info at or email at (I have no affiliation with this company) Thanks to all who welcomed me and offered advice. Don't stop........I take every idea into consideration. -regards-Quacker10

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