This is part 3 of a series on preparing for the MCS house guest:
This week is about loose ends. Just a few more things to consider if you’re expecting a house guest that has MCS or any other health issues exacerbated by fragrances.
I’ve been thinking about this topic as I go through my days lately and it’s reminded me of things I need to mention.
One thing has to do with soap. I have traveled with my own soap and shampoo since I was in high school. (Back then I traveled on a T.Rex’s back.) So I always have soap in the one bathroom that I occupy. But that isn’t always enough. There are a lot of soaps out that I refuse to use. Especially the liquid hand soaps that are so popular. They leave their perfume smell on your hands, and it stays for a very long time. I just cannot use them. They’re so penetrating that the smell is actually absorbed by the plastic container that you put them in. It can be awkward dealing with this issue. When I travel, I like to be a good house guest, but I also like to be migraine free. (And so does everyone around me b/c I’m not a lot of fun with a migraine!) This is likely the type of issue you might want to work out with your future house guest in advance.
Another problem area is the dishwasher. I’m still totally puzzled at the fact that when you go to buy detergent for your dishwasher, you have to choose a scent. Why? What in the world for? I really don’t want my dishes to smell like flowers, or lemons or anything else, thank you. Not to mention that I am then ingesting those fragrances when I eat off the plate! But it’s a fact of modern life that everything you find in your average grocery store has a fragrancce. Before I found fragrance free dishwasher detergent, we had rules. First, no lids to travel mugs were allowed in the dishwasher. They absorb the fragrance and then I have to smell it with each sip. Second, and most important, never run the dishwasher when I’m going to be near the kitchen. In our house, that means we only ran it when we went to bed or when we left the house. It may seem petty to you if you don’t have an issue with fragrances, but the entire time the dishwasher runs, it emits those fragrances into the air. Something to keep in mind with your house guest.
There is one topic that I haven’t covered yet, and that is Pest Control. If you live in Colorado, you can likely ignore this because you may not know what I’m talking about. But here in South Texas, insects are a problem. You cannot avoid having them come into your house. But pest control chemicals can be particularly nasty. We had one man doing our house for years and I had no problem with it. Sadly, he passed away. The next ones we brought in caused a three day migraine. I tried one more, recently. He said his products were “green”. Well, I didn’t have a migraine, but I was allergic to his products. So I sneezed and such for days. I still haven’t decided which is worse – allergy or migraine. Besides, five weeks later the ants are back in our kitchen.
I bring up pest control here because you may want to ensure that you don’t have pest control service very close to your house guest’s arrival.
On a side note – if anyone has suggestions on safe pest control, I could use them.
I have just a couple of points left to make here. First, some of us have diet problems that go along with the MCS. I know I do. I can’t eat msg, nitrates, most nuts, plus a few other things. So, you may want to ask your house guest about diet issues. After all, you wouldn’t want to plan a pizza night only to learn that your house guest can’t eat the pepperoni. (BUT, Whole Foods has nitrate free pepperoni!) And lastly, be considerate of your house guest. I’ve had people roll their eyes and act like I’m crazy. I may be, but I’m still super-sensitive to smells and am likely to notice things that others dont. So, if your house guest mentions a prolem, trust that it is a problem.
Well, I think I’m done with this series on the MCS House Guest. Unless someone has questions. Please leave your comments and questions on this post and I’ll try to address them.