Sundog –noun 1. parhelion. 2. a small or incomplete rainbow.

Posts tagged “invisible

Of Butterflies and Chaos


Most people are familiar with the word, products on store shelves promising to detoxify you from last night’s party or flush the junk food out of your system.

But what does it really mean?

The body has several pathways by which it will detoxify everything from that extra couple of shots last night to the cellular wastes produced by many biological processes which keep us alive. This system is also responsible for making sure the smog you inhale in big cities, the fabric softener used on the person’s coat standing next to you in line, or the remains of some pest spraying in your office over the weekend are all filtered out of your body without causing you to notice anything has occurred.

These substances can be removed or rendered safe by our bodies in many ways. The liver, kidneys, bowels, lymph, and skin are all major contributors in this vital process.

When something goes wrong in these pathways of toxin removal it can have disastrous effects.

Why would something go wrong?

Humans have not evolved around the byproducts of big industry, chemical fertilizer and pest controlled farming, artificial everything, plastics, car exhaust, etc – the list of new things introduced in the last two hundred years would feel endless were I to detail it here. Because we have only been polluting our environment and lives on such a mega scale for a very short amount of time in our evolutionary line, less than even 10 generations, we have not had time to adapt.

Many of us (some studies suggest more than 50% of the population) are born with various genetic divergences that impact in varying degrees just how well our bodies can cope with the 21st century.

If so many people have these gene divergences why aren’t more people ill from living in an industrialized society?

Because just as a butterfly beating its wings in a far off country can lead to a hurricane here at home, so too can it lead to nothing at all. It takes many other factors for that butterfly’s fateful flight to lead all the way to a hurricane and it usually takes more than one event to lead to a person being as ill as I am now due to problems with detoxifying our modern world.

Chaos theory, the butterfly effect.

Chaos theory, the butterfly effect.

In my case, a seemingly random combination of events led to this health and living situation I currently find myself in.

In many ways it could be said to have started with a bathroom exhaust fan that made noise when switched on but did not actually work. It should have removed the steam from many hot baths taken to relieve the stress of a particularly heavy class load while also working part-time. Instead it led to the proper humid conditions for black mold to proliferate behind a wall hanging over my bed and also inside my mattress, out of sight like a predator waiting to strike.

Add in a ten day field trip six months later with my class in which we go to the desert, live outdoors and use lots of mosquito repellent at night while enjoying each others company while sitting around a fire. Yet unknown to me as I added the repellent to the toxic load my body had to cope with, over those intervening six months the mold had been growing, spreading, and slowly poisoning me every night while I slept.

A week after I arrive back home my apartment became enshrouded in toxic fumes. The police thought it likely to be from a next door neighbor starting to produce methamphetamine with fumes that seeped into my home. Our apartment manager did not care so refused to allow us to switch apartments before it was too late. In a very short time, my furniture and everything inside the apartment, carpeting and the walls included, soaked up the fumes and produced a toxic environment every minute of the day.

Just as a butterfly’s flight to the next flower for nectar can cause a hurricane thousands of miles away, so too can a broken bathroom exhaust fan cause a cascading reaction in which the body is continuously overburdened by toxins and finally… loses… the… battle.

Would I be here now had there been no black mold? There is no way to know, that apartment was toxic all on its own. But one thing is a certainty, one of the main things that has kept my health poor is the low volume of toxins my body is able to detoxify on its own.

Many call us canaries of the modern world. I think this is very false.

Unlike real canaries in the coal mines which the miners put their faith into and cared for because their lives depended on them, those of us who are now the would be canaries of our hazardous world are ignored, ridiculed, and left to live outside of life because too few people care to listen to our urgent cries.

The Incredible Power of Ignore, by Jody Smith

Hey Everyone! I really liked how this was written by Jody as it helps bring to light some of the invisibility many of us with CFS or severe MCS have faced. As our lives spin crazily out of control, more often than not those we know will turn away from us, societies support systems for life tragedies refuse to help, and we are left with nothing but ourselves.

If you have a fire and lose everything you own, there is help to find you housing and even refurnish your life. Should you be caught in a natural disaster, there will be some form of help even if it is inadequate – at least someone sees your plight and acknowledges its validity. One day a blood test shows you have some well funded and researched disease, you would be allowed the right to be ill.

But as I have seen far too much since becoming ill, if you lose everything you have to some strange illness there is nobody there to help you rebuild. Even the agencies designed to provide some temporary medical or food aid will often question your integrity and seek to further destroy your life with a vehemence that is mind-bogglingly unfathomable in its desire to rip your being to shreds.

Please read Jody’s eloquent words that describe the shadows many of us become.

The Incredible Power of Ignore
by Jody Smith

I think most people have had times in their lives when they have felt just the teensiest bit invisible. The shy kid in the schoolyard. The geek in highschool. It is a universal experience. Most of us eventually get over it. Then there are those with the misfortune of becoming chronically ill.

This invisibility will ratchet up to the extreme for people with a chronic illness. Especially if they have what is termed a chronic “invisible” illness. The kind the onlooker can’t see. The kind that causes other people to speculate that maybe there isn’t really anything wrong with the individual in question.

And they become an individual in question. Perhaps they aren’t really sick. Perhaps they’re looking for attention. Perhaps they are lazy and trying to avoid responsibility. Or perhaps they are just weak and can’t cut it in the workaday world with everyone else.

Sometimes this can lead to unsettling situations where the chronically ill are accused of malingering, of pretending, of lying about a nonexistent condition. They may be told by people who don’t know any better that they need psychological help. That they need to shape up and fly right. If they’d get up and get moving they’d be fine.

This can be pretty hard to take for someone who is ill and fragile to start with. But at least it is out in the open.

What can be harder to take long-term (and a chronic illness is long-term) is having their plight ignored. This is a far more common situation than you might suppose. And it drains a little more life and integrity out of the chronic one every time they run into this brick wall. Or perhaps more accurately, this glass wall.

Because the casual observer can’t see any problem. But the chronic is all too aware that something insidious is very definitely going on. They are being negated. Their desperate state is being ignored. When this happens everywhere the chronic looks, the effects are devastating.

Ever notice that the term “invalid” is the opposite of “valid”?

Imagine yourself for a moment in the shoes of the person who has become ill and whose life has been radically changed. You no longer are able to live the life you once knew. You may be unable to work. Unable to go out and socialize. Unable to pursue the hobbies and interests you love. And to top all of this off, the people around you act as if nothing has happened to you.

Imagine your house is on fire. You run to this one and that one yelling for help, and instead of offering the normal response of concern and assistance, people … turn away. Turn their backs and walk away. Your loss is of no consequence. You have lost currency with the outside world.

Or imagine that you are drowning. Sputtering and thrashing desperately in the water, trying to call for help, trying in vain to get the attention of the people at the water’s edge. And they … continue to talk about the ball game. Continue to discuss their vacation plans. While you go under …

The incredible power of Ignore in action. Or, inaction.

This is all too often the experience of the chronically ill.
This was originally posted on Ncubator.