Friday, November 28, 2008


A couple weeks ago I wrote about the "Pesticide Sensitive Individual Application" process. Canaries like me with multiple chemical sensitivities have a process that though not perfect, informs the state of Washington that I am medically diagnosed with a condition that warrants special attention. Once the application is received, The Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Management Department will let me know BEFORE any commercial applicator of pesticides is sprayed/applied next to me. In brief, once a year, a pesticide sensitive individual can complete the "Pesticide Sensitive Individual Application" including his or her name, address, phone number along with the name, address, phone and signature of a licensed medical physician.

Then, the name, phone number and address of the neighbors adjacent to the Canary's property must be included to make this application effective. For me the process of going up to neighbors to introduce myself, inform them of my needs and ask for their understanding and their personal information was the most difficult part. That step of self-responsibility is probably my biggest challenge. Part of living with MCS is the confusion that comes when I'm moving through the physical symptoms of an exposure: brain fog, fear, weakness. With time and support I have learned to comfort myself through these symptoms. This compassion is one of the miracles of life. It works, but it cannot be rushed. Fortunately, I had given myself enough time to get through the symptoms -- yes, like threading the eye of a needle with older eyes, and there on the other side was my courage and the support of a partner who would do almost anything for me. Except he would not do those neighbor visits without my involvment. Pete and I did one neighbor together. It was a significant accomplishment! I asked Pete if he would go to the neighbors who use the laundry dryer sheets without me. That would be a risk not worth taking. He did.

Today, November 28th the application is completed, stamped and being delivered PRIORITY MAIL, so it will get to Olympia, Washington in time for the December 1st deadline. Our neighbors were amiable and understanding, and another lesson in finding the courage to do the things that must be done has been learned. In a perfect world perhaps a registry of pesticide sensitive individuals would be unnecessary because pesticides would be no more, and the acknowledgment that every sentient being is sensitive to pesticides would rule. There is that vision and to that end, we of the Canary-MCS Tribe must keep finding our voice, and do what it takes to fill out the documentation that will give form to that vision.

What do you think about this? Ever have a similar experience?

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