Linda: What I am Wearing December 2009
Here is something to think about this year, as you prepare for the holidays.
Many of you have over-stuffed walk-in closets full of clothing. Every day you
choose from a wide assortment of seasonally appropriate clothes to wear to
work or out to play.
I can put everything I can wear into a regular sized (plastic) grocery bag.
Look above to see a photo of what I'm wearing these days.
I live in Toronto Canada and depend upon ODSP for all my income
(ODSP is provincial welfare for the disabled) because I have severe
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities/Environmental Sensitivities (MCS/ES).
In addition to these fine clothes, I have another pair of underwear, a
tank top, and a tshirt which was being washed when I took this photo.
This is my entire collection of safe clothing. I have nothing else I can wear.
Some of these pieces are so shredded they will not withstand another wash
(the purple tank top, the blue shirt, but the grey leggings might have one
more wash in them, the socks are developing holes which get larger
when washed, not sure how long they will last- it's is my one safe pair)
I wear all these items at the same time to be warm enough, taking off the
robe, black summer capri pants with worn out elastic waist, and blue
shirt only when I go to bed.
The other clothes (and the t-shirt not pictured) I wear 24/7 (except for
the 12 or so hours I must wait for them to dry after a rare washing).
Even with all these on, I am frequently cold because this house is very
drafty, and the floors get very cold. I do not have any safe slippers.
I cannot move around much, and don't generate much body heat. Turning
the heat up doesn't work, the system is old, and my gas bill would skyrocket.
The heat alone costs more than what I receive for ALL shelter costs.
Rent and hydro are additional expenses. Rent is not being paid.
I have to wash things with safe water. For now that is glass bottled
spring water which is usually $12 a bottle. I have recently been given a
price of $9.95 a bottle. This means it costs me about $10-$15 to wash
the tshirt, or undies and tank. More for the pants or leggings as they
are bigger and need more water. The robe does not get washed. Most of
these things are no longer getting washed. I am too cold if I am not
wearing them all. And I don't have the strength to battle the heavy
ODSP has refused to fund the medically required whole house water
filtration system I have required since February 2009. I get sick every
time I shower or wash dishes and require a day to recover. I can't wash
clothing with it because the chemicals from the tap water remain in the
clothing and disable me as long as I wear them.
ODSP also won't fund the medically required safe drinking water.
The collar of the robe is getting dirty and sweaty and is starting to burn
my neck. That's also why I washed the tshirt tonight.
I'm not sure how well I'll be able to wash just the collar, without spreading
the dirt to the rest of the robe. I'm not very co-ordinated these days.
If I wear clothing that isn't chemically safe for me, my skin will burn,
and / or within minutes it will also start to feel like I am wearing a lead
or cement suit that gets heavier with each passing moment, sucking me
underwater. My body aches, and it becomes almost impossible to lift my
If that is fibromyalgia or more like MS, I don't know. I have been diagnosed
with FM also, but often have MS symptoms, as do many others with MCS.
When I wear safe for me clothing, sit on safe for me chairs, and have safe air
to breathe, my FM goes away!!! I do not ache and have trouble moving.
Tap water is not chemically safe for me. Regular extile chemicals are not safe
for me and many cannot be removed during the natural life of a
garment. They range from pesticides during growing or after in shipping
containers, to processing chemicals, dyes and finishes, to frangrances
(air "fresheners", incense, soaps, etc) used in the factories or warehouses or
Just like someone who is allergic to peanuts must avoid peanuts, so must
I avoid synthetic and petroleum based chemicals in order to function. Otherwise
I can be completely disabled.
Finding truly chemical free clothing is difficult, and VERY expensive. Many
prescriptions drugs are also expensive, but health plans cover those. My
chemical free needs are not covered by any health plan, yet are crucial for
my survival. I cannot work, I can barely look after my most basic of needs.
I am completely housebound, dependent on others to shop for my organic food
and supplements (I cannot take prescription medicines because of the chemicals
Unless I receive safe clothing and safe water soon, (and a safe portable machine
to wash the clothing in) I will deteriorate to the point of no return, and I must
leave my home of almost 18 years in April, yet have no place safe to go to, nor
clothing to get there in.
Blessings, Love and Light and Peace!
"Thank you, everyone who is supporting Linda!"
"Dedicated to the sake of all sentient beings."
Copyright © 2009 Dianne Knight and/or Linda Sepp · All Rights Reserved