Sunday, December 6, 2009

Life Altering Experience

My Cousin, bless her heart, sent me three pictures that stirred a memory.  As I've said before, I don't have much brain left, or memories.  It was right around the time this picture was taken that my life changed dramatically.  The year was 1981 and I was pregnant with my fourth child, my daughter.  Didn't even know for a fact, that I was pregnant.  My Mom, God rest her soul, was in North Carolina and I decided to clean her house before she got home.  Big mistake!  Not the actual cleaning, but the life altering blunder I made while doing it.  In my zest to do a good job, I sprayed the whole bathroom down with a tile cleaner that was supposed to be "all that".  It was, and then some.  That crap gave me chemical pneumonia and cost me way more than dollars at the doctor.  Right after that, I found out I was, indeed, pregnant.  My doctor warned me that the exposure could have dire consequences to the child I was carrying and asked me if I wanted to consider terminating my pregnancy.  I wept.  He did an ultrasound, just to see if anything was obvious.  Nothing was.  We were able to see the heart beating, arms and legs and nothing else could be determined, until I gave birth.  This was 28 years ago, ultrasound was new and this was my only child it had been available for.  It was a torturous nine months.

The doctor told me that, due to the early stage of development during my exposure, she could be blind, deaf, hair lipped, have a cleft palate... just to name a few.  I was insanely sick, from the moment the chemicals entered my system.  At my first doctor visit, I weighed 79 pounds.  I finally began to gain weight and topped out at 106, the day she was born.  She was beautiful!  Everything seemed normal.

From the time she was able to communicate, she told us she could suck air through the top of her mouth.  We never could see what she was talking about.  When she was 14, a trip to the dentist finally figured it out.  As the dentist blew the air in her mouth, to dry it... tiny little pin holes opened up.  We were amazed.  She could suck air through the roof of her mouth!  A trip to the plastic surgeon and an explanation of the extensive work involved to correct it, we decided it was best to leave it alone, unless it caused a problem.  It could have been so much worse, but, I've still never been able to forgive myself.  I also haven't been the same, since that exposure.  It's been years since I've been anywhere near normal.  The exposure has caused so many other things.  Chemical sensitivities, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and tremors, just to name a few.  All this because of a household cleaning product that should have been safe, right?  Wrong!  Be very aware of what you use in your daily life.  It could cause dire consequences!  THERE ARE CHEMICALS IN MOST EVERYTHING WE USE.  If you don't believe me, just check it out.  Make a list of your daily products, makeup, deodorant, shampoo, perfume...  Then go to the cosmetic safety database and check them out.  Do the same with your cleaning products.  You'll be shocked!  It should be against the law!  Why isn't it?

My frail, pregnant self.


Blasé said...

We never know what a day holds. There is nothing you've done to "forgive" yourself. Things happen out of our control. Even when we do it perfectly, ***t still happens. You don't appear to be "brain dead" in your blogging??

Interesting life you've experienced.

Ms. A said...

Thanks. Glad to know I don't appear to be brain dead. Imagine the damage I could do "with a brain." Nah, never mind. With my sarcasm AND a brain... I'd be downright dangerous!


Awww...Cora! That post brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine the terror you went through during that pregnancy. I do understand, just a little, about the chemical sensitivities. Thank God for our healthy children!

Lynn Proctor said...

i can identify going through pregnancies with constant worry, i am so sorry you went through this--thank you for giving me the link <3