No Wonder I'm Sick ...
UPdate March 2000
In the last issue of the UPdate we
encouraged readers who were having problems with the air quality at their
office to contact us, register their building and tell us their story.
Here is one response:
No wonder Iím
My boss gave
me a copy of the Sept./99 edition of Shunpiking with the UPdate insert.
Iíd like to register the Centennial Building, 1660 Hollis Street, Halifax,
as a sick building.
This is my
of 1996, I was working at a large furniture store in Nova Scotia. I became
increasingly unable to work there due to several symptoms ó right leg dragging
making walking difficult, speech became slurred at times right in the middle
of a word, lack of coordination even to use a keyboard, very sensitive
to noise (the sound of the dot-matrix printer would make my eardrums vibrate
to the point of being quite uncomfortable), extreme fatigue and overall
weakness, difficulty focusing my eyes making reading anything more than
a paragraph impossible, constant dizziness and off-balance. Even though
I was sleeping eight to nine hours every night, Iíd wake up as tired as
when I went to bed.
the end of July 1996, I had to stop working there. My boss was great and
held my job for me for a few months, but I never went back to work there.
five months of seeing my family doctor and various specialists and having
numerous tests done, all the tests came back negative even though I was
still very sick. I was no closer to finding out what was wrong with me.
The neurologist told me that I should consult a psychiatrist. Needless
to say, I never went back to him!!!
the medical community had failed me miserably, I decided to see a naturopath.
Through nutrition (and expensive supplements) and not being at work, I
eventually became more or less symptom-free.
of 1997, I went back to work in an older building that actually had windows
that could be opened. However, I left after eleven months and started to
work at the Centennial Building with my present employer.
of 1999, six professional men moved into the area that I was working in.
(We work in cubicles.) The building is sealed so I couldnít open a window
when the after shave lotion they wore affected me. One guy wore some stuff
made by Calvin Klein that was so offensive to me that about half an hour
after he came in, I had to go home sick, as many of my ďoldĒ symptoms came
end of September 1999, I was getting worse and worse. Then my employers
offered that I work from home. I jumped at the opportunity.
My contract with them is almost up
anyway so I am very thankful that I donít have to be in that building except
for a few hours a week. My contract was supposed to be up at the end of
October and I just found out that Iíve been extended until the end of November.
I think thatís great considering Iím sick and have to work from home. My
boss is the bestóso considerate.
through a lot of reading over the past three years, Iíve learned that formaldehyde
is a trigger for environmental illness, or as I prefer to call it, multiple
chemical sensitivity. They make new furniture, among other things, using
formaldehyde! I donít have to be a rocket scientist to know where I was
exposed to that chemical. Now Iím extremely sensitive to the chemicals
found in perfumes and aftershave lotions. I canít work in an enclosed building
for many reasons, one of them being the fluorescent lights which drive
me crazy, never mind the re-circulated air full of perfume, after shave
lotion, mould, dust, etc.
Iím still digging
out of the financial devastation that this illness caused me.
I havenít communicated all the problems (challenges) Iíve faced due to
working in an enclosed office building. Iím nearly 38 years old and have
worked since 1983, mainly in enclosed buildings. Itís no wonder I got sick!!!
sick has actually been a huge black cloud with a silver lining because
Iíve learned so much about natural health and healing and have met some
really wonderful people.
óAmy Brennan, Dartmouth, N.S.
Editorís Note: At Amyís
request we have protected the identity of her employers. Also we would
like to mention that the symptoms Amy experienced were not all inclusive
of symptoms experienced by people having adverse reactions to the air quality
in their office.