Now, I don’t know if I set myself up for these things or if I just have intuition that is somehow trying to protect my own fragile mind, but earlier in the day I actually remarked to my husband while we were driving to the clinic: “Honey, there’s a little old man who can barely see over the hood of his Cadillac who seems to be struggling to stay in the center of his narrow lane. Let’s AVOID him if possible. Gosh knows we do NOT need anything to happen to this car. It’s just too precious.” And thus sets the stage for Wed. evening’s disaster. Yes, all of the cars were damaged. It just wasn’t anyone’s lucky night here the hotel complex. Some cars were so severely damaged that they prompted neighbors to come find the occupants to make sure they knew their car was “completely trashed.” (raises hand . . . sigh)
Our 2000 Chevy Impala looks like it has been through a war zone. When we first saw it, we were horrified, but still trying to make ourselves believe that this car could be salvageable. But things look a little different at dusk verses broad sunlight. So in a blaze of TX sun on Thursday afternoon, we absolutely conceded to the end of the Chevy Impala. And today, an insurance adjuster confirmed it: “Over 10K in repair and body work.” :o(
Blessedly, we actually managed to be carrying comprehensive insurance on the old beast, though we don't expect much of a pay out. But here’s where it gets, well, . . . sad. That pile of scraps and parts was my safe zone. I survived this trip because of the protection of the incredibly well off gassed chamber. The real cloth seats didn’t hurt my head, sinuses or irritate my skin. Before we left, my husband did an exceptional job of airing out the car and cleaning it w/ very safe, unscented products. He also used an ozone machine to remove any residual odors. People seldom think about all of the chemicals used to produce their cars and how those chemicals can still be absorbed through their skin and inhaled into their lungs. Most people, including myself, probably never stopped to think about that wonderful “new car smell” one delightedly proclaims when they are lucky enough to score some new wheels. Many of us generally regard the “new car smell” in a positive light. Why wouldn’t we? It’s a NEW car (or nearly new, those smell too). But what the heck is that smell exactly? Well, it’s actually the off gassing of all the chemical products used to construct the car. Because the car itself gets so hot when it’s running and particularly in summer months, the chemicals, including volatile organic compounds among other things, release into the air & are inhaled by the occupants. The interior of a new car can actually be a very toxic environment for anyone. Those affected by environmental illness, chemical sensitivity and allergies can be very negatively impacted by this process.
Here is a great website that explains more about the issues with off gassing of a new car and its impact on one’s health. This information is applicable to everyone because the health implications of new car off gassing include: allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer. http://www.healthystuff.org/release.021512.cars.php This is a handy guide to help the consumer make the best car buying decision: http://www.environmentalhealth.ca/summer07reducingcarsmell.html Again, I repeat: “THIS IS APPLICABLE TO EVERYONE.” :o) (smiles, and points at YOU)
Tomorrow we will make the long, all day drive, back home in a 2011 Ford Fusion rental. This is obviously not an optimal situation, but the only other option would be to fly and that has some significant drawbacks as well. My husband did everything he could to find the vehicle with the most mileage and absolutely no cigarette smell, but it’s still a new car. When it cooks in the TX sun, it releases EVERYTHING. We’ve aired it out, purchased an ionizer that plugs into the cigarette lighter and ozoned it like crazy. I have my mask which I have to wear anyway and a carbon blanket to cover the seat. Hopefully that is enough to get us home. The car already gave me a migraine after a 40 minute drive, but that was before we used the ozone machine on it.
In future blogs I plan to get into the specifics of diagnosis, treatment and prognosis from my time at the Environmental Health Center, but I literally can’t process through all of that paperwork at the moment. They don’t do anything online, so everything is a hand-out, but at least they give me all of my test results right away. We still feel confident about this process. We have heard many stories and reports of healing and incredible improvement from other patients. Conversing with others was not only therapeutic, but also very informative. Half of the education I’ve received here has been from other people who have been through the process. Many of them shared their contact info with me and I look forward to keeping in touch with them.
Bless you for reading & think of us tomorrow! (Better yet, send up some prayers)