Breezes ebb and flow with varying force;
Pushing, then releasing the leaf - filled branches
of the small, but growing tree.
Searching for safety while flying solo,
a harrowing sparrow lites on a branch,
as it's lifted from gusts of wind.
Once settled, the sparrow rides the
jostling movements of the branch.
From inside the house,
she peers out the window.
Her eyes are drawn to the little one;
appearing so strong, and braced for
the sudden jolts of the wind.
Not knowing when, but remaining determined.
Yes, the little one appears to be a survivor.
Viewing this, she can't help but feel as though
her life is somewhat similar to that of the little one.
Thoughts of her own life experiences
flash like instant replays in a dream;
Or, are they dark enough to be considered
Lost now, in the firm hold of those visions,
that pound in her head, repeatedly and erratically;
she relives each one.
Every single one of them is
The physical pain, the weakness, the tingling,
the headaches, the prickly sensations,
the fatigue, the inability to focus-concentrate,
or even remember very familiar people's names,
the muscle twitching, so forceful that some part
of her body is twitching every second of every day.
The blurred vision, the slurred speech.
Her legs shaking so fervently that even
clutching the railing to aid in the lifting of each leg as she makes her way up the stairs is almost impossible.
It takes every once of strength she has.
The wondering, "What's wrong, what's going on?"
The Doctor visits, the medical tests.
Is it Lou Gehrig's?
Is it MS?
Is it Lyme's?
Is it Lupus?
The constant diagnoses, "It's in your head.
You just need to learn how to relax."
She asks, "Could a pesticide cause these symptoms?"
Without a flinch, he responds, "No, these pesticides, they are safe."
More tests, more doctors. The lies.
From the Gods of Medical Gods,
with their high held degrees and medical expertise.
"Go get some therapy; you'll be fine."
Yet, she can't help wonder,
what's going on inside her body,
and she fears that whatever it is;
there will be severe affects on the
baby growing inside her.
She looks up and reaches for a tissue,
the tears pouring out of her eyes and
gliding down her cheeks are relentless.
Through the window, she searches for the little one,
Yes, it's still there,
Still hanging on.
Seven months go by.
Finally a diagnosis.
"It's MCS," his voice is barely audible to her,
as he stands over her, in his white coat trying to
inform her of her illness and what it all means.
"You got it from Dursban, the
Organophosphate that was sprayed in your home.
It attacks the cholinesterase enzymes, most of
which are in your brain. They help with
synaptic impulses which affect your nerve endings."
All she can think of to say is,
"So, give me a shot of cholinesterase."
Nope, an impossible task.
She doesn't understand, but remains too weak
to ask anymore questions.
The visions are swarming in and out
of her mind in the form of a whirlwind.
She wonders, "How can this be happening to me,
I'm only 29, have a great job,
a wonderful husband, and a beautiful little boy...
and I'm pregnant with our second child.
We're just beginning our much dreamed
about future together."
Litigation; 4 and 1/2 years of wasted life.
More doctors, more tests.
"You must move out of the home you were poisoned in
Because your body can't handle being around the amount of pesticides that are still there."
She becomes the talk of the small town.
"Crazy she is. Don't let your children
go and play with their children!"
Many "friends" seem to evaporate.
Few held any respect for her anymore.
Didn't matter that she'd earned a Master's Degree,
and was recognized for work she had completed.
The glares of passers-by pierced her heart like an ice pick.
Starting back to work,
two mornings per week are simply too much.
Is she going to make it?
Is she going to make it?
Now - 18 years later, she has no job.
Forced to quit her work in the environments
she was placed because of her declining health.
Her doctor of 18 years informs her, "If you continue to work there, you will literally shorten your life."
Just another stab.
She had to fight for years just to keep her job,
let alone DO her job.
"I've heard your job was very stressful."
People would tell her.
Doesn't anyone understand? Doesn't anyone get it?
She's sick damn it, and it's NOT a result of stress!
Grieving, once again, This time it's over her identity.
She's basically unemployable now.
The fragrance, the hairsprays, the soaps, the pesticides,
the Tide smell from other's clothes, the magazine in the
lunch room with a cologne add, the air "fresheners,"
the copy machine, the carbonless forms.
She tried to be in denial on and off for years.
"You can handle this," she'd tell herself.
It only made her more sick.
Functioning in oblivion, she keeps moving forward;
just like the little one outside her window;
Still hanging on.
Through the years, she wonders
"Great Spirits have always encountered violent
opposition from mediocrities." - Albert Einstein.
She tries to consider herself one of the great spirits;
AND, for the moment; she's a survivor,
just like the little one, outside her window.
Author: Vanessa Edgington
Dursban Poisoning Victim / MCS Sufferer
Living Life One Minute At A Time