Walmart Strikes Again

I went to Walmart with a friend today. I knew I was risking a flare, but I had a five dollar gift card to use up. So we went to Walmart. Started walking around, smelled a million chemicals and toxins. Started to get a headache. Then, started to flare up badly. By the time we were at the other side of the store, I was almost ready to scream that I needed to leave immediately. Sensory overload. All I could think of is, it's like rabies, but not. All the nerve endings are flared up. I've been dying since I came home. We didn't stay long, but it was enough to kill me. The five dollar gift card was great. I bought five cans of catfood for my cat and a large thing of twelve rolls of toilet paper and I only had to pay two dollars and seven cents. But it's not worth the screaming flareup agony I'm in.

I still have some of my tylenol/butalbital, so I took that tonight. I still cannot afford to refill it. Not at fifty six dollars a bottle. I tried the donnatal the other night and that made me sick. Put me to sleep, but woke me up with racing heart and then gave me a bad rebound headache and nausea the next day. I don't know what I'm going to do. The company that makes the branded version of the butabiltal, they don't have a patient assistance program for this drug. The brand name is Phrenilin. The doc had given me the 120 pill size. I can ask her to give me half and see if it's half the money. I'm still waiting on my medicaid application. I applied on May 2nd. They get a month to answer you. If I get it back, we can try to get them to pay for it.

Anyway, every time I go to Walmart, I get flared up for days. How does anyone work there? I don't get it. I can't be in there for more than a few minutes and then I start to flare. My neighbor, who had the energy of a hundred people, worked there last year. She started to get sick and sicker until guess what, she now gets POTS attacks. She had to quit. And she hasn't been okay since working there. It has to be all the toxic chemicals and fumes coming off everything. It's like a toxic soup in there.

And then when I came home, I ultra pushed it and did my laundry. And since the laundry room is like a mecca for CFIDS flares, I'm dead. Totally dead. I'll be down all weekend. I hope I'll be okay to go for my bloodwork on Monday.

I am in so much pain. :(


Carrigon, I am so sorry! :sad: That is really scary- and shows another facet to these 'syndromes', one I've not learned much about yet (all I know is that I DON'T LIKE going thru the detergent or pest-control isles of any store!:scared:) Pulling for you to recupe ASAP, and get that bloodwork done! :hug: -t.
I can only sympathise Carrigon,

Like typewarp#9, I avoid the laundry, pest control aisles as well. When I DO need to go down that particular supermarket aisle I try to hold my breath, walk quickly down, grab the desired item & get to the other end & then breath out.

I also have to avoid the handmade soap area in the Health Food Shop (of all places :Retro smile:). Despite using some essential oils myself, I can't stand the smell of rose geranium, patchouli or some of the other floral smells - natural or synthetic - I get an instant headache & feel nauseous. Kinda funny in a way - being a trained Aromatherapist - and now finding many smells objectionable.

I only go to the supermarkets for the essential 8-10 things. I don't actually go shopping that much, especially "window" shopping, I find it a little boring & tiring. When I go into the city, I walk in a circle, going to the 4 main shops I need, down an arcade & then back to the tram stop (or catch a taxi home if I'm feeling a little under the weather).

I love shopping in the open air (or under cover) fresh food markets though. I love the smells in the deli areas too. In fact, I love food full stop.

It's usually a hit or miss situation when I catch public transport.

Occasionally, I need to get off a tram because it's too crowded & the perfume smells are too much for me. Now I'm not working, I am lucky enough to travel outside peak hours & can usually find plenty of space on a bus or tram.

Yes, I am very lucky indeed to be able to chose where I go & what time I go there. At the very worst, I am close enough to the shops to be able to afford a taxi there & back. Some department stores are better than others. I try to stick to the shops which are tried & tested, and I know to be ok for me. i also try to go to shops where I know I don't have to wait long or in a queue - saves heartache & symptoms later in the day.

Nothing's worse than being in a long queue behind someone with strong perfume or aftershave.

I know some forum members wouldn't have the choices I have, that's why I count my Blessings in retirement.
haven't been in walmart in yrs....can't take the lighting, the odors, or the size, and it's borderline too far for me to handle driving there

that said, I can definitely understand how you feel and how much it sucks to have to deal with this stuff

there a really almost no places I can go anymore without somewhat of a reaction, but when I absolutely have to go wherever, I always have a face mask with me......feel weird wearing it, and only do so when I am in certain stores and/or aisles, and it only helps some, but it has made it possible for me to go places where I otherwise could not manage at all

as to the laundry issue, it is totally killing me, too.....I'm at the point where I need to bring a face mask in, try to find a machine that does not wreak of previous users fragranced detergent, use a small amount of fragrance free detergent and a lot of white vinegar, try to find a dryer that does not smell of fragranced drier sheets, and then hope and pray that I will be able to tolerate my laundry after......and even then I have still been winding up having to do loads more than once, and still smelling detergent residue on them after.....and I have to take a shower after doing the laundry bc the fragrance is in my hair and whatever I was wearing while doing the laundry.......add to that the fact that even doing one load is extremely difficult just because of physically getting the clothes to the laundry room, then add to that that taking a shower is often too hard, and add to that the fact that my stupid shower does not drain no matter what I do, so every time I shower I have to clean the tub first to avoid falling (I do have shower chair, but even that slips around) ......laundry is seriously a nightmare
Tammie I still have a rash on my neck from doing the laundry here. It's just awful. The people in the building use all kinds of perfumed junk in those machines and I cannot afford to do my laundry more than about two times a month. I can't afford to run it through again.

This last time I did my laundry, it came out with the faint scent of beer on it! God only knows what people throw in the machines.

I am in a massive pain flare today. I'm actually worse today than I was yesterday. This always happens to me when I go to Walmart. I end up flared up for days and days. I'm not going there again for a very long time. They aren't even that cheap anymore. They wanted more than double for stuff I just got off Ebay. I'd rather wait alittle longer and get the stuff out of China.

Nothing much is working on this pain. I'm just dying today.
Sorry to hear this Carrigon. I know that when I went into OLD NAVY the other night, it smelled so bad. I think the cheaper the clothes, the worse it is. If you go into Ann Taylor, you are not going to smell that smell. But there is so much plastic and the carpet and all of that. I agree with you, I don't know how anyone can work in there. It's too much chemicals and so forth. But then I have to remember, these are normal folks who seem to do fine with anything toxic including food.

All I can say is hang in there.
I also have to add, like Vicky, I can't handle many natural things either. Patchouli or however you spell it puts me through the roof. I become hyperactive around that stuff. Even Lavender can be too much. Strong smelling flowers can bother me too and I love flowers. It sucks. Plus, when I am with well makes me feel odd to say, "I have to get out of's making me sick." Home Depot is also the worst. PAINT. Can't take it.
Carrigon, the things I have found in the machines here are beyond disgusting.....won't even go into all that I have seen, so I totally know what you mean.....and I really cannot afford to wash the clothes once, let alone more than once, but when I am literally stopping breathing bc I am reacting so badly to the left over residue, I have no choice

Spitfire & Vicky, with very ,very few exceptions, I can't handle natural stuff either (even lavender....actually lavender bothers me a lot - love the smell, but massively reactive to it)
A couple of years ago, I tried buying some natural oils for fragrance, since I'm now allergic to alot of perfumes. I actually found I'm allergic to the natural oils, too. I have to be so careful with that stuff. I can't even buy handmade soaps because I'm allergic to the colorings and fragrances they put in them. And I used to be one of these bath nuts who bought every bath item ever invented. I used to have a huge collection of the best bath stuff, Caswell-Massey, Crabtree & Evelyn, Borghese. I had it all. Now, it's like I have to be so careful, I can't afford any of that anymore, but even if I could, I can't use it.

I am actually still flared up from that Walmart trip. I can't break the fever. And I was so lightheaded this morning, I almost couldn't go for the bloodwork. If I had a set appointment, I wouldn't have made it. But since you can go anytime, I was able to get there by noon.
You know, it never occurred to me until now that there was a physical reason why I couldn't stand Wal-Mart and such. I have avoided it for years because even if you try to go in for just a few things, it is designed to keep you in there for a long time and I always come out feeling sick. I have never put this together until I read your blog so THANK YOU! I have avoided candle places, Bath and Body Works, all those kinds of smelly stores for years and never put it all together...
Unfortunately these days my general rule of thumb is if i can smell it i have a problem with it - it is unbelievable the lengths we are having to go to to make bedroom safe in this new house, abs bl**dy nightmare. And Carrigon you have have my utmost and heartfelt sympathy dealing with MCS in an apartment, my own house kills me so you must have the devil of a time you poor thing dealing with the junk eveyone else uses. Honestly I actually find the MCS harder to deal with than the ME, loved friends can't visit becasue the fabric softeners etc on clothes make me ill and you can't stay anywhere so no hols/hotels...And Yes me too I used to love my bathtime smellies, I even used to smoke for goodness sakes :eek: Needless to say however that was a very longtime ago, maybe wait was it even a different lifetime, yes I think it must have been :Retro wink:
I'm so sorry, I know how discouraging this is. Another time, if you get a gift card, how about giving your friend a shopping list, with the most wanted things at the top? then you wouldn't have to go through this torture. It's weird to say I feel fortunate with this disease, but I don't seem to have MCS, which I'm deeply grateful for. MCS just seems to make everything difficult. At least there is a little more awareness about it now, and at least some commercial enterprises are starting to get it. But it's hard to avoid sensitive-making chemicals, they're all around us.

To me, the stimulus, the bright flat fluorescent lights, the lack of natural light and air, the smell of sizing and plastic and cleaner and just the way those big box stores are designed make me feel like a trapped animal, and this has been true since I was a kid. Can't imagine what it would be like to add MCS to that.
Tammie, is there any way in you could get an old washing machine? I can't remember if you're in a situation where you can install one, but Craigslist or local pennysavers or, in our case, local radio stations often have cheap or free second-hand washers. If you could find one and inveigle someone into moving it for you, then you could rinse it out with vinegar and be home free. I realize it would be a big project, but considering what you go through, it might be worth it. I'm not physically sensitive, and I think the smell of commercial detergents and fabric softeners is vile. Never mind the beer.

Blog entry information

Last update

More entries in User Blogs

More entries from Carrigon