Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
MCS, or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, appears to have as sordid a history as ME/CFS — and interrelated, at that.
Sufferers of MCS tell similar stories of mistreatment and homelessness, as Eric Hunting has described on his blog:
The life of the typical Environmental Illness (EI) sufferer is a rough one. In most cases they have been impoverished by the health care system by the time they obtain any definitive diagnosis, thanks to the fact that doctors and psychiatrists don’t give refunds when they make mistakes or have no answers. (imagine if your auto repairmen returned your car unrepaired and just shrugged his shoulders then handed you a bill for his labor…) This pattern of impoverishment through diagnosis chasing is one of the chief causes for homelessness among EI sufferers, and something patients of many other ‘orphan’ medical conditions also face. — Shelter: Documenting a personal quest for non-toxic housing (3/16/05)
It is unclear precisely when MCS first emerged because misdiagnosis and politically motivated denial have consistently accompanied it to the present day.
We only know statistically about the EIs who have survived this. What about those who didn’t? Make no mistake, this is as potentially as terminal a disease as AIDS and we don’t know how many people have been lost because they died forgotten and alone. The homeless only have two official causes of death; violence or ‘natural causes.’ — Shelter: Documenting a personal quest for non-toxic housing (3/16/05)