In her book, Allergic To Life, Kathryn Chastain Treat brings awareness to how the environment plays a role in life in an unhealthy way: multiple chemical sensitivities. Many people suffer from allergies. Some take allergy pills and others take shots while another group must fight to stay alive. Treat fell into the latter category. A healthy stay-at-home mom feel ill shortly after she returned to work outside the home. Visiting one doctor then another, Treat was determined to find out what was causing her health issues. Perfumes she loved to smell became something she couldn’t tolerate. Foods she loved to eat began to attack her system. Her once beautiful home became a sterile prison so that she could survive because she became allergic to the carpets, etc.
Treat kept a daily journal of her battle for survival. Because she was going through medical issues, the journal is about doctors, medical test, treatment, and how those close to her reacted. When Treat had to explain to her friends that she could not got out to lunch with them or that their perfume and clothing made her ill, they soon abandoned her. Thank goodness for her family and those who stood by her through such an ordeal and that she found a treatment center and doctors that did not give up on her.
I met Kathryn Chastain Treat online before she finished putting her book together. We often corresponded via email and a couple of time through snail mail. When it came to deciding the cover of her book, she asked my opinion. I was drawn to the photograph of her stuck inside a sterile home looking out and longing to be outside enjoying the sunshine and the flowers.
There were times that Kathryn could venture outside and she did so enjoy being out in the fresh air. She lost her battle with life shortly before Christmas 2014, but not before the book was released.
Anyone suffering with allergies or who has a family member or friend(s) suffering with allergies should read this book in order to help them understand what that person is going through whether is be on a small scale or a large scale of suffering. Doctors and nurses should read this book so that when patients tell them what is happening with their bodies, they will be believed instead of being treated as a hypochondriac and left to suffer on their own. Medical students should read this book so they can learn to look beyond the obvious when treating and/or observing patients. Environmental safety officers should read this book, to learn what things they may think are harmless in a workers environment, could indeed be a culprit in making people ill: the culprit in a chronic illness.
Kathryn would want everyone who has any kind of health issue to never give up: never give up in finding a cure, finding what works to help relieve suffering.