Formaldehyde in clothing. I know it's there. It's commonly used to treat clothing before shipping from China and other overseas locations. That's why it's vital, as in super important, that we wash new clothing before we wear it or put in onto our precious little ones' bodies.
I know all that. But, like I said above, stupidity does not define, but at times I think it must. Yesterday was one of those times.
I discovered a new resale shop on Saturday and was happy to pick up a couple of pieces of Stella & Dot jewelry, a super-comfy cable knit sweater, and a brand new with tags pair of Ann Taylor Loft black skinny jeans that fit perfectly (and cost a mere $8!).
Normally, I have to wash secondhand clothing two or three times before I wear it because of the buildup of toxic fabric softener. I'm simply not going to wear anything that reeks of that combination of toxic chemicals and causes all sorts of respiratory, skin, and neurological issues (just to name a few). I just won't do it.
But yesterday, while choosing an outfit for work, I picked up the brand new pair of pants, cut the tags off, and slipped them on. After all, there was zero fabric softener smell because they'd never been washed. Big mistake.
As I worked, these black skinny jeans hugged and caressed by legs all day long. By late afternoon, I was really dragging. By evening, I could hardly walk. Now, this was disturbing because, for the first time in countless months, I've been pain-free for weeks. I attribute this to cutting nightshade vegetables out of my diet. The result has been a serious reduction of inflammation and a disappearance of my fibromyalgia symptoms. Of course, this is a topic for a different blog post, as it indicates some intelligence on my part, and not the stupidity this post focuses on.
I dragged myself upstairs as soon as I got home and I laid down. An hour and a half later, my husband woke me to see if I was okay. I was not. My glands and lymph nodes were swollen and my limbs all ached. Plus I had a headache.
An hour or two later, it dawned on me. My Epstein Barr and my fibro were acting up and I knew exactly why. Formaldehyde. It transferred from my new pants onto my skin where it was absorbed into my system. It was poisoning me. I removed the pants and threw them into the hamper.
There are many things that can trigger my fibro. Obvious things like stress, illness, loud noise, or aspartame. But nothing affects me as much as exposure to chemicals, with formaldehyde at the top of the list. I learned that way back in the mid-'80s when a wise doctor figured it out.
You would think I would have known better than to wear an unwashed pair of tight-fitting pants. I doubt I'll ever make that mistake again! After all, stupidity does not define me... most of the time.