Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2001
From: beneficialbug (Maxina Ventura)
To: East Bay Pesticide Alert list
Subject: Max's Carbaryl poisoning symptoms

Hi all,

I wrote this a few days after being exposed to RESIDUES while canvassing the Brentwood neighborhood which had been GWSS-sprayed. I was there Sunday, 11/5/00.

Fred, I'm feeling very confused again.... I want to relate what I am experiencing still related to Sunday. People whom have not have this experience need to understand more of the day to day, minute-to-minute experience. The last sentence I wrote took me 15 minutes to write. It is not because I am some great wordsmith (my normal way is to write a mile a minute as the thoughts flow from my mind, through my fingers). I even just tripped over this sentence. One of the things I am experiencing is forgetting words. I can see an image, such as that of a group doing roleplays, but cannot get the word... just happened with "roleplaying." While I had a crystal-clear image of such a group I could not bring up the word. I stared at the screen, at the rest of the sentence and couldn't come up with the word. Had the same experience with the word "solidarity," though these are words/phrases which are part of my daily vernacular.

What I have been experiencing since Sunday in Brentwood is very scary and I am coming to realize connections to being sprayed with Copper Hydroxide on April 4th. I have these moments of coherence and basc capability intermingled with moments of loss.... it is a feeling of being lost in time for a moment or minute. For instance, I left the Board of Supervisors' meeting Tuesday and headed out to find my car. Unlike me in my normal state, I had to think hard to identify the door through which I'd entered. As I headed out I got to the end of the block and was at a loss. Again, I had to try to remember, retrace my steps in my mind. I had had such a confusing time (unlike in my normal state) trying to find parking that this process was doubly difficult. Then I headed down one way and realized that I had left the wrong door of the building (in terms of trying to retrace my original steps). So where I should have gone one way I went another, then got to the wrong lot. Once there envisioned the correct lot but had to try hard to think of how to get there. Eventually I made it, after some other wrong turn.

Then, looking for help getting back to Hwy 12 I got someone's directions (you need to know that, I know that area pretty well in my normal state) and even wrote them down and read them back to him and this should all have been familiar to me. After the first turn I was lost and had to get help getting back on course.

During the last 2 paragraphs I have had 4 stalls... 4 times I had to stop to try to remember what I was trying to write. And this is a big improvement over the couple paragraphs before those.....

Another example: Yesterday I came out of an office in a building with a simple layout and was confused about where to go to get out. Even though I had an easy marker of security guards and an x-ray machine and recognized this guard... I knew I had just had some interaction with him coming into the building an hour or less before.... I still couldn't make the connection from point A to point B. He recognized my confusion and recognized my kids' rainboots and said, "You came into the building this way."

Once out of the building I had to try to remember where I had intended to go next. I want to emphasize that this is an area I know well and in my normal state would have had no confusion. So I finally remembered my next step and headed into the building across the street and then was confused about how to get to the UNDERGROUND tunnel to the parking lot across the street from this building. I emphasize that I knew I was heading to an underground tunnel and had just walked into the building at street level. Working normally, my brain would have produced the desired and expected result of realizing that I came in at street level and had to go down a level to the basement. But I had to ask somebody how to get to the tunnel, though I was standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF the elevator.

I decided to take my kids to the bathroom before heading out... what a mistake. This was at the Alameda County Administration Building and there were some heavy chemical smells. A moment into it I had a splitting headache, as I'd had Sunday, the nausea I still feel went up a notch in intensity, and I got woozy. Now I can look back and say I should have found a bathroom in some other building (BUT SHOULD WE HAVE TO DO THAT?) but my thinking was instantly so blurred, along with my vision, that I just got Ingi and Andy to go and got us out of there as soon as we could.

Eventually we got to the car and I sat there in the open-air lot for awhile trying to clear my head. Thinking I was relatively OK (this is an issue to discuss.... lack of proper decision-making skills sometimes when hit so hard by chemicals) I took off and while going around the exiting ramp I was really woozy and nearly hit the wall several times.

Once I had pulled out I knew I needed to stop to try to clear my head and at that point saw the 3rd building I had intended to visit to look up an important piece of information that day. I was looking at the building which was kitty corner from the parking lot, right in front of me, and I couldn't figure out how to get to it. I went around the block and eventually made it there (only to find that they were just locking doors for the day).

A point to be made is that we DO NOT want people driving cars in these confused states... yet when one is in the middle of a bout of this sickness she temporarily loses some of her clear thinking which would make her realize that she MUST NOT drive at that time. We are like slaves to these chemicals.

What is particularly offensive to me about what I have been experiencing is that while I am in no way intending to make judgment on others whom use chemicals, natural or not, illegal or legal, to alter their consciousness, I am a person who's always valued my clear and sharp thinking and I have never liked feeling that out-of-control feeling or feeling altered by any substance besides endorphin rushes I'd get with physical exercise. Along these lines I have gone years of my life avoiding sugars or sweeteners of whatever sort; at times have gone years without coffee, etc.. I'm that type people call the classic teetotaler. For years at a time in my life I have even avoided caffeine in teas. While I am not that total "pure" type in my daily life last couple years and I have even been enjoying some nice organic wines my boyfriend has been buying in his quest to get East Bay stores to feature organic wines and wines made with organic grapes, and I have been enjoying some nice coffees and teas, these are choices I..... I AM MAKING FOR MYSELF.

I am pissed off that I walked into a neighborhood at least days after a spraying specifically to warn people about dangers of these chemicals, and that this is NOT a 1-time spray program (which they had NOT been told) and to warn them about how sensitization works..... and I ended up sick, slurring and confused. Since then I have had the symptoms come and go. This, in itself, is another thing for activists to note when trying to help people understand how pesticides can affect them. Sometimes you have a reaction but then think you've gotten through the symptoms only to have them intermittently for weeks or even months.

This experience has gotten me to make a connection even I, as one thinking so much about this stuff for years, had been unable to make before. That is that, when I had a plume of Copper Hydroxide come at me when I was on my road in Schellville (along with another chemical I cannot even recall at the moment) April 3rd, a grace de Dale Ricci, I ended up with symptoms I related to the Ag. Dept. for weeks... but then I thought I was relatively better... but kept having intermittent bouts... I assumed it was related to separate sprayings but now realized it could have been the continued reaction to that heavy hit.

Before Sunday I was having certain problems which I never had in my life before Sonoma County.... memory loss, confusion..... but because after the April 4th hit and the next couple/few weeks of pretty constant symptoms but THEN intermittent symptoms I didn't make the connection of these continued symptoms over these months potentially being related specifically to that spraying vs. his continual spraying of scores of chemicals. Still cannot say which or whether all would be the main factors.... point is, I understand now that the bouts of confusion and memory problems, and especially the blurry vision problems are likely related to the copper hydroxide from 4/3 and other hits just added to it.... this after years of Dales's Carbaryl, 2,4-D, Mancozeb, Paraquat, Aluminum Phosphide, Oxyflourfen, Glyphosate & POEA (Roundup)etc. etc. etc........ (the Wine Country romance.... some 40 pesticides slathered on us....).

But looking at these last few days I see the connection. Now, 2-1/2 hours after beginning this, with 1/2 hour out of that a break to talk with my alarmed boyfriend and to call to make an appointment with Dr. Carlston, my newer homeopath who is also an M.D., I am finishing writing which in my normal state would have taken maybe 1/2 hour. This is the reality of chemical overload.... and yes, I am alarmed.

Max Ventura

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