Interview of Suzanne L.
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Long term experience with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
- Environmental IllnessSocial Movements
- Biographical Note:
- Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Long term experience with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
- L., Suzanne
- Persons Present:
- Suzanne L. and Bloom
- Place Conducted:
- The interview was conducted by telephone.
- Supporting Documents:
- Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
- Interviewer Background and Preparation:
- The interview was conducted by Molly Bloom, MA, Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Bloom’s dissertation focuses on community among people with disabilities.
- Processing of Interview:
- The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading the narrator's written biographic account of living with MCS, and a pre-interview questionnaire completed by the narrator.
- 1.5 hrs
- Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
- Series Statement:
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness is a collection of interviews with over seventy individuals living in the U.S. and Canada whose family history, occupation, art practice, or activism have brought them into direct contact with illness experience and disability related to chronic, low-dose exposure to toxicant chemicals. The procurement of this collection (from March 2019 through September 2020) was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women under the directorship of Rachel C. Lee, with interviews conducted by six undergraduates, five graduate students, two career staff, and two faculty members at CSW.
Childhood moving around--Family dynamics and socioeconomic background--Family home and childhood scents--Parent’s health--First noticing reactions to chemicals--Turning point with anesthesia in Mexico--Electrical sensitivity--Dallas--Perception of health--Parents’ health concerns for her--Environmental and community contributions to health--Effect of health sensitivities on relationships--First year of college--Mexico after anesthesia reaction--Cal State Northridge--LA County Health Department--Working in child development--Struggling with chemicals in apartment--Health after college--Life during graduate school--Cedars Sinai--Dreams--Health during working at Children’s Bureau of Los Angeles--Moving to Switzerland--Coming back to LA
Moving back to the United States and working as a case manager in early intervention program for developmental disabilities in premature and at-risk infants and toddlers in the State of California -- Stopping work as a case manager due to health issues -- Continuing work in a medical-based industry and working as clinical instructor of family medicine -- Describing events and symptoms leading up to becoming disabled -- Health journey in Los Angeles, Arizona, New Mexico -- Experience with The Environmental Health Center of Dallas and Dr. William Rea -- Feelings of shame and loneliness living with chemical sensitivity-- The importance of spirituality -- Describing experience of developing a community with meditation group and receiving support from them -- Looping back to positive impacts of The Environmental Health Center of Dallas on overall health -- Life today in Truckee, Lake Tahoe -- Writing about chemical and electro-sensitivities as a form of advocacy -- Wrapping up and hopes for the future -- Wishing to see a level of consciousness to turn the tide of chemical consumer production