Kim Palmer's Story
Kim Palmer in October 2000.
Well as I say, the first third of my life was fun, the second third has been hell; I sure hope the last third is somewhat liveable!
I grew up in a suburb of Toronto, a top-of-the-class student receiving my high school Ontario Scholarship while already on the road playing keyboards and singing with a well known recording act. My childhood, teens and early 20s saw normal health dotted with flus and headaches (which, had I only known then, were due to a food allergy to dairy products! . . . )
In the early 1970s I went to California with one suitcase for a two-week vacation - and never came back. (I loved it and was pursuing a spiritual path there.) After a couple of wonderful years, at the height of my happiness and sense of well being physically, mentally and spiritually, in 1978 I moved into a small, one-room apartment in Orange County.
I have never been the same.
After two years of quickly deteriorating health, a girlfriend, noticing my plants were always dead, said "Kim, you can't be THAT bad of a gardener; you'd better call the gas company!" And sure enough, there had been a slow gas leak the whole time I had lived there, sleeping with the windows shut. I had also bug bombed, freshly painted, was using Malathion on the roses as part of my rent discount (I remember it dripping on my hands and arms through the gloves), could smell the neighbors' pesticides, had pulled up a very moldy carpet after the room flooded, had a gas leak in my car, and the topper, in my opinion, was on a faddish-low-protein-raw-foods-lots-of-juices-lots-of-fasting diet that I believe opened my cells further to the environmental toxins. I would wake up every morning spinning, wondering what was inside me that was so wrong, not knowing the problem was outside.
I quickly became allergic to almost all foods, could barely digest anything, was pale as a ghost, went down to 95 pounds (at 5'7") and then started to become sensitized to all things chemical, losing tolerance for the normal world and always being in a state of reaction, exhaustion, and mental confusion.
This was still the early 70s and no medical professionals yet had a clue about this syndrome. I began a disheartening journey through both the traditional and alternative medical realms, seeking answers and not only receiving none but being disparaged, told it was psychological, and put on treatments that worsened my condition. After five years I figured things out from my own reading and began treatment for candida, allergies, etc., finally definitely receiving benefits though short-lived. I tried everything from desensitization shots in Texas to live cell therapy in Mexico to anti-parasitics in Arizona to cavitation surgeries in Oklahoma to drops in British Columbia to diets and herbs to mega vitamins to hormone therapies to auto-urine therapy to drugs to acupuncture to energetic desensitization to IV's to hypnosis to anti-fungals to homeopathy to energetic medicine to mercury removal to sauna detox to extensive testing to Neuro Peptides to thyroid to NAET to scar neutralizing . . . to other unmentionable therapies! After ten years of this, moving into places that made me sicker and sicker, and somehow still working/diving for the bed when no one was looking, following a doctor's advice I replaced my mercury fillings with plastic. I was then bedridden for almost three months and became sicker overall, thinking the symptoms were mercury detox as suggested by practitioners, but now suspect the petrochemical leakage from the plastic may have pushed me over the edge. (There is much evidence supporting this for the chemically sensitive today.) I next headed to Austin to experience a clean house in clean air. There I "unmasked", a phenomenon where you reach the baseline of your sensitivities and find out how sensitive you really are.
That was ten years ago and I have been completely disabled ever since.
With much help I somehow flew to Austin where a porcelain trailer made for people with MCS was for sale, which saved my life.
After learning how to ground it I seemed to handle it, hallelujah. The idea was to buy it and take it west to escape the very oppressive humidity and mold of Texas, which for me was so flattening I was bed-ridden and in pain there most of the time. But I got stuck there five years, every summer driven West by a friend as I lay in the truck on oxygen searching for a safe place to put my RV, sleeping on a cot in the open (as there is no tent I can tolerate) on California porches, in New Mexico backyards, under Texas canopies and Arizona stars, with already frail health. And every summer for five years we'd come back, totally exhausted, mission failed. Finally, after living outside for five grueling months straight last year, I found a place in the one small desert area I do best in in the whole country (being very limited by my altitude, mold, vegetation, cold, sensitivities, etc.). I have tapped funds and tried homes and treatments for 21 years now. This is my story as I sit here, masked and tired, in a metal box. I don't know how I'll make it, but still will not give up.
Kim passed away October 23, 2006.
The two trailers Kim lived in. She first lived in the small, home-built steel trailer, which later became her studio. Later she bought the larger porcelain trailer, which is built by Dr. Lattieri.