We left our home on Saturday, October 4, 2008. Friends bought us new clothes. Teachers threw away books and by Monday morning my kids were back in school. Life was going to get better and return to normal.
Or so I thought.
As we struggled to find a new place to live, cope with the losses, and do proper medical testing, our symptoms seemed to worsen. Not all of them. The bloody rashes on the back of Colin's hands slowly disappeared. They moved to his knuckles, then the tips of his fingers, and then were gone. My black tongue improved within days of leaving the home.
But the sore throats, nosebleeds, migraines, neurological issues, and digestive problems didn't go away.
I continued my correspondence with Dr. Jack Thrasher, the leading toxicologist in the field. (He, along with Dr. Michael Gray, one of the leading physicians in the field, helped us make our decision to leave the home.)
With Dr. Thrasher's permission I share part of our exchange below. My despair, lingering brain fog, and desperation may not be evident. My concern with cross-contamination and confusion over the severity of the remaining symptoms is apparent.
November 5, 2008
Colin's stool sample came back negative for c dissicile toxin. He is still symptomatic and I'm wondering what this result tells me.
As always, I appreciate your thoughts greatly,
It eliminates Clostridium as the cause. There is something that is preventing or interfering with the reabsorption of water by the colon and possibly small intestines. He needs to see a physician who understands these nuances of mold/bacteria problems related to exposure.
November 19, 2008
We have a panel of lawyers looking at the case and are waiting to hear back. I am doing everything I can to get the testing required to go see Dr. Gray. My physician has dropped the ball repeatedly but I'm not giving up.
In the meantime, Reagan has had massive nosebleeds in the last two days. Reagan has a cold, sore throat, runny nose. Brandon has nausea and headaches and blurry vision. Kaitlyn has headaches and blurry vision and episodes of dizziness. Colin is home from school with abdominal pain and headaches as well as blurry vision.
We are beginning to worry about cross-contamination from the other house. We brought cell phones and of course our two cars.
Should we have the air tested in this house? In our cars? Are these residual effects from the old house?
I would value your opinion.
The cell phones are probably not a source of cross-contamination. The automobiles may be a source of contamination. The air conditioning system of autos can become contaminated.
Actually, what I think is going on is possible school exposure to molds and pesticides. Also, there may well be infection and/or colonization with the children, particularly the upper respiratory (sinuses) tract. The nosebleeds are a dead giveaway. The children need to see a physician who knows what he/she is doing.
Has any physician done a culture of the sinuses/nasal cavities of the children for molds and bacteria?
No culture has been done. I have set a date of December 15th to get Colin's adenoids and tonsils removed. I believe his adenoids have been contaminated for many years and he will be able to breathe at last. I think we need to go to Arizona and recoup the costs later. I have tried all of the insurance avenues and keep coming up against brick walls.
If you have his tonsils and adenoids removed, be sure that the tissues are either frozen or fixed in a solution for future analysis. Do not allow the surgeons involved to discard them.
November 26, 2008
In the last 3 days Kaitlyn (10), Reagan (12), and Brandon (7) have all had bloody noses. Brandon and Chris have a sore throat/cough/cold. Kaitlyn keeps breaking out in hives/rashes. Colin's blood sugars are high and he has the head throbbing, etc.
Kaitlyn said her ear was ringing last night (first time she has said that).
Is this all part of the de-tox process or have we cross-contaminated? I keep thinking about our Suburban.
It is not part of the detox program. The bloody noses, sore throat, cough and cold and H.A.s indicate some type of infectious process.
November 27, 2008
How would we measure whether or not we cross-contaminated? Is this what the infectious process is? Or is it just compromised immune systems? Another child woke up with a sore throat today.
I am concerned that they go to school and come home sick. Schools are notorious for mold and bacterial growth as well as the use of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, etc.). Have you looked into these conditions?
I did not look into the conditions. I focused on getting medical help, just as Dr. Thrasher encouraged us to do. We pulled the kids out of school and finally went to Arizona to begin treatment. My fear of cross-contamination slowly improved, with continued testing of our environments. We canceled Colin's surgery. We traded in the Suburban but kept our other car.
Life did not return to normal.
But it did get better. Much better than those early days out of the house.
We have a long way to go. Our new life is nothing like I planned or imagined. Many questions remain, but with the help of people like Dr. Thrasher, we've been able to answer many of the critical ones and take steps to heal and keep our environment clean.
For those who are on this long, dark road, my encouragement is to take it one step at a time. Focus on the things you can do. When symptoms persist, don't settle for unsatisfactory medical explanations. Listen to your instincts.
And watch for the day when life takes on a new and different normal.