I received the following Christmas letter last week. A letter that hit close to home.
Who knew I was living with something that could (and nearly did) kill me? For over 10 years, I unknowingly lived with toxic mold in my house. My health continued to deteriorate with symptoms that baffled the doctors. Finally, tests on the house exposed several species of toxic mold including: Stachybotrys, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Aspergillus and Penicillium. Immediately, I moved out, thinking it could be remediated and I would be able to return.
The difficult task of cleaning my belongings began. Friends from far and wide joined ranks in my front yard to triple clean everything and put it into storage. It was later discovered I would not be able to safely live with my things or in my old house under any circumstance. Life as I had known it took a drastic turn. I lost my house, my possessions, 2 of my pets and my health. My puppy at the time has survived thus far, but she has tested positive for 3 mycotoxins. Her health is impacted but she is doing fine so far.
"He who has God and many things has nothing more than he who has God alone." - C.S. Lewis
All the while my health continued to plummet, as did my morale. Discouraged, overwhelmed and confused, I continued to struggle with vertigo, severe fatigue, neck and joint pain, tremors, distended stomach, headaches, rashes, brain fog (yes, more than normal:), an inability to regulate body temperature and an overall sick feeling. It stuns me to learn all these symptoms result from the exposure of mold spores and the mycotoxins they release.
Recovery takes time and is a slow, arduous process. Currently, I'm on a treatment protocol that is designed to take 2 years minimum and for some, a lifetime. I have a genetic predisposition which makes me unable to "self heal" after being exposed to toxic mold. Since I lived with such a high concentration for an extended period of time, my health has been greatly impacted.
Current health issues include:
• autoimmune disease
• neurological injury
• hormonal imbalance
• pulmonary limitations
• digestive disruption
• chemical/fragrance sensitivity
To break the fungal cycle in my body, diet has become central to my recovery. Fungus thrives off sugar and is hindered by chlorophyll, so I eat a diet containing no sugar or refined foods, no grains, limited fruit and lots of green leafy veggies, nuts and meat.
Isolation continues to be a challenge due to the chemical sensitivity caused by the exposure. When I'm around strong-smelling hair products, lotions, aftershave, cologne, perfumes, rooms with plug-in scents, candles, pesticides, herbicides, or cleaning products, I get very ill. It can last for several hours and take days to overcome.
Mold is addressed in the Bible and it was not to be ignored. I once thought mold was harmless. Now I know how devastating it can be on a life. Though mold is everywhere, some molds can be life threatening, particularly in an indoor environment. Any water damage should be immediately addressed even if it has dried out and looks fine. Don't ignore it.
There's so much more to share, but for now I'll just say thanks. Thanks for coming alongside during this difficult season.
Friendships often struggle during times of health crisis. Especially when little is known about the nature of the struggle.
Christmas offers a wonderful opportunity to mend hearts. If you have a friend fighting a health battle, don't miss the chance to express your support and care. There's nothing like a timely word of encouragement.