Five Year Reflection

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October 4, 2008 our family vacated our home and everything in it. Toxic mold can do this – often ripping families apart in the process.

Fortunately our marriage survived. Our kids did too. It has not been easy, however. Often I have found myself in despair.

Despite the emotional ebb and flow, our family has made it to the five year mark.

The lessons have been tough. They have come with a price. But the rewards are great despite the harsh reality that life will never be the same.

Here are two of the many lessons I have learned during these difficult years.

1. There is no formula when it comes to health.

I was under the illusion that one treatment protocol would do the trick for all eleven of us. This included supplements, alternative treatments, conventional mold treatments as well as dietary intervention. When we started the GAPS Diet in August 2010, I awakened to the reality that each person's body chemistry is unique. Sauerkraut may work for one but not another. Some can have raw vegetables, others do better with juices.

I find this experience echoed in the writings of  Dr. J.H. Tilden (1851-1940), a  physician who believed that the body grew ill because of toxic accumulations in the gut. The cure, according to Tilden, happened when the patient listened to the needs of his body and adjusted his lifestyle accordingly.

"To be able to say how much an individual must eat, the physician must know how much appetite and how much digestive power the patient has. This knowledge is impossible. Every individual's special sense will always be his own private possession. . . In the matter of food and eating, the conventional belief and practice are that an individual weighing a given amount must consume a given amount of food. This theory may work all right with an engine, but not with a human being."

                     J.H. Tilden, M.D.,  Food: Its Influence as a Factor in Disease and Health, 1914

2. Healing takes time.

After leaving our home I had my sights set on a 2 year recovery. At the 3 year mark I was shocked with our remaining issues. At 4 years, I began to relinquish my sense of control. Today, 5 years later, I feel free of the timetable. I have surrendered to the process of recovery. If our progress in these last five years is any indication of what the next five years holds, then I am extremely optimistic and encouraged. Our health has improved dramatically. In the words of  Dr. Tilden,

"Those who are looking for quick cures are doomed to disappointment; for usual quick remedies are nothing more than palliation."

                      J.H. Tilden, M.D., Impaired Health: Its Cause and Cure, 1921

When I started this blog in December of 2008 I titled it “Our Mold Journey.” In 2011, I broadened it to “Our Health Journey, ” acknowledging the fact that mold is one of many factors when it comes to health. This year I’m expanding beyond our family’s story to everyone’s story. Life is a process. Some things, including emotional and physical recovery, take time. I’m excited about the new name: It Takes Time.

The graphic below symbolizes the uphill, but rewarding nature of the journey.


Past anniversary reflections:

One Year:  Anniversary Reflections

Two Years:  New Knowledge  (we were in the middle of a mold remediation in our current rental.)

Three Years: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Four Years:  One Step at a Time




This post was shared at Healing with Food Friday.