A Personal Update

September 22, 2017

It’s a good thing we got into the apartment when we did because some of these days have been downright chilly. We would have been miserable sleeping in the van. It was so cold last week that we decided we needed to buy winter coats and hats and gloves before it got any worse.

This week I was able to finish transferring all of our stuff from the van into the apartment. Yay! I’m still getting used to all the cleaning and vacuuming but I’m hoping it will become second nature after a few more weeks.

I also have a few extra jobs to do before I can settle into a more relaxed routine. The van was quite messy from our impromptu trip to Nebraska and really needed to be cleaned. Brett vacuumed it out earlier this week and I was able wipe down the front part yesterday. Now I’m working on washing all the bedding and the curtains. I still need to wipe down the main area and the cabinets and drawers. We want to have it clean and ready to go in case anything ever happens with the apartment. Not that we’re expecting anything to happen. The leak is fixed and I’m doing great!

Brett and I took a swing dance class on Wednesday and had a lot of fun! I was able to keep up quite well. I could tell I was tiring more quickly than the rest of the class but I don’t think anyone else could. Judging by how sore I was on Thursday, I still have a long way to go in building back my strength! I think to really rehabilitate all my muscles I might need to do some targeted strength training like Pilates.

My main focus for this next season is to keep healing physically, build back my body’s strength and start working towards emotional, spiritual and intellectual healing. When my body was in a state of chaos I couldn’t really grieve or ask the theological and existential questions that tend to arise during intense suffering. All my energy was going towards survival and maintaining some semblance of sanity and cheerfulness. Now that my body is healing it’s time to start on a second journey of soul healing.

I’ve tried so many times to start that journey only to be interrupted by a sudden spike in symptoms or the appearance of new symptoms or a change in the environment. I’m hopeful that this time it will be different.

As part of that process, I want to start reading more books. I want to reflect on the last 5 years in a more intentional way. I want to try to reconnect with people I’ve lost contact with. I want to spend more time on writing, both privately and for the blog. I’d like to go over all the feedback that you guys gave me a few weeks ago in more detail.

If you’re still reading this, I just want to say thank you so much for following my recovery journey. It is my desire to keep sharing things that will inspire courage and hope in all my readers whether you’re chronically ill or healthy, religious or not.Β Brett and I even filmed some videos of our daily life as van-dwelling mold avoiders that I’m hoping to share soon. I just need to figure out the technology side of things. Stay tuned. πŸ™‚


By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.

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22 Comments

  • Hailey

    What a cute picture of you guys. I am so happy y’all are taking the swing dancing class!

    September 22, 2017 at 4:36 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Hailey! I’m really happy too! 😊

      September 22, 2017 at 6:55 pm Reply
  • Jen

    Living in an apartment and swing dancing in a building with non-mold-sensitive people?! You’ve come a long way since you starting blogging! Praise God!!!

    September 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I know! It’s so hard to believe! I’m amazed. It’s an even longer way from when I first got sick. I’m so relieved to finally be living life.

      September 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm Reply
  • Kris

    So grateful the Lord is blessing you with His healing touch….fun to see you two enjoying life…a gift!

    September 22, 2017 at 4:59 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Yes! 😊

      September 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm Reply
  • Jen

    Part 2 of my comment: Do you attribute all your progress to strict mold avoidance? Or are there other factors or treatments helping too? I’m planning to move into a brand new apartment next week and leave everything behind. I’m too sick to live in a van by myself, so I’m hoping this will suffice. Your improvement is very encouraging!

    September 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I can’t say I attribute ALL my progress to strict mold avoidance but I do attribute almost all of it to strict mold avoidance. I think there’s a LOT of hope for you if you’re moving into a brand new apartment and leaving all your stuff behind. Especially if you’re in a decent location. Detoxing might be slower than camping but I think you can definitely still heal. Just keep a calm and hopeful attitude. You might also be helped by cholestyramine or other binders. That’s something I didn’t end up doing because I was making such good progress with mold avoidance alone.

      September 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm Reply
      • Ana Harris

        I forgot to add that I did do extensive Lyme treatment before starting mold avoidance (including HBOT) and I did get to about a 50% recovery with that after years of total hell. I wouldn’t recommend that. I have a feeling that after dealing with the toxicity issue the immune system might take care of the pathogens on its own. If it didn’t… I would only recommend Lyme treatment after getting clear and a much shorter course than what I did. In any case, these are just theories that I have no way of proving. It’s just what I wish I would have done. I’m not saying that it applies to all chronic illness patients.

        September 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm Reply
  • Hannah Edlin

    You look beautiful Ana! So delighted to be reading your progress as of late. I hope you and Brett conintue to be able to do lots of fun things like this together as you get stronger and stronger.

    September 22, 2017 at 7:09 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! Thank you so much Hannah! I’m still bummed we don’t get to live in Portland. Thank you for reading and praying and cheering us on. Lots of love to you! πŸ’•

      September 22, 2017 at 7:17 pm Reply
  • Natalie Julson

    This is all so exciting Ana, I’m so happy that you’re well enough to start dancing again.

    September 22, 2017 at 7:13 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Me tooooooooo! 😊

      September 22, 2017 at 7:17 pm Reply
  • Alex

    This post makes me so happy, Ana! We are cheering you on and rejoicing with you!

    September 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you SO much Alex! I’m so glad to have you and Courtney as brother and sister. So thankful for your support and love.

      September 23, 2017 at 6:39 pm Reply
  • Stephanie Lyon

    I’m on the verge of tears of joy as I think about your journey and the long way His arms have carried you. Is this real life?! I am overwhelmed with gratitude that you are living in a new normal and that your physical healing has come so far. Can’t wait to cheer you on and send love from afar as you pursue other aspects of healing and rejuvenation. I love you guys!

    September 22, 2017 at 10:09 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you so much Stephie! This is so sweet! It’s so hard to believe recovery is finally happening. I love you and miss you! Maybe we can reconnect sometime once I finish cleaning the van. πŸ’•

      September 23, 2017 at 6:41 pm Reply
  • Ruth Meyer

    I can’t get over how happy you and your husband look when you’re together. πŸ˜€ Praying you both stay well and warm and safe as the weather gets colder. I always enjoy reading your posts, and appreciate your insights that get me thinking more about my own life and health and attitude while healing. God bless you both!

    September 22, 2017 at 11:19 pm Reply
  • Lorianne

    Overjoyed with the grace and progress God has given! What a beautiful gift to also dance a bit again! Continuing to keep you in my prayers!

    September 23, 2017 at 8:40 am Reply
    • Lizbeth

      Your avatar. . . 😍

      September 23, 2017 at 5:33 pm Reply
  • Patricia Margaret

    So happy for you Anna and Bret!!!

    September 24, 2017 at 12:20 am Reply
  • Chris

    Loved this pic, Ana!! You guys looked so cute!! And dancing!!! Whoo Hoo!!! Praise God for this mighty accomplishment!! Love you guys!!

    September 25, 2017 at 8:29 am Reply
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