Today was a “boring” day at the ranch and we couldn’t be more thankful! We were able to livestream a church service this morning and got to see my family over Skype this afternoon.
While we were talking, my brother asked how long it had been since we started doing mold avoidance. We were all a little surprised to realize that it hasn’t even been six months yet!
We left my parents house in New York on Valentine’s Day. So, it will be six months on August 14th. It’s crazy to think how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time.
I was really, really sick when we left home. I was in constant pain and spending pretty much all of my time in bed. I had severe sound sensitivity and almost zero energy. Worst of all, I was having mast cell reactions multiple times a day and the situation had become life threatening. The drugs were no longer working.
It was these desperate circumstances that made mold avoidance, a wacky-sounding treatment based on anecdotal evidence, actually seem like a good idea. It was a matter of life and death and we needed to do something fast!
But how were we going to pull it off when I was so sick? It seemed almost impossible, but desperation has a way of making even the impossible worth trying.
I was too sick to camp so we had to start with the next best thing. A change to a better building in a better location. After doing some research, we settled on Dolores, CO and picked an adobe Airbnb cabin. We were told that adobe cabins tend to be more resistant to mold than modern buildings with drywall.
But how was I going to fly when I was so hyper-reactive to everything? Foods, fragrances, cleaning products… all of them could send me into anaphylaxis! It wasn’t easy, but I found a heavy duty respirator mask to wear, tried to stay calm, and took the maximum recommended dose of Benadryl that day.
Unfortunately, our original flight got cancelled that morning and we ended up flying to Albuquerque, New Mexico instead. We spent the night in a hotel there and I noticed a subtle positive difference almost immediately.
The next day, we drove to our Airbnb in Colorado, only to find that it wasn’t going to work out because the main house on the property had a Stachybotrys problem. So we went back to the hotel in Albuquerque while we tried to make another plan. Eventually we ended up in a pumice-crete cabin in Taos, New Mexico. We stayed there for three weeks and that was where my healing really began.
My skin stopped breaking out in hives, throat swelling episodes became more rare, and slowly I started to notice a slight increase in energy and slight decrease in pain. By the time we left that cabin to go camping in Death Valley I was washing laundry in the bathtub and helping to pack up the car.
I was still pretty disabled and I spent the first several days in Death Valley just sitting on a rock watching Brett do all the work. But I was well enough to camp!
That first baby step of doing mold avoidance indoors, allowed me to get to the place where I could pursue an even more effective form of mold avoidance. The Airbnb in New Mexico couldn’t get me to a place of vibrant health, but it did get me to a place where I was well enough to take the next step.
So, I just want to encourage those of you who are considering mold avoidance but are too sick to camp. Maybe camping isn’t your first step. Maybe you can take it in baby steps and just do the next best thing.
If you can’t change locations right now, maybe you can make some health gains by staying at a friend’s house with a low ERMI score. Don’t bring anything with you and start showering and rinsing your head more often. Then when you’re ready, you can start experimenting with the locations effect. I personally believe that changing locations is key. Then eventually you might be ready to camp in truly pristine air like I’m doing, and pretty soon you could find yourself running again.
I can’t say I know anything for sure, but I would hate for anyone to feel permanently stuck because they can’t start camping immediately. I have a good feeling that taking the best first step that you can will yield better results than doing nothing until you can do it perfectly. So, chin up my friend. There is hope.
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.