Day 41 | A Successful Experiment

April 19, 2017

Last night, we decided to try sleeping without having my phone in the car. My phone and Brett’s computer are the only possessions we’ve kept from our moldy apartment. If the higher elevation was causing our contaminated possessions to denature at a faster rate it made sense that my phone would be causing the biggest problem. Brett never uses his computer in my presence and all of our other possessions were purchased in relatively good locations after we left the moldy apartment.

Well, I slept much better. I still had some throat irritation and pain when I woke up, but no hives. It makes sense that I would have some throat irritation and generalized pain because all of our possessions are probably off-gassing a little bit from my own cross-contamination. It’s very common for biotoxin illness sufferers to contaminate things with their own breath and sweat when they are detoxing. This is part of the reason why constant washing of your body and your clothes is necessary.

Anyway, removing my phone from the picture probably cut my symptoms in half! My blankets were still feeling a little toxic though so Brett washed them for me this morning. I helped a little bit but they are still way too heavy for me when wet. After that we went to Sandstone Bluff so that Brett could make a work call and I could experiment with spending the afternoon away from all of our stuff.

I sat on the bluff for a while and tried to recall Scriptures I’d memorized in the past. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember more than two short verses. My illness has really interfered with my memory and because of that, I’ve fallen out of practice. I was unable to even read for many months let alone remember long passages of Scripture. Thankfully, I was able to recall several scripture memory songs. I guess music sticks in the brain much more effectively. Or maybe the areas of my brain involved in remembering music are not as damaged as the other areas.

By now, I was already feeling better away from our belongings so I decided to take a walk. I planned to go all the way down the gravel road and back. It turns out, I vastly overestimated myself. I had no idea what a long way that would be! In the end I walked two miles before Brett came out looking for me. I was so relieved when I saw him! I still had another mile to go (uphill) to get back to the bluff. Haha! I’m glad I did it though because I do feel like exercise speeds up the detox process.

All in all, I’d say the experiment was successful and confirmed that my symptoms are caused by our stuff and not the location itself. I felt a little worse as soon as I got back in the car with our stuff. This is hopeful though because it should die down in a few days. The increased symptoms are probably only the result of the higher elevation causing biotoxins that were stuck on our stuff to become airborne. Once everything is done denaturing, elevation shouldn’t be a problem.

The only downside is my phone situation. The phone is pretty badly contaminated both from being in Portland, a notoriously problematic location, and from being in our moldy apartment. It may take a long time for it to fully denature. But maybe after a few days, I’ll be able to tolerate using it through a bag like I did at lower elevations. We’ll see. I’m using Brett’s phone for now.

Disclaimer About Exercise: For the record, my comment about exercise is not a blanket endorsement of exercise for those who are suffering from chronic illness. On the contrary, exercise can be very damaging to chronic illnesses sufferers who are still living in problematic environments. Especially for those suffering from CFS and similar illnesses exercise actually causes symptoms to get worse. While exercise is extremely beneficial for most people, the physiology of CFS patients (& I suspect Lyme patients as well) has been affected in such a way that exercise causes real harm. It often takes these patients days or weeks to recover from even gentle activity. I believe that the only reason I am able to exercise again and benefit from it is because I am in a pristine environment. In the past, even brushing my teeth led to an increase in symptoms.

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  • Patty Margaret

    Thanks for writing your blog. I’m learning so much and am waiting eagerly to read more of your story. I’ve spent nights in the car when the cold sets in, too., on our last 3 week trip. I was feeling better during that 3 weeks, but wasn’t looking for prestine air on south Oregon Coast in camp grounds. Your camping experience is similar, mold hits and clean shirts, no food and no water.! You seame to be getting better. I’m so happy for that!! ( I did want to say, I think some of the pools in Death Valley were not clorinated, but had continuous warm springs). And that I can never wear or sleep in
    Newly purchased clothes or blankets or sleeping bags, but have to wash them first. Well, be brave for me. And feel better soon. I hope the cargo van works out. I’m getting one very soon. Luv, Patty

    April 20, 2017 at 9:55 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks so much for commenting Patty! It’s so nice to hear from another mold avoider. What a crazy life we have to live, eh? I hope you are experiencing health improvements through your adventure as well. I totally agree with you that washing new things is best. That’s one reason we switched to blankets, sleeping bags are so crazy heavy when wet! I hope you find a cargo van too! It would be nice to exchange cargo van stories when we start looking. Blessings to you! 💚

      April 21, 2017 at 9:30 am Reply
  • Ruth Meyer

    I’m learning so much from these blog posts, Ana, about how mold affects you, and where it can hide. I’ve known many people with mold sensitivities (not nearly as extreme as yours) that go on for years living in places I just know are chock-full of mold. I think avoiding mold is important to anyone’s health, and the more aware people are about preventing mold growth and spread and contaminating other people and places the better. Living in the Northwest most of my life, I know what you mean about “bad states” for mold, and also the struggle with exercising in adverse environments. My thyroid problems (Graves Disease) makes even “light” exercise get my heart racing, wears me out, and my temperature can spike or drop very quickly. My temperature changes quickly, so I often get chilled even after a short walk outside, and a poor immune system means I catch colds easily. For me, the fresh air and general out-of-doors (green nature) is worth it, but I don’t walk far from home (usually up and down our gravel drive), because I don’t want to be out too far from home if my energy gives out. I’m glad you have been able to take walks and hikes more

    April 21, 2017 at 2:29 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you so much Ruth. I’m so encouraged to hear that you’re learning a lot from my blog!

      I’m so sorry to hear that your thyroid issues also causes post exertional malaise. It’s no fun. I’m glad you can still get out and walk some. 💚

      April 21, 2017 at 9:34 am Reply
  • Alex

    Yay! Thanks for the update, Ana! Glad to hear the experiment was successful and praying that the denaturing process finishes soon!

    April 21, 2017 at 2:51 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks for the prayers Alex!

      April 21, 2017 at 10:59 am Reply
  • Thelma Zimmerman

    Thanks for your updates, Ana! I’m so glad you are writing and I can keep up to date on where you are and how you are doing. I enjoy seeing your photos. Love and prayers, Grandma

    April 21, 2017 at 5:51 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I miss you Grandma! Thank you for commenting. 💚😊

      April 21, 2017 at 10:59 am Reply

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