Day 43 | We Can’t Go Back

April 21, 2017

This morning we tried driving back to our campsite and it didn’t go so well. About 10 miles down the road, I started having the stabbing pain in my heart again. Obviously, the plume hadn’t dissipated over night and returning to our campsite was out of the question for now. Unfortunately, we left a lot of stuff at our campsite, including our laundry buckets, our 7-gallon water jugs and our camp-stove. Bummer!

We had no idea how long it was supposed to take for a plume to die down so we decided to contact Sara Mattson, a recovered biotoxin illness sufferer, and ask for her advice. She offers consulting through her website and is a great coach. Whenever we feel stuck or confused she is usually able to help. It’s really nice to be able to talk to someone who understands this phenomenon and has lived through the same things.

We explained our situation and she told us what she and her husband do when they “get plumed”. They shower, change clothes, and go up to a higher elevation. Then they wash their clothes and spend the day moving around trying to get the exposure out of their lungs and sinuses. Sometimes they also use binders (medications or supplements that bind to biotoxins) and rinse their sinuses with a NetiPot. Sara strongly advised us to protect my immune system at all costs and not go back for our stuff even if it meant not being able to wash our clothes and blankets.

Her advice made perfect sense to us so we started looking at an elevation map. Unfortunately, we were already at 7,000 feet and couldn’t find anywhere nearby that was significantly higher. After a lot of discussion we decided that we would take this as opportunity to explore another location that mold avoiders have reported to be excellent. Even though it’s not much higher that 7,000 feet we decided to try Jemez Springs.

We were especially lured by the idea of soaking in a hot mineral spring even though we had no idea if the springs would be safe for me. Warm water just sounded so good! I’m so sick of all those cold showers.

First though, we headed to the nearest Walmart to buy water for decontaminating and a pack of new t-shirts for Brett. He didn’t have any clean clothes to change into. It was about an hour away. Brett also bought us some bathing suits in case my hot springs dream would really come true. And Kombucha. You never want to miss out on a chance to drink GT’s Kombucha. Next we both decontaminated in the parking lot and then started toward Jemez Springs. It was a 3.5 hour drive.

I decided to fast today, both because we are really low on food but also because I thought it might help me detox this exposure faster. I took some binders and drank kombucha and veggie juice. This might not seem like a big deal but it was huge! In the past, just being late on a meal was enough to make me lightheaded, send me into a raging headache and make me feel like crying. None of that happened today. I did get pretty hungry towards the evening so I ate a little bit. I didn’t want my body to feel stressed and go into panic mode. I think it worked!

When we finally arrived at Jemez Springs we decided to drive up to Spence Spring one of the more popular springs here. We got out to explore a little and breathe the fresh air. We hiked up to see the spring. I didn’t quite make it all the way up to the top but Brett said it looked pretty gnarly. Neither of us would have felt comfortable getting in. Especially since there’s always a risk of encountering cyanobacteria in stagnant water. Cyanobacteria produce toxins that can be just as dangerous as mycotoxins (mold toxins). Perhaps one of the other springs would be better?

When we got back to the car we decided to research the other springs in the area. That way we could make a plan for tomorrow. Sadly, all of the other free springs either sounded just as gnarly or required 10 miles of hiking to access. A few of the reviews even mentioned blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). We definitely didn’t want to risk that!

Then we happened upon the Giggling Springs website. Their hot spring pools are more developed and well maintained. We read about how they’re routinely sanitized using ionizers, UV light and an oxygen inversion system. No chemicals! Perfect. The water is full of beneficial minerals too. It sounded heavenly! This was just what we were hoping for!

We made a plan to go there as soon as they open tomorrow to see if we can beat the Saturday rush. We also planned to do a short hike in the morning for detoxing before heading over. We’re really excited! Neither of us have ever been in a hot spring!

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  • Bekah

    Praying for you!

    April 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks so much, Loyal Reader! 💚

      April 23, 2017 at 6:20 pm Reply
  • Ruth Meyer

    I’ve done sinus rinses before (like NetiPots), and it really helped. In dry climates I get sinus infections really easily. The rinses helped me breathe easier, especially while sleeping, so I rinsed right before going to bed. Hope the hot springs work well for you!

    April 23, 2017 at 3:47 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      That’s great to know Ruth! Thank you!

      April 23, 2017 at 6:18 pm Reply

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