Day 44 | Our New Favorite Place

April 22, 2017

I had an awful night last night and was unable to fall asleep until about 3:00am. Unfortunately, the plume seems to have contaminated my sleeping blankets and we have no way of washing them here.

As soon as I got under my blankets I started to feel pressure in my chest and even had a few stabbing pains. They were much milder than the heart pains I had while driving out of the plume but still uncomfortable. When I moved the blankets away from my face my symptoms stopped but I also got really cold. It was quite the struggle to fall asleep.

Thankfully, my bad night of sleep did not prevent us from carrying out the plans we made yesterday. After breakfast we hiked up to Spence Spring again so that I could sweat out some toxins before heading over to the Giggling Springs. Brett had to help me through some of the rough spots. Parts of the trail were really rocky! Not only am I out of shape, I also only had flip flops to wear. It was fun though and I was panting really hard when it was all over. We couldn’t wait to get in the water.

When we arrived at the Giggling Springs, Brett went in to purchase a one hour pass and I stayed back. For now, I am still too reactive to go into buildings. The girl who works there was really sweet. She came out to say “hi” to me and opened the gate for us. The place was really beautiful, with 4 individual hot pools. Only one of the pools was occupied. We were so excited!

As soon as we got in we both started laughing with joy! The warm water felt so good it almost made up for all the miserable cold “showers” of the last four weeks. We couldn’t stop smiling and gushing to each other about how good it felt. It was amazing! Not to mention, we had the whole pool to ourselves!

We soaked in the same pool for about 45 minutes before we decided to try some of the other pools. Unfortunately, there is a river that runs through the property and I didn’t feel great in the pools that were right next to the river. I’m not sure why, maybe cyanotoxins? We got back into the first pool and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our time there.

When I got out, I was virtually pain free. I guess I had forgotten what that felt like. It was so strange and wonderful! What an amazing feeling! All for less than half the price of a massage or acupuncture treatment! And at least for me, soaking in the hot spring was way more effective than massage or acupuncture ever was.

I wish I could have basked in the joy of a pain-free body all afternoon but we had to go into civilization to buy new blankets and groceries. We were almost out of food and unfortunately, our cooler molded so we had to throw out what little food we had left. I was having reactions just opening the trunk of the car when the cooler was in there.

We’re about an hour away from Albuquerque. Most of the drive was pretty good, except for Rio Rancho. That part was awful. I’m not sure what’s wrong with that particular town but I got a terrible headache, pain, nausea and general malaise. I decontaminated as soon as we got to Albuquerque and the symptoms started to subside right away. I felt decent in Albuquerque and only had to decontaminate two more times. At one point I did start to feel a reaction in my throat so I took some allergy medication. Even so, I am still thinking that Albuquerque is a more tolerable city for me than Las Vegas.

As always, I waited in the car while Brett shopped. I even got to talk to a dear friend over the phone that I hadn’t talked to in months. Actually, I hadn’t talked to anyone besides my immediate family since we started doing mold avoidance. It was so nice to catch up with her, hear about the normal things that normal people think and do, and really connect with another human being. It was especially reassuring to hear her wonder at how crazy and difficult my life is. Sometimes, I forget and it feels good to be reminded that this isn’t hard because I’m a particularly weak person. It’s hard because it’s just plain hard.

All in all, today was a happy day. It was so kind of the Lord to give us a day of respite in the middle of all this chaos. On the way back to Jemez Springs, we sang the hymn “Because He Lives” over and over. The words went straight into the deepest part of me and I started crying. I’ve been needing to cry for a while now and it was therapeutic.

Even though we have no idea what awful thing might happen tomorrow we can be certain that because Christ lives our suffering has an expiration date. It’s not going to last forever. One day we will see Him face to face, all of our doubts will fall away and we will know that our hoping and trusting was not in vain.

And then one day, I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

Note About Locations: There is growing concern among experienced mold avoiders that sharing good locations is causing places to “go bad.” This is probably the result of inexperienced mold avoiders flocking to these locations and bringing along contaminated possessions or failing to decontaminate properly. Because of this, I was really torn about whether I should even identify the Giggling Springs. In the end, I decided to share openly in good faith. Please remember that doing mold avoidance wrong won’t work, but it will ruin good places for you and others. I strongly encourage any chronic illness patients who are considering mold avoidance to read “The Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance” before heading to any “good locations.” Thank you for respecting your fellow biotoxin illness sufferers.

I send out a weekly digest with updates about my mold avoidance adventures. To receive these updates click here.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Melinda Delamarter

    I got so excited for you, Ana, when I came to check for a new post and saw the picture at the top. You got to go swimming! *happy dances for you* 🙂 I am praying for you and Brett!

    April 23, 2017 at 8:16 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! That’s so sweet!😊

      April 25, 2017 at 10:18 am Reply
  • Ruth

    Dear Ana,
    Thanks so much for writing about your experiences. I have found it both helpful and comforting to read about all you are doing to try to get healthy. My heart goes out to you and I pray that you will come to complete health. I am also struggling with health issues and trusting God to show me the way to health. I have 5 kids living at home and I homeschool, so “give us this day our daily bread” is me asking God to give me the energy and health to do what he wants me to do each day. There are so many “natural” paths to take and so much information out there, but I have found some things you have posted particularly helpful. Just thought I’d let you know I appreciate your writing even though you don’t know me.
    May God lead you and Brett to good health and a place to settle.

    April 23, 2017 at 8:27 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Wow! This is so encouraging Ruth! I’m glad that my writing can be of some help to you. I am so sorry you are also struggling with health issues. May the Lord strengthen you daily! 💚

      April 25, 2017 at 10:20 am Reply
  • Alyssa

    Yay! So happy for this wonderful day you got to have! 😀

    April 24, 2017 at 4:48 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks, Alyssa!

      April 25, 2017 at 10:20 am Reply
  • Marita Wilson

    I’m so happy for you that you got to go swimming!!! It is so exciting for me to see a happy picture of you and Brett! Thank you for sharing your life and struggles with us. What you have to do to salvage your health is amazing and inspiring and I really don’t know how you do it. You and Brett are some of the strongest people I know. Love you friend!

    April 24, 2017 at 7:23 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much for these sweet words, Marita! So encouraging! Love you too! 💚

      April 25, 2017 at 10:22 am Reply
  • Natalie Julson

    I’m so happy for you guys (and doing a happy dance over here) Praying for you always <3

    April 24, 2017 at 10:38 am Reply
  • Thelma Zimmerman

    I love that picture! You both look so happy. Praying you will have more really good days and less difficult ones.
    Love, Grandma

    April 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I love you Grandma! Thank you so much!

      April 25, 2017 at 10:23 am Reply
  • Carlene Myers

    So happy you had such joy. Thanks for because he lives. I cried (I needed it). So much fear with this crazy life. Christ casts out fear, Because he lives! Be safe, well. Post soon.

    April 24, 2017 at 4:09 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… I’m so glad the song encouraged you too! Such powerful words and so applicable for this crazy unpredictable life. May the Lord continue to comfort you and give you strength.

      April 25, 2017 at 10:24 am Reply
  • Abby

    Oh my goodness, that picture made my day! I’m so excited you found some place that didn’t affect you and that you got to call your friend 😀 Praying for y’all!

    April 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks so much for the prayers, Abby.

      April 25, 2017 at 10:25 am Reply
  • Erin

    Wow!!! That’s so great that you and Brett got to go swimming (and more hiking)! 😀 Praying…as always…for you to get better very soon! -YWW Student 😉

    April 24, 2017 at 8:16 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much for the prayers, Erin. 💚

      April 25, 2017 at 10:26 am Reply
  • Sister in Christ~

    Haven’t known you both very long, but I’m already thanking the Lord for bringing you into my life.
    You’ve both encouraged me greatly in the few conversations that we’ve had~ thanks for taking the time to share your story.
    You both are very pecial people and true examples of overcomes in Christ~
    The light of the Lord shines through you… So just keep going!

    As you already know, He will see you through this wilderness journey, and you will come out with experience and wisdom you perhaps otherwise would not have attained.
    Anything you need, (water or whatever!, lol) we are here for you 🙂

    Blessings and Shalom to you, Brett and Ana
    Keeping you in our daily prayers~
    -your sister in Christ here at the springs 🙂

    May 3, 2017 at 11:13 am Reply
  • Leave a Reply