Day 95 | Time to Give up on Campgrounds?

June 12, 2017

We went into town today to finish gathering supplies for my family’s visit. Things went pretty well and I only had to decontaminate once. Way better than those horrible trips to Las Vegas! I’d go through 6 shirts sometimes!

I was sitting in the Petco parking lot when I started getting the exposure symptoms: intense back pain, a headache and mild nausea. I texted Brett, he finished up as quickly as he could, ran back and drove me away. When we got to the health food store I got out and decontaminated there. I rinsed my hair, rinsed my exposed skin and changed my shirt. As usual, I felt much better. Phew!

It was around 5:00pm when we finished running errands and started back to our campsite. Much earlier than last time we went into town! Yay! Maybe we’ll actually get to bed early tonight!

Unfortunately, my beautiful dreams of an early bedtime were shattered when some new campers showed up while I was getting out of the shower. They took the spot right next to us and I was relieved to find that I didn’t react to them. Little did I know they had other ways of crushing our sleepy dreams…

When it was time for Brett to take his shower, I started to feel grouchy, anxious and depressed all at the same time. These are often my first symptoms of toxic exposure. I knew something was affecting my brain and when I got out of the van I saw what it was. The new campers had started up a campfire in the rain and I’m pretty sure they used a bunch of lighter fluid to do it. Yuck! I went back into the van and closed the door but it was too late. My reaction was intensifying into a panic attack.

We decided we needed to leave immediately and I started to cry. This can’t be happening…

It seems a little silly in retrospect, but I was especially upset that I would have to decontaminate again. That meant my hair would be wet and I’d have to wait for it to dry again. My neuropsychiatric symptoms can make me a little obsessive sometimes and it felt like the end of the world.

Brett hopped into the driver’s seat and we drove away looking for a place to park for the night. We found a nook that looked halfway decent and decided to go with it.

I got up and washed my head again, wiped my face and arms and changed into a clean pair of pajamas. Brett did the same.

Then I sat on the bed and whipped my hair around trying to get it to dry faster. While I was waiting for it to finish drying, I started to wonder whether we should give up on campgrounds all together.

Maybe going back to boondocking really would be better and ultimately easier. The campground thing was nice while it lasted but I don’t see how we’re going to be able to keep it up now that it’s summer. Everything is filling up and people from all sorts of moldy cities come to this area to vacation. I just don’t know if it’s going to work.

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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  • Natalie Julson

    *Hugs* praying so hard for you guys, Ana. I hope that you guys can find a safe place for you for a long while.

    June 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks so so so so much Natalie! We think we found something that’s going to work. At least for now. You can read all about it in tomorrow’s post. ๐Ÿ’•

      June 14, 2017 at 6:10 pm Reply
  • Bethany Rose

    Ana, are you still open to staying on someone’s land? I don’t know anyone with land like that off the top of my head, just wondering if that is something we can pray for. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m so sorry this is such a tough journey. I’ll pray for a peaceful, exposure free evening of rest for you tonight.

    June 14, 2017 at 5:49 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Yes! We would really love prayers for that! That would be ideal.

      June 14, 2017 at 6:09 pm Reply
  • Hannah Ficarra

    Praying for you all every day! Reading your blog is something I look forward to daily ๐Ÿ™‚ Our family has been equally encouraged, frustrated, joyful and heartbroken as we’ve prayed for you both over these years. You are a beautiful and stunning testament to the power and grace of God to sustain and keep you through the nightmare this illness has been. May his presence fill your souls with peace and joy tonight Brett and Ana!

    June 14, 2017 at 6:16 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… This is just so sweet Hannah! Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and kind words. It touches me deeply. ๐Ÿ’•

      June 14, 2017 at 6:18 pm Reply
  • Lisa Grove

    So sorry this is happening to you Ana! I’ve been able to keep staying in a small campground only by climbing into my van at the first sign of campfire smoke and staying in it with windows closed until sometime early in the morning when the smoke has finally dissipated enough for me to crack the aindoss open. Not the beat situation, but there I am. I’ve only boondocked once and I’m nervous about trying it again.

    June 14, 2017 at 8:35 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks for the tip Lisa! I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with this too. Do you feel like you react to all campfires or only certain ones? I sort of feel like it depends some have been okay.

      My only concern with sleeping with the window closed would be whether my detox could contaminate the van. I like to sleep with the doors open but maybe it would be fine as long as I aired it out during the day. How do you feel about it? Does your car feel okay in the morning?

      June 14, 2017 at 9:49 pm Reply
      • Lizbeth E.

        It could be the way the fire is started or the wood they use? I know when our family went camping last year, the people next to us used synthetic logs and the other people used TONS of lighter fluid. We didn’t react to anything, but we are not very sensitive either, other than it smelled really terrible. If people start the fire with matches and use real logs, maybe those are the ones you don’t react to? Just a thought. . .

        June 15, 2017 at 8:40 am Reply
        • Ana Harris

          Good point Lizbeth! I was wondering if it had something to do with how they were lighting it. I think you might be right.

          June 15, 2017 at 9:42 am Reply
  • Mary Taylor

    I am amazed how you (&Lisa) are able to remain positive in your overwhelming, changeable by the minute situations. Yes, there are some bad times but overall your Trust in God shines through! You’ve done so well! Goes for Brett too!

    June 15, 2017 at 6:00 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thanks Mary! That’s so encouraging! I don’t always feel positive but I try to keep pushing forward while accepting the present circumstances. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      June 15, 2017 at 9:43 am Reply
  • Erin

    Oh man! That’s so sad that new campers came! It would be nice if you all could like rent a piece of property all to yourselves….

    June 15, 2017 at 6:09 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I know! I wish!

      June 15, 2017 at 9:43 am Reply
  • Lizbeth E.

    Oh wow! I am so sorry! That must be so depressing! I’ll be praying for you guys.

    June 15, 2017 at 8:35 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Lizbeth!

      June 15, 2017 at 9:44 am Reply
  • Andrea Vik

    I will pray you guys can rent some land…it is super hard in the summer!

    June 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much for praying! That would be so wonderful to rent land. I don’t even know how you go about finding land that is for rent.

      June 16, 2017 at 7:14 pm Reply

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