If everything goes well, we should be on our way to New Mexico by the time you’re reading this. Things are becoming less and less bearable here and the smoke from Washington and Canada seems to be the culprit. I feel like my body is starting to unravel. Even healthy people are feeling negative effects. I can’t help but wonder if the smoke from these fires is particularly toxic. Or perhaps it’s brought along some of the biotoxins I’m sensitive to?
Whatever the case, Brett and I decided we need to get out of here before the inflammation in my body spirals out of control. Unfortunately I’ve continued to wake up with significant facial swelling. I’m also having a resurgence of joint pain, fatigue and brain fog.
After much frustration and some experimentation, I concluded that the new mattress does irritate my eyes and nose but it isn’t driving the worst symptoms. It’s becoming clear that the smoke is the main problem.
Sadly, the air quality in our apartment has suffered a lot and I’ve found the only thing that brings relief is being in a clear building that has a good HVAC system (like Panera).
We’ve avoided running the HVAC in our apartment because the heat in our first apartment was part of what triggered my decline last winter. Things improved when we switched apartments and started using space heaters with a window cracked open. That led us to believe the HVAC was better left untouched.
When the window is open and the air outside is good, our apartment feels great. Unfortunately, when it’s smoky outside, the apartment is either really stuffy (with all the windows closed) or just as smoky as the outdoors. This unfortunate situation has caused us to question our decision to leave the AC off. Still, we don’t want to risk the possibility that dust or mold in the HVAC could make the situation worse. We can’t really afford for anything to get worse right now.
Last night, desperate for some new oxygen, we opened the windocws to air out the apartment. We closed them before getting in bed but I still woke up at 2:30am with serious throat swelling and pain. I took some Benadryl and waited for the reaction to subside.
Then, at about 4am, I had a horrifying panic attack where I bit my hands really hard and almost ripped out a chunk of my hair. Thankfully it passed quickly. When I came back to my senses, I was very disturbed by the episode. I had completely lost control. This wasn’t standard anxiety and panic. Something bad was happening in my brain. It was just like the neurological panic attacks I had when I was very ill.
That was when we started talking about escaping to New Mexico. We decided to get some sleep before making a decision. When we woke up, New Mexico still seemed like our best option. So today Brett is our gathering supplies for our trip and I’m sitting in Panera waiting and writing. All I can think about is laying in the soft healthy dirt and breathing the pristine air. I’m going to be so happy! I can’t wait!
Update: I wrote this post on Sunday and thankfully the smoke ended up clearing out by Monday night. But we are still planning a camping trip to calm the runaway inflammation.
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.