Late Monday night, I started experiencing some unusual chest and upper back pain. This particular type of pain isn’t a typical mold exposure symptom for me but I decontaminated just in case. I actually decontaminated twice! It didn’t help at all. It felt kind of like a pulled muscle but I couldn’t remember doing anything that would cause injury. Maybe I hurt myself the other day when I was hauling water for laundry?
I went to bed and had a nightmare that something was wrong with my heart and I needed to go to the emergency room. When I was very ill, I spent a lot of time in the ER. Serious symptoms, rough nurses and condescending doctors have worked together to ensure that the emergency room is the last place I ever want to be in the world. I hate it. I’m actually terrified of it.
When my mast cell reactions were really bad, I was more afraid of using my Epi-Pen and having to go to the ER than I was of the throat swelling. It was irrational, but that’s how much I hate that place! Needless to say, I really didn’t appreciate having a terrible nightmare about it.
When I woke up, the chest pain and back pain was worse than before. I couldn’t move my body at all without moaning. Brett massaged the muscles for me and it slowly started to improve. It was still very painful but at least I could move. It felt like an injury or spasm but I had no idea what triggered it.
I got up and pushed through the pain to wipe down the van. Brett helped me haul water and wash the large blanket since I was in too much pain to deal with anything heavy. Then I washed the clothing on my own and did the dishes. As I went about my day, the pain lessened somewhat. It was still there, but it was more bearable.
In the late afternoon, we went into town to return a hanging organizer we got from Target that turned out to be too contaminated. When we got back to the campground my cognitive functioning took a nosedive. My thinking and speaking slowed down to a snail’s pace. I kept forgetting what I was going to say and the words came off my tongue at less than half the speed they normally do. I felt a deep pain in all my bones. My head started throbbing and my liver began to ache. I didn’t want to move.
Even though I could no longer think straight, Brett recognized these things as exposure symptoms and decided to take me for a drive. The fog lifted after we left the campground and I decontaminated.
I don’t know how people do mold avoidance on their own! Without Brett, I think I would have been too confused to do anything.
We decided to sleep on the side of a quiet road that night and I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling amazing again. Surprisingly, even my chest pain was gone! Perhaps it was symptom of exposure after all!
We still don’t know what suddenly made the campground problematic for me. There were some maintenance men working on the vault toilets yesterday. Perhaps it was something they did, or maybe a plume of spores was blowing through, or maybe one of the new neighbors had a very moldy camper.
When we went back on Wednesday morning I experienced some brain fog but it wasn’t nearly as severe. We decided to spend the morning in town and by the time we returned in the afternoon everything was fine again. I cleaned and did laundry without any pain or difficulty.
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.