When we have a health problem, it’s natural to think about changing our diets or adding things like medications and supplements. Few people stop to consider the quality of the air they are breathing. My experience has taught me that breathing bad air can be far more damaging than eating gluten or not getting enough omega-3s in your diet.
You see, I was severely ill with Lyme Disease for five years and spent the majority of that time in bed. I tried everything from IV antibiotics to acupuncture to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to herbal supplements. It wasn’t until I developed Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and started having daily allergic reactions where my face and throat swelled up that my husband and I started thinking about how air quality might be playing a role in my illness. After ruling out almost everything else, we finally discovered that toxic mold was the culprit.
By that time I’d become so reactive that we ended up needing to camp in the wilderness and scrupulously avoid mold exposures for six months. We camped in Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, and South Dakota. It was the cleanest air I’d ever breathed and my body started to heal in surprising ways. Within three months, I had recovered so much health that I was able to run, bike, cook, and do laundry by hand. Perhaps more impressively, I was able get off all of my medications for pain, sleep, nausea and allergies. Who knew that clean air could be so healing?
We are now living in a mold-clear apartment in South Dakota and I really think I’m going to have a better and happier life because we live in this part of the country. I can already swing a 20 pound kettle-bell and hike for miles. I can think clearly and work hard. Mood issues that we never would have thought were environmental have fallen away for both of us. It turns out I’m not really an obsessive person who can’t let things go and Brett isn’t really a grouchy person who hates being interrupted. It’s amazing. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we both end up having better long-term health than we would have if I’d never gotten sick at all.
I know so many people suffering from Lyme Disease and other serious chronic illnesses and often wish they would all move to a better location. I know mold avoidance doesn’t work this well for everyone, but I honestly think almost everyone’s lives would be better if they thought about location and air quality as much as they do about food. I know it’s a lot to ask. I had to be forced into this paradigm change, but I’m so glad I was!
I don’t know if all the theories about mold avoidance and why it works are 100% true but I am convinced that some locations and buildings are unhealthy and dangerous. I really believe that living in a place with clean air is one of the best decisions a person can make for their health. After all we are breathing every second of our lives.
“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let’s be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder
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.