It’s been a rough 3 years. My health, well it’s been pretty rough. Here is a timeline just to show you where I have been…
October 2013 – Moved into “moldy” house. Only we didn’t know it was mold.
Jan/Feb 2014 –Started having lots of hormonal issues, sleep problems, sensitivities to foods and chemicals (makeup, lotion, shampoo), workouts started to get harder, recovery time longer, weight started to creep up.
-Started seeing Naturopath to work on hormones. Then went to Acupuncture to work on hormones, run tests, etc.
March 2014-May 2015-Continued seeing acupuncturist to try and level out hormones, etc. They did improve but not a lot. Continued testing and working on them, but felt worse. Lots of other issues started to come up. Issues with my eyes – dry, burning all the time, lack of sex drive, adrenals were tanked, never had any extra energy, brain fog, swelling of the tongue (affected my speech), handwriting was awful, no focus, wanted to sleep all the time. Lacked the energy to teach my classes that I loved so much!! That was really difficult for me. 🙁
May 2015- My chiropractor suggested I test for mold, as she had been dealing with mold issues as well. We put out simple mold testing kits just to see what showed up. This was our Master Bedroom and our Living Room. We didn’t even test the basement at that time! This was enough for us to pursue more about the possibility of mold issues.
We had someone come out to do further testing of the home, which determined that our crawl space, which was dirt, was all moldy. This was the air that was being distributed all through our HVAC system into the entire home.
October 2015- Went to see Naturopath in Boulder who specialized in patients who had been exposed to mold. He ran a TON of tests to determine what exactly what was going on with my body. Sure enough, we discovered I had CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) caused by mold.
December 20, 2015– Started on Cholestyramine. This was to bind the mold/toxins in my body and remove them. I had to take this 4x a day away from food and supplements. I usually got in around 3x a day, which was better than nothing! It was a nasty powder that had to be mixed with orange juice to even be able to swallow it! YUCK!
*Keep in mind, that over the course of discovering the mold in the home, we were communicating all this to our landlord, who really didn’t see it as being a big deal. They tried to “remediate” the issue, but he was cheap and didn’t do it correctly. Resulting in us breaking our lease to get out early and get away from the mold. We found a rental just a few blocks away and had it tested for mold before moving into it as a precaution. It came back clean.
February 2016 – Moved into new “mold free” rental. Being on the cholestyramine and moving to a clean environment, I could already tell I was feeling better! Still not 100% but about 65 to 70% which was a HUGE jump from feeling like total crap!
Ran tests again to see how body was responding. Numbers were going down, which was as good thing, but there were still a few numbers that needed to drop before I could go off the CSM and start the next level of healing. It also made me wonder if maybe my business was keeping my numbers from lowering. There was water damage on the outside wall and I noticed when I was there, I felt more tired, my eyes were more irritated. So I made the decision to get out of there as well. Best decision ever.
May 2016 – Moved into new “mold” free building for my business! Within a few weeks I could definitely tell so much difference!! I was feeling about 80% better! My energy levels were back to about 90%! I was working out more regularly, and able to push myself to do more. I was running, and I hate running, but being able to do it again.. YIPEE! My body was recovering at a much better rate. I was sleeping tons better! My hormone levels were leveling out. To feel this way…. it almost makes me emotional. I never thought I was going to get here again!
June 7, 2016 – Went in for Blood tests again
June 30 2016 – Got call from Dr about test results. Some numbers were still high, but based on how I was feeling, he suggested we move to the next level. I am SO ready!! I will begin taking VIP (how ironic the name.. lol)
Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is a neuroregulatory hormone with receptors in the hypothalamus. This hormone/cytokine regulates peripheral cytokine responses, pulmonary artery pressures, and inflammatory responses throughout the body. Low VIP levels are present in mold illness patients.
The VIP should lower my inflammation levels, which I do still feel a lot of in my body, make a lot of my sensitivities go away and in general make me feel like WONDERWOMAN!! HA!!
This all comes back to choices. I do think that for some time, as I was told I was “sick” from mold, it became a mind thing. I decided I was sick, so I felt sick. It was just in the last few months, as I started to feel somewhat better that I actually made the CHOICE to say, SCREW IT! I am deciding to be HEALTHY! I am deciding to PUSH HARDER!! Accept no limits! And I cannot tell you how much of a difference that made in my daily life. Amazing what the mind can do!!
I have an entire new set of goals. I have been focusing so much on trying to lose weight over the past few years, it’s become and obsession. Not to mention, nothing I tried to work. I eventually learned that someone fighting CIRS will most likely not lose weight no matter what, until they are healed. I have had to go through a lot of self image issues in the past few years. Not to say that I never have before, but they have been really difficult lately. On a positive note, it has helped me to relate to my clients who struggle as well. Learning to love my body for what it CAN DO instead of what it looks like has been a good lesson for me.
My new goals are to focus on being strong and building muscle– running as a way to de-stress and not to lose weight, be healthy and just love me for who I am. 🙂