About 4 1/2 years ago, I would have told you I was a go-getter and the picture of health. I grew up in the country, and until the age of 40, I didn't have any health issues. I was a super athlete on the varsity soccer team, captain of the ski team, and had boundless energy.
As an adult, I moved to Boston and lived in a luxury high-rise apartment building, making a living as a hair colorist. I thought I was in excellent health at the time, competing in fitness competitions, and even got my bikini pro card for WBFF (World Beauty Fitness and Fashion) at age 40.
How It All Started — Or So I Thought
My life was exactly where I wanted it to be. I lived the life of my dreams until the beautifully maintained apartment building where I lived had a bad flood. People told me I would have a mold problem after the flood, but I didn't believe them. The building was so immaculate, I believed management would take care of the water damage, and that would be the end of it.
I was wrong.
Building management and maintenance did nothing to prevent the mold. Within two weeks, I developed many symptoms. At first, I didn't attribute what was going on to a mold issue. I assumed I was overworking myself. However, symptoms kept arising, and I began thinking that I must need more than rest.
My symptoms became so bad that I was canceling hair-coloring clients because I didn't have the energy to get through the day. I went from lifting 300 pounds at the gym to having difficulty getting out of bed. I was constantly tired. Even all three of my Yorkies developed health problems during this time.
Instead of examining me, my doctor gave me a mental health questionnaire. I was frustrated that he didn’t seem to be taking me seriously and that he assumed it was about mental health without even looking into my issues. I didn't understand how he could think this was all in my head. I was far from a hypochondriac.
"I had to become an advocate for my own health. I felt that if I didn't, I could die."
My Mysterious Symptoms
A trusted friend told me my symptoms were because of mold. At this point, I knew I had to get tested because I felt so sick. So, I went to a functional doctor who asked me to have my apartment tested. The results came back with mold issues.
Unfortunately, a year and a half had already passed. It wasn't long before I had more symptoms that had me scratching my head, such as:
- Bloating so bad that my back hurt
- Cystic rosacea on my face
- Hives under my arms
I had spent a year and a half looking at natural solution, plus cutting out social events to give my body time to rest. But none of it helped. One of my dogs died of autoimmune issues, and the others had abnormal liver and kidney levels because of the mold.
I was developing more issues, such as anxiety, GI issues, and even pneumonia. My health was declining rapidly; I couldn't do what I loved and worked toward. In addition to my hair-coloring services, I had created a product line, but didn’t have the energy to promote it. When I took the supplements and got more rest, my health improved, but I still didn't feel great.
In April 2021, the exhaustion returned, as did the bloating and poor skin. I knew then it couldn't be just the mold making all this happen. It had to be something more.
"I felt like I was 26 before the mold issue, then 80 two weeks later."
The Moment It All Clicked
A friend told me that she had done research, and thought I could have a parasite. I pored over the Internet, reading all I could about mold toxicity and parasites.
I knew my friend was right. I believed I also had parasites that contributed to my symptoms. Something else occurred to me, too, while I was going through all of this. I grew up in the country, and although it was a great childhood, I learned that the herbicide Agent Orange was sprayed behind my house when I was young. It wasn't a stretch to think that those chemicals could still be in my system, exacerbating my symptoms.
Not to mention I am in contact with heavy metals daily in my beauty business. It was all starting to make sense to me. I had mold in my system, but the heavy metals and herbicides also affected me.
I began to have lots of congestion, and my nose and face were swollen. At this point, I knew I had to detox my body.
So back to the Internet I went. I wasn't getting any results and the doctors weren't helping, so I had to advocate for my own health if I wanted to survive.
What Made the Difference
During my research, I learned that to clear all the heavy metals, mold, and parasites out of my body, I first had to open my drainage pathways. That made sense because nothing can go down a drain if the pipes are blocked. I knew that I had to think of my body in the same way.
Once I improved my drainage system, toxins could leave my body. After that, I finally began improving, as did my dogs, since I did the same things for them. I had to be a detective to get to the root cause of my issues.
Because I focused on my drainage and took natural herbs that helped rid my body of heavy metals, mold, and parasites, I finally began to heal. I saw immediate improvement. I had black stuff coming out of my nose when I blew it. My face began to clear, and the bloating went away; my energy returned tenfold. I was finally feeling like myself again.
I had setbacks as I navigated my recovery, but I listened to my body, rested when I needed to, and pushed through the best I could. I am always learning about my health issues, and that knowledge helped me get through the setbacks.
I feel like I am now ridding myself of mold and all the toxins I must have been carrying around in my body since childhood. I now know that my digestion was compromised, although I thought it was fine. I understand now that I've had irritable bowel syndrome for years without realizing it. I'm not 100% there yet, but I am close to being completely healthy and knowing my body better than I ever have.
My Advice for Others
I want people to know that things don't happen to you; they happen for you. Believing your health will improve keeps you positive through the hardships and is vital to your healing. To keep my mind positive, I listen to Tony Robbins regularly, journal my health ups and downs, try to be patient, and take action. I don't wait for my condition to improve anymore. I do something about it.
Other pieces of wisdom I've picked up along the way are:
- Be gentle with your body. Give it all the time it needs to heal.
- Identify what is making you sick and address that.
- Lower your inflammation. It's a big reason you're suffering.
- Open your mind to alternative healing avenues.
- Respect the process and love your body along the way.
- Take action. Don't just settle for what is.
Most importantly, take care of your body before something happens.
Helpful Hints for When You Need it Most
Always remember to maintain a positive attitude. Be grateful for everything you have and for your body, no matter where you are in your health journey. The mind and body are connected, and if you're in a negative mindset, you can't heal. Slow down, rest when needed, and always take small steps toward your goals.
If you remember to do that, you'll heal. With a healthy mind and body, there is no telling what you can do.