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How I’m Using Brain Re-Training to Heal from Toxic Mold Exposure

This past winter was a doozy.

I had never felt so helpless.

I mean, things were really bad in 2016.  I have been through some terrible health experiences before.

But this past December-March seemed to be in competition with the horrors of 2016.

If you have experienced mold toxicity to the degree that our families have, I know you understand.

There’s really no way to describe how awful it is.

5 Ways to Help Your Friend Whose Baby is in the NICU

A stay in the NICU is a very hard phase to live through – for both the family and the baby. Many NICUs are not as family friendly as they like to think they are, and amenities and comforts for parents are often overlooked.  Of course the main goal is to provide the babies with child-centered care, which is a good thing, but there can be a lot lacking for the families hanging in the balance – clinging to threads of hope for their babies.

 

Our youngest son, Jotham, was born with Spina Bifida. He was full-term, but was in the NICU for twenty-nine days due to complications from hydrocephalus. I walked into the NICU thirty minutes after giving birth to him, and didn’t walk outside again until he was leaving in my arms. Twenty-nine days straight was a long time in a very hard place, and yet I met other parents that had been there for much, much longer.

 

Some NICUs put multiple babies in one room with privacy curtains to pull between bassinets. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for a parent to be near their baby, and often the facilities like this don’t allow parents to stay overnight. If a family is fortunate enough to be in a facility with private rooms, there is usually a pull-out couch or recliner for staying overnight, although bathroom facilities are generally lacking since the patients don’t need a toilet. We were thankful to have a private room with a couch to sleep on, enabling me to stay with Jotham for his whole NICU stay.

 

 

We learned many things during Jotham’s NICU stay, not the least of which was how much we’re loved! Our friends and family bent over backwards for us. Without them, we never would have made it through with much sanity left (we’ve needed the remaining sanity for the all the PICU stays we’ve been subjected to since ?).

 

Here’s a list of five things that were helpful to us during our time in the NICU. If you think of more ideas, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post!

Mold Avoidance 101: 3 Principles We Follow

What is Mold Avoidance?

We started using the term “mold avoidance” after reading the book, A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance: Techniques Used by Hundreds of Chronic Multisystem Illness Sufferers to Improve Their Health.

This book contains methods that were very foreign to us. They even seemed a bit off the wall. I joined a Facebook group that was moderated by one of the book’s authors, and thought people in the group were doing pretty extreme stuff. Many were getting rid of all their possessions and leaving their homes in search of healing living environments. I kept up with the discussions and experiences that were shared in the group, and had no idea how meaningful their discussions would eventually become for us.

Fast forward several years, and yikes – we were living the strange phenomenon of hypersensitivity to mold toxins. Many people equate mold toxin hypersensitivity to peanut allergies. A small amount of peanut dust or oil can kill a person who is allergic to peanuts, and mold toxins are capable of causing the same reactions. It sounded like strange fiction to read other people’s reports. They couldn’t go in certain buildings, or purchase from specific stores, without severe adverse reactions. Experiencing it ourselves gave us a first-hand look at the “unraveling” of a life of comfort, and one wrong move could land us in the emergency department for life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.

We pieced things together, and realized how much of an impact our environment was having on our health.

Our church, our house, the homes of loved ones, our libraries, our grocery stores – everything became menacing. Our bodies were threatened by our everyday environments, and it seemed bizarre that such tiny particles (mycotoxins and mold spores) could wield so much power.

We’ve since made it through that tunnel of nightmares and are basking in the light on the other side (well my kids would say we’re baking in the light, but that’s because they’re adjusting to our move to the desert ?). Multiple anaphylactic reactions per day have changed to only a couple times a year. How did we do it?

A whole lot of God’s grace mixed with a bunch of mold avoidance!

Learning Along the Way

We made contact with multiple people that had experienced mold toxin exposure. Weeding through the details of their stories, we began to realize that mold avoidance techniques had the quickest, most positive outcomes. The people that were restored to good health after hitting rock bottom had all implemented some principles of mold avoidance. What initially seemed off the wall to us, became one of the only things that made sense!