Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mold and our healing plan of action

I know so many of you have been awaiting this update but it's taken me a while for a few reasons.  1: We're on a 3hr time difference and I forget that. 2: It's a LOT of information. 3: I haven't been feeling great (body sore from tons of walking and headaches that keep hanging on). 4: I just don't have my computer on me half of the time and I'm certainly not typing this up on my iPhone. ;)  But anyway, time for some details.

Wow.  Yesterday we spent nearly seven hours with Dr. Janette Hope (apt name I'd say!).  An added bonus is that she's located in the beautiful Santa Barbara, California where the weather and town is perfect for walking nearly everywhere.  The first several hours were spent with both James and I taking turns walking through our medical history, exposure details, symptoms, and so on.  Then we took a needed break and grabbed some lunch.  Afterwards we had physical exams, nasal swabs (to check for types of mold and what may be intranasal growth), question asking (and there were many!), a time going over the treatment plan and lastly, a nebulized glutathione treatment each.

Though there are many things that contribute to a person's symptoms (after all, none of us are robots), the doctor felt very hopeful that most of our issues can be addressed through the treatment plan.  The biggest and probably hardest steps include those we've already taken, including getting out of the home and away from our things.  She described our hypersensitivity to the mold and our things similar to the person who has a hypersensitivity to peanuts.  Someone highly allergic to peanuts cannot even be in the presence of them because the smallest exposure could literally kill them.  However, other people can be exposed to peanuts with no ill response whatsoever. Though we are not anaphylactic, as the peanut allergic may be, our bodies are now hyper alert and re-exposure to those things can mean recurrence/continuance of our symptoms.

As many of you know, our entire family has been affected health wise in various ways.  Even between James and I, his illness has shown itself very visually (with the extreme eczema) and rheumatoid arthritis flares and mine has shown itself more neurologically with the headaches, vertigo, crazy brain fog/forgetfulness, loss of balance, etc.  This often confuses people because it is expected that everyone would respond similarly but that's not necessarily the case.  Because of genetic predispositions, some of us are more inclined to develop certain illnesses when the body is under undue stress/toxic exposure/etc.  Imagine a bucket of water.  Everyone has a bucket but they are all different shapes and sizes.  We can all take in a certain amount of water before it overflows.  When it overflows, symptoms can express themselves in whatever way that particular individual is genetically prone to.  So what fills the bucket?  A thousand different things.  For us, it's probably a good combination of many things.  Toxic exposure to the mold is obviously the big one we've been missing all this time.  Less than ideal nutrition, stress, lack of sleep, exercise, genetic predispositions, etc. can all be factors.  Fortunately, we've already been working on many of those things over the years which is why I believe we have had some health improvements despite still being in the home.  And then James' rash began and it was the straw that broke the camel's back.  In some ways, I'm grateful for that.  It lead us to dig so much deeper that we finally discovered the root of the problem and were able to remove our family from the situation.

Back to treatment and additional recommendations and in no particular order.  Also, I'm not going to give specific dosaging and details because I don't feel those are appropriate to post and are going to be different for different individuals.
  • Glutathione supplementation (it's an antioxident, supports health T regulatory cell function, balances immune system and we're both genetically inclined not to make enough)
  • Activated charcoal to begin the process of removing toxins from our systems
  • Regular saline rinses and nasal itraconazole (anti-fungal)
  • Charcoal body wash and ketoconazole for James because of his skin condition
  • Regular sauna, exercise and Epsom salt baths.
  • Continuance of our current dietary restrictions, quality foods, increased consumption of anti-fungal foods.
  • Vitamin/Supplementation recommendations:
    • Specific therapeutic dosages of Vitamin C, fish oil, magnesium, Vit D3, Coenzyme B Complex, CoQ10, Zinc, Acetyl L Carnitine, Phopsphatidyl serine, Mitocore multivitamin, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, Probiotics, Methyl B12, Acai powder.
  • Environmental controls to reduce our overall burden (or water level in our theoretical buckets). As much as it's in our capacity, we are to:
    • avoid exposure to water damaged environments, pesticides, solvents/VOCs/fragrances, smoke, heavily trafficked areas, plastics, vinyl chloride, heavy metals, dry cleaning, etc.
    • clean with non-toxic cleaning solutions.
    • consume organic as much as possible.
    • limit EMF exposure.
    • use glass or ceramic-lined cookware.
    • use air filters.
    • ideally create a "bedroom sanctuary" that is uncarpeted and minimizes dust-catching items.  In our next home, it should be uncarpeted if possible.
    • filter drinking and bathing water.
    • spend as much time outdoors as possible.
    • spend some time in the sun daily without sunblock (not long enough to burn, just to get adequate vitamin D).
I imagine the expenses of the medications and supplementation are going to be insanely high as most are not covered by insurance.  Our YouCaring account with continue to fund expenses like these.
There are a TON of testing options (literally up to 30 tests we could take) and we've already done a handful of them through our local functional medicine doctor.  For now, we're sticking with bare minimum tests as we've already spent a fortune on testing and most of the results would not change the plan of action.  In the doctor's words, they would be very interesting and the results could be helpful but ultimately most of them wouldn't change the actions we'd take.  However, if we get further down the road of treatment and we're not progressing as we'd like, we can order the tests at that time and tweak our treatment as necessary.  We've both already failed the VCS testing which tests neurologic function of vision and 92% of the time confirms biotoxin illness.  For now, we've chosen to have additional nasal swab testing and spirometry (lung testing) completed.  The rest of the tests we're going to put on hold as we see how we respond to treatment and move forward from there.
Many of these things we can use with the children to help them heal as well.  It is our understanding that children heal faster than adults and don't always need the same degree of treatment.  Pray that is true! 

So there it is: my really long update and plan of action.  We found a great deal of relief and comfort in our appointment with Dr. Hope and we're truly hopeful about what the future will bring.  Please continue to pray for us and share our story.  Who knows who else may be affected and not realize it as we were.

Until next time...

Take Care,

Child of God, wife to an amazing man, and mommy of many wonderful kiddos. :)