I realized from a comment left on my blog recently that not all my readers know what happened to me in 2010. In addition, those who do are asking me more and more about the product that I’m taking which I credit with my amazing recovery.
Lastly, the company, Amazing Grass, has asked me to write my story for them as well.
So, today I thought I would write the whole story, if you will.
Before I do, however, I need to proceed with one note of caution. This is my story and I am not saying that everyone with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or any other chronic illness will have the amazing results I have had. As we so often say within the chronic illness community, we all react differently to different things so we have to find our own way more often than not.
Having said that, though, I believe with everything in me that drinking our superfoods in a raw form, as well as, in liquid form is transformational for those of us who are ill because the body is then able to process these superfoods that are so critical to our health, easily, and thus, create this foundation that our body can then pull from, and build upon, in order to move us towards better health.
For me, that possibility, was enough for me to take the plunge and do something different.
I moved back to Tulsa, Oklahoma after living in Arizona and New Hampshire for two years (1 year in each state). Upon moving back into the apartment complex I lived in before leaving Oklahoma after I graduated college in 2007, I started to become very ill (beyond my normal mild to moderate Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia (FMS) health issues).
At the time, I thought it was the ME or perhaps one of the many bugs that were going around. Looking back, however, I now realize that I became instantly and devastatingly ill within months of moving in. Many people from friends to UPS and FedEx drivers who saw me during that time have told me they thought I was on death’s door.
What I didn’t realize until seven months in was that the apartment below me was infested with black mold. To make matters worse, the tenant never reported the mold and continued taking showers which accelerated the growth of the mold.
When I discovered the mold while doing a favor for the tenants upon their moving out, the mold had covered every part of the bathroom, the shower ceding had collapsed, (which was technically my bathroom floor) and was also now inside the walls.
For some unknown reason I felt led to take photos of the mold. I was unable to do so because I was reacting to the mold spores. In actuality we all were. My wonderful best friend sent me out of the apartment and went back in and took the photos for me.
Bathroom Ceiling Collapse
At the time, I didn’t realize how important a decision that would be.
After contacting the EPA and other various organizations for advice and help, I was sent to the Real Estate Commissioner’s office. I was told how the walls, floors, ceilings and anything else that had mold on it, needed to be ripped out and completely replaced, as well as, exactly which chemical was needed to kill the mold.
I was told that this one chemical was the only one that would kill the mold and that I needed to not be in the building when it was sprayed as I would definitely have trouble with it since I had already been so profoundly affected by the black mold.
I was also informed how I could legally break my lease if the apartment complex did not take care of the problem. You see, we do not have mold laws in Oklahoma so the landlord has the final say in how they choose to deal with mold.
I contacted the management office but didn’t get any urgency from them until I emailed the photos. Then they suddenly realized they has a serious problem on their hands. However, despite that, they still dragged their feet from April until the end of May.
When they finally did start taking care of the situation, they chose not to use the chemical I had been told to use. Instead they chose to spray cans upon cans of Kilz inside the walls, on the walls, and anywhere else they saw mold.
And they did it without notifying me they were doing it (even though I had repeatedly told them they must).
On top of all that, it was well over one-hundred degrees outside and they didn’t provide proper ventilation in the below apartment (all things clearly stated on the product) but kept the windows closed and the air conditioner off.
Furthermore, they apparently did not know that Kilz does NOT kill mold (nor would they listen to me) and that it is KNOWN to cause permanent brain damage (also labeled on the product).
So … one afternoon, my beloved pug, Dekker and I walked into the living room, on our way to the kitchen and hit this invisible wall of toxic vapors.
I instantly started having severe problems breathing, so I moved towards the kitchen where I began violently vomiting. No matter what I did, I could not breathe correctly.
I then took Dekker and went outside on the deck thinking fresh air would help. But this time it didn’t. So I went back into my apartment to retrieve my phone.
I returned to my deck and called my best friend but was unable to reach her. So I then called 9-11 for an ambulance. The 9-11 operator told me to put Dekker in his crate so they wouldn’t have to worry about him when they came to help me.
Because the toxic fumes were now penetrating my brain, I could follow instructions but I was unable to think clearly or process properly. So I simple did as they said which meant I once again exposed myself (and Dekker) to the toxic fumes.
It was then that my world turned completely upside down.
I started to shake violently; it became extremely difficult to breathe; I was unable to speak now; and then I started having more problems with my gait as my legs no longer received proper communication from my brain, and then …
Within moments blackness descended upon me and I was out for what ended up being 5-10 minutes.
As I started to lose consciousness I remember recalling my biological weapons training from my military days and thinking,
I’m in deep trouble here. This is not good.
Dekker After Toxic Poisoning
Even more harrowing for me, today, is the fact that based upon the directions of 9-11, I had placed Dekker in his crate which was in the living room right in the middle of the toxic soup that was permeating every inch of our living space. That mistake would later take his life and leave me with a guilt I would struggle with for months.
When I regained consciousness a while later, I somehow willed myself out the door, but at that point I was not unable to communicate, unable to hear properly, unable to walk properly and shaking violently from head to toe.
I headed down the stairs thinking that if I fell down them at least I would get to the bottom of the stairs and be away from the toxic fumes that were wreaking havoc in my brain and body.
Half way down, I spotted one of our maintenance men, but when he saw me and saw how bad I was, he just turned around and left me there to fend for myself.
I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. It is one that is seared into my memory. I thought I finally had help only to find that I had to dig deep from within myself once again, if I had any intention of surviving.
I somehow managed to make it to the bottom of the stairs and collapsed on the stoop. I was still unable to speak, hear properly, and was still shaking violently. It was as if someone had placed a live electrical current inside of me and then turned the intensity up. Every part of my body was going completely haywire!
No matter what I did, my body and my brain were in major disconnect mode. Any messages that were being transmitted were completely garbled or short-circuited so the outcome was a complete mess.
I often wondered if I didn’t look like I was on drugs and having an anxiety attack at the same time.
Little did I know that my journey to recovery had only just begun …
Determined to continue forward,