If you haven’t read the first part of my story, you can catch up by going to, the INCIDENT.
I often think back to that day when all hell broke loose in my apartment in 2010 and often find myself thinking that sometimes I’m thankful that I cannot see into the future. If I had know what was coming down the road, health wise, I wonder if I would have had the same determination and tenacity to fight that I did out of blissful ignorance.
As I sat on the stoop, unable to pull myself out of the violent storm that was raging within my body, I desperately tried to connect with the world around me in a normal manner. Nothing I did, however, worked as my brain and body were being tossed about in this raging, short-circuiting violence that seemed eerily reminiscent to what it must feel like to be caught up within the center of a tornado.
Everything within me violently swirled about, popping and shorting, unable to make the simplest of command connections. No matter how hard my brain tried, the resulting consequence was a mis-firing that then resulted in a chain of responses that were never able to completely finalize.
The ambulance trip and ensuing emergency room visit are nothing more than a blur. The only thing that stands out to me was the head doctor’s response.
You are okay. No big deal. Go home.
Everything that was happening within me was like a lightning storm that came and went like the wind. I had no control when the storm raged. But explaining that to this doctor resulted in no compassion, sympathy, or help.
Twice in one day, I was left to dig deep within myself in order to continue forward. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last time over the next six months that I would have to pull from within me because those on the outside, that should be there to help, either couldn’t or wouldn’t.
While I appeared on the outside to be better after having been away from the toxic fumes for several hours, it soon became very apparent that nothing could be further from the truth.
My ability to walk in a normal fashion had been severely compromised. When my brain would tell my body to move my legs, one leg would raise up in the air and come down like I was trying to hop on one leg or something.
In addition, if I were having a better day but overdid it, it would feel like I had to drag my legs because I couldn’t get them to understand my brain’s commands. Furthermore, getting out of the car required that I lift my legs with my hands and place them outside the car as I couldn’t get them to do it on their own. It felt as if my legs temporarily became paralyzed – unable to function as they should or had.
I also started having shaking tremors in my hands that I had no control over.
But the one symptom that became life threatening was my breathing problems. I had repeated visits to the VA Emergency Room gasping for air, sweating, as well as, becoming a deathly grey pallor because I was unable to get enough oxygen into my body.
About this time I also started vomiting this thick, white, mucous-like substance which I learned was my body’s way of trying to protect me from the assault that had happened not only on my brain but on my lungs.
The VA determined that I had developed serious damage to my lungs as a result of an environmental chemical exposure, and put me on medication that was meant to make my breathing better.
However, the opposite happened and I started having even more severe problems breathing which ultimately required me to start wearing a double-carbon filtered mask anytime I was outside.
I also developed severe problems with humidity and basically could not go outside if it was humid because my lungs would just shut down. If that wasn’t enough, I suddenly became overly sensitive to all sorts of smells and chemicals that had not every been a problem for me in the past.
in addition, I started having these odd, violent shaking fits that looked like I was being held by my hair like a rag doll and shaken. To be honest, they sort of felt just like that.
As a result, I was no longer able to continue living in the apartment I lived in because of the mold and ended having to leave all my possessions and move in with friends while I was trying to figure out what I would do.
By October, I had lost my home and all my worldly possessions, my health was on a serious decline, and my beloved pug, Dekker, was also having severe health issues. Somehow, my life on the outside had become a mirror image of the chaotic, frenzied, whirlwind that was raging within me. My life was literally falling apart and yet …
I hadn’t even begun to hit the proverbial wall yet.
Determined to continue forward,