Recovery is always an option.If you are like me and you are "looking into the whole Essential Oil" thing, you are probably a skeptic. Not to worry, the most avid essential "oilers" were the biggest skeptics to begin with. So, we already have that in common.
In July 2017 we abandoned everything we owned.
Little did we know four years before we rented a duplex that was contaminated with toxic molds and asbestos. I have worked from home for many years so I was there, a lot.
Prior to moving into the duplex I was practicing P90X and running in our neighborhood. Some days I would run to the grocery store and have one of the kids or my boyfriend pick me up with the groceries, I used 15lb weights to do arm exercises and 20lb kettlebells. I did burpees for fun.
After moving into the duplex I started to hurt. Not a hurt like a sore muscle, but a hurt that wouldn’t go away and continued to get worse. I would stretch and feel tighter. I would sleep and waken stiff, I would type and have to wear wrist supports, I would drive and have to unfold myself from the seat, I could not turn my neck, I could not lift more than 5 pounds at the most. My bladder was overactive and I had intense brain fog. My cycle became irregular. My digestion was not good. I could not get warm. I wore yoga pants under my jeans every day and two pair of socks. I slept in flannel sheets, a sleeping bag [year-round], blankets and warm clothes each night. My thyroid was under active. The candida found in our guts naturally was out of control. I had ringing in my ears. My hair was thinning. I gained weight. I would stay awake some nights unable to sleep and then on some days I couldn’t get up. My sense of smell became overwhelming. Every smell bothered me to a point where I had to leave wherever I was. My vision became blurry. I was not well and no one knew why.
I went through multiple rounds of physical therapy, had MRI tests, EMG tests, PRP injections, countless doctor appointments and many visits at three different neurosurgeon offices.
Let me back-up a little and tell you that in 2010 I read a book that turned our house upside down. I learned that the ingredients in the products I was buying for our home were actually capable of hurting us. I read the book in one day. That same day, no joke, I took a large trash bag and put every single product in our home inside of it and threw them all away. I went online and started to locate safer products for our home. We had been eating organically and were vegetarians since 2005.
OK…so fast forward, in September of 2014 I heard two words that would change a lot of things in my life; Essential Oils. I was actually digging deep into research about them because they were being used on someone I loved and I wanted to know if they would hurt him. I found so many white papers and articles and posts about how they could be harmful. It was actually scary.
Around this same time my mom and I were at my grandma’s house and she was going to catch a flight for work and I was going back home. She asked if I could take her box of oils [which she had purchased also in the search to see if they were harmful] with me so she didn’t have to carry them all on the plane. So I did. When I got home I opened up the box and looked them up one-by-one on the internet. When I came to her 15ml of Copaiba an interest sparked inside of me. I used that bottle in about a week (also, no joke).
I went online to replace it and was surprised at the cost. So I did what any good shopper would do, I figured if I got the PSK, I could replace some of the Copaiba I used and have a lot of other oils too. I had done some reading and learned that mixing three oils (2 in the then PSK) and one other in a capsule would work wonders in the pain department. So I ordered that too. When everything arrived I called my boyfriend and said something along the lines of “I’m going to take these oils in this capsule, so if anything happens to me you will know what to tell the ER.” OMGosh, I laugh even today. Two hours later when we talked again, I was still standing at my desk working. I had not been able to stand or sit or type for that length of time in so long, I think we were both surprised. So yeah, I used all those oils too.
My symptoms continued to get worse. The oils I used continued to help me win some battles of the war that was happening inside of me. I used many oils on my feet daily for almost three years. This part of my story took me some time to realize why the pattern of events happened this way, but I know they did for a reason.
In April 2017 I decided I had probably missed the whole “cold season”, catching germs from other people (I had not been sick with a cold since 2014), so I stopped using all the oils on my feet. I thought I could save a little money and still manage my symptoms. In May 2017 a rash appeared on my neck and nothing I did would make it go away. My eyes started to swell, my face began to swell, my neck and chest had a horrible itch that could not be comforted, the skin around my eyes were red and a white substance was coming out of the pores on my face. This was a cycle that continued until late June when a doctor asked me if I had been exposed to mold. I had no idea if I had. The same day another doctor at a different office asked me the same thing. After the duplex was tested that week we found out, yes, I had been exposed to mold–and in a horrible way.
We quickly learned that the damage was under the duplex. We never saw any mold, we never knew it was there.
We also learned that our belongings were damaged and if we took things with us our new place could become contaminated too. So we left it. All of it.
The reason I say these things happened for a reason is this. We were saving to buy a home and if I never stopped the oils on my feet, if the rash never appeared, if I didn’t go to those doctor offices, we would have never known. We would have just thought something was wrong with me and I could still be sick today. I know in my heart that those oils were keeping the battle inside of me contained and that the minute I stopped my body began to lose the war.
We made the choice to leave everything behind for my health and our future. It wasn’t easy, but necessary. We signed the papers for our new home and unlocked the door with nothing to move in. My symptoms were still going strong and I know I looked a mess to everyone around me. I didn’t make sense, my brain fog was horrible for me and anyone I was trying to speak with. I had a staph infection (and at one point could not bear weight on my leg because of it), MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities), I had a short temper and didn’t want to make decisions about anything. I avoided people, places and leaving the security of our home in fear of being exposed to anything that would make my symptoms worse, which I am still careful about.
My boyfriend held vigil. He never once showed frustration or doubt or any fear he had. When we opened the door to our new home he said “we have to go get beds and a washer and dryer.” We only had a few clothes we bought and a couple of towels. We picked up food to cook but had no plates or a table to sit at, so we ate off the spatula we had just bought and sat outside on the step.
From the time we learned that the mold was causing this damage to my body we were religious about oiling. We did not have formal training but we bought a kit and read the instructions and we made it work. Every day, sometimes twice a day. He applied them to my back and feet on the mattress that was wrapped in a mold safe cover on the floor. I’m not sure when we finally purchased bed frames, but we eventually did. Starting over is not easy, but when you have to, you just have to. You have a choice; move upward or give up, and we surely were not about to give up. We have come a very long way since July 2017.
My Naturopath wrote me multiple plans including weekly hydrogen peroxide IV’s, which essential oil and supplements (and yes I brought her the ones I prefer to use for her approval) to use along with a diet change (I am no longer vegetarian). These tools provided by nature are undeniable. The physical damage reversal is almost unbelievable. To go from one extreme of fear and illness to hope and wellness cannot be disputed. I have been on my ND’s wellness plans since July 2017 and do not waiver from them. My long-term health depends on them.
This has been a whirlwind life-altering experience. Through this entire time there are people who quickly reached out to help and who answered when we called on them. Some of the people (who were really just Facebook friends) in this crazy, cool, oily world stepped up higher than I would ever have dreamed anyone would to help. The were strangers and they stepped in at the right time with the right information and with love.
The word recover means “return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength” and this is what this part of my life has been about, recovery. I am not who I was before the duplex, I won’t be ever again. I am stronger, wiser, more consistent than ever before. I am awoke to the things around us that can hurt us, like mold, like chemicals, like toxins, like fragrances and so many other ingredients that are in our world whether we want them to be or not.
Sometimes our health is damaged by no fault of our own or sometimes we make choices that affect our health for the worse and we want to take them back but cannot. However you got to where you are, I am here if you want a friend to support you on in your own recovery, your own “return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.”