My Sick Story

maskJust a page about me and my sick story.
So who am I and what happened to me?
I am a wife and mom and I am suffering from many health issues too long to list including Biotoxin Illness  and MCS. My journey starts and ends with my exposure to toxic levels of mold and other biotoxins in my workplace. Here is a bit about what happened…

Tests I have done these past few years point to damage done to my central nervous system, Mitochondrial dysfunction, interstitial swelling, masses on my liver and growths on my thyroid.
In the last few years I have had difficulty recalling words, names and remembering things that just happened moments ago. I suffer from chronic pain, multiple chemical sensitivities, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, nausea, dizziness, muscle spasms, swelling, intolerance to sounds, headaches, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, low blood pressure and many other symptoms on a weekly basis.

Being sick has definitely turned my life upside down. Before getting sick I enjoyed working out at the gym 5 times a week, I ran up and down with my kids, volunteered at church and hosted multiple extracurricular activities with my friends, family and local community. Over the years both before and after getting sick I have been very passionate about educating others about herbal nutrition, healthy eating and healthy living via my sister blog. I have taught classes at Wholefoods, spoken at community events and woman’s retreats. I have also developed over 100 specialized recipes for people with specific dietary protocols (Paleo, GAPS, GF, Vegan and more). My heart has always been to help others on their journey of health. But all I knew could never have prepared me for the assault I experienced on my health, for the inability to be a healthy mom and wife. For this I was not prepared.

My Sick Story

My sick story started almost 8 years ago when I found myself experiencing a sudden onset of symptoms. It all started with wheezing, daily headaches, dizziness, bleeding scalp, heart palpitations and chronic fatigue. At the time I saw a few different doctors and specialists and no one really knew why I was getting sick. Blood work and medical examinations prior to this time show no health issues so the doctors I visited could not understand why the sudden onset of health problems.

Over time my symptoms grew worse and before long my immune, cardiovascular, nervous and endocrine systems began to suffer the consequences of this hidden enemy.
My body became very swollen and I started developing dark patches on my body that itched intensely. I began to experience serious lapses in memory, impaired cognitive function, swollen glands, muscle spasms, weight gain, chronic fatigue, hair loss, fevers of unknown origin, stys, incontinence, sensitivity to light and sounds and severe chemical sensitivities. There were fainting spells in my office where I had to be rushed to the ER and my doctor’s office. At the time, I did not know what was happening to me but one thing was very clear, when I was at work I felt my worst.

On many days I would walk out to my car with shortness of breath. I would get home each day from work and crash in bed for hours while my husband worked. I remember laying in bed, utterly unable to function while our 2 young children and toddler were bouncing around me asking if mommy was okay to make dinner. These moments broke my heart and still do.
At work I struggled to keep focused. I coughed constantly, always choking and wheezing. During that time I had multiple upper respiratory infections including walking pneumonia.
To my family and me these occurrences were extremely strange since I had never had any health issues, sensitivity to chemicals, asthma or respiratory issues in my life.

The Problem?

Without knowing it I had been exposed to abnormal levels of environmental toxins  including toxigenic mold on a daily basis for years. With the help of my medical team I began rigorous checkups, testing and evaluations. My doctors recommended that Environmental testing be done in my home and office and the results were heartbreaking. To make matters worse various pathogenic and toxigenic molds found in the indoor air assessment performed in my office matched medical testing results. Thankfully our home did not have any toxigenic or pathogenic molds present but my office did.
After the results were in, one of my doctors scolded me for exposing myself to a contaminated environment and they warned me about the possibility of cancer and other serious health issues down the road if I continued to work in that office.  At the time I brought some of my health issues to the attention of HR and my superiors but very little was done to asses and properly take care of the problem.
Years of leaks, high humidity levels and poor ventilation had made my office a perfect breeding ground for mold, bacteria and mycotoxins.

Sadly due to our financial situation I was not able to leave my office until my health turned critical and my doctors explained that I needed to leave the building where I worked and try to pursue a career from home.
I remember that day like no other. The serious look from my doctor, my hot uncontrollable tears. Afraid and worried about what would be of our family and our children. “But I love my job” I thought.

I felt utterly hopeless and remember crying unbearably. It was then, at my lowest point and very sick that my husband and I began to seriously pray and make arrangements for me to work from home so I could avoid further damage to my health. After presenting these facts to my employer accompanied by a doctor’s note, I was initially told that I would lose my employment and have to apply for COBRA insurance at a cost of almost $1000 per month. Sitting in my bosses office alongside my husband I began to cry and asked if there was any way I could be allowed to keep my employment and work remotely.

After about a week at home my boss contacted me and said that I would be able to work from home, but again due to our finances we were unable to afford all of the medical treatments I needed. Several of my doctors recommended that I take legal action against my employer since they had documented each visit carefully and had access to the air quality tests done in my office along with photographs and humidity readings. “This is a win win case.” my immunologist told me. However, I refused to do so for many reasons even though I was basically guaranteed a positive outcome by several experts, toxicologists and doctors. In spite of my suffering and all the financial strains and trials I never once even thought of a law suit as an option even though I was injured because of the negligence of the building’s management.

Although I have been working from home for about 2 years and the swelling in my body has diminished considerably along with my bleeding scalp and psoriasis, I am still not well.
I continue to have debilitating symptoms from the damage that was done to my immune system and nervous system. I still have high levels of two carcinogenic mycotoxins in my body which match what was found in the indoor air quality assessment done in my office. The doctors explained to my husband and me that these toxins can cause thyroid and liver cancer in addition to contributing to fungal lung infections, autoimmune diseases and weakened immune system.

Aside from the invisible damage my body is going through, since getting sick, I can’t go out in public as much as I would like to. Walking to the park with my children or visiting friends is difficult as I end up paying for it with terrible symptoms.
Because of the assault on my immune system, I developed sensitivity to chemicals that partially paralyzes me and leaves me bed ridden for days with nausea, migraines, muscular pain, irregular heartbeats, vomiting and many other symptoms. This from the gal who loved to spray Miss Dior (miss Dior Cherie) perfume all over my body and clothes without ever having a reaction.

Never in my life had I ever been sensitive to chemicals (like perfume or paint) or reacted to them nor did I have any underlining health issues. I was a fit mom, a multitasker, a dreamer and a helper. I loved my life and enjoyed it. Prior to getting sick I had no idea what Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, interstitial edema, chronic fatigue, Mold Illness, Biotoxin Illness, Neuroimmune Illnesses meant. This was all new and explained to me by my doctors. It was like getting hit on the head with a hammer.

Although I hate to admit it, what I do now is simply exist. Most days I feel like the life has been sucked out of me. The constant pain all over my body and difficulty processing thoughts and doing normal activities is overwhelming. The blinding migraines, muscle weakness and dizziness after encountering a chemical like my neighbors laundry softer is unbearable.
My doctors understand what I am going through and have insisted that I follow through with the protocols established for me, but due to our financial situation I have not been able to follow through with the treatment outlined for me by my MD’s.
A little over a year ago we were determined to finance (via credit cards) some of my medical treatment, but without warning my husband had to undergo 4 emergency surgeries which rendered him incapable of working, sitting, driving or walking for almost 18 months.
As a result of his health complications, we have fallen very behind on our day-to-day expenses and have pushed my medical treatment father away from being a reality.
I realize that if I want to heal and get back to being a normal person again I need to get treated and I need to be diligent with the protocols and testing my MD’s recommend.

UPDATE SUMMER 2015

After starting a fundraising initiative and sharing my story with friends, family and strangers; we received a few donations for us to be able to travel out-of-state and start my medical protocol and do additional testing my medical team wanted for me to do. We also financed a couple thousand dollars and along with the donations we received I was able to get treatment for 4 weeks out-of-state and purchase needed medicine and supplements to help me on my way to recovery.
I am so thankful for small changes I am seeing. Tears in my eyes as I write this because I am feeling somewhat better, and every little difference is a miracle!

However to heal completely, my medical team wants me to continue with my treatment and testing so that I don’t fall backwards. The 4 weeks I did of treatment out-of-state is just about 10% of what I need to complete, so we have a long road ahead of us.
This is all extremely expensive and without the help from family, friends and strangers it wont be possible.

Thank you for your support and prayers from the bottom of my heart. If you would like to bless us with something towards my ongoing treatment and recovery you can do so via Paypal.
Please leave me a comment below if you would like to send me your support and I will reply ASAP. You can also email me at MariCanHelp (at) gmail.com
Please feel free to share this with your friends and family!

UPDATE 2017

Many of the symptoms I had have come back due to lack of treatment. My doctors warned us of this. Until the mycotoxins I was exposed to at work are eliminated from my body and my MCS is dealt with I will progressively get worse.
I was feeling great for a few months after my treatment in 2015 but since we could not continue due to financial costs I have slowly fallen back. I still need to complete about 90% of my treatment but until that happens I am doing what I can with my diet and doctor recommendations.
Thank you for your support and prayers from the bottom of my heart. If you would like to bless us with something towards my ongoing treatment and recovery you can do so via Paypal.
Please leave me a comment below if you would like to send me your support and I will reply ASAP. You can also email me at MariCanHelp (at) gmail.com

Blessings
M

4 thoughts on “My Sick Story

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