6 Months Post Treatment- Where I Am Now and Next Steps




This week makes 6 months since I wrapped up treatment for mold illness at Envita Medical Center. It's hard to believe it's already been 6 months. 

It's hard to believe that this was me in December.


This last week I had a phone appointment with my doctor from Envita. Now that it's been 6 months, I wanted to give a full update on where I am and what's next.

First, the amazing parts:

Since going to treatment I've gained almost 10 lbs. This is great because last year
I was consistently losing weight among my other symptoms. I was steadily dropping 2-3 lbs a month. I have slowly but consistently gained this year which is awesome.

I am, of course, still walking. My wheelchair is gathering dust in storage. I plan on keeping it that way.


My color is still good. I don't look (or feel) I'm dying anymore. My color change was one of the first things that the other patients at Envita noticed (that, and the fact that I was walking). It has been one of the things that I have gotten the most comments about as well.

I know the valley of the shadow of death...



I can confidently say that He was with me. His rod and His staff comforted me.



There are, however, a few areas that I still need work.


1. Brain

Mold wreaks havoc on your whole body. One of the areas that it really attacks is the brain. I shared a little bit about this on my Instagram and Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I said that I would share more in a forthcoming blog post. I am going to do that now.

My functional doctor back in Knoxville knew 2 years ago that I was having issues with my brain, vagus nerve, and sympathetic dominance. I sprained my ankle a couple of years ago and was screaming in pain. I went to the E.R. twice thinking that I had broken it. It was some of the worst pain I've experienced in my life.
For a sprained ankle.

But I made it to 9 cm with the twins before I got an epidural and, while it wasn't easy, I was able to breathe through it. How could a sprained ankle be worse than that? 

Answer:
It wasn't.
But my brain saw it as a threat and my pain was through the roof.

That doctor told me, probably almost 2 years ago now,

"It's your brain."

While he wasn't totally right...
he wasn't totally wrong either.

We couldn't have known that I was living in a second home that was making me ill. Had that not been my situation, things likely wouldn't have gotten as bad as they did. I am grateful as I know God had a purpose, I know the mold was still in my body and I was able to go get treatment.

Back to the brain...

Now that I am in a safe environment and my doctor did, as was his primary goal, get me through the worst of it, 

I have to work on my brain.

When you go through years of mold illness, or chronic illness in general, your body goes into fight or flight. There is benefit in this. Our brains are designed to recognize threats and take care of us. Unfortunately, your brain can get stuck there. 

That's where mine is.

(If you want to read more about this, you can go here:

This is the reason that I don't feel hunger. This is the reason that my body thought there was more pain than there was with the sprained ankle. This is one reason that my body keeps reacting to foods and the laundry list of stuff I can't eat keeps getting longer.

So, after losing beef, I discussed it with my doctor.
Brain training was the next step.

There are a few different options when it comes to brain training.

One is neurofeedback.
This is the way it works: You are hooked up to all kinds of wires that are reading your brain waves. While watching a tv show on Netflix, Hulu, etc, the wires are reading your brain waves. When your brain waves are perfectly where they should be, you get a perfectly clear picture on the computer and you get perfect sound. It passively rewards your brain for doing what it's supposed to do. We did several thousand dollars worth of this treatment last year. Would it have worked if I had not been in a home that was making me ill? Possibly. We'll never know. It has helped a lot of people, but it's not something that I'm willing to spend thousands more on.

Two, Heartmath. My doctor at Envita is a big fan of Heartmath so it may still be something that we have to add in. I did Heartmath for a while last year. I did notice while doing it that my body would relax and my stomach would start digesting. In heartmath you are working on your breathing and heartrate. It tells you when you get it where it should be so, again, your brain gets a reward for knowing what it's supposed to do. The only thing has kept me from purchasing Heartmath is that it's a little more expensive to buy for the computer which is how I would have to use it. When I purchased the one that works on your phone with bluetooth, I got all kinds of tingling in my brain. I am HIGHLY sensitive to EMF so I do have to be careful here.

Three, DNRS or Gupta Program. I have a friend with mold illness who has made great progress with DNRS. It was the one that I was going to use, however, an amazing friend is allowing me to use her Gupta Program. So, Gupta it is!

In these programs, you are working on relaxing the central nervous system and retraining the limbic and amygdala parts of the brain. One of the things that held me back from these programs is that there are some things that they practice that go against my Christian beliefs. What I have done is change the parts that I don't agree with and use Scripture as my reference.

Both of these programs are copyrighted so I have to be careful what I share, but you are actively catching thought patterns and retraining them. This is actually very biblical.

2 Corinthians 10:5- We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

One of the things that I have found interesting is that I can be very weak. So weak, in fact, that my family can barely hear me when I'm talking. I will go and do my 5 daily rounds and, after that, I have energy. It isn't an energy boost from exercise, there isn't any. Most people with chronic illness couldn't do it otherwise. It is completely brain work. I am only 3 weeks into the program. It is recommended that you try it for 6 months before you make a decision on how well it's working for you. I think it's working. I think it will work more when we add in the next pieces.

2. Adrenals

My ongoing struggle with my adrenals. When your brain is living in fight or flight, you are living on adrenaline. Your body can only do that for so long before it crashes. I had someone ask this past week if this was adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency, which is life threatening.

This is adrenal fatigue. I have been tested for adrenal insufficiency multiple times. I don't have it.
 It is, however, difficult. When my adrenals crash, I can often feel them throbbing in my back. I have unquenchable thirst and blood sugar issues.

Yes, I recognize that sounds like diabetes. It isn't. I've been tested multiple times.

Right now, the most effective thing that we've found for my adrenals is Siberian Ginseng.

This has been a game changer for me.

This helps my adrenals keep up (I do still have to be careful about overdoing it). It helps me deal better with stress and it helps me calm down. When my adrenals are shot, my anxiety is up. 


 
I make a tincture and take it daily. What has gotten me in trouble over the past few months is when I've run out before I had more ready. Last month I went out of town, ran out of Siberian Ginseng and my daughter had this wreck all within a few days.

(She's ok, by the way)

The stress and lack of adrenal support has had me down for 3 weeks. I just started taking some Siberian Ginseng yesterday and felt an immediate boost. From now on, I will do a better job of making sure that I always have it around.

We are also adding Chinese Skullcap. It was on back order so I don't have it yet, but Chinese Skullcap is a nervine. It helps to support the nervous system so it will be great while I'm also doing the brain training. It is apparently great for overthinkers.

Raise your hand if that's you.


No? Just me?
Cool.


3. Mast Cell

This is common in mold illness, unfortunately. With Mast Cell, your body mounts an allergic reaction to foods that are perfectly healthy to everyone else. Dr. Poteet had hinted at it when I went down for treatment at Envita. When I try to eat anything with homemade broth (even short cook meat stock), I get depression. If I try to eat even trace amounts of a ferment, I get panic attacks and run to the bathroom. I'll leave it there. You're welcome.

I have been unable to eat some foods for quite some time that I thought were autoimmune reactions. In retrospect, they might actually have been histamine issues. Right now, we're trying to manage it without medication and I'm doing ok. I limit my histamine in foods. I eat a lot of fresh foods. I have started making up homemade chicken tenders and freezing them. The longer something stays in the fridge, the more histamine it releases so, if you have Mast Cell, leftovers are not your friend. I have found that I can have pork a couple of times a week. Beef is out. I'm eating chicken, pork, turkey and I think I'm going to get some white fish back in the freezer which is also low histamine.

Between this, Quercetin 3 times a day, Vitamin C twice a day and I've added in this homeopathic treatment for histamine (per my doc), I'm doing ok. Will it get better with brain training?

From what I've read, it's possible it will improve, but it's a lifelong condition that you basically manage. I'm fine with being wrong about that, but I haven't found any evidence to suggest differently. That being said, I love gardening and cooking with fresh ingredients so I don't think this keeps me from living a full life as long as we can manage it.


4. The Gut

I asked my doctor last week, if I react to alot of the things you do to heal your gut, what am I supposed to do?

"Great question." He said.

I hate when he agrees with me.

He said that fecal transplant may be something worth looking into. Guys, I'm not gonna lie... that grosses and creeps me out. But it's something I'm praying about.
He said that he is working to get in touch with a clinic in Utah that looks like a promising place to patients. If you don't mind, please pray with us about this.

**********

In closing, I've come so far. I'm so grateful for what God has done for me and the people who have supported us. I get to garden on a daily basis which has been one of my greatest dreams for over 3 years. In the past (now almost 4) years, I have gone to doctor's appointments with books. Books about gardening and books about chickens. Two of my passions. I don't have the chickens <yet> but I'm getting to garden. I get to grow flowers, I get to be outside everyday (even if it's just for a little while when I'm weak), I'm here for my kids and I'm able to do more than I have been able to in years.

Do I have limitations?
Yes, and I'm learning them.

But I'm here. Thanks to God and everyone who has given and prayed for us.
From the bottom of my heart, 

Thank you.














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