Category Archives: Mold

Thank You For Following Me!

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I have had many new followers in the past week thanks to the I Am A Writer’s $300 Holiday Cash Giveaway that I am participating in. Following my blog is my entrance requirement to the giveaway. I would like to say “thank you” to all my new followers. I hope you will continue to follow along and learn more of my journey with mold-induced illness and multiple chemical sensitivities through my blog posts and my book.

Thank you also, to my loyal followers and especially to those who take the time to not only read my posts but comment and re-blog them.

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Sewing: A Tale of Two Lifetimes

I have talked many times about how I used to sew so many different things from clothes for my children and myself to shirts for my husband. I sewed Halloween costumes, made curtains, and stuffed animals and dolls.

After becoming ill, I began having issues with visual and sensory over-stimulation due to the mold exposure. I could not look at a pattern piece with its shape andthen place it on a patterned piece of fabric and decide how best to lay it out without having anxiety attacks that led to tears. I gave up sewing because I just could not manage it. What used to be a calming thing to do became a nightmare of gigantic proportion.

Scottish Doll

Scottish Doll

This doll (made nearly 20 years ago) was  for a friend who wanted a Scottish doll. I took a Raggedy Andy pattern and began designing. I took the shirt that closed in the back and made it open in the front with color and buttons. I used the same pattern and designed the jacket first out of muslin and then out of tweed fabric. I bought red gingham fabric and fashioned the legs to give the appearance of socks. I practiced again on muslin to fashion a kilt that would fit the doll and then using the precious piece of his clan’s fabric made the kilt.  The hat was fashioned out of felt and I used orange yarn to make his hair and beard. My father using his upholstery machine and know-how made the bag.

Back of Doll.

Back of Doll.

It wasn’t until my first granddaughter Sadie was born eight years ago that I attempted to sew again. I wanted to make her a dress. I was going to be a grandma that could make things for her. My first attempt was a simple pattern with bloomers.

First Dress

First Dress

Then I wanted to make her first birthday dress which was a huge undertaking. It was made of coordinating polka dots (blue with white and white with blue). It also had many details. I was determined that this grandma was going to figure out a way to sew again.

Birthday Dress

Birthday Dress

An American Girl Witch

An American Girl Witch

This same granddaughter asked if I would make a Halloween costume for her American Girl Doll Sage last month. She wanted either a witch or pirate costume. Looking online for doll patterns that would work for American Girl Dolls, I found several. Much to my chagrin they were $17.99 on sale for about $8.99. Still too much for a doll pattern. Armed with my muslin I began trying to create a simple dress and cape. After several attempts, this was the end product. I presented it to my granddaughters (because sister needed one for her doll as well). She loved it. Of course she asked where the hat was and I told her that grandma just couldn’t figure it out. Had this been a request of me ten or eleven years ago, I would have just sat and worked at it until I had a hat.

While my sewing now resembles two different lifetimes, I am so thankful that I have recovered enough to be able to sew again.

And isn’t this the season for thanksgiving? I am so thankful for the things I have managed to get back into my life. I am thankful for my family and the friends who stood by me. I am thankful for my wonderful doctors.  I am also thankful for those who I have met and the lessons I have learned because of this illness. I am thankful for all you who follow along with me on my journey and those who have purchased my book to learn more of my journey.

Blessing to you all!

 

And The Winners Are….

AndTheWinnersAre

The Allergic to Life Giveaway is over and I am excited that there were 496 entrants in the Goodreads Giveaway. Goodreads selected the three winners and all books are on their way.  One of the winners is a fellow Rave Reviews Book Club member, Kenneth Kerr. Congratulations Kenneth your book is on its way!

During my Giveaway, I promised that I would also give away three e-books. Using a generating tool, I entered the names of all the contestants who commented on my giveaway blog posts. I have sent an email to each winner with information on how to claim their prize. Congratulations to:

Jill Ward

Colleen

Ruby Benasky

Because of the number of those commenting, I chose to have one more name selected. I would also like to congratulate: Princess and the Pea.

To Thin Or Not Too Thin? (Part 1)

Hello Everyone

I am still dealing with my partial deep vein thrombosis. In my last post dated October 1st, Be Careful Around Sharp Objects, I talked about discovering that my INR (prothrombin clotting and international normal ratio) was at 5.9 and I was to stay off the Warfarin for 2 days and retest on Friday, October 3rd. I did the retest and my level was still at 5.9.  My doctor had me to continue to stay off Warfarin through the weekend and retest on Monday.  Monday my level was 4.3 (still too high).  On Wednesday my level had gone down to 3.7 and my doctor’s MA phoned and said I was  to start up again but at 4 mg.

As I have said many many times, you need to listen to your intuition. Your gut does not lie. After doing some research I learned that my antifungal medication could have an affect with the Warfarin causing my blood to be too thin. I could not stop the antifungal without risk of a recurring infection.  I phoned my doctor’s office again and asked to speak with the doctor. I explained my sensitivities to medication and what I had learned about the antifungal medications. She agreed to have me take 2.5 (half of my 5 mg) tablet for a week and then retest.  I had my blood drawn this past Tuesday because I was meeting with the hematologist for the first time. My husband needed my car on Tuesday so I opted to drive the truck.  I got to the doctor’s office only to find that I had my necessary paperwork, a steno pad for notes, but not my Kindle (it was in my car). Following are the notes I wrote while waiting to meet my new doctor, the hematologist.

The first thing I notice about the waiting room is that it is quiet, there is no carpet, and only a few others are in the waiting  room along with me. Then I see the sign on the counter. It says something about being patient because the wait could be an hour. I can watch old reruns of Bonanza or I can sit and try and pass the time writing in my steno pad. Maybe I will start my blog post that I had planned to do a few days ago. My doctor is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist so there is a lot of serious treatment going on in this office. A woman in a wheelchair has just been pushed into the waiting room. And of course the first thing I notice is the can of Diet Dr. Pepper in her hand! I am containing myself. All I want to do is run up to her and shout out how dangerous this is for anyone and particularly someone with health issues. Of course, I am sure this won’t go over well.  I can just see her face as she looks at this woman hiding behind the mask telling her what she should or should not be drinking.

The time seems to be dragging on. I work on this blog draft and I work on a short story. Anything to keep my mind occupied and off the reruns and what the hematologist is going to say about my leg and all the labs that have had me scared to death ever since I first learned that I have two mutations that can cause blood clots as well as a possible Protein S deficiency (although a test years ago said I didn’t have it).

Finally, the MA comes to get me. I am led to the back and all my vitals are taken. My blood pressure is 143/80. This is high for me.  Is it because it is late in the day? Is it the stress of meeting this new doctor and not only having to discuss my current problem but filling her in on all my past history? Is it the Warfarin?Then I am asked to stand against a wall while she takes a picture of me. Smile she says and I laugh to myself. Who would know if I was smiling or not behind the mask? I am then led to a room to go over the paperwork I had filled out and the list of my many allergies and sensitivities. Okay…she wants me to go over each medication I have placed on the list and tell her what kind of reaction I get from it because she has to list all this in the EMR. We are going to be here all day just doing this. Finally she says can you tell me which are the most severe. Taking the paper and pen I begin putting an “S” by those that have caused the most severe reactions. As I do so I say things like “this one sent me to the ER”, “this one caused photosensitivity”, this one sent me to the ER” , etc. until I am finished with the list. The MA tells me the doctor will be in shortly to talk with me.  By now I have been in the office about 45 minutes, something I am not accustomed to since Dr. Spitzer and Dr. Butler see me as their first patient.

The light in this room is so very bright! I can hear the clock on the wall tick tick ticking the seconds and minutes away. Between the light and the ticking of the clock I can feel my body being overstimulated! Should I turn off the light? I desperately want to drag a chair over to the door, step up on the cushion and yank the clock from the wall.  Oh how I wish I had my Kindle. I could distract my mind from the clock if I could only just sit and read. My eyes look around the room in hopes of finding something to distract me. There it is. Sitting at the sink is a bottle of antibacterial soap. Oh, please don’t let the doctor come in and decide to use the soap. Is it possible I can stop her first? I can hear chatter outside my room. There is so much going on that my poor brain is in overload and I feel exhausted just from the noise and light. I am so thirsty! I don’t dare drink anything because I cannot risk having to go to the bathroom. I really want to be here and see this amazing doctor yet my body is yearning for quiet and dark.

The doctor comes in (continued in Part 2).

I apologize if my thoughts are scattered and this seems to ramble on.

 

 

I Am An Author

Today I am excited to be hosted on the blog of D. E. Haggerty.  It still feels very strange to say, “I am an author”.  

It still feels strange when those words roll of my tongue! I never set out to be an author. As a child I didn’t dream of writing books like those I loved checking out from the library every week. I was going to be a nurse until I realized that being a nurse meant dealing with needles and blood. To read more of my blog post, visit D. E. Haggerty’s blog and read the rest of my guest post.  Please take a moment to leave a comment and thank her for hosting me.

 

What Is She Saying?

Today is day 11 of my “Spotlight” Author blog tour through Rave Reviews Book Club. I am being hosted by fellow RRBC member, Marlena Hand on her blog Life as I know It.

What Is She Saying?

I am not a part of this world
When I speak, strange
terms come from my lips
People look at me with my mask
as if I am an alien
Holed up here inside my room—
stripped bare of carpet

To read more of my guest blog post and learn what Marlena has to say, visit her blog using the link above.  Please take a moment to thank her for hosting me.

How I Got Here

Today I am honored to be featured on Notes From Tabor Lane penned by Katherine Logan.  I am so thrilled at the wonderful response I have received from my fellow Rave Reviews Book Club members in supporting my time as “Spotlight” Author. 

My life was full and busy. I was a stay-at-home mother of two teen-aged daughters.  My life was wonderful and hectic.  If it weren’t for my at-a-glance calendar I would have been lost.  I was a board member of the local elementary school, a 4-H leader, president of the PTA, and a member of a local athletic booster club for young ladies at a new high school. When I wasn’t busy with community events I was playing Bunco with a group of women that I had met through PTA..to read more of my guest blog post with Katherine, please click on the link above.  Don’t forget to take a moment to leave a comment and thank her for hosting me.

How Do You Celebrate The Holidays?

It is amazing being in the “spotlight” with Rave Reviews Book Club.  Today I am honored to be hosted by Loren Weaver.

Today, I have the honor to welcome Kathryn Treat to my blog for a word about her book, Allergic to Life. Kathryn is a Rave Reviews Book Club member and author. So, join the fun with Kathryn and me.

HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS?

I am sure that most of your holiday celebrations do not include your family looking like this.

Kathryn Treat Holidays

This was my first Thanksgiving after returning from Dallas and moving into my safe home. This looks more like a group of people at a painter’s convention than a family sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal. My family has done its very best to do whatever it takes to keep me from having reactions. Even if it meant wearing these lovely one-size-fits-all Tyvek suits (that one size being XXXL). These lovely Tyvek suits protected me from anything my family’s clothing might contain. to read the rest of the blog post, please visit Loren’s website at the link above.  Please take a moment to thank her for hosting me.

Just Put Me In A Potato Sack

I am excited to announce Day 8 of my “Spotlight” Author blog tour with Rave Reviews Book Club.  Today I am happy to be hosted by Kenneth Kerr .  I am enjoying basking in the “Spotlight”.

Just Put Me in a Potato Sack

I was becoming more and more depressed at the fact that I had no nice clothes to Wear—or a need to wear them for that matter. In August (2004) I wrote, “I feel bad that I have no need for nice clothes. Hell, I could almost wear a potato sack I used to love to look nice—nice outfits with my jewelry, shoes, and hair done nicely and make-up on. Now I dress shabby, my hair is a mess, I don’t wear my pretty jewelry, I don’t wear any to read more of my guest blog post, visit Kenneth’s blog and take a moment to leave a comment.

My Daughters Were Affected Too

Today is Day 7 of my Rave Reviews Book Club “Spotlight” Author blog tour.  What a week it has been!  I have had the most amazing blog hosts allowing me the opportunity to guest post about myself and Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope.

I am privileged to be hosted today by Suzy Turner from Fiction Dreams.

My Daughters Were Affected Too

It’s like I don’t have a life any more. My heart aches for my life back. I try to
Make appearances of things being under control but they aren’t. I can’t go
anywhere with the girls (referring to my daughters). I can’t take them shopping
any more. They say they understand, that it is okay, but it is not okay to me. I
want to do things with them again. My life has been taken away from me…My
heart is breaking. I feel like a part of me is missing and that I will never
get it back.

It was hard to cope with what my life had become. I could not fathom how my illness had affected my daughters. I was so wrapped up in my own pain, my own hurt, and trying to survive that I didn’t pay enough attention to how this was affecting my young daughters and their lives….To read more of my guest post, please click on the link above.  Please take a moment to leave a comment as well to thank Suzy for hosting me.