Tag Archives: acute allergies

Thank You!!!

I know that I have said this many times over in posts, but I truly mean it.  There have been so many new followers in the last three months that I need to take a minute to say “THANK YOU”.  

It means a great deal that I have so many followers who want to hear what I have to say.  I cannot stress it enough how important all my followers are to me.  To my newest members I say, “Welcome”.  Thank you for stopping by, liking what I have to say, and choosing to follow along.  To my followers who have been with me for such a long time, many from the first few days/weeks of its existence I say, “Thank you for being my support all these months.”

This blog started out as a way of promoting my then upcoming book, Allergic to Life.  But it has turned in to so much more and I have met and fostered some amazing relationships through it all.


Catch Up Mondays: Are you where you need to be? – revisited

This post was originally shared on January 22, 2013.  As I have read it again, it reminds me that everything happens when it is supposed to happen and at a time it is supposed to happen.  It does me no good to dig in my heals and fight the direction I am going in.  For I am doing what I am destined to be doing.

This past year I have reconnected with many friends from high school. A reunion page was developed on Facebook and so many of us have found each other after years. My illness and sensitivities has made it even more difficult to even run into anyone who may still be living in town much less attend our class reunion that was held this past October.

One particular friend from high school, Jerri Hansen, has a Facebook page devoted to inspirational and motivational stories.  I have found on more than one occasion that her post is speaking to me.  Forcing me to rethink something or to reflect on something that has happened or that I am about to do.  Yes this illness does imprison me in many ways, but I am still alive and have lots left to give even if it is given in a way that I wouldn’t have imagined I would ever do (this blog for example and my upcoming book).  I found this a day or so ago when I opened my Facebook page:

Are you where you need to be?

Since our timetable most often does not correspond with universal timetable, it’s common for people to feel that life is moving too slowly or too quickly. We find that our plans may fall into place when we least expect. Or, we are placed into roles we believe we are not prepared for and wonder how we will survive the demands imposed upon us by unfamiliar circumstances. When delays in our progress bring about pains of disappointment within us or the pace of life seems overwhelming, peace can be found in the simple fact that we are exactly where we need to be at this moment.

Every person fulfills their purpose when the time is right. If you have fast-tracked to success, you may become deeply frustrated if you discover you can no longer satisfy your desires as quickly as you might like. Yet the delays that disappoint you may be laying the foundation for future accomplishments that you have not yet conceived. Or the universe may have plans for you that differ from the worldly aspirations you have pursued up until this point. What you deem a postponement of progress may actually represent an opportunity to prepare for what is yet to come. If you feel as though the universe is pushing you forward at too fast a rate, you may be resisting your destiny. Your unease regarding the speed of your progress could be a sign that you need to plant a seed of awareness within yourself and learn to move with the flow of fate rather than against it. The universe puts nothing in your path that you are incapable of handling, so you can rest assured that you are ready to grow into your new situation.

You may feel compelled to judge your personal success using your age, your professional position, your level of education, or the accomplishments of your peers as a yardstick. Yet we all enjoy the major milestones in our lives at the appropriate time-some realize their dreams as youngsters while others flourish only in old age. If you take pride in your many accomplishments and make the most of every circumstance in which you find yourself, your time will come.

Beauty of a Woman BlogFest 2014

beauty of a woman

I am pleased and honored to again participate in the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest hosted at August McLaughlin’s Blog (Please visit August’s site and read all the other submissions).  To visit my Beauty of a Woman BlogFest post from last year, click here.

In going through my files on the computer recently I came across a file entitled “Tears of a Woman”.  It was a video clip that I found and had saved some time ago because I thought it was so beautiful.

The words that are displayed as the music plays resonates with me; especially the following:  “You see my son, the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, nor is it in her face or in the way she does her hair…The beauty of a woman resides in the eyes.  It is the door to her heart; the door where love resides.

We are conditioned through magazine photo after magazine photo that beauty needs to be achieved through hair products, clothes, and make-up.  It is hard to get through a commercial break on television without seeing an ad for beauty products.  I bought into that in high school.  I began wearing make-up.  My freshman year I had to have the latest hair cut, the Sassoon.  Of course the hippie culture was all around us and I began wearing less make-up but never left without blush, mascara, and lip gloss.  My clothes weren’t department store fancy but they were my own creations.  I had learned to sew in junior high school and a neighbor girl down the street and I would spend hours at the fabric store picking out patterns and trims. Some of the dresses I made were from these patterns (patterns that I can’t have any more but had my husband take pictures of for me).

This dress was done in olive green suede cloth with beautiful embroidered ribbon all along the front zipper.

This dress was done in olive green suede cloth with beautiful embroidered ribbon all along the front zipper.

As I grew older my amount of make-up didn’t change much.  I did spend money on lotions and creams for my face and body.  I spent money and time getting my hair done (highlighted or colored and cut).  When I chose to go back to work, I spent more money on my clothing.  My jeans, tees, and sneakers from time spent as a stay-at-home mom wouldn’t be acceptable in the “work world”.  I was finding myself (or so I thought) and becoming more of a woman of the world.  My hair was done, my clothes were new, I had new shoes, and even started getting manicures (including the infamous gel nails).

Suddenly all that changed!  I was exposed to mold in my work place and I began to develop sensitivities to all chemicals.  I began to feel ugly as I gave up my contacts for old glasses that I hadn’t worn in years.  I gave up coloring my hair and getting it cut because not only could I not tolerate the chemicals in the hair color but I could not tolerate the salon either.  I gave up my nice new clothes because they were contaminated with mold and mycotoxins and were making me ill.  They were traded in for cotton clothing that could easily be washed.  I gave up all my lovely new shoes for a pair of ugly white sneakers.  And worst of all, I gave up my identity.  Survival meant that if I were to leave my house for the doctor’s office I needed to wear this ugly charcoal mask that hid my face and all expression.

Me wearing my mask.

Me wearing my mask.

I was sent far away from family and friends to the Environmental Health Center in Dallas for treatment.  What I found there surprised me.  I was not alone! There were other women like me.  These women were wonderful, compassionate, helpful, and supportive.  They opened their hearts to me.  The women also hid behind masks, sported uncolored and uncut hair, and wore simple clothes.  Despite their lack of what the world tells us is beautiful, these women were beautiful to me.  These women had gone through similar loss of health, loss of friendships, loss of belongings, and loss of identity.  I was not judged by my looks.  My unkempt and uncolored hair did not draw strange looks of disapproval.  My mask did not draw fear that I was somehow carrying some dreaded disease nor did it draw the looks of sympathy that I had seen in the outside world.

These women were beautiful through their eyes and their hearts that they opened up to me freely and without reservation.  Their beauty was in the kindness and compassion that comes deep from within.  I have found this kind of friendship and compassion through this blog as well.  It has come from women who know this struggle and from women who do not share my struggles but have reached out and touched me through their kind spirit.

Again, I dedicate this to all those women who have struggled to keep going and who have been forced to give up what society feels is beautiful.  For all those women who have struggled, been forced to give up their identity through their clothes and cosmetics, and dealt with the pain of chronic illness (both the visible and the invisible), I say to you:  “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL TO ME!”  This blog is dedicated to you.  May your spirit continue to show through those lovely eyes of yours and pour from your beautiful hearts.

Getting Stung By a BEE was not on my agenda today.

I went to my mother’s to pick up something and while we stood in her driveway talking, I felt something sting me.  I looked down and a bee was stinging the top of my hand.  I shook my hand and then had to pull out the stinger.

I rushed home (thank goodness we only live about five minutes from her) and took a histamine shot and 1600 mg. of vitamin C and put ice on my hand.  My throat feels tight and swollen.  I can still take more histamine and have an epi-pen if I absolutely need it although it has been years since I used an epi-pen and don’t even know how I will react to it.  I will keep you updated.


Once again, I would like to say thank you to all of you.  My follower numbers have been steadily growing.  This tells me that there are many who want to hear what I have to say about allergies and chemical sensitivities.  It tells me that there are many who are suffering with chronic illness or know someone who is.  It also tells me that there are many who are not sick but want to know more about living a less toxic lifestyle.

Today I say thank you to all my new followers who have signed on in the last month or two.  I appreciate you wanting to learn more of my story and how I have changed my lifestyle.  Please feel free to comment whenever you have  a question or want to share something on a post topic.

I cannot forget all my loyal followers, many of whom have been with me since the beginning of this blog nearly two years ago.  Thank you for all your support and your comments and re-blogs of my posts.

Have a wonderful day.  I look forward to interacting with all of you.  Don’t forget, you can also contact me via the contact button at the top of this blog and leave me an email message.

Critical Day 3: The aftermath

Hello everyone.  Critical Day 3 ended yesterday.  No more lamb required.  I can go back to eating normally with the exception of the foods that I have gained through the LDA (low dose antigen) process.  I still can’t have my almonds, lettuce, tomatoes, oats, etc.).

I got up this morning to the thought of NO MORE LAMB!  However, there was still some ground lamb left.  At $9.00 a pound I wasn’t going to throw it out so I had a patty with an egg.  The egg was delicious – the lamb just didn’t do it for me today.  Unfortunately there is still a good amount of lamb stew left over.  It doesn’t freeze well and I can’t throw food out.  My husband and I will both have stew for lunch.  Tonight will be beef, chicken, pork, or anything but lamb!

I am still dealing with a headache and being discombobulated.  I also still have itchy arms.  More information about my LDA this go around can be found here, here, and  here.

I hope you are all having a good day.  Me, I need to go and rest and let my head calm down.  I came into the office to do a little bit and have been in front of the computer far longer than I thought I would be or needed to be.

Critical Day 2: Shot Day

Food & Chemical Shots

Food & Chemical Shots

The welt closest to my elbow is food and the second is my chemical shot.


This is from my inhalant injection.

I am not feeling well so will post more tomorrow.

Critical Day 1: LDA

Yesterday I posted about preparing and cooking my food in anticipation of the 3 Critical Days for my LDA treatment.  Today is Day 1 of the 3-day critical period.  This morning for breakfast I had my ground lamb patty and grated potatoes cooked in the famous rendered lamb fat I made yesterday.

Breakfast of Champions.

Breakfast of Champions.

I don’t miss many of my foods just yet.  After all, it is only Day 1 and I haven’t had much of a chance to miss anything except for my cup of hot green tea.  I love drinking something warm in the mornings and in the evenings when the house is cool.  I had to settle for this today. A wonderful, delicious cup of hot water.

A Delicious Cup of Hot Water

A Delicious Cup of Hot Water

I was going to post a cup of my lamb stew from dinner but I ate it before I remembered I wanted to take the picture.  I will share a cup of it with you tomorrow.

In the morning I am off on the 2 1/2 hour each way drive to get my shots.  If I am up to it, I will report back when I get home.

On a totally unrelated issues:  I still haven’t managed to go in and get my bridge for the tooth I had pulled in September.  I was told I needed to wait 6 weeks, then it was Thanksgiving, then it was Christmas, and now I am preparing for my treatment.  My upper front two teeth are achy.  I think they are starting to spread apart.  I am going to call tomorrow before we leave and get an appointment scheduled for 3 weeks from tomorrow to go in and get this taken care of.  Just one more darn thing.

Catch Up Mondays: I was feeling better when I left the moldy place. What happened? – revisited

I first posted this on November 16, 2012.  This topic is one that is hard to grasp but I have been asked more than once why this could be happening.  The toxins in the mold, mycotoxins, cause a great deal of damage to our systems.  Only after we remove ourselves for a time do we truly see what has happened and it is not what we are ever prepared for.

How many of you who have suffered from a mold exposure and asked this same question?  What happened?  Why am I more allergic and feeling worse?

The simple and yet not so simple answer is that it can take 2-12 weeks for your body to get the toxin and load level down enough after removing yourself from the constant exposure to recognize all the allergic responses the mold has caused.  You feel better immediately because you are no longer being exposed.  Then the allergic response kicks in and you suddenly realize that things that were never a problem before suddenly are.  The mycotoxins have done their damage and now you are becoming aware of what those damages are in the increased sensitivities and other illnesses that crop up (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic sinusitis, autonomic nervous system dysfunction and severe depression to name a few).

I stopped working in the moldy environment and thought I was feeling a little better but then I was placed in a new school building where construction was going on and dirt was being moved everywhere for landscaping.  I began getting exposed to the mold spores in the dirt (my air filter cartridge by my desk needed to be changed after two weeks rather than the usual 2-3 months).  I was being exposed to toxic paints, toxic glues in the carpet as well as high levels of formaldehyde in the carpet and all the new furniture.  I was also being exposed to the dust from construction.

A few months later I went to the Environmental Health Center-Dallas where I was not exposed to chemicals or fragrances of any kind.  Slowly I began to notice smells when I went to the grocery store and would become dizzy after a short time in the store.  I was still wearing my clothes that I had worn in the work environment.

Fast forward about 8 months and I had a urine tricothecene test done which revealed a high amount of tricothecenes in my urine.  I was told to get rid of my clothes.  I did and then headed for Dallas for surgery.  Between removing my toxic uterus and ovaries (my ovary we learned later had 125 ppb of tricothecene mycotoxin in it), anesthesia and starting over in safe clothes I became even sicker.  I began noticing that when I got near mold or someone who still had their clothes  from their moldy homes I would go into tremors.  I experienced these tremors when testing molds and mycotoxins.  My chemical sensitivities and food allergies were also heightened.  The worst of this happened about six weeks after my surgery.

Friends of mine have told me the same stories.  Some had this happen exactly at 8 weeks; some had it happen just before week 12.

Girl allergic to books quits school

I know all to well what it is like to handle old books or books that have been somewhere that may have air fresheners or a smoker in the household.  I don’t accept used books from others to read.  I don’t buy books from used book stores.  I was buying my books directly online and now that I have a Kindle rarely buy paperback books at all any more.

I have to worry about chemicals, dust, and molds sending me into a severe reaction.  I would have to worry about these books contaminating my safe space here at home.  While I did attend two years of community college (way before the age of internet and computers), there is no way I could do it today with all my allergies and sensitivities.  My heart goes out to the young woman in London who suffers and for all the same reasons as I, cannot get books from a library.

Many of you are familiar with my friend Michellina at the-labyrinth who is attending the Victoria University in Australia.  She has made great strides in getting accommodation for her sensitivities.