Lost in His Love


While this unexplained illness or condition has taken over my body for the past five months, I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions. In the beginning, the majority of my time I lived in a sense of peace. The condition was inconvenient, a little scary and sometimes painful. With no explanations, negative blood tests, and absolute trust in my Savior who heals, I settled into the journey, believing that any morning I would wake up and be fine again.

Clearly, that hasn’t been the case.

My complete trust in Jesus and his healing hasn’t wavered. I’m not scared. I wait each day for his healing to manifest. He’s promised me, my husband, my family, and friends that I will see his healing come. The only unknown is when.

In the meantime, I’ve become nearly immobile. The pain is often so excruciating that it wrenches cries out of me—sometimes when I least expect it. My body is swollen all over making it difficult to move or sleep. I confess that most days I dread getting into bed as well as hating to get out of it.

I eat clean and healthy. I take supplements, herbs, oils, teas and have fasted a number of foods at different times to check for any allergies. A couple of homeopathic medicines give a little relief from pain that typical medications don’t touch.

It seems God has made it clear that this “thing” will not be healed by anything or anyone except him.

I believe he has a purpose in all of this. He’s working in me and my husband. I pray that I will be glorifying to my Lord God. When pain is at it’s worst, I pray for others who suffer far worse than I do for years or at the hands of those torturing them because of their love for Jesus.

Some days, I confess, I feel discouraged.

But the one thing that has sustained me and continues to be the only place of complete relief is being in the presence of Jesus.

I can imagine how people flocked to him when he walked the earth. Many came to him for healing. They obviously wanted freedom from their torturous life. But what some of them realized and experienced was the incredible joy and peace that came from being in his presence.

Even the bleeding woman just wanted to get close enough to touch his robe.

Being in the presence of God.

Getting lost completely in his love. That is where I find peace. Where the discouragement of my condition dissolves and time stops (time is irrelevant to God). Peace, that kind that we don’t understand, washes over me, rests on me, and thoroughly surrounds me.

That is also where healing starts.

Healing for our hearts, our bodies, our relationships, and our life starts in the presence of our loving God. Totally submerged in his love, we also find identity, purpose, direction, and release.

I don’t know how long I will be in this place.

I might wake up tomorrow and be able to move and live again without pain and fatigue. I also might find that the perfect timing of God hasn’t come yet. Maybe it won’t for weeks, months, or years. Healing may not come until I’m in heaven at my Savior’s side.

But I do know that each day, I’m finding peace, strength, growth of faith, and joy in the presence of Jesus here and now.

 There’s an album by Brandon Lake (Bethel Music) called House of Miracles that I’ve been playing on repeat. The live release session of the entire album can be played here on Youtube. Every song is inspired and an incredible leading into the presence of God. One of my favorites, Lost in Your Love, has these lyrics that stand out to me:

“Your power is found in the roughest waters, where I have no choice but to trust you, Father, where my every fear has to surrender….”

This season of illness is rough waters. There are no answers—doctors are stumped, typical diagnoses don’t fit, neither diet nor medication is resolving it. I have no choice but to trust my heavenly Father and surrender any fear or discouragement to him.

It is only when I’m lost in his love, sitting in his presence singing, listening, reading his word, that I’m in another place beyond today’s challenges.

No matter what we experience, whether physical, emotional, circumstantial, or relational, the presence of Jesus with his love washing over us is where we are transcended into another realm. It is where healing starts and will be completed. It’s where peace reigns. Peace we can’t explain. Peace that is beyond happiness due to circumstantial changes. Where fear must leave – in his perfect love that casts it away.

If we want to get well, he is there. Jesus is our healer. Jesus is our peace. He is our hope and joy.

Even in the midst of the roughest waters.

Mold Sickness continued…


The lab results came back positive.

I did more research and found that the mold in my system is the same type used to kill people in biological warfare. So scientists know enough about mold to use it for destruction of lives in war, but most doctors don’t take it seriously enough to be informed about the serious environmental danger when we live, work or go to school in an environment that is killing us?

The information I found astounded me.

I went to another doctor and showed her my lab results. She was kind but very apologetic as she informed me she had no knowledge about mold illness. My test results meant nothing to her. But at least she listened to all I told her and was willing to order an ultrasound of my liver because of the constant upper abdominal pain I had been in off and on for months.

The results?

Liver functioning normally, but I have nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. One of the causes is an overabundance of toxins the liver can’t handle. In addition, I’ve been plagued with various infections that attack a weakened immune system.

The system battling mold.

So we decided to move. Through a blog, I discovered many people have relocated in an effort to eradicate and control their environment and exposure to mold. Just knowing I’m not the only one encouraged me.  Within a few days of leaving our home and area, I began to feel better. Thank God!

The only setback came from us staying in a hotel that had mold in the room while on our travels. It was late, and we had already changed rooms once so felt we had no other option (though I considered sleeping in the car). Withing a few minutes I felt like I had been hit with the flu. I choked through the night with a splitting headache and very little sleep. It took about a week to feel better again.

Brendan jokingly calls mold detection my super power.

I can tell my body is still struggling to recover from the prolonged mold exposure, and I will continue looking for the best treatment options. Recent research has alerted me to the use of hydrogen peroxide which seems to be very helpful to those suffering with cancer and various infections.

At the very least, after two years of dragging myself around feeling awful, energy is like a brand new commodity. Being tired at the end of a long, physical day is very different than the debilitating exhaustion I’ve been living with. My hope is that something I have experienced will end up being beneficial to others.

Here are some things that have helped me:

  • I watch my diet. At least half to two-thirds of my diet consists of vegetables and fruit. I eat meat, but find that I feel best eating fish or eggs, then turkey, chicken and finally a dose of beef here and there. I try to go easy on grains, dairy and sugar. Avoid or limit coffee and wine. Drinking at least 6 – 8 glasses of water a day is helpful. My day starts with the juice of 1/2 a lemon in one.
  • I must supplement daily with multivitamins, 500-1,000 mg L-Glutamine, 3000+ mg of vitamin C, and 5,000 IU of vitamin d3 (per week). Sunshine is wonderful for vitamin D production so I try to get outside in the sun for 15-30 minutes per day.
  • 7-8 hours of sleep per night is critical, and I rest/nap in the afternoon if I feel tired. I used to feel guilty about this but find that pressing through exhausted is worthless and detrimental. Stopping for 30-90 minutes of napping gives me a little more energy to go on.
  • Gentle exercise is good, but I have to be careful not to do too much as that can set me off into a cycle of over-exhaustion which then keeps me from sleeping which makes me more fatigued, etc.
  • Licorice and chamomile teas are my friends. Licorice is a natural cortisol which is what gives us energy, as well as a purifier of the liver and endocrine (lymph) system. I really notice if I forget to eat my Panda licorice or drink the tea. Chamomile is a natural relaxant which calms the adrenal system and soothes the stomach. I owe many a good night’s sleep to this wonderful tea.
  • Essential oils. Thieves blend kills mold and immune blends strengthen me. I run a diffuser at least a few hours per day.
  • A positive outlook comes from focusing on Jesus. It can be so discouraging to feel bad all the time and difficult to explain to people (even loved ones) how I’m feeling and why. I am learning to keep taking one day, one step at a time looking at Jesus like Peter walking on water. I keep worshipful songs playing most of the time or play my guitar, read my Bible and talk to God as if he’s in the room. (He is.)

On the horizon…

  • I’ve recently learned that Pau d’arco is great for killing mold and fungus.
  • Milk Thistle apparently helps our livers detox.

Hoping to continue finding good ways to health. I gladly welcome your experiences in the comments below.

The World of Chronic Illness


A month ago, my husband and I decided it was time to move.

We’ve lived in a beautiful area where the forest meets the ocean, but it seems that along with redwoods, dolphins and the Santa CruzIMAG0295 Beach Boardwalk, mold also abounds.

Looking back over the thirteen years I resided in that spectacular area, I never considered my health issues as mold related. When I moved there, I was a struggling single mother of three teenagers, teaching school full time, homeschooling and working a second job.

Exhaustion was a way of life.

But eight years later, after the first couple of months of being married and living in a different house, I couldn’t drag out of bed and became sicker each week, I wondered if it was more than simply my hectic life causing the problems. Eventually we found that unseen mold filled the house.

After moving, I began to get better.

For a nearly two years I became stronger. I felt well again and had energy to walk, work out and maintain a normal lifestyle. Still, my physical “radar” could tell when entering a moldy environment because I would become nauseated, dizzy and develop a headache within minutes of exposure. But most of the time, I could avoid those situations.

Until we had been in our next home for about sixteen months.

Once again, I began to feel ill. For the first t, I passed it off as lifestyle. But given our previous experience, it wasn’t long before I made the connection. Our bathroom shower had broken tiles that had grown worse during the time we had been living there. In addition, there were water marks on the ceiling under our bathroom. These were signs of potential mold growth within the framework of the house. We alerted the landlord to the problem, but received no help. After a number of months, a plumber applied caulking to the cracks. For the next year and a half, I was terribly ill.

Far worse than the first time.

Doctors had no answers. The sores on my tongue and blisters all over my hands and inside my body were systemic, but that was all they could tell me. One diagnosed an autoimmune disease.* But which one? No clue. Only one or two of my symptoms matched any given one.

Another doctor diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis. Except my blood tests proved negative. The adrenal stress tests showed a compromised immune system not producing (or assimilating) cortisol. I wasn’t intolerant to gluten. My thyroid was fine.

The lump that developed in my jaw overnight? (I was pretty sure it was a swollen lymph node). The emergency room physician and staff didn’t know. Did no tests. Sent me home with an antibiotic prescription “just in case it is an infection.” With no fever, no sign of infection and only localized swelling and pain, the doctor couldn’t be certain. I suspected mold in my system was causing my body to fight overtime without beating it.

Could you check for mold in my system?

I asked every doctor I saw. The homeopath, the medical doctors, the naturopath and the ER physician and nurses all shook their heads like I was crazy. There’s no test for such a thing they told me. Mold can’t cause problems like yours. Everyone has a little mildew in their shower. Even the doctor that believed mold causes problems had no knowledge of what to do for it.

Try a dehumidifier,”  he said.

Except the mold was in the walls, and the air we breathed in our house as a result of the leaks and water damage, not the humidity. DSC_0006Tests proved it. Our son suddenly developed asthma and broke out in hives. Steroids barely contained it. I ran essential oil diffusers in our home to kill the mold. It helped, but didn’t solve the deeper problem. And I was starting to experience balance and memory loss.

After my doctor desensitized me to mold for the third time in a year, I decided it must be in my system as well as our environment. (He was great and strengthened my immune system which helped, but we couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting well completely.) Hours of internet searching led me to a lab that did mold testing. But the cost was into thousands and not money we had.

Still, what else could we do?

 

to be continued…

*some of the conditions misdiagnosed as a result of or suffered in tandem with Mold Sickness are rheumatoid arthritis,  lupus, Lyme disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) to list a few