When the going gets tough, many gals go buy shoes. Today I think my response will be to go buy dog food and printer cartridges. Geez! I gotta get a life, eh?
My husband says that our current living situation (living in a hotel while we remedy my allergy to our home) reads like the childrens’ book Fortunately, Unfortunately. In the book, fortunately a character gets to fly in a plane but unfortunately, the plane starts to crash. Fortunately the passenger has a parachute but unfortunately it won’t open, and so on. Yeah, this is the story of my life of late:
Fortunately, Steve had plans to go to Florida for a United States Canoe Association meeting in January but unfortunately he had to cancel due to the severity of complications of my battle with Lyme Disease.
Fortunately, I got energized after praying with our doctor and discovered I could have a few more food items but unfortunately he told me not to drive and I needed to go to the grocery store to get those items.
Fortunately, after Steve’s daughter, Christina, drove me home, I had started to feel better so I took a risk and drove myself to the store. Unfortunately I was too weak to walk well and had to hang onto the grocery cart to make it through the store and back to my truck, my home.
Fortunately, by this time I had figured out that I could stay in the house without seizure attacks and neurological collapses if I kept the windows open but unfortunately it was 20 degrees outside. So I turned up the furnace and dragged my way through cooking enough food to sustain my special diet a few days on the road. We had just cancelled a trip then reinstated it just hours before leaving town for over a week.
F: within 48 hours of leaving town I was 25% better from all symptoms! U: The home we first stayed at had a history of water damage and mold, continuing my risk for exposure, noxious symptoms, and difficulty sleeping. But the recovery process was now underway!
F: within 3 days, I was 65% better as we continued to travel. By Friday, I was grateful to be able to kayak in our two-man outrigger canoe with my Aunt Lori on a bayou off the Gulf of Mexico! From dying to living once again! U: it rained our last full day there and I had a resurgence in symptoms sleeping in the room with the windows open. F: the couch in the living room was next to a closed window and I was able to sleep about 2 hours.
F: we were able to continue our trip to see some friends at their log cabin in the woods of South Carolina for some sweet fellowship and wild boar cuisine. Hog is a menu item in my special diet and SC is the capital of hog hunters’ heaven, so to speak. U: fog rolled in the second night and kicked up the mold spores in the sleeping winter landscape triggering another setback. Oh well. We had a great visit anyways and I got another hour of sleep after we closed the windows, again.
F: I was able to reserve a hotel room back in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area so my beloved could drop me off in a clean environment for our first two nights home. This would give us some time to figure out a temporary living situation for me while we began the process of mold remediation in our home. U: I didn’t get to be with Steve again overnight until three days later. He would begin commuting back and forth from home to the hotel, transporting needed items back and forth, taking care of the dog, visiting Christina (before she left town for 3 weeks) and so on. Fatigue set in for him; stress began to mount for both of us.
F: some dear friends offered me a lovely room-with-private-bath and generous kitchen privileges so I moved in. U: I had a few hours to kill in the afternoon between the time when a CPR class ended and they would be home. All my earthly possessions to carry me through this time was in the bed of my truck or king cab. The outside temperature was zero. I simply couldn’t get warm and had no where to go. I was beyond exhaustion, frustration, exasperation. I went to a coffee shop to warm part of me then the library to use the computer and kill some time, cry a little.
F: The lady of the house I was to move into called and offered an earlier time to move in and I was delighted! This couple provided a place for me to stay 5 years ago when I was dating Steve; so many happy memories from that time. U: as soon as I saw them, instead of relief, I began to cry and could not stop. The stress of my nomad life and uncertain future overwhelmed me. Their love provided the safe place to let it all out . . .
F: I had the best nap ever soon after I moved in. U: at 4:30 the next morning I had low grade seizure attacks that would not cease. I got up and prepared a snack and sat at the kitchen table for awhile, hoping our friends would wake up and help me sort this out. What went wrong? We never really figured it out. They had successfully resolved a water damage situation 9-10 years earlier and had “iron bacteria” in their water. What was going on?
F: since I had not reacted to the hotel, I made a reservation and went back for 2 more days of respite. U x 2: the room temperature vacillated, finally dipping to 58 degrees on a frigid winter night. The maintenance guy was gracious to attempt a repair however a wire fried when he tested the system spewing smoke into the room. F: we were able to open the windows to air out the room and he brought a space heater to warm up part of the room. U x 2: the smoke smell was never fully eliminated and I woke up with marked seizure attacks at 2:00 a.m. We called the office and relocated to another room just to sleep, in sub-zero weather. More attacks followed in the freshly cleaned, highly chemically-scented room. What now?
F: a sweet family and friends offered for me to stay with them. I packed up again and divided myself between various available spaces in the home for my luggage, food, supplements, and so on. I had definitely gotten my routine down by now, made dinner and enjoyed visiting with them and their daughter. She is such a cutie and playing with her was a great distraction from the events of late. U: seizure attacks returned as I awakened the next morning. Guess I wasn’t meant to sleep in my cocoon in the gun room after all. But I just couldn’t bear to move again. Tried sleeping on the couch the next night and it didn’t go so well. My hips hurt so badly I had difficulty walking. Sigh. I really enjoyed staying with them!
F x 2: The very first room I’d stayed at in the hotel (where I did fine) was available so I moved back the next afternoon. Some dear friends gave us a generous gift to help cover some of the hotel expenses, taking off the time-pressure, stabilizing my situation, so we could start focusing on remediating the house. U: almost every time a large item, number of items, or new smell was introduced into the studio room of the hotel, I would have a setback. Multiple chemical sensitivity had set in and limits the progress.
F: By this point I’D HAD A 60-HOUR INTERVAL, 72-HOUR INTERVAL, 60-HOUR INTERVAL, AND A FEW 48- HOUR INTERVALS without severe symptoms to date. Praise the Lord for these, His provision, some sweet times in the hotel room with my “married man” and reuniting with my dog whom we brought to the room as well. Puppy therapy rocks! The healing process can also be rocky. It is now here!
Stay tuned for Part 2: The Fortunately, Unfortunately story of our home remediation. This too has been a rocky process with some sweet possibilities as I write this. Without my faith in Christ, I would be lost right now. As it turns out, I’ve been displaced due to extreme circumstances twice before in my life. I have seen the Lord, “restore the years the locusts have eaten.” (Joel 2:25) I will choose to “trust the Lord and lean not on my own understanding” for the promise that “he will direct (my) paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) I will, “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Pillippians 3:14)
Someone once said that life is either a wild ride or nothing at all. I think I’ve got one of those kinds of lives! And we aren’t even “there yet.” Hang on with me, k? :J