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Lessons from ME/CFS: Finding Meaning in the Suffering
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Locations Effect Question

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by SusanB, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. SusanB

    SusanB

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    I'm new to this forum and have lived in two moldy apartments. Both times, I didn't know about the problems with taking your things with you. Thankfully, I finally figured out what is wrong, found a doctor, and have started cholestyramine and am getting rid of all of my possessions.

    In my search online to learn more, I found a lot of posts about the location effect and extreme avoidance. I could not find any information about anyone traveling to Alpine, Texas and the Big Bend area. It looks very good on paper. It's a high desert plateau with little agriculture and industry. It's mainly ranching country. It looks like there may be a number of evaporative cooler usage in homes there though. Has anyone ever been there? I would very much appreciate any feedback if possible. Thanks.
    golden likes this.
  2. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Hi Susan B,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Unfortunately I don't have the information you seek but, I'm sure others will come and help you. I just wanted to say Hi.

    Nielk
  3. SusanB

    SusanB

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    Hi Nielk - I greatly appreciate your welcome!

    As I'm sure you well know, dealing with an out-of-the-box illness like mold poisoning can be very lonely and confusing. I've been incredibly sick for almost 9 years with usual story of "top" doctors who spent my savings on every test under the sun, couldn't find anything wrong with me even though I had the mold inspection reports with spore counts. They all blew it off and said all of my symptoms could not be from mold and I was merely anxious and depressed. It wasn't until the second episode in a moldy home that I finally found helpful information and then a doctor. I am very thankful to have found this forum.
  4. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Hi Susan B!

    Welcome to the forum!
    I'm sorry to hear about all the bad stuff you've been through. I'm so glad that you've found some help now.

    I was just a typical ME/CFS patient until I read Dr. Shoemaker's book. I did the blood tests he recommended back then, as well as tests of the spots on my carpet. It turned out I was living in a place with toxic mold and it was having a big effect on me.

    Anyway, I haven't been to Texas myself, but I have heard a couple other people say the high desert plains there felt good to them.

    People who live in the southwest say they avoid those evaporative coolers. I think they wouldn't live in a home with one.

    There is a really helpful forum called The Locations Effect. It's a pro board forum. There people with ME/CFS share how they felt in different places. There are some people who have become really reactive to mold toxins after they started over with new stuff (like me) and I value their perceptions a lot. I would suggest you check the Texas section there.

    Forebearance
    merylg likes this.
  5. SusanB

    SusanB

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    Thank you for the welcome! I greatly appreciate it! I'm glad Shoemaker's protocol helped you. I had to stop taking the CSM. It was giving me severe problems with my joints and lower back. It seemed to be hard on my liver and kidneys even though I was only taking 1/4 packet daily. Starting to lose the symptoms now that I've stopped taking it.

    I'm going to see Dr. Rae since I live in DFW and his protocol is supposed to be gentler. We'll see. I sure hope for the best.

    The DFW area has pretty bad air, but I've read that a few people have liked SW part of Texas. I would recommend not using an evaporative cooler since they humidify the air and are notorious for getting mold in their units and causing mold in homes. I've not had any problems with central air, though since it dehumidifies the air.

    May I ask why people become so reactive to mold once they start over with new possessions? Is there anyway to desensitize to mold? I'm taking antigen shots for the molds I'm reactive to already. Will that stop the process? I am so sorry that you are now super reactive to mold... ouch! Has it improved at all over time?

    Thanks!
    Susan
  6. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Hi Susan,

    I flunked out of Dr. Shoemaker's protocol, also. The CSM was too strong for me, too. I take soluble fiber now, because it has a similar effect but is very very gentle. Some people take Welchol when they can't tolerate CSM. I think phytosterols would work, too.

    I'm not an expert on the avoidance process, but I think once a person with CFS and mold poisoning gets away from mold toxins enough, the immune system really, really doesn't want to be around them again. At least for me, when I'm around mold toxins my immune system freaks out with massive inflammation.

    I haven't tried antigen shots, but staying away from moldy buildings and places with a lot of mold toxins (or other toxins) in the outside air has allowed my immune system to heal and calm down a little bit. I am less reactive now than when I first began to avoid the bad stuff.

    I hope Dr. Rae's protocol works well for you!
    I'm still working on detoxing. Maybe some day I can move on to supplementing some of those hormones we are low on, like VIP.

    Best wishes,
    Forebearance
    merylg likes this.
  7. helios

    helios

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    "Thankfully, I finally figured out what is wrong, found a doctor, and have started cholestyramine"
    Hi Susan. How did you figure out it was mold that was the main cause of your health problem?
    Was the mold obvious to see or did your places smell moldy?
    When you spend time away from them (say just at work or holidays away) did you notice an improvement in your health?
    How long have you been on cholestyramine for and have you noticed an improvement in your health, so that you know for sure this is the answer?
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  8. SusanB

    SusanB

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    Hi Helios,


    Apologies for being so tardy in replying. It's been nuts these last weeks/months. Health declining even worse (with all that entails), a move from one bad apartment to another one that is turning out to be as bad, disposed of all my possessions before moving into the current apartment, trying to get some ordinary things accomplished (easier said than done as we all know) and trying to not buy anything other than the bare necessities since they will only get recontaminated (already recontaminated the new vehicle), trying to start detox treatment through Dr. Rae's office as an outpatient (misery), trying to read/learn more about my condition (especially mold) and wanting to find a safe living situation (is there such a thing as a safe place to live in DFW?), trying to make some decisions/plans on how to apply what I've learned (if I can remember it or find my notes), and all that jazz along with all the typical cognitive/brain fog problems and exhaustion we all experience. It is confusing, frustrating, and beyond me how we're supposed to get well without fleeing to the god-forsaken-wilderness.


    I have been slow on the uptake about a lot of detrimental health factors and still am a dunce about how to put all the pieces together that have caused my debilitating illness. I finally realized that 2, possibly 3, of the 6 apartments I've lived in since 2004 were very moldy and the rest were probably moderately moldy. I gave up testing my living quarters since it is very expensive, no one listens, and it doesn't solve anything when one is a renter. One recent experience of staying in a hotel for 4 days, which gave me time to unmask a bit, made me aware that I became hyper reactive to mycotoxins in a remediated building. I didn't smell anything, but felt the hot spots. The experience was like the portrayals of Superman and kryptonite. Unfortunately, I seem to have become masked again.


    In a nutshell, I moved from northern Colorado, where I lived most of my life, to an apartment in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of DFW, in 2004. I became increasingly sick in the apartment, saw the "top" doctors in Dallas for around 7 years and was pronounced: "depressed and anxious" since they could not find a cause from the slew of blood, urine, stool, and allergy tests, plus the numerous CTs, MRIs, colonoscopy, endoscopy, and even a PET. I couldn't tolerate the different SSRI's that they prescribed (even at minuscule dosages) and most medications (especially antibiotics) made me more bedridden than usual. Natch, my body's adverse responses to these doctors' treatments were blown off by the doctors rather than taken as a clue that there might be something biological causing my reactions and illness.


    I found mold after three years in the first apartment and had tests taken that showed high numbers of 5 toxic molds. I had already told the doctors about the flooding in my apartment from wastewater backups. I also told them that there were times where I felt like I was being poisoned and asked about lyme disease and bacterial infections. All to no avail. What seemed important to me, doctors blew off as irrelevant. I was still in the stage of "bowing to the experts" wondering if I was losing my mind and yet knowing I hadn't. Brain fog is a royal pain.


    I finally started going to the alternative doctors. The ones I found were either clueless or quacks. I finally went to an allopathic physician who had turned away from that construct and recognized my symptoms as possibly lyme disease. My test results were equivocal, but that doesn't mean much. I had also been bitten by ticks in my first apartment, which was on the edge of an enormous wooded area with lots of wildlife, and remembered the bullseye rash from one bite.
    For seven years I had classic symptoms of lyme disease and mold poisoning with no diagnoses other than psychosomatic. If I had the money, I would probably be diagnosed with CFS or ME by the doctors specializing in it. My symptoms fit pretty much to a T.


    For the past 3 years, I have mostly learned about lyme. I was caught in a dead end because I couldn't tolerate antibiotics or herbs since I am prone to severe diarrhea. The only ILADS trained lyme doctor retired shortly after I was finally diagnosed and the alternative doctor gave up when he ran out of ideas on how to help me since nothing he tried seemed to make a dent in my health and many times made me worse.


    The mold exposure had yet to be acknowledged as a much of a contributing factor. Last year, I went to Dr. Johnson in Richardson, Texas. He is an EI doctor familiar with mold treatment. He tested me for tricothecenes and prescribed CSM when the test came back positive. I had bad reactions to 1/4 of the dosage and I cannot afford his hyperbaric oxygen treatments, so I have now switched to Dr. Rae in Dallas since his detox program is more affordable.


    It was stumbling upon input on different forums and blogs about/from Erik Johnson and Lisa Petrison on their experiences that the light bulb finally went off dimly in my addled brain. I believe Erik and Lisa (many thanks to you and others!) are on the right track. I wish they would write a book. I have so much to learn and apply. The plumes of "ick" and the way mold works with nano particles to make everything worse makes particular sense in my location.


    Frisco, Texas has a battery recycling plant that emits 35 hazardous materials in their work. The main one is lead and one in which they have exceeded the supposedly safe emissions level is ridiculous. It wasn't until after I moved from Frisco to Plano (8 miles south) that I learned about the recycling plant. Thanks to Lisa and Erik, I now understand and recognize several areas where there is a consistent plume of ick. Just to the west of me, in Fort Worth area, we have also seen tremendous Frack drilling over the last few years. The levels of nano particles and expanding EMF types of radio waves that influence or react with our high mold levels are increasing, too.

    I am too sick to do much at the moment, but hopefully, will eventually learn avoidance and move away. It's a bit of a catch 22. The doctors I have finally found who seem to understand how to address the problems with lyme and mold are here, but I need a pristine/safe place to live. Natch, there is the ever present challenge of how expensive it is to live, receive treatment, eat healthfully, and so forth. Sorry to ramble on. The brain is scrambled and overwhelmed.

    Susan
    slayadragon likes this.
  9. SusanB

    SusanB

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    Hi Forebearance,

    More apologies for being so tardy in replying. For a full list of my lame yet valid excuses, please see my reply to Helios.

    I am sorry to hear that the CSM wasn't workable for you. Do you believe that the gentler detox methods are working for you? It sounds like being hyper-sensitive to mold is good thing? Better than masked and better to stay away from moldy places even if sensitivity is reduced? I do hope you can receive the VIP and hormone treatments sooner than later in the future.

    So far, I've had two detox sessions at Dr. Rae's facility. It's pretty straightforward protocol and reasonably prices at $37 per session. The protocol is 5-15 minutes of gentle exercise, then several supplements, then sauna for 15-30 minutes, shower, more supplements, and a 10-15 minute massage. The price includes the supplements. The second session really affected me negatively and seems to have got some things moving, but from what I've read online, this sounds normal. I also noticed I was very sensitive to smells for about 1/2 hour afterwards. I don't know how worthwhile this is to do since I'm still in a semi-moldy living situation. I keep thinking I need to find a safe place to live, but I don't think apartment complexes are going to cooperate with me wanting to do mold tests. The roommate situation here seems pretty sketchy unless one is a college student.

    I'm also not sure what to think about the proposed treatments to address my immune system. It's expensive and I wonder if it would work best for someone like you or others who practice extreme avoidance. One treatment is testing for gamma goblin levels (IgG, IgM, IgA) that determine if the treatment would be antigen or medication. I started antigen treatments with Dr. Johnson, who was trained by Dr. Rae, for mold, dust mites, and cockroaches, but need to ask Rea's office if there is a medication option that would work for me. The antigens have helped with my reactive airway problems where my throat begins to close and I can't get air in/out to breathe for a short period of time. Pretty scary when it first started happening about 8 years ago. I was diagnosed with COPD by the "top" allergy doctors and lived with it for years since their expensive steroid based medications didn't help. I haven't had any episodes since I started the antigens.

    The second treatment is ALF (antigenous lymphatic factor). It is my understanding that this is unique to Dr. Rae, and requires being tested to see if one would be a candidate for it. If I understand it correctly, it is a process of taking the healthy T cells from your blood and cultivating(?) havesting(?) the healthiest ones for injection back into your body, so you can use your own T cells to fight and help your immune system. One person who Dr. Rae helped was Dr. Lisa Nagy. In case you are interested or haven't heard of her, here is a link to her website: http://lisanagy.com/index.php and a link to a lecture she gave: http://present.knowledgevision.com/account/kv-pr/subaccount/vpm/link/Nagy_Penn_Feb2012

    Warm regards,
    Susan
    merylg likes this.
  10. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Hi Susan,

    Don't worry about replying to me. I really feel for you with what you are going through.

    It was pretty sad for me to realize that the whole town where I was trying to live was not good for me, because of the quality of the outside air. It can shake up a person's life.

    Also I understand how it feels to move from one place to another and start over with new possessions, and then to discover later on that the new place isn't better and you have to repeat the process. I did that several times before I gave up and moved away from my town.

    But, I am really glad that you found Dr. Rea and that his treatments seem promising for you! It sounds like he is an innovator. I hope that you get good results from them.

    I take soluble fiber and that works well for me. It is the right strength to make me feel better but not cause bad side effects. I haven't ever been a very allergic person, so I'm not familiar with the antigen treatments you're trying. But I'm so glad they help.

    Yeah, being very reactive to mold toxins does help me stay away from them. I did try VIP briefly, but it felt
    Ike I was still too inflamed to be at the right stage for it. I have to wait until I am more detoxed, I think.

    Thanks for the links! I have heard of Dr. Nagy, but I haven't read her website.

    Warm regards back,
    Forebearance
  11. SusanB

    SusanB

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    Thanks, Forebearance.

    I appreciate your reply and glad to hear your detox is working well. The lack of unpleasant side effects sounds wonderful along with not developing any allergies. Do/did you have any chemical sensitivities? I hope you continue to detox well and can try VIP again soon. The VIP and hormone treatments are pretty much greek for me. What are they supposed to do for you? I'm not as familiar with Shoemaker's treatments as I am Rae's treatments. I would buy Shoemaker's book but I haven't been able to read books or be around print materials for over 5 years. Thank goodness for the internet.

    If you haven't seen it, the video of the lecture that Dr. Nagy gave to other physicians is worth watching, imnsho. Her health was devastated by mold exposure and she covers a lot of territory in the lecture. Apparently, it was prepared for physicians new to the subject of environmental illness, so she doesn't dwell on mold or CFS, though she comments about them a number of times. It's a little over an hour including a Q & A at the end. I though she was a good speaker. She might be a good doctor for CSF patients near her. I'd love to hear your feedback about her lecture if it works for you. Anyone else who would like to offer feedback would be welcome too.

    It's sad that you had to move, but I am thankful you recognized that you needed to move away from your home town and had the fortitude to do it. May I ask where you used to live? I'd love to ask where you are now, but know that wouldn't be kosher. I am intrigued by the location effect and the good results some have received at Sam's mineral springs in California and other places.

    I don't have ties here and I do not know if I can afford Dr. Rae's full treatment with the ALF. At this point, all I have committed to is the detox sessions. It wouldn't be hard to pack up my glass and stainless kitchen belongings (can we safely keep glass and stainless items?) and move elsewhere. I became sick shortly after I moved here and not being able to socialize makes it hard to get to know people so my roots here are shallow. The hard part for me about moving is being sick and not knowing where to go. If I wasn't sick, it would be a bit of a lark to become a gypsy.
    merylg likes this.
  12. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Hi again,

    Well, the soluble fiber lets me detox at a comfortable pace, for me, but it is a lot slower than the cholestyramine.

    Yes, I have had pretty bad chemical sensitivities. They are a little better now.

    The hormones are part of Dr. Shoemaker's treatment protocol. He has figured out what happens to a body when it is chronically inflamed. He calls it chronic inflammatory response syndrome, or CIRS. The toxins he has studied can cause this kind of neurological inflammation. So when he gives patients hormones at certain stages, he is trying to reverse the damage caused by the long term inflammation. AKA poisoning.

    I'll see if I can find the video you're talking about. I bought Dr. S's latest book "Surviving Mold" and then before I could read it I accidentally exposed it to mold toxins and I couldn't stand to be around it any more! It's ironic.

    But you know, Dr. S did a lecture at Gordon Medical Associates last year and his website sells the DVD of it. It might be easier to follow than his books. He includes so many anecdotes in his books that you have to wade through them to get to the basics of his theory.

    I'll write you privately about the places where I was/am. Yes, my lifestyle would be pretty fun if I were a healthy person!

    Forebearance
  13. SusanB

    SusanB

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    Many thanks, Forebearance.

    It's great to hear your chemical sensitivities have receded some and hope they continue to dissipate. The organic pysllium is much easier for me to tolerate too. I have read that chorella and chlorophyll are supposed to help with detoxing mold too. Is that true?

    Drat and double drat on contaminating Dr. Shoemaker's book. I'm so sorry. It is so frustrating and so easy to do. I wish there was a way to decontaminate the book. Two things I couldn't replace right before my last move were my driver's license and credit card. I ended up contaminating my new vehicle even though I tried to put them into several different new wallets and only have them in the vehicle when I absolutely had to. They were like handling kryptonite with all the Superman reactions to them. Weird. I can understand why people wonder if we're nuts.

    Finally got the new DL and guess what? Something in the plastic material makes me react. Ugh. Once I unmasked a bit from getting rid of all my stuff, I became reactive with paper money and also contaminated my car by putting some bills in the vehicle arm rest. Now my air filtration system and arm rest make me sick. Sheesh. If you have any ideas on how to decontaminate a vehicle it would be greatly appreciated. One of my cousins is still amused that I've become "allergic" to money. I'm glad his sense of humor is still intact! Mine evaporated a few month ago.


    Thanks for explaining Shoemaker's goals with hormones. It sounds a bit similar to Rae's goals with antigens, ALF, and gamma globulins. The antigens are supposed to make the body less reactive (like an antihistamine?) but I'm not sure % wise how successful they are. Patients are highly reactive when they unmask during their stay at his clinic. One of his staff guessed the ALF T cell treatment worked for around 75% of patients. Still don't understand the gamma globulin treatment but it's supposed to reset something. I need to ask more questions.

    Dr. Nagy was one of Rae's success stories, but she says she can't function without the antigens and ALF. Thankfully, she's no longer on her deathbed and has been able to return to working and traveling. Being able to work is a big deal for so many of us, but I can't afford to stay on ALF for the rest of my life, but the antigens are pretty reasonable. I hope you enjoy her lecture if you have the time and inclination to view it. Here's the link: http://present.knowledgevision.com/account/kv-pr/subaccount/vpm/link/Nagy_Penn_Feb2012

    Thanks for telling me about the DVD. I'm looking forward to learning more. I'll have look online for something other than a DVD since I no longer have access to a DVD player. The replacement laptop I bought doesn't have a DVD player. I wasn't thinking clearly (so what else is new?) when I purchased it, but that's pretty much par for the course. I try to not dwell on all of the foolish decisions I've made and I can't afford to purchase replacements for a lot of things I used to have, especially with the problems of recontamination. I hope I don't have to replace this new laptop. Ugh.

    I'm having a difficult time adding the new supplements and the sauna/massage. Wish I could live in a safe place while doing this. Also wish there was a way to stop taking the supplements and heal my GI system. The only thing I know that worked for my GI in the past was going on a diet similar to the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) and not taking any supplements for around 6-8 weeks. My gut healed nicely, but the problems gradually came back when I slipped back into my bad eating habits. Darn Milkyways. ;)

    I will greatly appreciate the PM. I wish you were feeling healthier and having an easier time being a gypsy. I've been wanting to fly the coop the last couple of days from being so sick from new treatments and lured by the idea of how well I might be in a pristine area, even though I can't imagine juggling things without a fridge with a freezer and love the balmy winters here - it's 5:30 PM and 72 degrees. I will greatly appreciate learning how you manage everything. I"m certainly not ready to start extreme avoidance, but I suspect that may be the direction I end up taking sometime in this coming year.

    Warm regards,
    Susan
  14. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Hi Susan!

    My favorite form of soluble fiber is Benefiber caplets, but they haven't made them for a while now, so I've been taking citrus pectin. It's just a matter of individual preference.

    I've read of all kinds of supplements that are supposed to help with detoxing mold toxins. Everyone is so different that I think the only way to know if they would help you is to try them. I take a little chlorella, but I haven't noticed any big difference from it.

    Wow, that is serious reactivity you have, that your driver's license and credit card contaminated your vehicle. I was able to tolerate those two items as long as I kept them in a plastic bag. They were the only possessions I kept with me.

    So that says something about how bad the environment must be where you live. I know someone who was reactive to receipts from stores for a while. The ink on them bothered her chemical sensitivities. It sounds ridiculous, but I totally believe you. I wish someone would study the immune system and this phenomenon.

    Life can be really expensive once you become highly reactive to your personal Kryptonite. I have been leasing cars from a company with a trade-in program, and so far I have had to replace my car once a year. They just become unbearable to me. I'm on my third computer since becoming reactive. They seem to absorb mold toxins and radiate them back out.

    I also try not to buy a lot of new stuff, because it could be ruined so easily.

    But living in a good place helps a lot. It makes life easier. I'm hoping to keep my current car for two years, and I've had my current tablet computer for two years now.

    Dr. Shoemaker's most recent websites are:
    http://www.chronicneurotoxins.com/
    http://www.survivingmold.com/

    I wanted to mention that it is possible to have Lyme Disease and mold poisoning and allergies of all kinds at the same time. You probably knew that! It seems massively unfair that that could happen to one person, but I think it happens all the time.

    Detoxing from all that stuff is sure a challenge. I'll be thinking of you.
    Forebearance
  15. SusanB

    SusanB

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    Hi Forebearance,

    That's a brilliant idea about leasing vehicles! Too bad leasing can't be done with laptops, but it sounds like things must be much better with a track record of two years on your current computer and going on two years with the vehicle! Bravo!

    Thanks for the Shoemaker links. I took the VCS test in an ILADS doctor's office about 3 years ago and didn't show any signs. Maybe my bifocals compensated? I think passing that test may be one reason why mold continued to stay off the radar for so long.

    If I am understanding correctly, Shoemaker's NeuroQuant sounds like Rae's BrainSpect. Interesting. There seem to be strong similarities in the men's treatments in a number of areas. Differences too.

    On the surface, it looks like Rae's treatment system is more comprehensive in scope and monitoring. He's not big on using Big Pharma medications and uses compounding pharmacies that eliminate the sugar and other undesirables in prescriptions like CSM. That's one thing that scares me with Rae. Costs can add up quickly. The full scope in treatment is expensive although I know he scales it down for those who cannot afford the whole protocol. But people who do the whole enchilada see amazing results. Sure would be nice to win the lottery.

    The DFW metro is very polluted even though we have semi-good air by EPA standards (for a metro). Far fewer yellow days than Albuquerque, but more orange days than they do. Otherwise, a lot more green days than Albuquerque. I think that's because we don't have much pm 2.5 and no one is factoring in mold and industry chemicals. Go figure.

    We have a number of active health support groups for CFS/Fibro/ME, Autism, and so forth here. We get toxic emissions from the older coal power plants to the east, Houston's lovely pollution from oil refineries blows in from the south, and oil/gas drilling emissions from Fort Worth and further west blow in. The amount of new fracking in Fort Worth and Tarrant county is huge. The climate is also mold friendly and bacterial/algae problems in water reservoirs is not that unusual. Oh yeah, forgot about the cement factories and other industries… nevertheless, it has it's redeeming qualities like most metros.

    I'm not sure there is much left in the way of pristine environments. If you find one, please let me know? It may have been a couple of decades ago, when I lived in Colorado, that I read reports about the damage pollution was doing to the fauna and flora in the national parks. It surprised me that the Colorado Rockies were heavily affected too. Not too many years after that, a "clean" coal power plant was built about 25 miles to the north of us and then our biggest water reservoir was closed to fishing because of mercury. Next, heavy gas fracking began in the county to the east of us. It seemed like everyone had developed low grade cases of not feeling well by the time I moved away in '04.

    In my research for a moldless Shangri-La, I found some interesting websites albeit depressing. I'm not sure how accurate this map for mercury found in 2011 US rainfall is. I want to question whether there might be some exaggeration since the collection stations look far apart. If accurate, it's not a good omen for the future: http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/maplib/pdf/mdn/hg_Conc_2011.pdf

    It seems like enough digging will show a bad report on any location. I do wish I hadn't read a bad report about the air around Thermopolis, Wyoming by a moldie looking for their safe place. Apparently the wind from the west blows in bad air. Wind! You well know how wind blows like crazy in Wyoming! It's worse than Colorado. On paper Thermopolis looked good. Affordable. Best of all, FREE public hot mineral springs to soak in! Sigh.

    Then, there are reports that progress will be putting cell towers in Yellowstone. China's hazardous pollution blowing into California. Toxic Release Inventory maps. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Lots of doom and gloom on the web. I think I may rename it Eeyore.

    Later,
    Susan
  16. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Hi again,

    You know, I think it would be possible to rent a computer from one of those rent-to-own places, but I'd want to be sure it was a new one so it hadn't been in somebody's moldy house.

    Yes, Dr. Shoemaker is a really conventional doctor. It sounds like Dr. Rae is more open to alternative type stuff.

    Oh, that's too bad about Thermopolis. Wow, it is depressing to read about all the many kinds of pollutants.

    Is the power plant you are talking about the one between Cheyenne and Ft. Collins? If so, I know that plant! When I drive south on I-25, the place where the air suddenly turns bad is right when I pass that power plant. I'm very suspicious that it might be spreading toxins over the whole bowl that Ft. Collins sits in. What a shame.

    Forebearance
  17. SusanB

    SusanB

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    DFW
    Hi Forebearance,

    I wonder if one could find a way to only rent new rather than used products? It would probably help to be able to rent most all of my possessions!

    What do you do about laundry? When I got rid of all my possessions, it included my washer and dryer. I've thought about renting a washer and dryer, but with being in flux about where to live and not wanting to rent moldy ones, I haven't done anything. Not that using the public laundromat or apartment complex facility is any better…

    Yes, the power plant is the one between Cheyenne and Fort Collins. Interesting that you noticed how the air turned bad in that area. Like you, I think the power plant is polluting the entire basin and most likely the entire front range.

    I find it scary because this power plant is considered one of the cleanest power plants in the nation. It has 1 state-of-the-art clean coal generator and 5 natural gas generators. If you are interested, here's an informative map that shows all the major US power plant locations. Click on a state for more information regarding that state. The eastern US looks noxious. http://www.catf.us/fossil/problems/power_plants/existing/

    I believe the numerous new drilling and fracking sites have become major contributors in that region of Colorado, too. Here's a map that shows the huge number of wells near that area of I-25 where you noticed the bad air: http://www.savecoloradofromfracking.org/Colorado/maps/COcountiesoilmap.html

    If you are interested, you can get a general idea of where the major US shale deposits are located and thus the general areas where fracking and proposed fracking are taking place from this map: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/United_States_Shale_gas_plays,_May_2011.pdf

    It is depressing to read about all of the pollutants that we have to contend with. I have found it harder to track down information about pesticide and herbicide usage. There is a revealing study that was done on pesticides and rats. The rats exposed to pesticides became obese. The rats who were not exposed did not gain weight. Might well help explain the increasing obesity in our nation and world-wide.

    I started the long process of provocation testing at Dr. Rae's a couple of days ago (he has thousands of things that one can be tested for). I haven't tested for any foods yet, my main interest is in molds and chemicals. It has been interesting. There is one mold mix that I reacted to with symptoms of jaw tightening and teeth gritting. Well, that explains that weird symptom I've had off-and-on since I moved to DFW. I have many more molds to test and there are mycotoxins that can be tested, too.

    One of the things I've learned is how much fungi are increasingly being used in the manufacturing of food, paper products, and other things. One example is that a lot of the natural flavorings for foods are being made using fungi. Google "fungi and manufacturing" for an eye-opener.

    I found it interesting that I had both low and no reactions to several common chemicals (e.g.: formaldehyde and phenol). One non-synthentic item that sent me to the moon with brain fog is orris root. It's used in perfumes, cosmetics, essential oils, soaps, potpourri, and so forth. It helps explain why a lot of organic products I've tried made me sick while some synthetic products don't bother me at all.

    Yesterday, I found that my reaction to unleaded gas was low and my reaction to fireplace smoke put me in the dirt. Guess I won't be moving to the boonies where a lot of people heat their homes with wood stoves… makes camping in the wilderness a bit problematic, too.

    Later,
    Susan
  18. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Great Plains, US
    Hi Susan,

    I have had reasonable luck using the washers at hotels. It would be too risky for me to use a public laundromat. The ones I've tried have been horrible, mold-wise. I follow Erik's guidelines which include air drying everything, unless I have access to a really pristine dryer. Even then I air dry my sleepwear. I end up doing a lot of hand-washing at times when I'm not staying in a hotel.

    Yes, that sounds like a good idea to rent a washer and dryer if you could get new ones.

    That is interesting and scary about the power plant. I wonder if there is something about the new clean coal power plants that creates unusual emissions. Older power plants are yucky, but I don't remember feeling that particular poison coming out of them.

    Thank you for the links!
    Yikes, fungi are used to make natural flavorings?
    Good luck with your continued provocation testing.
    Forebearance
  19. SusanB

    SusanB

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    Well, phooey… now I find out I'm supposed to air dry everything! Que sera, I don't know how I could because of my living situation. How/where do you hangyour things to dry? Are there any concerns about the housing in your area getting moldy from drying things inside? I'm glad you have the strength in you hands and arms to handwash. That's wonderful. I've lost so much strength in hands I can't grasp much anymore.


    Can you describe the smell that the power plant emitted? And/or how it made you feel? Like you, I have wondered what the new and improved filter systems aredoing and what isn't being reported because it's not yet studied for it's health effects. I looked at the power plant website and one can file an FOIA to requestinformation, but they do not necessarily have to answer since, according to them, they can send you through all kinds of hoops (too broad of a question) andfees for the records. Plus there may be security issues that would void them from having to release information. Gummit.


    The PP's home page touts how environmentally friendly their 4800+ acre site is and how the wildlife and their herd of bison are flourishing. AUCK. I hopethey aren't selling the bison eating mercury and chemically dusted grass as organic beef. The other day I read an article about how the wildlife are flourishing inthe area around Chernobyl where people aren't allowed to live. The news story reports that tests show the animals are radio-active but doing well…. go figure.


    I do wonder about the PP filters that are being used and the materials in the filters. Dr. Rae's office makes me ill because he uses the Austin Air purifiers and Ican't tolerate the carbon filters used to filter out VOCs. The first thing they tested me for was office air and then because I was above moderate in my reactions,they tested me for the Austin Air. I got the same score on both. They are supposed to give me an antigen next week so I can tolerate being in the office for testing. Sheesh.



    Yep. Being able to label fungi natural flavorings vs. artificial may be part of reason for the increased usage of fungi in industrial food production? I know the rationale for using fungi in paper products is that is reduces substances like the chlorine usage and they can claim they are more environmentally friendly. What got me isthere are pure fungi foods!:


    "Fungal food items are also produced on an industrial scale. For instance, edible mushrooms are grown on large-scale farms. These delicious and nutritiousnaturalproducts have seen a large increase during the past few decades. Many contain a protein profile that rivals that of beans and most contain largeamounts of B vitamins and minerals. Another food product example is Quorn™, the brand name of an all-natural, meat-free frozen food. Quorn™ brandhas been sold in the UK since 1985. In 2002 it was launched in the U.S. and has since become the best-selling frozen meat-free brand in naturalfoodstores. It can be found in various meat-like forms such as patties, (veggie) dogs, roasts, and tenders (similar to chicken nuggets). This efficient andnutritious protein source consists of a mycoprotein from thefungusFusarium venenatum."


    I hope the are doing quality assurance checks on those products. Fusarium produces that nasty mycotoxin tricothecene and the CSPI is trying to get the FDA to stop allowing it to be sold because the mycoprotein isn't safe and is making some people very ill: http://cspinet.org/new/201112011.html


    Thanks for the well wishes for successful treatment. I would love to stop being bed bound and having so much time to read all the Eeyore news.

    Susan
  20. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    Great Plains, US
    Hi Susan,

    Well, I'm not sure if air drying things would make a difference in your current situation. It might be more effort than it is worth.

    Even so, it does tire my arms to wring things out. Some people have gotten a clothes wringer to save themselves the work. Maybe I should get one, too.

    When I passed the power plant I may have been too far away to detect a smell. I don't remember one. I remember feeling the kind of toxin that makes my skin burn. After I had been in northern Colorado a couple days, my heart started to hurt. That is also a symptom of that kind of toxin, for me. In addition, my lungs, kidneys, liver, etc. were aching. Those are common symptoms of lots of environmental toxins, for me. Your symptoms may vary.

    That toxin is also associated with forest fire smoke. I wonder if it may be related to burning chemically treated wood, like trees that have been sprayed with pesticides or flame retardants.

    I suppose that the air filters in Dr. Rae's office must filter so much bad air that they could start radiating toxins themselves. I hope you'll be able to tolerate his office!

    Yikes about the Quorn products. They sound disgusting! I'm really glad to know that info so I won't eat them. Thank you.

    Take care,
    Forebearance

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