As I write this I’m in Australia, staying with my family so I can clear all the belongings I have that they have been looking after for me in their garage.
Both my siblings are sick. One has caught a cold/flu strong enough such that he’s had to take 3 days off work and has an extremely chesty cough and the other has been told by the doctor that she has to take 3 days off work or what she has will develop into pneumonia. My dad who’s never sick also called in sick because his nose wouldn’t stop running and his eyes became all watery.
Great. My super streak of non-sickness is being severely threatened by being surrounded by sickness. To add to the mix, I’m sleeping in the lounge which has currently suffered some water / mould damage and has had several contractors come to look at it so they can bid for the work.
The landlord is taking their time deciding because they don’t want to spend any money. Meanwhile, I’m breathing in all that mould, every. single. day and night…. Shall we add to it?
YES I can add to it. It’s winter. It’s cold and the flat inside is colder than it is outside. It’s dark and damp in the unit, worse than any basement flat in London I’ve visited.
Add more? Sure… The neighbours pipes burst the day before I arrived, filling the front entrance with water and what followed was what has been so far, 1 week of the super strong smell of musty, earthy, wet, damp that fills every part of the thick, stagnant air. It’s a fire escape type entrance so there is an airlock in that area. Not the best thing to breathe in as soon as you open the door to get to your unit but that was my welcome.
A thick, musty WELCOME TO YOUR SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH….
The mouldy smell is not as bad once you get into the unit but it does creep in through under the door. Inside the unit, due to its own water damage, is a different mouldy smell. My nose immediately got itchy and I was sneezing quite a bit. I couldn’t sleep because the back of my throat was constantly itchy. Add that to the jetlag and really, I was not having a great time. My sleeping patterns went all askew and I was up at 1am through to 3pm at which point I’d just fall asleep. Then I’d be up by 5pm and then stay up til 1am, I would try to force myself to sleep but can’t so again I’d be up by 2am and falling asleep the next day again at 3 or 4pm. I finally just got up at 2am one morning and didn’t go to bed until 8.30pm to regulate but that didn’t work either. 1 week after arriving I’m neither on London time nor Sydney time but some weird time limbo.
Every morning at 6am, the neighbours would run some massive vacuum machine in the hallway to try to extract the disgusting air.
After 1 week of being here, not only is my nose itchy but so are my eyes, my throat, the inside of my ears and my lungs. The mould has finally reached my lungs and I am not happy.
My coping mechanism? Panic…. I want to spend time outside of the house but if I do, then I’m not inside getting through all the things I need to get through, which is my purpose for being here so I stay in and end up feeling like shit because my entire respiratory system is itchy.
It’s taken me a week to realise that if I don’t go out, even for an hour then I’m wilfully killing myself and not giving myself any relief from an environment my body knows and is telling me, is toxic.
With my health severely threatened I resorted to making kefir for probiotics to help my immune system except I’ve realised now that it’s quite dangerous doing this sort of thing in the presence of mould… I could infect my kefir with mould and be ingesting and breeding high concentrations of toxins instead!!!
I’ve bought baobab and spirulina so I have a higher nutrient intake. Food in this household is meat, sugar and bread rich, the complete opposite of my normal diet in London but it’s just so easy to revert back because they are so addictive, the food of my childhood and I am in that environment.. with my siblings, and dad… I might as well be a kid again. I haven’t eaten this amount of sugar and bread, in the last year but I’ve managed to consume it all in the last week.
Truth be known, I feel like I’m dying inside. When you feel unhealthy, that is what it feels like – to be dying – your body crying out for fresh air, sun, nutrients…. health…. is your body screaming at you that it wants to live!!
So…. I put my case forward and asked my dad to at least purchase a dehumidifier so the mould spores and allergens and excess moisture could be extracted from the air in the flat. They’re so used to it that they can’t smell the musty mould when they come into the unit.
As a guest, I didn’t really want to put everyone off their routine and change their diets and move their furniture and make them purchase dehumidifiers at $400 a pop but… in one week of being here I’ve actually felt the stress on my body and couldn’t believe that they were living with this much physical stress and didn’t know it.
So I stamped my feet a lot and told them all that this way of living doesn’t work. Breathing in mould spores, eating so much bread, meat and sugar, coughing your lungs out ’cause you’re sick is just.. not on. SO NOT ON.
AND I REFUSE to let all the benefits I’ve had of healthy living be undone by a few weeks of mould.
So the dehumidifier came and saved the day. I realise I sound like a spoilt brat. Believe me, I never grew up that way but that’s what happens when you experience wellness. It’s too good to ever give up. 1 week of non-wellness was enough to make me say NO MORE!!
It’s made me realise big time just how far I’ve come in terms of my health and wellness, the new standard I’ve set so strongly that I just can’t go back to anything less. There is however an entire fridge full of food that is bad for me vs my crappy will power and my dad doesn’t stop filling the fridge…..
One step at a time hey? Deal with coping with the damp and mould first. Diet I can convert back to when back in London. Good news is… I made it…. Surrounded by mould, sick germs, wheat, meat, dairy and sugar and I STILL managed to get through staying in good health!!!! PHEW!!! I think I gained a couple of kilos of visceral fat but I know I can clear that when I get back to London. Thank you glorious immune system for being stronger than ever before, thank you body for warning me of toxins long before they hurt me and thank you to my dad for buying that dehumidifier as the best solution for me!!!!
PS – if you do suffer from mould and damp in your house, a dehumidifier is AWESOME. It helped for my visit but it will help all those who live in that property, in the long run.