I have been gone a while. I have considered not saying this, but I think this is important enough that everyone should know about it. So here goes:
Due to changes in our business, we moved into a rental house about a year ago. Sometime last spring, or winter, we started smelling gas in weird places. Like in the hall or right outside our master bedroom door. There is a gas fireplace in the living room, but we used it a lot, so we thought there couldn’t possibly be a leak, because the fire was usually on, right?
Well, we all started to get sick. When Corinne went to get back surgery, they discovered that she had pneumonia. Totally unrelated to the gas, right?
I started to get flu symptoms during the summer sometime. Headaches, nausea, dizziness and a burning sensation in my chest. David started having sore throats about the same time. Allergies or a cold, right?
The landlord came through to do a spot inspection of the house, and we told him about the weird gas smells. He said, “Let’s just see if it gets any worse before we do anything.” Dumb us, we just let it go!
Then, one night in early September, I was sitting in front of the fire reading a book. I was really sleepy and my chest was burning, and even my face was itchy and burning. I kept thinking, “what is wrong with me?” By the time I finally got the strength to turn off the fire and go tell David that there was something wrong, I was really sick.
The next day, we called the gas company and they came out to check the gas and found a really bad leak in the valve that was next to the fireplace that was on! Ok. That’s scary.
So, they “red tagged” the house and the landlord had one week to fix the gas or they would shut down the building and no one could live there! We asked why we only smelled gas in weird places and they said that the gas travels in odd ways and you can’t predict where you will smell it! Of course, the landlord sent someone out to crank down the screw in the middle of the valve so it wouldn’t leak right now, but they didn’t replace the valve. Naturally. The gas company came back out and OKed the house for residency, but they also said, “There is no health risk to breathing natural gas. It isn’t bad for your health.”
Ok, but my symptoms just didn’t go away. The burning in my chest got worse until I started having panic attacks because I couldn’t breath. My hormones went nuts and I stopped having a period. The headaches, dizziness and nausea come and go. I finally went to a doctor and, although he couldn’t find anything wrong with me, he gave me antibiotics, since there had to be something wrong since I certainly couldn’t breath!
Being me, I waited a couple of days and had to be talked into taking the antibiotics. But I did in the end, and they helped somewhat. I still can’t quite get my breath, and my hormones are still messed up, and I still get dizzy and nauseous. But there is nothing wrong with me, right?
Here’s the kicker – if we go out to dinner, I am better. If we go for a drive – I am better. If we go for a bike ride (I should die right, and not be able to breath) – I am better!
I have also become really sensitive to all chemicals. Household cleaners, even laundry detergent, really bother me and hurt my chest. I have always had food allergies, but now all meals give me an allergy attack. We live with the doors in the house (the windows don’t open) wide open all the time because if we close the house up, I can’t breath.
David’s sore throat never went away. Now his tonsils (which I am sure he had removed 20 years ago) are back and infected and are closing off his throat. So, on Wednesday, they are doing throat surgery and removing anything in his throat that they can get their hands on- to open his throat. They said it will be horribly painful.
I am making a tea from honeysuckle buds, anise seed, osha root and a mix called “Smokers mix”, and we are both living on it. It really seems to help. But how long can we take the herbs? I am also putting Frankincense oil on my chest 3 times a day – thank you Jackie!
And the gas company says the house is OK. So we bought a combination gas and carbon monoxide detector. Only, after 3 weeks, we discovered that it didn’t detect anything! We did a test for Radon. It came up 3.4 (4.0 is actionable by the EPA standards as dangerous). We did a mold test. The results are not in yet.
Obviously, we need to just move. At least, that is the conclusion we have come to. But it takes money to move, and at this moment, God has not opened that door for us.
So, we have been sick for months and we are just waiting to find out what will happen next. I have gone on the internet, and found many similar stories that I will share with you over the next weeks. And I will keep you informed about what happens to us. All prayers, thoughts and insights are appreciated!