You might notice that your body can become as unreasonable as a newborn baby. Do newborns care if you were sleeping? No. Do they retract their demands if you are sick yourself and haven’t slept for three days? No, they don’t. Even a healthy newborn is as unreasonable a human as you can find and it doesn’t matter what challenges you are facing, they will still need what they need. There is no compromising.
Healing from CIRS can be like that.
The things that you will be required to do in order to inch forward are totally unreasonable and absurd. And you still must do them. Your body needs what it needs.
What it needs is an unreasonable level of cleanliness that is nearly impossible to find or create. Your water, air, clothes, bedding and car need to be immaculately clean. Since it is impossible to clean them all at once, you clean as much as you are capable of cleaning in a day. You will eventually collapse from fatigue, so you need to prioritize what you clean each day and your bedding and pajamas always get top priority so that you have something to collapse into. You will go through times when you to have to clean your bedding and pajamas every single day. You will also want to always have a back up set of bedding and pajamas. I know. It’s totally unreasonable.
This is why I can’t stress this enough; Get to the wilderness.
It is SO much easier to keep your stuff clean when the air around you is clean and the water you use is already clean. You don’t want to have to be in a situation where you need to clean the air before you breathe it, or clean the water before you drink it or to wash your things. It never works well anyway and it is even more work.
So that is #1 unreasonable demand on your life; Get to the wilderness, a state or national park, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land or anywhere that is as far enough away from human development you can get and still meet your survival needs. It can seem impossible and scary but if you have to, you will figure it out.
After that, there are a thousand other unreasonable-but-mandatory things that will get thrown onto your to-do list against your will. Sleeping in contamination is so dangerous and so uncomfortable that you will become willing to do anything to avoid it.
Did you just spend hours hand-washing all your bedding and then wear the wrong hat to bed? You will have to hand wash it all again tomorrow. Maybe even right now.
Did you clean your car and then go into town to pick up your meds? You may have to clean it twice in one day.
Is there no one who can help you clean out your basement, which is the first –possibly futile– step in trying to save your house? Keep trying and find someone. (It is SO dangerous for you to re-expose yourself that you MUST find someone else to do it. One re-exposure could be the difference between you recovering to a functional life and you recovering to a permanently annoying half-life.)
Is your car/house contaminated but sleeping outside will be cold and scary? Do it anyway.
Is your house OK but your neighborhood contaminated? Put your house on the market.
Do you need to hand wash all your bedding and pajamas every single day in order to get 3 hours of sleep with Ambien? Get started.
Do you need to spend the last of your money on trying new strategies from the Toolkit to clean your stuff? Did it not work and you have to buy new stuff anyway? Normal.
Do you need to undress right inside the door and put your dirty clothes into a mylar bag and go shower in order to keep your safe space safe? So does everyone in your family everytime they come home? Yep.
Do you need to wash your credit cards and soles of your shoes each time you come back from the store? You are not the only one.
Moldies have hundreds of stories like this, each.
This is a totally unreasonable illness and the sooner you settle into the normalcy of this unreasonableness, the easier it is somehow.
I know this is a shitty, overwhelming thing to read. I’m sure you are hoping this won’t apply to you and I’m hoping that is true too. I know there are people who have an easier time of it. I think it depends on your genetics, how sick you got, how long you were sick and how completely you can achieve a clean break from the contamination that made you sick. Different contamination won’t irritate you as much, at least for a little while, until you get sensitized to it. Anecdotal evidence suggests that sensitisation to new/different contamininents takes less than a week.
This is the problem. Almost all of our proof that extreme mold avoidance works is anecdotal evidence. There are stories of miraculous recoveries from people who have been willing to do anything to get clear of contamination. There are no statistics on how or why this works because it is still the early days of scientific understanding of this illness.
So the number one step of the Shoemaker Protocol– to get away from mold– can be one of the most unreasonable directives you will ever receive.
But know this: It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be a little better than the last place you were in. Each time. You will heal in increments. You are capable of accomplishing this. When you have no other choice, you become amazed at what you are capable of. If you have ever succeeded in raising a child, you have already accomplished meeting the needs of someone who is completely unreasonable. Now it’s your turn.