Hopper: Resolving chemical sensitivity issues

It was something nobody wants to hear from a doctor: “Get your affairs in order.”

Gloria, who is from Texas, was suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity disorders and fibromyalgia when she heard from that her doctor.

Her near death experience had resulted from her exposure to mold.

Today, she now calls herself an “ex-canary.”

People who suffer from chemical sensitivities are called the “canaries” of our time.

Miners would take canaries into a coal mine with them to determine air quality—if the canary stopped singing or dropped dead they knew it was time to leave.

“What I didn’t know is the mold was in the school where I taught as a bilingual teacher,” Gloria recalled.

“My symptoms started in 2003. Shortly thereafter, unexplained headaches turned into migraines.

“My symptoms gradually got worse. Five years later, I was having seizures and stroke-like symptoms. I also became allergic to all but 18 specific kinds of foods.

“When I would eat the foods I had become allergic to, it would result in a mysterious paralysis.”

Gloria said she visited some 52 different doctors, specialists and alternative health practitioners, all of whom she says were unable to treat her illness.

“My successful teaching career came to a very abrupt halt,” she said.

By October 2007, Gloria had become a wheelchair-bound invalid.

After a 10-hour seizure that was triggered by a common chemical cleaner, local emergency room doctors confirmed her worst fear, hence the “get your affairs in order” advice.

In utter disbelief and sheer agony, Gloria’s family began to videotape the events of her illness, in the hope it might convince the school district to remedy the mold problem in the school where she had taught.

Instead, that action got her fired.

“In the 2007-08 school year, mold had been discovered in many classrooms at the school where I served as a bilingual/ESL teacher,” Gloria recounted.

“By now, small concentrations of mold in any environment caused seizures or loss of motor skills, and would result in my paralysis that would last up to two days.

“The diagnosis from doctor #53 was toxic encephalopathy. A scan revealed a brain injury that the doctor attributed to mold.

“My husband and I believed that if I removed the mold, my body would take care of everything else. Yet, even after detoxifying the mold and 75 different types of therapies later, I was still reacting.”

She said the symptoms she experienced from mold exposure began to spread, triggered by perfume, cologne, chlorine and the blue cleaner used in restaurants.

“Within minutes, I would crumble to the ground like a rag doll, totally helpless to stop the impending seizure, or paralysis; a cycle that repeated itself hundreds of times over the 10 years.”

But Gloria said being introduced to the dynamic neural retraining system has changed her life.

“The first few weeks after I completed the program, I noticed that places I frequented no longer smelled the same and I had no seizures. I even had lunch at a restaurant with a friend who was wearing cologne. For me, that was huge.”

After suffering those many years of pain and discomfort, Gloria now considers herself healed.

Annie Hopper is a limbic system neuroplasticity specialist in Kelowna.

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