Steve's immune system is getting stronger every day. It is miraculous how God has and is working all this out, figuring out Steve has mold poisoning and putting all the pieces together. If you have a minute, I'll tell you our story:
It started with what we thought was eczema on Steve's hands back in late 2008. About the same time, he started recycling computer equipment for Mohawk in addition to his usual computer-related job. This required him to go into the plant out of his normal office environment. We tried everything for his hands without improvement and he was growing so fatigued he immediately went to sleep when he came home from work. He also had body aches and muscle soreness 24x7. I was just focused on his hands, trying to find help without looking at the whole body picture. He started having slight shortness of breath about a year ago but we thought it was from COPD because he did smoke for several years but has been quit for 19 years.
A friend of mine sent me an email about asperigillus, a fungus that almost killed her Dad many years ago. I disregarded the email for a while but God just kept bringing it to my memory and I took a look at it. The more I researched, the more it sounded like mold/fungus might be the root of Steve's problems. I found doctors in Atlanta, Dr. Susan Tanner and Dr. Donald Dennis that are environmental specialist that perform mold testing and voila, he is allergic to mold and his immune system was so weak it couldn't fight it so it started to attack his lungs. The lung specialist in Rome that did his biopsy couldn't tell us what caused the fibrosis, only that his immune system was attacking healthy lung tissue. If you read on the internet though, the medical community, Harvard Medical School, New England Journal of Medicine and Johns Hopkins agrees that "environmental pollutants" are the cause for pulmonary fibrosis.
Long story short, God is amazing if we will seek him, listen and then do! Now, why is Steve's immune system weak? The environmental department at Mohawk tested the area where Steve did his computer recycling in the plant, mold everywhere from a roof leak. They are having the area isolated, repaired and cleaned while Steve is in Florida. Also, our house had a leak that we were not aware of. We are having it repaired and cleaned while we are in Florida. Steve was also exposed to mold in two other Mohawk facilities, one has been condemned and the other is full of people. We haven't found the mold that his body is fighting hardest to clear out of his system, we believe it would be identified in one of those two locations.
Steve had lost his sense of smell and is regaining it so much that he can tell now when he comes in contact with mold and begins to sneeze, which is good but his throat also closes up, which isn't so good. He can also smell chicken manure and skunks now! lol The beautiful thing is he is taking supplements (vitamins, minerals, probiotics, etc) to repair his immune system. He is taking an anti-fungal drug and a very tiny, tiny dose of Prednisone to kick start his adrenal gland. His body was so depleted! Oh, and we also identified he is allergic to gluten and many other foods he regularly ate. I didn't realize either until this that 90% of your immune system is in your stomach. That's why diet is SO IMPORTANT!
Anyways, shew! It seems like a long road but the two doctors he is seeing in Atlanta thinks he can be well or much improved in six months if he eats correctly, takes the supplements and rids his environments of mold and pollutants! He needs pure, clean air to breathe. We saw a new doctor Monday, June 25th, an endocrinologist. Steve may need growth hormone to aid his recovery and Dr. Black will administer it if he does. The stay in Florida has been encouraged by all doctors we've seen. The salt air and good ozone will aid the healing process and when we return, his environments should be pretty pristine! I always thought people retire to Florida for the warm weather but that's only part of the benefit!
One more thing that confirmed it all for Steve and me.....the 2nd doctor we saw was pretty intense and he overwhelmed even me, with mold information the first time we saw him. He was very stern and a no-nonsense type of guy. Our insurance is not paying for much of this treatment making Steve and I both skeptical, this is totally not mainstream doctoring. However, on our 2nd visit to this guy (he's about 60 and looks about 35), I decided to quiet my fears and asked him how he knew so much about mold when he is an ear, nose and throat doctor. He looked at me and said, Well, it's a God thing! I didn't want to do this but it's what God wants me to do or called me to do, he said. He continued to tell us about some of his practice successes and papers he's written on the subject. The fears just melted away for both of us!
Folks like you that have continued praying for us has certainly helped our spirits and encouraged me to keep digging. Your prayers, God's amazing wisdom and knowledge has surfaced the improvement Steve is enjoying in only 1.5 months! Thanks so much!