The move, part two

This is the second in a series about my move to Barrhaven.

Barrhaven. My place is the last one. I share a stoop with the person who lives in the middle unit.

I was unexpectedly blessed with an amazing (slow and steady) energy and a sub-conscious clarity for the first 4 days after moving into Barrhaven that allowed me to unpack the boxes and shelves for my kitchen and get it functional almost right away!!! The kitchen is the most important space for me now, as preparing healthy food is the one thing I have the most control over and nourishing food is so important for my health. When I was barely alive, that was my priority every day, to make and eat one good meal. That and feeding my cats and cleaning their litter-box. If nothing else got done, so be it. I needed healthy, nutritious food to keep my body from completely giving up the ghost. So getting the kitchen set up here asap so I could cook was a priority, as then I’d be able to keep myself from spiraling downhill again if I collapsed for any reason.

Kitchen before: the window looking in from hallway, looks out to a green space with a few trees, the railroad tracks are beyond.

Kitchen after: not quite finished, but getting there. I really want kitchen cabinets, open concept is too busy

I think I mostly did collapse after that, for a week or four, but I also had to air out bags of textiles, curtains and clothes that I’d kept in hopes they might someday be made safe again, as some got musty in storage. I also had to detox some curtains in the bathtub for the living room window to give me some privacy. I was lucky that one set of sheers I had took comparatively little work, as the others were making me really sick, bent over the tub breathing in the fumes as I washed them. There’s no window or extraction fan in the washroom, and no laundry tub in the laundry room, so I had to give up on trying to detox more curtains for the other windows, or other clothes for myself. The bags are now all in the walk-in closet that Christian came over and helped me cover with sheets of mylar. There was something in the walls in that space that was making me sick when I opened the door, so we used 2 sided painters tape and foil tape to affix the mylar to the walls and maybe even the ceiling (I don’t remember!). Now I get sick from the old previously safe soap residues on my things when I open the door, but I can’t do anything about them until I am able to get a washer and dryer.

Michel has made more than one trip to IKEA and Home Depot for me, picking up a few things I needed. The shower curtain and toilet brush from IKEA are still outside, not safe to bring in. And the lamp has a questionable part, I’m not sure if I will be able to use it. The toxic perils of modern products… sigh…
Surprisingly, though, I am almost all unpacked now! I really wanted to get the packing boxes out of my space as quickly as possible because they were so nasty. So nasty in fact, that my immediate neighbor complained when I’d put the empties outside. They made her sick too! I think it’s the glue and type of paper they used. So, whenever I’ve had the energy, I focused on unpacking things to get those boxes out of here.

I was finally able to tackle the “office” 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately my books and files were packed in those boxes for over 5 years, and now have taken on the essence of the boxes. I don’t know yet if I’ll have to get rid of them or be able to salvage some. That’s a project for another time. They are all in the 2nd bedroom, and someday I’ll don my mask and eye glasses and look through them to see what’s there. I now remember and miss being able to snuggle into a comfortable chair with a good book… I hope one day I’ll be well enough to be able to do that again.

To be continued…

Part one

4 responses to “The move, part two

  1. Hi Linda,

    I, too, am chemically sensitive. I recently found your blog and have been reading it. Your story is fascinating and your activism to make others aware is very admirable. Other than moving, I’ve not read any posts on medical treatments or other things you might have done to reduce the chemical load in your body, detoxification processes or other healing? I see in one post you mention supplements you are/were taking and another post with a minor mention on toxicity of supplements, but no detail on what supplements, why you are taking them and if they’ve helped. I’ve had nothing but problems with supplements and find them more of a hindrance which is why I ask. You mentioned making gluten-free bread? Are you on any special diets? You might think this is too personal to post, but I’m always interested in what others have done as it not only lets me know what doesn’t work, but gives me ideas on what might work.

    You also have a lot of personal belongings and this affects air space. I notice you mentioned you were buying IKEA supplies. IKEA stuff is toxic. It doesn’t matter how long you leave it outside to offgas, even if you stop smelling or reacting to it, it’s still offgassing. It was interesting you did mention the mold exposure to your belongings and if you might need to get rid of them. I know most chemically-sensitive accommodations restrict personal belongings although it doesn’t sound like your new home does. I know it’s difficult to get rid of personal belongings, but sometimes we need to make sacrifices to be safe and well. Besides mold, you also mention having paintings. What have you done to seal the paintings so they don’t offgas? Did you get a new bed? I’d love to hear what steps you’ve taken to make your environment toxic free which would help reduce your chemical load.

    I have a blog I just started. I’m always interested in what others have done to help themselves as I want to pass ideas on to others. If I missed a post of yours that details this information, feel free to direct me to it.

    I’d love to read more posts on ways you have helped yourself.

    • Hello Survivor,
      You asked a lot of questions, and they’re making my head spin!
      It’s going to take me a few days to answer them after I break them up into more manageable segments.
      I may have to write a book to answer them all.
      In the meantime, can I recommend learning how to meditate and calm your mind a bit?
      That is something that has been very helpful for me over the years.

  2. LOL That’s funny. I tend to be inquisitive and I enjoy writing, but that shouldn’t be interpreted as a need for calm. I think an inquisitive, thinking mind is important. If my questions are too much to think about, don’t worry about answering. I don’t want to make your head spin or stress you. They were rhetorical anyway. I don’t need the answers, but maybe you should think about them.

  3. Nothing wrong with being inquisitive! It’s a good thing to question everything as far as cause and effect is concerned.

    Your questions aren’t new to me, but my ability to write out the answers (or find where I’ve already written them) is impaired due to the toxic brain injury I’m recovering from. It takes me much longer to do anything than for regular people, and some parts of my brain do not function normally and get overwhelmed easily. It can take me days if not weeks to process/take apart something that has too many separate bits to it, like your questions…

    Anyway, I answered something you asked in my recent post about HRV’s.

    I have to agree with you about ikea stuff being too toxic now. Only one thing was usable, a metal clothes rack, and I had to cover the plastic connectors with foil and foil tape and throw out the wheels.

    I don’t agree with your statement “It doesn’t matter how long you leave it outside to offgas, even if you stop smelling or reacting to it, it’s still offgassing.” Some things DO stop offgassing. Some things don’t, but some things do.

    And no, I don’t have a bed yet.

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