I am writing in name of my husband who is in desperate need of advice and information concerning what we think might be affecting his immune system. He has been struggling with several symptoms for a few months now and it's driving him crazy. Let me start by quickly summarizing his symptoms, after that I would like to tell you the story of how we think it all started. This might be helpful to others of you who have experienced or are currently experiencing same symptoms. After I completed telling you about our story, I would like to write about what we have tried to fix it and our research. The fact that I as his wife am writing this
already shows his lack of focus and concentration, the lack of feeling connected to his surroundings and so on. These feelings have never stopped until they started in March of this year. His symptoms are not episodic.
He constantly tells me how confused and dazed he feels. He can't concentrate on anything. Unless he quickly moves his eyes, he can't stay focused and it becomes very hard for him to keep looking at one particular object. If he does look at something for more than 4 seconds, he zones out and everything becomes a blur. They tend to move a lot and they look away very quickly. We have been to an ophthalmologist but she couldn't see anything wrong with his eyes. He has 20/15 vision. He can see perfectly fine.
Occasionally he has some eye pain and he experiences pressure on the back of the eyes and eye strain. Even a tiny glare of light is painful. When he puts on sun glasses, his eyes feel a little bit better and he tolerates lights better.
I hope you are all ready for our story now.
It started in March when, because of hygiene reasons, we got rid of our carpet in the living room and changed it to laminate flooring. We had done little to no research on what floors are healthy in terms of glues, types of wood, chemicals used during the production etc. We didn't really bother to research it because 'anything is better than carpet', or so we thought. We found a very cheap laminate flooring and we thought we were getting a good deal. One day after we got back into our car we noticed a very strong wood smell coming from the trunk, where we loaded the laminate the day before. We got rid of it
quickly by driving with the windows open. However, this made us feel worried, especially because of our five month old baby. We took a closer look at the boxes the laminate was packed in and soon we found out about Carb Phase 2. This is a regulation that restricts the parts per million of formaldehyde in plywood and particle board, the material laminate is made of. Contrary to what we know now, this made us feel confident. We thought that the amount of formaldehyde was reduced tremendously. It probably was, but we did not expect that this laminate would be the suspect of what is causing these terrible feelings in my husband.
My husband was in the living room the whole time as they were ripping up the carpet, cutting the laminate flooring and putting the laminate flooring down. They were sawing the laminate on our patio, which is right next to our living room, with our windows open. All the wood dust blew into our home... By now I have mentioned three factors that possibly contribute to my husband's symptoms: formaldehyde, the release of dust and mold from ripping up our carpet, and tiny particles of wood dust. He thinks either the gas, the mold or the dust was inhaled or entered his body through his eyes. A good thing to mention is that we let the laminate off gas on our patio for two weeks. After noticing the harsh chemical smell, we placed all the planks on our patio. They were in cold weather and hot weather, which supposedly make the formaldehyde release quicker. Even after this, my husband still noticed the smell when the flooring was put in. The passage ways of his nose, deep in his nostrils, felt inflamed. Also, his lip was numb. This went away fairly quickly. But ever since that very moment, he has felt fatigued and confused. He told me he could not stand the laminate, so we got rid of it... He felt the presence of it, so he said.
We moved on to something else. We made tons of phone calls and looked up so much on formaldehyde levels and different type of woods. We called flooring companies and talked to representatives about their formaldehyde emissions. Most of them didn't even know what we were talking about and were not very helpful. We found there was a bamboo floor with even lower formaldehyde emissions. The company was labeled as one that sells their flooring to kindergarten schools. On top of that we learnt bamboo is overall considered healthier. We even changed the underlayment that was there from our carpet. We bought expensive cork underlayment instead. This time though we didn't let the bamboo off gas because we didn't really notice a bad smell. Besides that, bamboo flooring was the only flooring we could afford after just wasting it on laminate. We sticked to the bamboo only for a little while. I only smelled the bamboo for one day and even then I really had to try to smell anything at all. He noticed a fume, and believed the formaldehyde was off gassing in the house. We thought of trying a floor sealer at one point, to cover the floor and keep the formaldehyde in its place so to speak, but we let that one slide.
Believe it or not, after one month with the bamboo, we were getting our carpet back. We had to look for the exact type of carpet in the exact color of the exact brand. This time my husband tried to stay away as much as possible when they were putting in the carpet. We've went from carpet, to laminate, to bamboo and then back to carpet. Carpet was fine all along, we just changed it because we like a hard surface better and we didn't like the idea of our baby crawling on carpet...
When we moved into this apartment, about a year ago, the land lady gave us brand new carpet. A day after the carpet was put in, we walked into our apartment and my husband never complained. We even had chinese take out on it, so it was fine. This is why I think we can eliminate the chemicals or possible mold from ripping up the carpet. He was fine one day after our land lady put in new carpet, so how would he suddenly be affected a few months later when we changed it ourselves?
When we changed it back to carpet, my husband did feel better. He didn't feel this presence anymore and the smells were gone. But it seems like something is still lingering in his system. I listed his symptoms in the first paragraph, but I will repeat them here just for convenience.
* feels dazed
* lack of focus and concentration
* zoning out
* occasional eye strain
* any sort of light is painful
We have tried many different things to try to make it better for him. We have tried raw multivitamins that were supposed to help with brain and eye health, different kinds of eye drops, eye baths, chlorella pills,... Honestly, I lost track of what he has tried. Currently I am reading about antifungals and The Marshall Protocol Knowledge Base, a research foundation that explains how pathogens can slow down your immune system. Another thing I would like him to try is organic extra virgin coconut oil. Apparently it can help with detoxing the body. We also want to try decaffeinated green tea with cayenne pepper. I wish we could also try infra red sauna, but unfortunately we can't afford the amount of sessions he would need to make a difference.
Anyone, if anything of what I have posted sounds familiar, please feel free to comment this post. I really want to help my husband but whenever I look up information I come across so many posts of people with similar experiences and hardly anyone finds a solution...
The following user gives a hug of support to SophieB: McNeil (07-29-2013)
Re: Lack of focus, light sensitivity, zoning out...
Hi. I'm sorry your husband (and you) are struggling. Has he seen any doctor other than the opthalmologist? I'd start with a GP for a full workup because I think "sudden photophobia" is possible in quite a few non-eye conditions. For example: endocrine disorders like Grave's disease, certain vitamin deficiencies, certain viruses, brain conditions (small bleeds, clots), reactions to certain drugs, etc. In other words, let the doctors consider EVERYTHING... Wishing you both good luck, sincerely, Vee