by Emma Marshall 9 months ago in health

The year my life flipped turned upside down

Feb 2019 just after being diagnosed / May 2019 post treatment / June 2019 post Kambo

In 2019, my life changed forever.

I found out I had been poisoned.

I was like any other 20-something growing up in London. My life was fast, filled with gigs, shows, dancing, work, friends, lovers, getting my nails done and travelling as much as possible. I was working in the music industry as a creative strategist for a major record label, project manager and creative director and producer. I had finally got to a stage in my career where I loved my job and I had worked so hard to get there. Life really seemed to be falling into place.

However, for roughly five years I had chronic underlying health issues, but no one could tell me what was wrong. I never let on to friends how bad things were. In my downtime I used to spend a lot of time sleeping, not getting out of bed, sitting in the bath for two hours too tired to even shave my legs and ordering salads off Deliveroo just to make sure I was eating when the exhaustion became too much. My housemates saw me go from some days being full of energy to other days barely making it out of bed. My family were aware of my struggles, but much like the GPs who had sent me away time and time again, they put it down to depression and health anxiety, which I refused to accept as a diagnosis given the fact I wasn't depressed.

In 2015 I had a nightmare health year. I had a catheter following a severe kidney infection, I then was tripped in the street and broke my arm, which then led to severe nerve pain so bad I couldn't move. I then had to have my appendix out following severe gut pain, to be told it wasn't appendicitis after all, but severe abdominal inflammation. And I never fully recovered from all of this. But why? Why was all this happening at the age of 25 when I was relatively active and healthy? No one could tell me, they weren't interested in finding out the root cause of this break down in my body.

I was exhausted to my core and had severe pain all over my body, my hair was falling out, I had acne, I couldn't eat some days my gut was so swollen, I had headaches, sinus pain, sore throats, ear aches, skin rashes, sometimes I was physically sick—yet not one blood test came back as abnormal. What on earth was going on? Was I making this all up?

The symptoms were all over the place and nothing was linear. I gave up relying on the western medical system and took things into my own hands. I had found a way to manage things naturally, with herbs and exercise and diet, but really, it was just a matter of time before it all came crashing down again, but severely this time. My body was a ticking time bomb.

When you're told time and time again that you're fine, you start to question yourself. You question whether you've brought this on yourself, whether you are in fact 'crazy' and you start to doubt the feelings and sensations going on, which of course are in fact the bodies way of telling you that something isn't right. So it goes on and on, longer than it should, until it can't continue any longer.

In 2018 I was diagnosed with PTSD. I literally started to loose my mind. I had symptoms such as severe memory loss, I couldn't remember my phone number, my pin number, sometimes I would forget where I was going after I'd walked out of my block. I would forget words of objects such as 'pen' or 'bottle.' I needed the toilet every 30 minutes. I started to get sicker and sicker. I was taking an Uber to and from work every day, just to make sure I went in to hold it down for six hours. I was a mess, yet test after test came back as normal. And I looked normal. As one doctor said to me, "But you look absolutely fine." I wasn't.

I started seeing an NLP therapist in September of 2018 once a week to go over the health anxiety, the past five years of failed operations and misdiagnosis and to really get to the crux of what was going on with me. After two months of work, he turned to me and said, "I believe that you're physically sick. I believe that trauma has a part to play here, but I believe you're physically sick." And he was right, I was.

I decided to move flat in December 2018 to be nearer work. Uber every day was costing a fortune and it wasn't sustainable. So I moved 20 minutes away instead thinking this was a good idea. It got to January of 2019 and after completely isolating myself from friends, family, everyone except my therapist and my work colleagues, I discovered information about mold poisoning and Lyme disease. I looked over the symptoms of these illnesses, which were extremely similar and finally it clicked. I had either one of these things or both. I finally found the box that I needed to fit into to get medical help, or so I thought.

I found a Functional Medicine Doctor and went to see him with this information. He agreed and tested me for the mold first. It came back as positive for three different types of poison in my system. Mold produces spores called Mycotoxins which are extremely harmful and even life threatening to humans and animals. I had Ochratoxin A in my system, which stems from black mold. I had lived in a house five years previously when these health issues started that had black mold. In the UK where I'm from there is a huge mold problem, mainly due to houses being old and living in a predominantly damp country. Black mold is rife. Yet there is NO education whatsoever about the damage and danger that mold can have on your health or the human body. Of course, I cleaned, but if you have a sensitivity to mold, then the spores are going to get inside your body regardless of whether you've cleaned or not. In fact, for someone with a sensitivity cleaning black mold is one of the worst things you can do. The NHS does not recognise Mycotoxicosis as an illness. It recognises Aspergillosis, but anything beyond that, you're told that it's made up, even with lab reports. I was on my own here. Mold and Lyme disease have very similar effects on the body and are therefore treated in a very similar way. They both come under the bracket of 'Biotoxin Illness.' I was tested for Lyme and it had come back negative. Given that Lyme disease was only just becoming 'mainstream' with information readily available, I knew that I was at the start of a very long physical and emotional battle.

We're now in February 2019 and I genuinely felt like I was dying. I had nothing left in me. I had left my flat with a bag and never went back due to the fact I had also discovered that the bathroom had mold. I had to quit my job on the spot due to being so unwell, with no idea what would happen next, how I would earn the money to pay for all this treatment.

A dear friend of mine took matters into her own hands after hearing what was going on and showed me what true love and friendship really is. She created a GoFundMe, and given that I was working in the music industry amongst artists and influential people, it got shared enough that it started to trend and we raised just under £11,000 in a week. I ran my own campaign through social media and started to blog about the whole thing, because I believed that people needed to know. Knowledge is power after all.

The press picked up on the story and ran it through the Press Association, which in turn brought me more attention which wasn't so positive. I got a lot of hate, people saying I was making it up, that I was disgusting, I should of just cleaned, that I clearly had enough money for plastic surgery so why did I need a go fund me (never had plastic surgery in my life) and what it showed me was that this was going to be a battle from the start. Not only does the Western medical system not believe you and in turn cannot help you, the general public doesn't. And then certain 'friends.'

People walked away immediately, not wanting to engage at all. A group of school friends ignored my message of diagnosis, only to arrange dinner plans underneath it two days later. I had industry friends, friends since birth and people I had spent a lot of time having fun with turn their backs, for reasons I'll never know.

At the same time, I suddenly had people messaging me from all over the world saying 'me too.' I couldn't believe it. I knew I wouldn't be the only one, but I was inundated with people saying that they were going through the same thing or had been through it. I finally felt a sense of community amongst the madness. I went to get a test done and there was a girl sat in the set next to me on an IV. She turned to me and said "You're that girl from Instagram! I messaged you the other day, I've got mold too!" I then went to a gong bath to get some peace and a girl came up to me and said "I really recognise you... were you poisoned by mold?" to which I replied, "Yes, thats me" and she said, "Oh my gosh me too! I can't believe I've actually bumped into you, I saw your story in the press only the other day and I'm going through the exact same thing!" Those chance meetings gave me so much hope and validation that I was doing the right thing in being so public with all of this, the universe was bringing me closer to those I needed to be close to, the rest were irrelevant.

We had raised enough money that I could fly to Mexico, where they treat biotoxin illness all the time using integrative western and more natural methodology. I got to the clinic and started to react so terribly to treatment, I was unable to walk at points and was having convulsions from the die off of pathogens, that they retested me for Lyme disease. It came back negative again, but what did come back as positive was a very severe case of bacterial pneumonia and a virus called the Parvovirus, alongside a completely depleted immune function. My CD57 was at 33, when a healthy person is anywhere 33+. I was really struggling to fight all of these pathogens in my body. I was kept in the clinic for 3.5 weeks in total and when I left I stayed on the West Coast for a considerable amount of time just trying to make sense of it all.

I stayed in LA for two weeks, where I was pretty much just stuck on the sofa watching Netflix and trying to figure out what to do next. I travelled to Joshua Tree, where I met an amazing healer called Leyah who taught me about sono acupuncture, using sound vibrations through tuning forks to generate healing frequencies into the body. We spent three days working on my legs trying to help my swollen knees. It started to dawn on me that I now had to rebuild my body from scratch, the damage that the poison, bacteria and virus had done needed to be addressed and only I could fix it.

I went back down to Mexico and after a very brief spell in an Airbnb that had mold—disaster—I flew to Cancun. I drove down to Tulum, a place I've been to many times and met a Shaman called Rodrigo. We drove down to Bacalar and spent five days in the jungle working with the Amazonian tree frog medicine called Kambo. Kambo is one of the most powerful natural medicines you can work with, boosting the immune system by 400%, cleansing the body on a cellular level, running through the lymph, limbic and endocrine systems to restore harmony in the body through purging. After an intense three days of fasting and purging, I felt like a brand new woman. The difference in my face was outstanding. Everyone could see I had a new energy running through my veins and I genuinely thought that it was the end of this ordeal. I was wrong.

I spent the next nine weeks recovering in Tulum, sleeping a lot, swimming, doing yoga, eating plants and going to the beach. I was living in a bubble of complete denial. I just wanted to be normal, whatever that was and would ignore the warning signs going on in my body telling me that things weren't right again. It got to a stage that I couldn't eat at all and was either fasting or just living off coconut water and juices. My stomach was totally swollen, I got the dark circles back under my eyes and my exhaustion started to creep back in. It was time to fly home.

I got home and put myself on a brand new protocol. Up until this point, I had been self treating. The UK in regards to functional medicine is so behind, the protocol I got from the original doctor I saw was pretty much what I was already doing by self treating and I had to pay £400 for it. I decided to just take matters into my own hands by this point after doing so much research, reading every published text, every article, every blog post, watching every video and getting the deepest understanding that I could on all of this so I could help myself and then in the future help others.

We're now in September 2019 and I started to seriously decline. I was getting suicidal, my symptoms were all back and worse than ever. I just knew I needed help from someone and that there was stuff going on that I didn't know about yet. I started working with a functional medicine practitioner based in Barcelona who healed herself from Lyme, Mold, EBV and more who is one of the most knowledgeable people I've ever come across. We did a hair, saliva and nail test to work out what exactly had been missed and the results were shocking.

I tested positive not only for the three different types of mold and mycotoxins still causing huge problems, but also for active Tuberculosis that wasn't in my lungs, it was elsewhere, much like the pneumonia bacteria, a tapeworm and another parasite, staph (which is a bacterial infection) and a chemical in my system called Styrene. I was toxic and poisoned once again.

What it comes down to is, my body is unable to get rid of pathogens, poisons or bacteria properly. They sit and manifest in my lymphatic system once they're inhaled or absorbed, but this won't show up on standard blood testing, because they just aren't testing for what is sitting in the lymphatic system, they're testing for whats active in your blood. This in turn creates such toxic overload in the body, your systems just stop working properly, which causes these random and non-linear symptoms that often just build up and up and get worse and worse, until a full blown disease is found such as cancer or Alzheimer's.

Illness really does take every single ounce of your soul, so when it's something that is relatively new or unheard of, you have to stay true to your truth and your mission and not worry or engage on those who question it, don't get it or try and have an opinion. Opinion is irrelevant, unsolicited advice is irrelevant and nothing else matters apart from the rebuild of your entire life. Not just the physical either, but your entire life, so that it doesn't become all consuming anymore, because it really does take everything from you. I lost my career, my home, my possessions, friends, relationships, identity, yet I gained so much more.

I feel very blessed to have found the answers to my problems and even thought this has been and continues to be brutal, it's been such an extreme and incredible journey back to health and to know exactly what is going on with my body, I can only be grateful that I now have the answers. I have the answers and the methods to help not only myself, but also others who are at a loss when it comes to their health and who keep being told that they're fine, when they're not.

Emma Marshall
Emma Marshall
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