The Nose Knows

Kellie McRae avatar

by Kellie McRae |

Share this article:

Share article via email
mold, nose knows

I would wake up sneezing as if I had allergies. I’ve not had this happen very often, so I figured I’d brought something new home that I was having a reaction to. I had no idea that what my body was responding to was behind my walls.

I’d been having some really good “feel-good” days, and then all of a sudden, I started having what I call “rock ‘n’ roll nights” again. This is when there is so much pain that all you can do is “rock ‘n’ roll.” I again chalked it up to lupus visiting my body. It was as if lupus was saying, “You’ve had enough good days, now let the torture begin.”

At first, I could not walk and talk at the same time. It seemed that I was heading back that same direction and I was becoming angry and afraid. I felt that I’d finally started to learn how to work with my lupus and it was once again turning on me.

Often when things happen to us, we start by blaming ourselves. So, when I started smelling a faint hint of stink, I thought I needed to clean my trash cans. As I used what energy I could to clean, I started to notice that my clothes were damp, and the more I moved stuff, the more I started to see mold. Just to show you how we blame ourselves, I had told the landlord that the windows were not sealed properly on two other occasions, and it is the rainy season here. I was in denial that mold could be the culprit until I decided to move.

The first night that I slept in my new apartment, I kept all the windows open, and the next morning, I was breathing quite a bit easier. Over the last four to six weeks, I would attempt to go for a short walk and I would huff, puff, and have to sit down frequently. The day after sleeping in my new apartment, I was able to take a leisurely stroll with no huffing, and sitting happened after longer periods.

When I was healthy, I know that mold would have an effect, but I honestly think that because of having lupus and because my lungs already have been inflamed I am that much more sensitive to the effects of the environment around me.

When my lungs were inflamed before, it was what is considered the burning season here in my city. Many people leave and go to Bali, but I went to the hospital. Lesson learned: I’m going to Bali next year. I think that sounds like a lot more fun than a week-long stay in the hospital with swollen lungs.

I often say that we should listen to our bodies, and this was an example of me not doing that. It cost me in comfort and could have landed me right back in the hospital. Now, I am on the lookout for when my body tells me something isn’t right. I hope I will be better about searching for a reason and not just dismissing it. It seems that lupus is also an early detector of trouble. I just wish it would tap me on the shoulder instead of coming with severe pain and trouble breathing. However, it did get my attention, and now I live in a new place with a great view.


Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.