Home renovations a small ordeal, all things considered
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 8, 2017 2:29 AM
Mary Lindsey Edwards, diagnosed with Lyme disease and mold toxicity, returned to Goldsboro before the holidays after 25 weeks of treatment at a facility in Florida.
Mary Lindsey Edwards, after a 25-week stint in a Florida rehab facility being treated for mold toxicity, is home.
But not in her house.
That is being completely overhauled -- knocking out walls, painting, even getting rid of furniture to accommodate the 18-year-old's health.
A "mold inspector" actually came to the Edwards' Goldsboro home several months ago, telling the family there was no mold there. They soon found out otherwise.
"We had a lot of mold in the house and underneath," she said, her parents hiring someone from out of state recommended by her physician. "We had to get everything situated and painted. They're close to being done with that.
"Then we'll have to air out the house because I can't be around the fumes because of toxins. We're getting a water filtration system put in the house."
She is currently staying in a relative's rental house, regaining her strength.
"I'm feeling good," she said earlier this week. "I have up and down days, days where I just feel so exhausted and stuff and some days I have so much energy.
"I'm just trying to find that balance and making sure I don't overdo it because when I'm feeling good I want to go do things."
She was diagnosed with Lyme disease and mold toxicity, along with other co-infections that had sent her to more than 30 physicians before being treated at Sponaugle Wellness Institute.
When she was admitted Memorial Day weekend, she had no idea how long she would be there, or how she would fare.
"They said like around 12 weeks but everyone's different," she said. "We thought, three months and I'll be done. But it ended up being 25 weeks."
The process was slow, but proved effective. The insidious ailment had such a grip on her body that it took awhile to see the needed results.
It has been quite a learning experience, she says now.
"I have this gene that makes me, if I'm exposed to mold or Lyme, that my body can't fight it," she said. "When I got sick, all the infection was in my brain, which made me not be able to walk, made my balance off, made my speech slurred and not being able to talk.
"Once I got the infection out of my brain, my brain is still raw and sore. Because of that if I go into a toxic environment, those toxins are going to go straight to my brain and it'll make me sick. My brain's not ready for all that. It's still healing so it's going to take awhile."
Because of that gene, she can't just walk into a "regular building," she says. That includes homes, restaurants, and any places that might have mold, like those recently affected by flooding.
"I'm so sensitive that when I go into a building (affected by mold) I'll have a headache or nausea," she said.
She was released from the Florida facility before the holidays.
"By the middle of August, I started feeling like I was getting better," she said. "I was starting to walk and stuff. I had a few setbacks but I knew I was on the upward path.
"In October we knew I was getting close but I still wasn't ready. I wasn't going to leave before they said, OK, you're ready. Some people leave too early and it's not good."
She continues to be monitored and takes detoxing supplements, and sometimes must wear a mask when she ventures out.
Other changes have had to be made, she says.
"I have had to switch to all natural everything. I finally got some natural makeup for Christmas, and I have to do soaps, shampoo, everything natural," she said. "And when I eat my fruits and vegetables, I have to clean them because they can carry pesticides and parasites."
The thing she missed most while away was her family, she said.
The daughter of Michael and Kelli Edwards, she was fortunate to have her retired grandparents, Wayne and Mary Sullivan, caring for her during treatment in Florida.
She also expressed appreciation to her community, for its support and prayers during her ordeal.
One of the blessings was a benefit concert featuring several local performers, including her older sister, opera singer Madeline Edwards and former American Idol contestant Majesty Rose. Various efforts raised an estimated $4,300, minus $500 won by Glenn Phillips Sr. in a raffle drawing, said Doyle Whitfield, one of the organizers.
"I got to see it live and then someone recorded it," Miss Edwards said of the concert. "I wish I could've been there. It really meant a lot."
An active dancer since age three, she hopes to resume the activity one day.
"I'm trying to get back into exercise. I walk every day, do yoga," she said. "I'm just trying to get my stamina up so one day I can dance and do things like that.
"It's been really good like having those moments where I feel like my old self and stuff."