In a world where logic and common sense are often far removed from our daily lives and most of us agree on little, there’s one thing we can all admit needs improvement: our health. Right or left politically, many of us will have slight or serious illnesses in our lives that can wipe us out emotionally, financially and physically at some time in our life. My husband, rocker Ted Nugent, and I were side-lined by a severe health crisis that destroyed our beloved home, once featured on MTV Cribs, and our lives. Turns out, our house was slowly killing us.
I have been teaching group fitness classes since 1980 and was once named “Detroit’s Most Physical Female.” I should have been the poster child for health and fitness, but instead, I was plagued almost daily with debilitating migraines and chronic fatigue. Ten minutes into the exercise classes I was instructing, it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t get enough air, and I was scared. I knew something was terribly wrong. Our son, Rocco, was sick with constant allergies, anemia, and severe asthma. My husband had symptoms similar to mine; headaches, fatigue and insomnia. Doctors told us we were just too busy — which was true — so we ignored the blatant message our bodies were sending and chalked it up to being overworked.
Although we never saw it, toxic mold had been growing between the walls of our home. The air circulating through the house became a slow killer. A toxicologist concluded that Ted and I had four types of mold in our blood and diagnosed me with pre-emphysema. He took out his little prescription pad and wrote these words: “Get out of the house!”
We did. We left our beloved home, a beautiful, five-thousand-square-foot house that stood majestically overlooking a lake with ducks and geese, a place where had so many memories. We left Ted’s guitar memorabilia, our son’s baby pictures and walked out with only the clothes on our backs - and then we got rid of those. Although there are thousands of mold species, there are several types of mold spores that can destroy your home and your health, like stachybotrys. If left to spread throughout the ventilation system in your home or office, it an cause devastating health problems.
If you recently moved into a new home or office and struggle with mild to severe cold or flu-like symptoms, investigate further. It doesn’t matter if you live in Antarctica or Florida, if you have a porous substance, lack of ventilation, and water infiltration, you will have deadly, toxic mold. If left untreated for more than seventy-two hours the problem can become irreversible and can even cause upper respiratory damage. While a majority of the public understands mold contamination is a real, life-threatening scenario, there are a few skeptics, which is why I’m telling my story.
Twelve years ago I was dying. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs if my life depended on it. Fortunately, the human body has an amazing ability to heal, and after a year of detoxifying our bodies with functional medicine like vitamin IV, infrared sauna and oxygen, the Nugent family is well. We still struggle with chemical sensitivities to things like artificially scented candles and cleaners, but actually that’s ok. The average American home is inundated with man-made toxins that cause headaches, fatigue, allergies and asthma. We stay as far away from those as possible.
Regardless of where you stand politically - left, right or somewhere in between - the best thing we can all do for ourselves, our families and our country is to take care of our health. It’s common sense to eliminate chemicals in your home and office, get regular exercise, avoid junk food, sodas and cigarettes, but do you?
Listen to your body. Those aches and pains could be something more serious, even deadly. Get back to the basics. Focus on real food - not processed, man-made ingredients that have been in a box or on a shelf for months or even years. It is my hope that this information has caused you to take a better look at your health and if there’s room for upgrade, well, that’s the next logical step.
Shemane Nugent is an author and International Zumba® Fitness Presenter & Instructor. Her latest book is “4 Minutes a Day, Rock ‘n Roll Your Way to HAPPY” at www.ShemaneNugent.Rocks.