Entry for July 24, 2007″When raw sewage invades your life”

The Fungal Ecology of the Activated Sludge Process.
1984 article by Douglas William Jacques
“Examination of wastewater secondary effluent and activated sludge reveal that bacteria and fungi may exist in a negative correlation. Activated sludge may support a resident population of microfungi. All fungi isolated from secondary effluent and activated sludge belongs to the form class Deuteromycetes. The density of geofungi in activated sludge may exceed that of bacterial chemolithotrophs and rival that of bacterial heterotrophs.”

I recently had an experience that made the effects of my exposure to the contaminated sight come flooding back to the forefront of my mind with a flurry. The indignities just keep coming.

My boss informed me that I would be going back out into the yard to work on the trucks. I would not be working in the office any more. His next comment was the one that shot me back to the beginning of my last 4+ years of hell. He said……., “We need women working in the office anyway.” I guess when he realized what he just blurted out, he tried to justify it by saying “you know what I mean”, and went on to say that his wife and the young girl I was training had “nice soft little voices”, and “cute little smiles” that calm the customers. While he was talking I was thinking. Thinking back to the beginning and what I looked like before this deadly exposure and racing through to today and what I look like now.

I have explained it before, but I will explain it again. Since being exposed to massive quantities of raw sewage contaminated marsh water I have battled a wide spectrum of health problems. Some are highly visible. One of the most profoundly visible being the sores that will not heal and continually reoccur leaving me with nasty scars. I now have to spend money on makeup to hide these sores and scars as they are quite noticeable. An expense not in the budget. I was also never one for wearing makeup. Some of the sores one doctor says look like a cross between staph infection and folliculitis, but are neither one. When I asked what they would then be, he said he didn’t know, and that is where the help with that one dead ended. Sometimes these sores follow unexplained profound swelling of the lymph on either side of my neck and sides of face. Sometimes these processes are accompanied by profound tooth pain on mass that could not be explained by dental examinations. No explanation, treatment, or solution to this at times debilitating pain has been established

During my residence at the exposure location my hair started to fall out in clumps, and to this day continues to fall out in waves. It seems to be part of a repeating cycle of symptoms that continue to reoccur, still all this time after leaving the known exposure sight. So what happens now is the hair that has fallen out is growing back. I now have short hairs sticking out all over the place if I braid my hair, which is what I do for work.

My eyesight continues to degrade at frightening speed. Another syndrome for which no cause is detectable by eye doctor, and no answers, help, or solutions here either. This is a big deal to me as I do artwork which I cannot see properly to do now. I also am trying to learn to play a guitar and of coarse now the strings are a blur. I even need glasses to read the keyboard, and I do a lot of reading in the coarse of my research. I had 20/20 vision when at the duplex where my exposure took place. I know as I had my eyes tested for work.

I also now have more grey hair than brunette hair and look tired out all the time. I can’t help that. I do everything possible to try to make myself look respectable and presentable. I look the way I do because of my exposure to raw sewage tainted marsh water which flooded my rental property, got into the furnace duct work, and into broken waterlines. I drank it, cooked with it, bathed in it, brushed my teeth with it, fed it to my beloved pets, and watered my precious plants with it. A grave indignity, especially when you consider there were people who knew and said nothing, and then there were those responsible for protecting my well being that chose instead to protect corporate interest by failing to assist me as was their job. To this day no one has ever been held to account for what transpired in my life at this deadly location. The loss of life was huge, and those of us left behind have been sentenced to suffer in every imaginable way, and no help has ever been offered me to put my life back together. This is an important point, as my story unfortunately in this aspect is not so unique. I did receive some help medically in the US. I want to properly acknowledge those involved in setting up and providing me with the help I did receive that has prevented my death. I am eternally grateful to those people. They know who they are.

If an apartment building or house burns down and the people had no insurance, the public rallies together and helps put those victims back on their feet. If someone is flooded out of their home the public rallies together to help put that someone back on their feet. If someone has a moving truck stolen with all their possessions in it, the public rallies together to help put that person back on their feet. These are scenarios that do not require a scientific mind to understand. They also in most cases involve only loss of property, and have minimal to no effect on health. In cases like mine, the help does not come. You are left in limbo. No hand reaches out to help you back up, and you are too sick to help yourself out of the abyss it throws you and your world into. I have heard it time and time again since this horrific journey began. I have heard so many cruel comments in this last few years. Here are some of them: “Oh my God, what the hell happened to you?”, ” Geeze, what happened to your face?! You need to do something about that. You need to soak your face with something.”, ” What ever happened to you? You used to be such a hard worker. What happened?” “Your nuts.”, ” How come you look like that? What are you on drugs or something? What’s wrong with you?”, ” You gotta be kidding! If there was raw sewage on your property you wouldn’t be allowed to live there.”, “You don’t have a medical problem, you have a mental problem. Raw sewage doesn’t make you sick. It’s just shit.” ” Mold doesn’t make you sick.” I could go on and on. All manner of negative responses have been what I received where had I have fallen victim to a simple fire, flood, or theft, I would more likely than not have been treated with sympathy and compassion.

The problem is a simple one. Ignorance. People for the most part know nothing about the effects of what has affected my life. They simply don’t know about the effects of raw sewage, toxin producing mould, toxic strains of algae, mutated microbial threats, to name a few, and the damage these things do to your health, your possessions, and everything in their path. I can’t be mad at the world for not knowing, but I can be angry at those who did know for allowing my world to literally be erased by something I could have been protected from by simply not allowing anyone to live there. That however would have hurt too many people’s bottom lines as one admission of unsafe conditions would have had the potential to open up a massive can of worms.

Myself, one dog who appears to have gone deaf and seems to be going blind, and one bird are all that is left. We have not had a home since we left this location. We have not had the comfort of
our own environment or any privacy. We have not had the use of our own possessions, so have been living without these comforts while battling incredibly painful and persistent processes. I work one part time job to pay one bill, and it is all I can manage in my present condition. My condition refuses to improve, and I need so badly to be able to “go home” and rest. I need to eat to accommodate healing. Unfortunately, home and adequate sustenance are unreachable for me still all this time later. It is impossible to heal when one cannot get comfortable or eat to heal. The things I need to try to heal are out of reach literally due to my health problems. I do not have any solutions to the carnage that took place over 4 years ago. What happens to me now? Do I continue to struggle and suffer until I get so sick that I die? Is that all there is? If people better understood what is happening to me, and the reality of what has already transpired, might things be different today? I am bearing my soul here as I feel that “what contamination exposure does to a person’s and/or plant/animal’s life” is an important part of the effort to understand and clearly define the seriousness of contamination in our world. If it can completely destroy the strongest of people and leave them desolate and completely helpless, as it has done to me, then how seriously should we be taking this subject? How important is it to spread the knowledge and expand on the number of people fully familiar with the potential adverse implications of such exposures? I am here to answer that question based on first hand knowledge. It is extremely important that more people become familiar with this and similar topics in their own best interest, as well as in the interest of life in general.

I have still not figured out how to explain to my grandsons why they never get to go to grandma’s house. They do not understand that I do not have a home. They only know they never get to go to see grandma where she lives. I have nowhere to bring them. I have nowhere to invite anyone, so I am isolated from the social life I had before this happened, and there I stay stuck. I miss cooking for company, and having company. I miss little things like having my own phone, being able to wear comfortable clothing around the house without an audience of people with whom I have no association. I miss listening to my music. I miss my favorite chair. I had an antique recliner and stool with moss green velvet upholstery which I just loved to relax in. My favorite colour too. I have actually dreamed about this chair. I miss my many reference books. I miss my style of living. I miss my life. I see it in my dog too, and even my bird. I had such a peaceful home. People would come to visit and fall asleep all the time in my home. I thought of it as a compliment of sorts. The atmosphere was just that calming. I miss that, and it is part of what I need to try to beat what is happening to me. But I cannot get my life back. It is beyond my reach. How and what I wonder would others do in my position. How many people can imagine what life would be like if this happened to them. Those familiar with who I am cannot believe I have made it this far. Several of my friends tell me they don’t know how I am managing to keep myself together. They can’t believe I have made it this far. They appear to feel helpless to know what to do to help me. The carnage is so overwhelmingly all consuming no one knows what to do, as anything they perhaps could do won’t even put a visible dent in the task at hand. Thus the feeling of helplessness. This kind of carnage is a costly undertaking to remedy.Many people reacted this way that knew me before, and one of those people doesn’t even talk to me any more. He would get too upset when he saw me and how bad I looked. He looked like he was going to start crying every time he looked at me. I don’t see him any more. Too bad. I miss him. He was a good friend.

This whole experience has touched my life in so many areas, and in a profoundly negative way. The only good I have been able to conjure out of it all is to tell my story in the hopes that it will somehow help some one that may happen across it. Sharing what I have learned to help others become self educated as I had to do. But see the whole picture. It is not only the contaminants and what harm they can do , but also the overall effect on the quality of life it can have. When you look at the whole picture and consider this could happen to you, I would hope it would scare a person into giving this topic the respect it deserves, and make people aware of the need to stop what is causing these kinds of contaminants as they are becoming alarmingly widespread in our living and farming environments. Because most people do not understand raw sewage related health threats in their full context, no one will understand what you are going through. Not the health threats, health effects, loss of unsalvagable personal property and/or assets, cost of assessment and/or remediation, medical expenses, difficulty getting medical explanations and/or help, the effect on any pets you have, the changes it causes in your day to day life. Everything suddenly changes, and from where I sit at this moment, it looks like you can never get your life back, and no one really knows what you are going through. It is a scary, lonely, ugly, desolate place that you end up stuck in. I know this is a blanket pattern, not just my own pattern as I have heard it from others going down the same road as me. Trapped. In a life I do not like, do not want, do not relate to, do not thrive in, cannot express the person I am through, and have nothing to look forward to. All due to a filthy mismanaged environment coupled with corporate interest being given priority over expendable lives such as mine and the animals, to say nothing of the blatant disregard for the state of the environment, all in the name of the almighty buck.