My co-worker texted me around 10:30 a.m. and asked “How are you feeling today?”
“Pretty good, but I came in late. Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet,” I replied. “What’s it like in your office?”
“Awful. I came in today feeling fine. I had a headache by 9:30 a.m. Now my eyes are watering and itchy and I can’t think straight! I’ve got five meetings and I’m supposed to lead three of them. I can’t do this anymore.” She had prior health problems and any kind of mold, fumes, or dust could set off her allergies and asthma and whatever else was going on.
“Take care of yourself,” I replied. “It’s like we are playing a new version of the old 80s hit – Killing me softly with this air. Killing me softly, with this air, killing me softly with this air…..” (remember the song?).
“Yes, and we are so worn down we don’t have the energy to move on” came her now typical reply. I agreed. I was exhausted. Sleeping 10-11 hours a day didn’t seem to help. The only relief came on the weekends and I’d barely recover before re-entering the toxic hallways on Monday mornings.
Our building was sick. Many of us had gone through this before on our corporate campus. “Experts” came to run tests, we filled out individual health reports, and … nothing happened. We were called “complainers” and “canaries in the coal mine” by those that didn’t understand. Even though we were a group of highly paid/experienced/educated directors, managers, designers, and learning technologists, we felt isolated, unheard, and a bit helpless. And, here we were going through it again.
Somewhere along the way, my friend started researching the impacts of our environment and what we could do about it. She came across a movie called Moldy and the link quickly spread around the office. Wow! This was getting real – drastic health impacts from working or living in a toxic environment. Familiar ailments, similar reactions from people who couldn’t understand our predicament, and an incapacitating feeling that life as we knew it was changed forever.
It turns out that Dave Asprey, the creator of the Moldy movie, had been through a few health issues of his own and it spurred him to research solutions, create products, interview experts, and curate information for others. He founded the Bulletproof website and his biohacking podcast has attracted the best of the best. It’s become a favorite of mine over this past year. You mean there is a LipSeal tape you can wear to keep your mouth shut all night? You can eat charcoal? Why not try intermittent fasting? Seriously, I’m going to have to fight these toxins the rest of my life? And, who doesn’t need a few tips to get some energy for success?
A few months ago we moved out of the toxic building. After carrying backpacks with our laptops around campus everyday, or running conference calls from our cars, it was a relief to just sit down in a place with clean air for a day. All of us have noticed a profound difference in our health now that we have moved on. We have continued on our quest to learn more about health. We read. We listen. We share. We talk about Bulletproof episodes. We implement. We follow-up on progress. We can think again!
There are more layers to this health journey. It’s a great teacher. And, it is amazing how fast you realize how important it is to keep the brain and body functioning at it’s best to continue to bring your best you to the world. Thank goodness Dave Asprey turned his major health challenges into a gift for the rest of us. Check him (and all of his great contacts) out at http://www.bulletproof.com.
This is one of my first blogposts on my journey to recover. It’s taken me months to even re-gain the confidence to write anything that doesn’t have to do my work. It took so much energy to complete my work, I couldn’t accomplish much else. Though I do have a demanding day job, being incapacitated in other areas of life was something new. Grateful to have another chance to be back nudging and knowing I can act on a few nudges!