What I Did This Summer

What I Did This Summer
Natural Gas Poisoning is no joke! I experienced 27 days of this environmental assault just prior to the July 4th Holiday. It has taught me a great deal about my medicine and my resilience. The good news is that we didn't blow up and we will heal from the assault.

"How did this happen?", you may ask. Natural Gas has a smell that has been added to alert one to the danger. There is a thing called olfactory exhaustion. When presented with a smell for a period of time, one's sense of smell is altered and you no longer notice that scent. And, there were a few coincidental factors that also contributed to the disregard of that warning sign in our case.

The weekend prior to the Independence Holiday, I developed a slight cough. No sore throat. But I did have a sense of malaise and awoke with a slight fever that Sunday morning. I decided to take the remaining days of that Holiday week off to recoup fully. That Monday, we had the second plumber give us a bid on a gas tankless hot water heater. They had been recommended, their bid was the best, and they could install the appliance the next day. So we contracted with them. Tuesday arrived, I no longer had a fever, but I did still feel low energy. So I patted myself on the back for having taken the time off my busy clinic schedule. The plumber arrived sans his apprentice. He explained that the apprentice's father had passed since last we spoke and was taking the necessary time to grieve. Having somewhat recently experienced my own Father's passing, I understood the need to grieve with loved one's free of responsibility. It is a hard hit to the spirit for sure. So the lone late/middle aged plumber began the task of installing our new energy saving appliance on the first really hot day of this Summer. He had to go up and down our basement stairs numerous times with heavy equipment. My husband helped where he could. But it seemed exhausting work. At the end of the day, he said he would be back the next day to finish up. I smelled gas after the install. But I assumed, since he had been working on gas lines that there might be some residual smell. I thought nothing of it. The next day he arrived with the bill and said that he would be picking up the now defunct hot water heater that the new appliance was replacing the Monday after the Holiday.

Apparently, I am the canary in the coal mine. My bedroom is situated above the basement installation. So each night especially, I was getting poisoned by natural gas that was leaking from the new installation. Since I had presented with a slight cough prior to the installation, I figured that the virus was progressing. I developed an intense sore throat and a severe cough that worsened at night. And the malaise worsened. When I would go down to the basement to do laundry, I briefly might smell a whiff of natural gas and then would not smell it. So I chalked it up to my imagination. My husband wasn't suffering anything more than a dry sore throat at night. But we thought he was succumbing to what I thought was a bad virus. In spite of this, he graciously insulated insulation in the basement, which we had been meaning to do for the past 21 years that we lived here. Once the area above the installation was sealed there was no question. We had a gas leak!

The gas company was immediately called. They discovered that a nut on the main gas line into the unit had not been tightened, at all. So since the installation, 27 days prior, we had been experiencing a slow leak. They fixed the issue. I was never so glad to know that it was a gas leak and not my immune system malfunctioning. In fact, it had been functioning quite well to try and alert me to the toxin while attempting to expel the offending agent.

Yes! we let the plumber know of the findings of the gas company. They had the city come out and inspect the unit to help us feel assured that all else with the appliance was as it should be.

I am now continuing with meridian therapy acupuncture as treatment in my recovery. My teacher and his apprentice have helped me continue to heal. Each night I use my Reiki skills to further the healing process. My Healing Energy Blanket comforts me while I sleep and it probably helped fortify me while the natural gas assault was happening. Since I sleep with it on my bed each night. And the new addition to our retail offerings (the Visual Reiki Healing Energy Throat Chakra T-Shirt) gets worn often through the week, especially on clinic days. I love how it feels. My clinic work seems more effective when I wear it. And I know that the throat chakra Sanskrit symbol's energy vibration facilitates my throat's healing. Each day my voice improves. My throat no longer feels like it is burning embers. And my energy level has returned to almost normal.

So what have I learned. If you smell gas, call the company and have it checked out. Better to experience embarrassment than to suffer environmental poisoning. Meridian Therapy Acupuncture works. Reiki works. Our retail offerings work. For them all I am grateful. And to my patients who have supported me during this challenging time, a big heart felt thank you! To all of you who look for our Facebook posts, sorry to disappoint. I let that go while I was healing. Please continue to tune in from time to time to see what we are up to.

Mary S. Wallis, L.Ac., NCCAOM Acupuncture Diplomate, L.M.T., C.N.M.T.
Energy Medicine Practitioner in the Japanese styles of Kototama/Inochi Medicine and Usui Reiki
President Improved Performance Inc.
895 rue St. Francois
Florissant, MO 63031