That Time I Moved to Bristol and Everything Fell Apart


Colourful Bristol on a sunny day

Eighteen months ago, I decided to leave my beloved Lisbon home. 

I adored Portugal. After five years of full-time travel, I had been searching for the perfect place to base myself between adventures, and I couldn’t have chosen better. As I transitioned from nomad to an entirely different identity, Portugal provided a safe and welcoming environment in which to figure it all out. Lisbon was an incredible place to live. 

So why did I leave?

Looking back now, I worry my decision was based around greed, but back then, I’d hoped I could build a better life elsewhere. Because despite loving so much about Lisbon, there were downsides to life in Portugal, too. I wanted to be closer to family, for the most part.

My life was great but I was convinced it could be even more wonderful. 

So, I moved to Bristol. Back to the U.K. in search of what I hoped would be a significant life upgrade. 

Instead, I found myself battling through the worst year of my life. 

Colourful Bristol on a sunny day

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a personal update online. 

Half a year, in fact. The last time I published a monthly summary was way back in February

Sadly, I haven’t been in a position where I’ve had anything positive to write about. I really, really, really didn’t want to be that person who shared nothing but bad news and depressing updates. 

So I shared nothing at all. 

Over the past year, I’ve been dropping hints about some health problems I’ve been dealing with, but not going into much detail beyond that. Nobody likes to read about somebody else’s woes — and honestly, I was feeling disheartened by being called a whining-blogger-who-can’t-stop-complaining in the comments whenever I dared to write something negative on the site — so I kept it all wrapped up inside. 

And that, my friends, is why I’ve written 12 blog posts in eight months. 

Girl in a hospital gown
Off to the hospital! This visit was for a chest x-ray to see if I had a pulmonary embolism after I spontaneously developed chest pains and breathlessness. Turned out: nope! I was just being poisoned by my apartment.

I’ll attempt to keep this as brief as possible, because I could write 50,000 words on the insanity of my life over the past year, but tl;dr: I have a strong suspicion that my apartment in Bristol has been making me unwell. 

Seriously unwell. 

Within weeks of moving to the city, I developed a cluster of strange digestive problems.

I ignored them at first.

I mean, I’d just returned from a trip to Borneo where I suspected I’d contracted cholera, and I’d been struck down for weeks by the aftereffects. My doctor ordered a handful of tests and when they came back negative, we figured I had some kind of post-infectious IBS that’d hopefully improve over time.

I spent that summer inside, for the most part, trying extreme elimination diets and esoteric remedies, jumping on water fasts and taking all manner of supplements. I had just moved to Bristol — a city I loved and wanted to get to know — but my stomach cramps were so painful, I struggled to work up the strength to go outside. I wanted to meet people and make friends, but I was so debilitated by the pain I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hold a conversation with a stranger.

Most of my time was spent in bed. 

You may remember that last September, I stepped on a plane to Greece and found myself miraculously healed. At the time, I gleefully announced it was the Stansted Airport Travelodge that had healed my gut, but I believe I know better now. 

Girl sailing in the Ionian
I felt SO happy and healthy in Greece!

Because when I returned to Bristol a month later, my symptoms all returned. 

Not only was I back to dealing with never-ending stomach cramps, but I also developed what I thought was a sinus infection. A constant ache in my forehead coupled with such extreme pressure that I felt like my face might explode. You know that sensation when you’re on a flight during the descent and the g-forces make you feel like your face is all pressurised? Imagine constantly having that feeling but popping your ears giving no relief. 

Weirdly, I had no real symptoms of a sinus infection.

There was no congestion, no mucus, no swollen glands, no fever. Just a relentless sensation that my pressurised face was about to burst open. 

Doctors were baffled. My symptoms refused to respond to countless courses of strong antibiotics. I tried four different types of steroid. Numerous antihistamines and decongestants and anti-inflammatories and neti pots and bucketfuls of CBD. 

I convinced myself it was due to stress. I’d been so relaxed while in Greece that I decided it was the pressure of work that was making me sick. I deleted my Instagram account. Deactivated Twitter and Facebook. Meditated for an hour a day. Took up yoga. Went to the gym every day. Stopped writing blog posts. 

My symptoms only worsened. 

Street art in Bristol

Towards the end of last year, I spent several weeks at my parents’ place.

I was going to be travelling to India in January and in preparation for the trip, had ordered a bundle of peppermint capsules to be delivered to their house. The last thing I needed was to catch dysentery in India, so I’d researched ways to stay healthy in the country. Travellers had raved about these capsules, so I ordered a hundred, tried them out, and was shocked when my stomach cramps disappeared. 

My sinus pressure dissipated, too.

I couldn’t believe it: peppermint was a miracle drug and had healed me. EsSeNtIaL OiLs ReAlLy WoRk, YoU gUyS!!!

I returned to Bristol and weirdly, the capsules stopped working. 

My sinus pressure returned, too. 

Weird. 

Castle Park Bristol

I returned to my doctor and he prescribed a month-long course of antibiotics to see if they would do the trick. I’d already taken antibiotics and felt no improvement, but he insisted I try clarithromycin for a month. He told me I could be referred to a specialist if I took them. 

It was frustrating because both my doctor and I knew this wasn’t an infection. What kind of infection disappears whenever you head to a new city? And yet, he told me a specialist would refuse to see me until I’d taken them. 

Plus: there was this small part of me that was desperate for them to work. I had been so sick for so long — nine months at this point — that I just wanted to be well again. 

I wish I hadn’t taken them.

You see, taking them was like having a heart attack. 

Within a few hours of swallowing the first pill, I experienced a sudden stabbing pain in my chest, upper back, and left arm. My left wrist went numb. I felt like I couldn’t breathe properly. 

I called my doctor and he told me to only stop taking the antibiotics if the symptoms got worse. And while they didn’t worsen, they didn’t improve, and so I continued to take them. 

Surely I’d know if it was a heart attack? I reasoned with myself. But there are so many articles out there about how women’s heart attacks feel different. About how some women have heart attacks and just get on with their day and power through it. How you should never ignore the exact same symptoms that I was currently dealing with. 

Even worse: whenever I tried to find out if this was a common side effect of clarithromycin, I’d find hundreds of articles about how taking it increases your risk of having a heart attack. 

I ignored the symptoms and finished the course, but the pain didn’t go away. And, of course, my sinus pressure and stomach remained. I felt like my body was falling apart. 

Every day, I had chest pains and a sensation that I wasn’t getting enough oxygen into my lungs. I’d just sit at home gasping at air because it felt like I was being suffocated. I bought those dorky nasal strips that open your nostrils to help me breathe better.

My doctor was concerned I had a pulmonary embolism, and sent me for tests and scans and X-rays that all came back clear. 

It was a relief to find out I was okay.

Except, I really wasn’t okay. 

Park in Bristol

I haven’t even mentioned the depression yet. 

I’ve always considered myself fortunate to have never experienced depression, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that’s what I was dealing with. I didn’t feel particularly sad. I wasn’t crying everyday. I didn’t feel in any way suicidal. 

I just didn’t. care. about. anything. 

All of my friends who have dealt with depression have been suicidal. I didn’t want to die. I’ve just spent much of the past year lying in bed for weeks on end, staring at the walls or watching Youtube for 15 hours a day.

What was the point in doing anything else? I was going to die eventually so why would I bother going out and having fun and making myself happy? It was all so meaningless in the end. Nothing mattered. Who even cared? I didn’t see the point in caring about anything when life was just a waste of time and then it was over.

I saw people sharing messages on Twitter about how you should always check on your friends! Make sure your friends are okay! but nobody ever checked on me — nobody had reached out to me in months, probably even a year — so I continued to lie in bed.

With the exception of my family and Dave, I had nobody, and I was too sick to do anything about it. 

At one point, I told Dave that I didn’t think I was depressed, I just hated everything about myself.

Bristol waterfront street food market

This wasn’t me. 

I knew this wasn’t me.

I knew this wasn’t the person who people loved to be around. The person who always had a smile on their face. The person who turned every downside into a laughable moment. The person who was in love with exploring the world; who couldn’t stop trying to learn everything about everything; who was filled with joy at the thought of achieving the life she once dreamed of having. 

But how could I get back to being that person when I was so, so broken? 

When clueless doctors would shrug and fend me off with nothing but further courses of antibiotics and steroids? 

When I had no friends to help me realise I wasn’t worthless?

When I was in a vicious circle where I felt too unwell to leave my house but it was my house that was making me unwell in the first place?

When I realised my house was making me unwell, I began to take ridiculous drastic measures

Because finally, I figured out the connection. 

For months I’d known there was a link between Bristol and my health, but it felt too absurd to be real. It felt ridiculous to be even consider that I was allergic to a city. I’d travelled to hundreds of places over my five years of travel and never once been allergic to a city; never had this reaction before. 

I wasn’t allergic to Bristol, it turned out. I was reacting to something in my apartment

When I left Bristol, I felt better — I already knew that. But I also tended to experience fewer symptoms during summer than winter. During warmer months, when I would have every window and door in my apartment open? I would feel slightly better. In winter, when I’d shut myself up away from the cold? That’s when I’d find myself dealing with mounting health issues. 

I didn’t know what to do next.

I was part-way through a year-long lease, so moving out wasn’t an option.

I thought about trying to convince my landlord to arrange a house inspection for mould, but there weren’t any signs of it. I had no evidence. Dave was healthy in the apartment and I just had a dozen unexplainable symptoms. I’d read that black mould can grow behind the walls of apartments, but I couldn’t see how I could get the landlord to smash through his walls on the basis of my suspicions. 

And I definitely had suspicions. Our landlord had always seemed oddly paranoid about us always leaving the fan on in the bathroom and making sure we switched off the water before we left town, which made me believe the apartment had suffered water damage at some point. 

Our house was ridiculously insulated, too. We didn’t need to switch the heating on for more than three hours total over the winter months in Bristol — it was so warm in our place that we clearly weren’t getting much outside air into our rooms, if at all. And the problem was, we lived on a very busy road, so keeping the windows open overnight wasn’t possible. I didn’t know how to ventilate our apartment better. Instead, I bought 18 houseplants in a fit of desperation. 

So, was it mould?

Or was it something else? A chemical in the paint? Something in the carpet? A dust mite allergy? Some kind of toxin? Was it my furniture? My mattress? I wondered if I was allergic to memory foam because that’s apparently a thing. 

Whatever it was, it felt like something obscure. After all, I travelled for five years and never once had this reaction to anywhere I’d stayed — I’ve lived in mould-filled apartments before, slept on Casper mattresses before. 

It’s enough to make you lose your mind. I read an article about Sick Building Syndrome and came to the conclusion that the sufferers were making themselves sick, so did that mean that I was doing the same? And if so, how could I drag myself out of this hole? What if this was all in my goddamn mind?

Paleo birthday breakfast

Obviously the solution was to spend time outside of the Death House, but I struggled to do so when I was so depressed and dealing with so many weird symptoms. When you’ve got stomach cramps and sinus pressure and can’t breathe and have a stabbing pain in your chest, you don’t really want to go and sit in a cafe for 15 hours, and I still had to sleep in my apartment anyway.

And while all of this was going on, I was trying to run a business at the same time. 

Things… are not going great.

My traffic has halved over the past year and as someone whose income has a somewhat proportional relationship with my audience size, that means my finances have taken a hit. It’s not surprising, of course, that abandoning my site for an entire year would cause it to crumble, but it’s heartbreaking nonetheless. 

Oh, and I also suffer from an auto-immune condition that’s known to be one of the most painful conditions in the world. I haven’t even started to delve into that rabbit hole. When I experience a flare-up of that, I’m in too much pain to even hold a conversation. Fortunately, I manage the condition reasonably well, but knowing that elevated stress levels can lead to a flare was a constant source of worry. Especially when it’s hard to react to a loss of income with anything other than stress. 

Let’s just say, I had to take control of my life because at this point, it was a mess. 

Girl on the South Downs Way

So that’s what I did. 

Or is what I’m attempting to do. 

I started looking at new apartments in Bristol, giggling as I filtered out anywhere with perfect energy efficiency ratings and specifically hunted down places that seemed a little draughty. 

I planned a week away from my apartment, too, spending eight days walking the South Downs Way across southern England. I shouldn’t have been surprised when, three days into our walk, my chest pains completely disappeared for the first time in five months, taking with them my stomach cramps, nausea, breathlessness, and sinus pressure. My depression faded, too, and I found myself feeling like the happy, optimistic person I’ve always been. 

And then I moved house. 

Things are better now.

I’m so grateful to be living in a house I love and dealing with a positive frame of mind for the first time in over a year. I’ve missed feeling optimistic. 

I won’t say that my ridiculous symptoms have entirely disappeared, but they’re around 20% of what they used to be. My chest pains and stomach cramps and depression have stayed away, and my sinus pressure has improved a lot. I can deal with that for now. 

Girl walking in British countryside

This past year has been the worst of my life. 

It’s kind of unbelievable that a body can react in such extreme ways to… well, whatever it was reacting to. 

But for now, I’m grateful.

I’m hopeful for the future.

I’m looking forward to healing, to getting this site back on track, to heading out on adventures again, and to building a community in Bristol because damn, I’m so lonely, guys. 

No, wait! I promise I’m feeling more optimistic. 

I’d love to end this post with some ToP tIpS on how to avoid suffering from the same issues as I did, but I don’t have any real idea of what was/is causing my sickness. Be cautious of any house you move into because it might make you unwell but you won’t know why and then your life will fall apart? Never trust a house with an energy efficiency rating of A?

My friends, I urge you not to take your health for granted because you never know when something will take it all away. 

That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from all of this. 

 

And now, it’s time to get back to work. 

 

 

33 Comments

  1. August 11, 2019
    Reply

    Had no idea you’d been unwell. So glad to hear that you’re on the mend and you’ve actually found something that has helped your symptoms.

    • August 11, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Adam! Hope you and Susan are doing great :-)

  2. August 11, 2019
    Reply

    I had no idea you felt so awful. I noticed your Twitter wasn’t working and I almost reached out. However, since I’m an anxious person, I was convinced I’d only be bothering you. Especially since I’m a stranger on the internet!

    Before my celiac diagnosis, I spent many years not feeling well. Sometimes, I wonder why I didn’t travel more when I was younger and feeling so bad (but having nothing wrong according to all the tests) is the reason why.

    I hope you are able to continue to heal, travel, and write! Thanks for sharing a personal update.

    • August 12, 2019
      Reply

      Ah, thanks, Natalie! <3 That means a lot. I'm already starting to feel a lot better, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that moving was all I needed to do to start healing. I hope your crazy health issues you were dealing with a while ago have resolved themselves! :-)

  3. Elaine
    August 11, 2019
    Reply

    Hey there,

    Glad to hear you are feeling better.

    I read your excellent book, and based on the stories in your book and the story you detail in this blog post, I think it’s very possible that you are suffering from a limbic system gone awry.

    Here is a program (called DNRS) that you can use to heal yourself: https://retrainingthebrain.com/the-limbic-system/
    I’m doing the program myself. Here’s a self-assessment questionnaire to see if this condition might apply to you: https://retrainingthebrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/DNRS-Self-Assessment-Questionaire.pdf

    The biggest clues that this condition may apply to you are your mold (or whatever it is in the apartment) sensitivities, the MULTIPLE symptoms, and the fact that doctors could not diagnose or help you.

    I wish you the best.

    • August 11, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you! Well, I only really have two or three of the 29 symptoms listed there, so I’m not sure it’s the right diagnosis for me. Still, I’ll keep it in mind and keep the page bookmarked in case my body falls apart again in the future :-)

  4. August 11, 2019
    Reply

    I wondered what was going on when you turned off Twitter and Instagram, but outside social media I had no way of contacting you. So sorry you’ve gone through all this but am glad you’re, hopefully, on the mend.

    • August 12, 2019
      Reply

      Ah, thank you for thinking of me! That means a lot :-) So far, so good — I feel so much better in my new place!

  5. August 11, 2019
    Reply

    glad to hear you are on road to wellness. After I finally found a Functional Medicine doctor to run all kinds of tests she suggested an air quality/mold test for the house. There was no black mold here but other molds in basement of old house. Once I had those removed as well as rugs and other things, I felt better.

    Functional doctors look at whole body and lifestyle – most appts are 1 hour or more. If you have auto immune issues Functional Medicine doctors can be great advocate when your other doctors only have limited time with you.

    • August 11, 2019
      Reply

      That’s actually my plan for the coming months — to find a functional medicine doctor here in Bristol, as I’ve been so disenchanted by the doctors I’ve dealt with here. It’s frustrating that they only seem to want to mask my symptoms rather than treat the root cause. I know that when I went on a paleo diet and found my anxiety and hayfever disappeared, I was so surprised by how diet can affect so much in your life. I just wish my doctor had been like, hey, maybe try cutting out dairy, gluten, and sugar for a while when I came to them with anxiety a decade ago. But anyway!

      Yes, totally agree with you and will hopefully find a functional medicine doctor this year :-) That’s so great to hear that dealing with the moulds in your place helped you feel better.

  6. Scott
    August 11, 2019
    Reply

    So glad you’re getting better – you have been missed! And it’s interesting, because in the book I’m reading (Dave Asprey’s Head Strong) I was just reading a chapter on mold and all of the things which it can do to you…

    • August 11, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Scott! And oh, I love following Dave Asprey. I can’t figure out if he’s a genius or insane, haha, but I find him fascinating. I know he’s had problems with mould in the past — it’s kind of scary how much damage it can do.

  7. Nneyra
    August 12, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you for your honesty – was your old place a new build? They seem to cause more problems re chemicals and synthetic materials used. Also consider hormones role in your health – I’ve had various symptoms for several years caused by hormonal change/imbalance, but it was the last thing doctors looked at. Best wishes, your blog is brilliant and I’m sure you’ll get your numbers back up.

    • August 12, 2019
      Reply

      Ah, thank you so much, Nneyra! I’m feeling optimistic I can get things back to where they were, but it’s definitely going to take a lot of work!

      The apartment was built around 20 years ago, so not a new build. Although from what I’ve read, it seems like anything built over the last few decades have been known to cause problems.

      Thanks for the tip about hormone imbalances! I’ll add it to the list of things to research :-)

  8. Natalie
    August 12, 2019
    Reply

    Sounds like you’ve had an awful time, so sorry! It definitely sounds like something related to your Bristol apartment. If you also have an autoimmune condition it could explain why your immune system reacted more strongly to it than the other person living there, resulting in your symptoms (individuals with autoimmune diseases tend to have pro-inflammatory responses – your immune system is trying to protect you but goes overboard). Glad you managed to move out! But I would definitely suggest to your landlord to to check for moulds and also have the water checked in case the pipes are contaminated with some kind of bacteria or fungi (considering your intestinal symptoms). There should be some kind of public health department that could help organize these checks, but I don’ t know the system in the UK…
    I hope things will improve for you now that you’ve moved!

    • August 12, 2019
      Reply

      Oh yeah, that’s a really good point and makes a lot of sense. I’m definitely a very reactive person! Thanks for the suggestion to speak with my old landlord — I should definitely do that. And so far, things seem to be improving. I’m feeling a lot better already :-)

  9. Virginia
    August 12, 2019
    Reply

    I am so sorry Lauren. I really hope you are gonna recover soon, I missed your blog and social media posts. Google algorithm has also gone through a lot of changes during the last year, so some of your traffic drop might also be related to that. As a fellow auto-immune survivor I really feel for you and I wish you the best.

  10. August 13, 2019
    Reply

    I’m sorry you had such a bad few months, but cheers for sharing and being real! I wish you the best for the future!

    • August 13, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Tash! :-)

  11. Maggie
    August 13, 2019
    Reply

    Oh, Lauren. I’m so so sorry. I wondered what happened since you haven’t blogged much (and I always enjoy reading your blogs). I’m sorry to hear you’ve been quiet because you’ve been suffering so much. You know, it’s your blog, you write what you want. I like reading the real-life stuff. I can only read “10 tips on a place I likely won’t go” over and over so many times. It’s you and what you bring to your blog that makes it enjoyable. I mean, I do enjoy reading about cool places you’ve been, but you’ve made your blog about you and your adventures, and, well, this is a part of it. And frankly I’ve been curious so I appreciate hearing the full story. BUT I’m so sorry that it’s been so terrible. So weird that you never really figured it out, but clearly something in that place was not good. I’m glad you got out. I hope things will improve for you! All the best.

  12. August 14, 2019
    Reply

    What a gift! I just discovered your blog tonight, and after reading about your trip to Japan, stumbled upon this post. Please take care of yourself, know that many of us are thinking good thoughts, and looking forward to future posts. You have not complained; you’ve explained. Big difference!

    • August 15, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Mary <3 I really appreciate that!

  13. August 15, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you so much for being so open and vulnerable! Hope things get a lot better for you as you deserve it! I live in Bristol too btw, I hope you agree the city itself is wonderful. Hope you health issues haven’t put you off of it completely.x

  14. August 19, 2019
    Reply

    So glad to hear you are felling better. When you come to London, please lets meet. :)

  15. Delora
    August 20, 2019
    Reply

    So glad you’re starting to feel better after the move! I only discovered your blog last year (ironically, you had just posted about moving to Bristol), and have been pecking through the archives. Hope with some love and attention, you can get your income back to where it was.

    • August 20, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Delora! :-) I’m excited just to start publishing regularly again, and for my updates not to be so health focused.

  16. August 26, 2019
    Reply

    Dammit girl, we all need a catch up and maybe we figure out what’s in this apartment. I’m dead serious. I’ve been going through something similar you’re describing with sinus pressure and pains, but it’s something we bring with us sometimes. Just not sure what it is yet, as on some trips it’s fine and on some it’s not.

    First they thought it was pregnancy rhinitis, then deviated septum, now I’m puzzled because I still have the same thing you’re describing and as I also suffer from auto-immune disease and taking strong immunosuppressants so it can make me react more to anything. I feel like it’s allergy rhinitis which is actually super common for people with auto-immune issues :/

  17. Rick
    August 26, 2019
    Reply

    Your point about energy efficiency is very good.
    We have discovered here on the west coast of California, where the weather is near perfect the homes that are NOT energy efficient are healthier.
    My bungalow in Santa Monica is nearly a hundred years old and falling apart. It’s a cool looking old place but the breeze blows right through the old sagging windows and doors. With the moderate temperatures we don’t worry about wasting energy heating or cooling these homes.
    Now we find that heath statistics are showing that although the Los Angeles area has the most air pollution in the country we have the least lung cancer 😳
    Seems tightly sealed homes lock in pollution. One form is radon radiation in some areas. This radiation emanating from underground gets inside of homes and does not exit due to tight window and door seals. Some colder regions in the U.S. without air pollution but with energy efficient buildings experience higher rates of lung cancer.
    I am not suggesting this is an issue for you but now that you are getting back on the road you can empirically find out if geography is affecting your symptoms (or you need to live on a Greek island:)

    So carry on and keep us posted since we love hearing about all of it.

    Rick in SoCal

  18. Cathy Batley
    August 27, 2019
    Reply

    Lovely to receive news of you. So glad you are starting to feel healthy again. Health really is everything. Just would like to recommend Sarah Wilson’s book First We Make the Beast Beautiful. I think it has just been released in the UK. She suffers from auto immune issues and anxiety. Stay well and good luck on The Camino.

  19. Freya
    August 29, 2019
    Reply

    Hi,
    I finished reading your book today and went straight to your blog!
    I was actually feeling a bit sad after reading it. I have always, always wanted to go travelling but my health has got in the way. I related so much to your book because I was madly anxious as a teenager too, having had a very sheltered upbringing and then coping with a tragic family death at the age of 17. It threw me into a state of depression that lasted a while, with anxiety that would stop me leaving the house for sometimes weeks at a time, but my family were dealing with their own problems so nobody was there to help pull me out of it or to even make me aware there was a problem with myself – I honestly believed the problem was with the rest of the world, not me!
    Anyway, it was around the same time that I developed rheumatoid arthritis, an auto immune condition and quite possibly the most painful chronic illness anyone could imagine. Because of what had happened with my sister I had a phobia of hospitals and medication, so I decided to avoid them as much as I could, which was pretty stupid in hindsight!
    I’ve now had this illness for about 12 years, and its only been within the last two years that I’ve figured out the direct link between the condition and my gut. Because I’ve avoided so much medication, only taking it at my very worst, I’ve done severe damage to my joints, from which I will never recover. But being on immune system supressents made me so poorly – I had every virus/infection going, huge ulcers in my mouth, brain fog and chronic fatigue every moment I was awake. But I have found the best method of controlling my health is through a rather extreme oil free plant based diet called the Paddison Program, as well as about five sessions a week of hot Bikram yoga.
    I noticed on this blog that you had an auto immune condition too, which is why I wanted to tell you this. We have leaky gut syndrome. Perhaps it’s what you’re eating in Bristol that is causing the issue, not the apartment at all? I actually visited Bristol a few years ago and experienced a very bad flare while I was there – there are so many yummy places to eat! I never even noticed the connection at the time, which is crazy to me now.
    The main foods to avoid are dairy and fats, especially milk, cheese and all oil. I would recommend doing a two day celery and cucumber juice fast and seeing if you feel like a completely different person at the end of it – it more than halved my pain within just one day of not eating!! Auto immune conditions, I’ve come to learn, are sort of like having an allergy to ALL FOOD. Once you know this, with trial and error, you can work out how to gain control over your health again.
    Sorry for posting such an essay, but you are hugely inspiring to me so if I can help at all with your current situation then please let me know and I’ll send you more information, advice and links etc.
    Also, (and I know its hard to think this way when you are in a low place,) try to remember that people don’t want to read things that make your life look amazing and brilliant all the time. People want to read what is real, and what they can relate to, and that is why I couldn’t put your book down! So even if all you have to write about is the battle with your health, it is still better than not writing anything at all :)

  20. dt
    September 7, 2019
    Reply

    Glad to hear you are doing well Lauren!
    Your audience needs you and we look forward to reading your new, exciting travel stories free of any health problems.

  21. Stella
    October 10, 2019
    Reply

    Great to see your post again Lauren. Keep going. Happy to know about your well being.

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