Humbling Myself – Asking for Help

If you know me, you know me as a “fitness guy.”  I am, but I’ve been thrown into a weird and distressing place and I desperately need A SAFE HOME to allow me to reverse this burdensome struggle and return to the fitness career that has been my life for the past 30 years.

I started this blog months ago hoping it would track my recovery from a condition that has plagued me for more than the last 5 years, the result of exposure to mold after Hurricane Wilma.  There are times I interact with others who suffer with MCS and am thankful for how comparatively healthy and functional I am, but I must admit, there are times that recovery seems farther off than ever . . . and I have one significant challenge that I haven’t been able to overcome.  I live in a home, a new home, a nice home, that is taking my health from me one bit at a time.

I just ran an ad on Craig’s List.  I”m putting my pride somewhere else and doing something I don’t know that I’ve ever done.  I’m reaching out for help, hoping to connect with someone who has a heart and . . . a SAFE HOME.

If you’d like to understand my journey with all of its twists and turns (I’ve got far more to tell, and believe much of it will sound comical . . . once wellness returns).  You can read the blog beginning with my first entry:

https://aliveandbetter.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/not-ready-to-die/

Following is the ad I ran on Facebook.  I’m out of options other than reaching out for help.  I have spent now well over $300,000 on non-covered medical bills and attempts to make my home “safe.”  This has cost me far more than money . . . and here’s the crazy part.  I absolutely know . . . that if I can find a place where i can work and sleep without the severe chemical reactions I experience every night, I can get well, help others get well, and continue along a career that has already helped tens of thousands of people find betterment.  I won’t embarrass myself by walking through the financial mistakes I made trying to find a fix . . . but my spending has run out of gas.  I just lost my last $10,000 in paying deposits (first, last, security) in a home I couldn’t live in . . . thus . . . I’m here, living in the home that’s the present source of my deterioration, and hoping to find a solution and new beginning.

If you have a home in South Florida that is chemical free, has fresh air circulating, and leans toward being eco-friendly, I hope you’ll be kind enough to extend a courtesy to a genuine hard-working ethical honest person (that’s me) who has humbled himself after years of unprecedented struggle and asked for help.

Here’s the ad:

HELP!  I NEED A ROOM OR APARTMENT IN A “HEALTHY” ECO-FRIENDLY HOME

Let me begin with, I AM NOT CRAZY, am 100% sane and rational, and am reaching out with a genuine anticipation of someone reaching a hand back and offering the help I need.   Consider this a mix of a request, a prompt for awareness, and a plea.

It is not my nature to ask for help as I’ve always been a problem solver . . . but this is bigger than me.   I am an accomplished, successful, motivated, 52-year old father of an 8-year old daughter and I became very ill after exposure to mold.  I’m left with an odd condition referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, an inability to tolerate industrial or  household chemicals.  It’s brought me to the most frustrating challenges of my life, the greatest of which is . . . I can’t find a place to live.  I own a five bedroom home that I built in Boynton, but after moving in, came to realize the debilitating effect of the formaldehyde, aldehydes, and chemicals in the paint, drywall, insulation, etc.  I’ve exhausted my life’s savings (literally . . . and it was significant) over the past three years in trying to remedy my home and my health.

I hope you’ll read on.  If you can’t help, perhaps you know somebody who can.

I realize the vital step for me is to find a safe place to sleep and work for at least a few months.  That’s a step toward recovery.  Without it my prognosis is bleak, as my condition worsens by the day, and a suitable living situation has been very difficult to find.  I must stay local as a single Dad with a loving little girl.  I’ve tried leasing apartments, renting condos, but the paints, cleaning supplies, and fragrances made each successive episode a disappointment.  What I hope to find is someone altruistic, someone who owns a property that they live in and care for in an eco-friendly people-friendly way (no harsh chemical-based cleaning products, no new pressed wood or carpet, no heavy pesticides, no chemical-based fragrances, no new paint, etc.).  It is, as I said, “hard to find,” but I remain optimistic.

In reaching out through medical, social, and web community resources, I found such “rent a room in my healthy home” opportunities, but have not yet located one in South Florida.  I found eco-friendly homeowners sympathetic to my struggle in Massachusetts, Colorado, New Mexico, and North Carolina, but none of those are real options for me.  Still, it encouraged me to keep looking with the hope a similar situation exists somewhere between Boynton and Fort Lauderdale (I’d even go as far north as Jupiter or as far West as Naples if it was ideal).  I’m hoping there’s someone out there who can offer me, at a reasonable rent, month-to-month a room, guest house, or attached apartment with a desk, internet connection, windows, access to a fridge and stove, and a bed with clean, toxin-free, air.  A lot to ask for?  Yup.  But I’m in the desperation zone.  I haven’t had success in renting commercially as they “clean” between tenants.  The last one I tried was washed down with bleach before I arrived which made it unlivable for me.  I recognize that the best bet is to find someone who is already ecologically aware and maintains a safe home.  It’s important to me that it’s in a safe community as my daughter is with me every weekend and I’ve struggled to protect her from the frustration I’ve been experiencing.

This is legit.  A plea?  Yes.  I’ve never reached out for help . . . and I’ll feel a sense of gratitude when I can repay the altruistic efforts of the person or people who find themselves sensitive to my plight.  What can I offer right now, other than to pay a reasonable rent?  There’s an irony to this but I remain a fitness professional working with hospitals to help people find wellness.  Conventional chronic diseases I’ve learned to battle and overcome (type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension, etc.) . . . the one I have is a work in progress.  If it’s important to you, I can help you with your health / fitness program.

If you want to better understand my dilemma before contacting me: https://aliveandbetter.wordpress.com

If you want to better understand what I do for a living: http://yourhealthbeginsnow.com

I hope.  I pray.  I remain proactive and hope the right person reads this in the right frame of mind on the right day.

Phil

Contact me at: phil@philkaplan.com

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