Today’s guest blog is by my friend Nina. I met Nina a couple of years ago at a gathering for people interested in van dwelling. We don’t see each other often, but we stay in touch electronically. Nina has been very supportive of my life and my writing. Today you can read her story.
Thank you to my dear friend Blaize for having faith in me and asking me to write an article for her blog!
Two years ago, being 50 years young and having to resign from a full time permanent position with a government environmental agency was the beginning of a new way of living for me. This same agency had been my employment with seasonal, term and lastly a permanent position for a total of about 11 years. It was my planned career and retirement until fate intervened. The stressful permanent position was an office job, unlike the prior office/outdoor Nature dominated tenure. The stress had been building through the years and I was researching various other options.
RVing full-time and van living was on my radar. I had come across a website, www.cheaprvliving.com by Bob Wells, which resounded with my unique ideas and philosophy. It was a great source of information and I started bookmarking articles that were important to me! It seemed that the RV life would be feasible after I retired.
A renovation had started in our work building and certain floors were being worked on two at a time. When it came time for our floor, the tearing out and replacing the carpet, plastic baseboard, paint and the various glues, dust and cleaner smells were too much for my body to endure. Accommodations were made by moving my desk, files and phone onto another unrenovated floor until the work process was complete.
When I returned to my new cubicle, the smells and chemicals were causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea as I tried to tough it out. My symptoms were discussed with my supervisor and off I went to my Naturopath Doctor (ND) in another city. The ND and I had a good relationship for several years prior. My prior positions had involved herbicide and pesticide applications along with my other outdoor duties. Chemical sensitivities, allergies and various intestinal issues appeared that had me turn to natural medicine and eating healthier. Meeting her had changed my life! She helped me understand the antibiotics and drugs the regular Medical Doctor (MD) had given in prior illnesses only dealt with symptoms not the real problem. A wide array of blood tests that included the liver were run and compared to my prior tests. The ND discussed the results which showed my liver was overwhelmed with toxins and was dumping them for other organs to try to handle.
The agency then put out canisters designed to detect dangerous chemicals and sent them to a lab for testing. After reporting the ND results to my supervisor, the agency decided they wanted my tests redone by a qualified MD in order to accommodate me. In the meantime, the canisters came back with no harmful toxins or chemicals in the air. It was discussed with my ND and decided that for me to recover as much as possible, exposure to the area was to be limited. Choosing between money/career vs. my health was made. Resignation was the hard, but clear choice.
It was then the realization of how full-timing, van living could possibly improve my health! A van was chosen, because of my financial situation. Each day afterwards there have been many adventures, challenges and new people, both good and bad. It would have been harder without the wonderful support of many people including Blaize!