- Got Mold?
- Get headaches?
- Muscle aches?
- Stomach issues?
- Lousy sleep?
- Urinate all the time?
- Is your brain a little foggy?
Doctors can’t tell you what’s wrong with you? Do all their treatments fail? Then this book is for you!
40 million Americans suffer from CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome). Repeated exposure to moldy buildings and other environmental exposures create seemingly unrelated symptoms all over the body. CIRS is a genetic illness causing chronic inflammation leading to decreased blood flow, leaky junctions, brain and gut inflammation and improper regulation of any system in the body. Most sufferers aren’t even aware that there is a single illness that explains all of their symptoms. Many of their doctors aren’t either!
Surviving and Thriving is the most concise yet comprehensive primer I have ever read on how to diagnose, how to treat, and most importantly, how to live with CIRS. The authors, Paula Vetter, Laurie Rossi, and Cindy Edwards, rely on their professional expertise, personal stories and private experience to convey a wealth of CIRS knowledge. No other tome explains the CIRS life in such a straightforward manner. This manual is a gem and should be read by every CIRS sufferer and their family members.
My own CIRS saga began in 2009. I was asked to draw blood tests on some sick children at a local high school. I evaluated and examined 14 children and a teacher who had spent significant time at that institution. Their stories were amazing and so very similar. They averaged 21 symptoms! Many of these children were 14 and 15 years old! Subsequent lab work demonstrated a flurry of abnormal blood tests relating to their innate immune systems and the regulation of critical body systems. They clearly had the same illness, but I didn’t know what it was. Further investigation led me to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker who had already studied CIRS, treated patients, and written about this illness for 12 years. Now, I have evaluated over 1200 patients, co-authored 9 peer reviewed publications and consensus statements, spoken at numerous national and international conferences and testified a number of times as an expert witness about CIRS. When a certification for CIRS became available, I was the first to certify. I am honored to have been asked to write the foreword for this amazing work.
In October of 2013, Laurie organized and hosted a CIRS conference in San Luis Obispo, CA (or SLO, as the natives call it). Dr. Shoemaker, myself, and 3 other speakers presented "Biotoxin Illness- The science behind accurate diagnosis and effective treatment." I met Laurie, Paula, and Cindy for the first time at this conference. I consider each of these three women to be extraordinary. Laurie is an R.N. and a recovering CIRS sufferer. She was so knowledgeable and so sincere. She poured her heart into that very successful meeting as she does with everything she touches. This book is no different. Everything she writes about, she has lived.
Cindy also attended the SLO conference. She provided my first in depth exposure to building performance. Her knowledge not only blew my mind, but took me much deeper into the understanding of the building envelope and just how many variables can create a water intrusion inside your home, your office building or your school.
Paula was in the SLO audience in October of 2013. She is a holistic nurse practitioner, with more than 30 years of experience in both traditional and holistic medicine. She was studying Dr. Shoemaker’s protocol and in the process of certifying. After completing her certification with Dr. Shoemaker, she teamed up with Laurie and Cindy. Their unique multi-disciplinary clinical practice successfully treated and educated patients, prior to Paula’s recent retirement.
Our paths have crossed several more times discussing patients, advances in CIRS, presenting at the first and second State of the Art CIRS conferences and another SLO meeting populated by local CIRS aficionados and some world class barbecued chicken pizza (mangia!)
Paula, Laurie, and Cindy have poured their varied experiences into this comprehensive manual. Each has personal and practical knowledge as a patient, as a practitioner, as a nurse, as healers, as mothers, as an indoor environmental expert, as wives and as compassionate people intensely aware of a terrible illness.
CIRS can be daunting to patients because the primary treatment is to avoid toxic environments. Perhaps 50% of buildings are considered water-damaged and can be toxic to a CIRS patient. How does one determine if their home is safe, find a new apartment or buy a house? How does one choose a school for their children with CIRS. How does one find a CIRS-knowledgeable doctor or explain the illness to family? What caveats are present with the medication protocol? How does one detect if a new building is water-damaged? All these and many more questions are answered in the following pages.
These three experts, in their own areas, take the CIRS newbie through every conceivable scenario and give outstanding advice. No more need for trial and very costly error. Their compilation of guidance will be useful for even seasoned CIRS subjects. All three women have been there and done that! They share their extraordinary comprehension of the life CIRS patients suffer. They can do so because they have walked the walk!
Every patient with CIRS, every family member of a CIRS sufferer, every landlord, every boss and every doctor should read this book. If you know someone who has many symptoms but no real answers or who has been told they have an illness for which we doctors have little information and ineffective treatments, you should read this book. If you are feeling more and more tired, achy, sleeping poorly, having headaches, urinating all the time and not thinking as clearly as you used to, you should read this book. CIRS is no joke, but all the information you need to not just survive, but to thrive, is in Surviving and Thriving!
Scott W. McMahon, MD
Founder, Whole World Health Care and The Joseph Foundation, LLC
CIRS expert, speaker and published researcher
Roswell, New Mexico