Hi, my name is Colleen Crawford and twenty years ago I followed my dream to become a hairstylist. I opened my salon right off our home, and raised our two boys while working from home.
This fit into our lifestyle perfectly, as my husband also worked from his home based workshop as a builder. Allowing both of us to be hands on while raising our family.
My business flourished as I set up shop in my small hometown. My children grew as my business grew. Life was good! Then suddenly 16 years into my business I became very ill, after applying a semi-permanent colour to my hair. I awoke in the evening of the application of the colour to find my face swollen and my eyes hardly visible. I soon learned that after applying this chemical to my hair, that it had entered through my scalp into my entire bloodstream. Causing my body to respond in a very serious way!
My Body Is Giving Me Warnings!
For months after I was swollen, covered in hives, and suffered what I called “chest pains” After many visits to my local doctor, and the emergency room, they could only then put me on drugs to “mask” my symptoms, they did the best they could , but it wasn't enough.
I finally went to a larger hospital in a city near our home to discover after extensive testing that I was allergic to the chemical PPD an active ingredient found in ALL hair colours. I say this so strongly,to state a serious fact, as many people have suggested I use “natural” products and continue to do chemical work in my salon, however after much investigation on my part, late nights of not sleeping from severe reactions. I had time to do some research on my computer, and discovered that ALL hair colours, natural or otherwise contain small ingredients of PPD. In some cases it could be as small as 8%, but if you have ever had a severe allergy to a beesting or something of that nature you know, whether he bites you a bit, or bites you alot, the end result is that you are ALLERGIC to him. And must avoid any contact with him. I feel this exact way about my PPD allergy.
Help Is On It's Way!
During this chemical allergy my body was fighting off, I was also stricken with Acid Reflux, SEVERELY! I had no idea what was happening to my body. I would just suddenly have really bad pains in my shoulder blades, middle of my chest, and jaw line. It felt like a heart attack each time. With a little investigation I soon learned it was Hitanus Hernia. Seems everything I put in my body was affecting me now. Even water. My biggest triggers were acid foods such as tomatoes, oranges, and hot stuff. Also chocolate and red wine. After these painful events I would wake up every morning ( as they got really really bad in the middle of the night when I slept or laid down) covered in hives. I mean COVERED. No one would believe me when I kept telling them there was a connection between the acid reflux and the hives. They would just tell me I must be stressed, that was the only answer there seemed to be out there regarding chronic hives. ( you can read more about this at) Chronic Hives
I was eventually put on Nexiom ( an acid reflux med) at almost a 100 dollars a month. Sometimes I was taking this twice a day, and still suffering. I can happily report with our diet of fresh vegetable juices, raw foods, and clean eating I am 100% pain free and no longer need any meds.
A few years passed and with avoidance of chemicals in my salon and some allergy medication I was able to function once again. However my problem was not gone. Then about a year ago, my illness came back. And this time I was determined to find some answers.
So one Sunday afternoon I made a phone call to someone with a background in the health field. I broke down on the phone. She advised me to get a handle on my illness and not let it own me. Wow what powerful words from someone with such knowledge for health. And this inspired me to take action to start to change my lifestyle and diet and make changes towards a chemical free life.
So that is what I did. For the first week she challenged me to go vegan. The whole idea just blew me away. I was a meat eater. I LOVED meat. How could I give that up. I was raised on a farm for heaven's sake!
We were put in touch with a wonderful, patient, knowledgeable naturopath doctor, and immediately he started a full detox program. Sent a hair analysis away to be tested for toxins in my system. And encouraged me to eat organically and follow the same regime as I had been for that first week. He was honest right from the beginning and told me this chemical allergy my body was fighting could take up to two years to fully recover from if not longer.
He also advised me to go gluten free, as many of my symptoms were pointing in that direction. God blessed me with a wonderful husband, and friend who jumped right on the band wagon with me and encouraged me every step of the way. And many days I am sure I would have given up but he was always there with positive feedback and new recipe ideas to try out on us. Keeping this journey moving forward! I thank God for you everyday Ray!
We also made different choices when it came to our household cleaning supplies, laundry soaps, deterents, and even toothpaste. Everything we replaced became organic and chemical free. Using common ktichen ingredients in which to clean our home. Mixing white vinegar and water to use in our cleaning supplies, and various other kitchen ingredients to do some other jobs in our home.
Our energy and spirits began to lift in such a short time it was incredible, our lifestyle change was worth all it's efforts , the payback was huge!
There Is Hope
We choose to buy organic fruits and vegetables and grow alot of our own produce in our large gardens. A chemical free lifestyle can really make an astonishing change in your life. Our lives are fuller, more balanced, and energized. We seem to be a living a far more positive and happier life today then we ever have before.
I hope you to can learn all the ways in which leading a chemical free lifestyle can change your world for you, and make everyday be as sensational as it can possibly be! May your journey ahead find you with much peace and happiness around you. I am living proof that the extra effort is well worth the end results.
I would also like to add some wonderful changes that have taken place in our family over the past 3-4 years. Our two amazing sons, have found the love of their lives, and we in return have gained two beautiful daughters. Our eldest son Bryan along with his wife Keely have blessed us with two grandsons, Karver and Kooper. They are such wonderful souls. These two awesome brothers will no doubt be exploring this world together, with fishing poles and tackle boxes in hand. I can't wait to watch them grow.
Also our youngest son Grady and his awesome gal Amy are getting married this fall in their backyard.. Can't wait until that day arrives!
Blessings and health to you all,
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