Paul was diagnosed with chronic illness back in 1994, but the Barrie, Ontario resident believes it all started 10 years earlier when he and his buddies bought an old home to fix up and sell. They had stripped the interior and installed everything from top to bottom - new carpets, paints, windows, flooring - and furnished it throughout. During the process he was exposed to harsh chemicals commonly found in renovation products like paints and furniture glues, and fire retardants used in new carpeting and bed mattresses.
Paul started noticing recurring symptoms that grew worse as he continued his career path as a new home builder. He developed headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, blurred vision and brain fog. Over the years he would be diagnosed with multiple environmental illnesses including Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Pain.
While he continued to work, he spent his spare time going from doctor to doctor - 25 of them in all - trying numerous treatments to find an answer and relief from these conditions. He went to conventional
doctors, alternative doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors. He tried biofeedback, acupuncture, and many detoxifcation programs. He was taking up to 48 vitamins a day. Paul estimated that he spent nearly $600,000 trying to find the key to healing that kept eluding him.
He finally had to quit his job altogether and for the next 11 year lived feeling isolated and hopeless. "You know it's pretty sad", Paul said "when you feel your worth more dead than you are alive. Everyday all I do is look for answers to get better again."
Paul's search eventually took him to YouTube where he found a Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Recovery testimonial by Kevin Dammen. Kevin had driven over 1400 miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Victoria, British Columbia to partake in a neuroplasticity rehabilitation treatment offered by Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS) that his doctor had told him about.
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's innate ability to change and is popularized by Toronto psychiatrist Dr. Norman Doidge's two books "The Brain That Changes Itself" and it's follow-up "The Brain's Way of Healing".
Paul related totally to Kevin. "That could had been me in that video. I was so hopeful and excited about this treatment that I started to cry". Finally in November of 2014, Paul attended the Dynamic Neural Retraining System neural rehabilitation program at the Hockley Valley Resort in Ontario, (45 minutes outside of Toronto).
In the following video, Paul recounts what it was like to attend a live DNRS program, and the changes he noticed in himself and others during the course of the 5 day program.
Paul concludes: "The search is over. This is life changing, amazing. I wish I could go back and find this (DNRS) earlier as it would had saved me a whole lot of time, suffering and money. Annie Hopper - you gave me my life back!"
When we followed up with Paul, 8 months after taking the program, he said "I go wherever I want and I do whatever I want". Rather than feeling helpless, he feels like a champion! His journey was not always easy and there were days when he felt really challenged, but he continues to practice the neuroplasticity based techniques and is now experiencing the rewards of his efforts. His new lease on life prompted Paul to share his story with others so that they may find the answer to their illness too.
Paul was recently featured in this newspaper article in his hometown: