Tuesday, May 10, 2022

My Post-Illness Hair Loss Story

 I've always had a love/hate relationship with my hair. It's naturally curly and not really the nice curls, it's more the unruly, frizzy curls that nothing seems to tame. I also just don't think I have a face meant for curly hair. It's just never looked right to me. But right now, I'm just happy to have hair at all. 

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I had Covid the beginning of January. I didn't get too much into it in that post, but I had a horrible time with it and was very close to being admitted into the hospital. I had Covid Pneumonia and while my oxygen levels remained on the very border of normal to low normal, they dipped dangerously low when I slept. After doing some research, it looks as though I may have been having some kind of neuro response when I would try to sleep and it felt like my body simply would forget how to breathe. It didn't matter what position I slept in. The second I would start to fall asleep, I would feel as though I was holding my breath and would wake up gasping. Kind of like an apnea, but not really. Thankfully, this went away a couple weeks after my lungs finally started to feel better. I also wasn't really able to eat much at a certain point and my white blood cells got pretty low. My body was without normal levels of oxygen and nutrition for a few weeks. I also ended up with long haul as well. 

It did take me some time to get better even after the worst of it passed. I believe this was due to my past issues with Mold illness and chronic Epstein-Barr reactivations. I had lots of strange symptoms for a while, even after I started to feel better. There's even quite a few that currently linger to this day and it's been 5 months! But there was one symptom in particular that I was not prepared for at all, which was post-covid hair loss, also known as Telogen Effluvium post-covid. 

At the end of March I noticed quite a bit of hair starting to fall out in the shower when I was washing my hair. I've dealt with some shedding in the past with Epstein-Barr, but this was a lot more. By the end of that week I had handfuls coming out. I stopped washing my hair every day and coincidentally, I had a couple friends post about post-covid hair loss on Instagram. That's when I started researching and found out so many people are dealing with this! It's actually sad that this is a bit of an epidemic and no one seems to be talking about it. I'm in a Facebook group specifically for those dealing with this, and last I looked there were over 11,000 members! I'm sure it's more by now. 


So for the last few weeks I've been having literal handfuls of hair fall out with each wash. I documented with pictures, rather than keeping the hair like some Docs suggest to that I could compare the loss over time. This started the very end of March, but I started taking pics when it really started getting bad. As you can see, it's quite a lot! And all of these, with the exception of the one noted, were only when washed or rinsed. I tried to minimally style, but a lot more would fall out when I did so. Also, my vacuum is filled with hair =(  I will say, aside from being sick with Covid, this has been one of the most traumatic things I've dealt with concerning my health in some time. I know it's just hair, but as a woman it's so hard. There have been so many days that I've just cried and cried. My son is graduating High School mid-June and that's been a huge reason as to why I've been so upset. I have been so worried  I would need to wear a wig to the ceremony. But you will see from the pics closer to now that it's a bit less, and yesterday was a lot less even counting the hair loss from styling (I forgot to take a pic).

Luckily for me, I had quite a lot of hair. It's very thin now. I've lost at least half, possibly a little more. But I feel truly lucky as some women really lose so much more. Lately it seems to be slowing down (fingers crossed). I'm not sure if maybe this corresponds with the length of time that I was very sick. It seems that those that are admitted to the hospital or need to go on oxygen, suffer the extreme shedding for much longer. I have been doing some different things, so I'm not sure if they are actually helping or if it's just a coincidence that I started them right around the time that my shedding started to slow down. It really seemed to slow almost overnight after using a couple things, so I wanted to share what I've been doing/using in case it could possibly help someone else. 

One of the big things with hair is that if you are malnourished, deficient in certain vitamins, lacking proper nutrition from nutrient-dense foods, etc your hair will suffer. This was the first thing I began to work on - mainly in the form of supplements, as I already live a pretty healthy lifestyle. One thing I do need to mention is that Telogen Effluvium is caused by a trauma, whether that be an illness like Covid, an accident, a surgery, or an extreme stress in ones life. The hair basically gets shocked into the resting phase for a period of time and it will fall out. You will actually noticed with TE that all the hairs that shed will have white ends. This is due to the lack of pigment. In fact, a lot of my hairs that are already starting to grow back in are white or a lot lighter than my natural hair. I'm not complaining! I'm just grateful that the shedding is slowing and it's growing. What I'm getting at is that you may not be able to stop the shedding. What was shocked from trauma will fall out regardless. But if you have deficiencies or other things also effecting your TE, this can prevent new shedding or prolonged resting phase. 

So I started with really being gentle with my hair. When I wash it, I do so without running my fingers through it completely. I'm just as gentle as possible. I did try a shampoo and conditioner that I thought might strengthen my existing hair, but I ended up going back to my current haircare, as the new stuff was causing too many tangles. I use Briogeo. I think if you are struggling with TE, maybe focusing on what makes your hair feel healthy is a good thing. I would just suggest that you don't use anything loaded with chemicals. Briogeo isn't completely clean, but it's a better option that most and my picky hair doesn't like a lot of the squeaky clean brands out there. 

After washing I very carefully press my hair with a towel, spray on my tried and true Honest Detangling Spray that I've been using for years (love the new one!) and use a wide tooth comb. At first I was using a brush and this was just pulling way too much hair out. I wish I had thought to get the comb early on. Then I use a terry head wrap. This allows my hair to dry a little and soaks up some of the water without anything pulling on my hair. I've been trying to keep styling to a minimum, so most of the time I let it dry as long as I can and I just pull it up in a loose knot with a silk hair tie. 

Beyond that, here are the supplements I'm taking. Please note that because I'm not a Doctor, and health is not a "one size fits all", that I'm not recommending what you should take. This is merely what works for me. I strongly recommend speaking with your Primary Physician before starting any new supplements and possibly even getting some bloodwork. 

- I use a Multivitamin. I know there's some controversy about whether they are good or not, as you can end up with too much of some things and not enough of other things. However, I notice a different when I don't take them, and I don't take full servings of other supplements, so this works for me. I like the Smartypants Women's Gummies. I know they have sugar and they aren't perfect, but I like them and they aren't extremely expensive. 

- B Complex Vits - These are important for me anyway, as I had my gallbladder out years ago and people without a gallbladder tend to be deficient in B vits. I take half the dose since my Multi already has B vits (just not enough for me). I don't really recommend a specific one. Just make sure they are methylated! 

- I take a Zinc Supplement from Organic Olivia. This one also has Quercetin in it, which is great for allergies and the immune system. The reason I love this supplement so much is because it has copper in it as well. When you take Zinc, it needs to be taken with copper. But you have to be careful because you don't want too much copper in the body either! Try to find a balanced zinc supplement. Many people that had Covid are deficient in Zinc and it can effect your hair. 

- I also found these hair gummies that I like. They don't contain collagen, which is a must for me, as I seem to be allergic. I do know a lot of women dealing with TE having been having great results in regrowth from collagen, so if you have a good one, go for it! I just personally can't use it, so I use these gummies that have Biotin, Keratin, Amla, Horsetail, and Silica. I think they must be working for me since my eyelashes seem longer and thicker! ps - keep in mind that Biotin can effect Thyroid panels. I you are being treated for anything Thyroid related or testing for Thyroid issues, make sure to stop any supplements with Biotin 3 days prior to testing and let you practitioner know you take it.

- The last one is another controversial supp for some, and it's Vit D3/K2. Over the last couple years I've researched quite a bit about the dangers of supplementing with synthetic Vit D3 and how the best way to get it is Sunshine. I do believe this to be true. However, when I was sick, it was freezing out and I couldn't get out in the sun. I've probably been deficient and though I can get daily sun time at this point, I still feel like I need that little bit extra and I started seeing a change in my hair fall. I take a chewable with only 2000 iu in it. It also has K2 which I always recommend. I also take this at night with my Magnesium Glycinate as this helps the D3 to properly absorb. I did feel noticeably different when I made this change. Even though I don't love the supplementation, at this moment in time I feel like the reward is higher than the risk. And I will ween off in a few weeks. 

- I also take Ashwagandha for stress! Stress is a huge thing with TE. I was literally so anxious and depressed at first, but I had to really surrnder and let it be. That's so hard, I know. But it was necessary for me to learn to manage my stress and not make the TE worse!

I also rotate some supp’s that are part of my normal every day regimen, but have backed off to focus on my hair health - NAC, a Thyroid/Adrenal supplement, NAD+, and CoQ10 with PQQ for mitochondrial health. 

The last thing I want to recommend is topical products. I have been using these hair oils and they've been working really well! RTHVI is an Ayurvedic company and uses all natural ingredients that promote hair health and growth, without added chemicals, silicones, etc. Hair oils can possibly clog the follicles and cause more shedding, so just make sure to use them carefully. I follow the instructions for the oils and only use them 3x per week. I also use them in the morning and leave on for 3 hours before washing. That way they have time do deliver the nutrients to my scalp without clogging. The company recommended their Ashwagandha oil for the stress on my hair and I felt like it helped after one use! They also recommended their Revitalize Growth Oil, which I love! The site also has tons of other amazing products, including shampoo and conditioner, though I haven't tried it. Just make sure that whatever you use, it's not filled with toxic chemicals, and silicones. That's the last thing you want to be putting on your scalp when you're dealing with hair loss! A weekly Apple Cider Vinegar rinse is also great! It keeps the scalp buildup away and is soothing. 

I also think it’s important to mention overall self-care. I try to watch my stress levels, I try to get some light movement in, get out in the sunshine, use my sauna blanket, do red light therapy, practice grounding outside, read books, etc. 

I'll do another update soon, but I truly hope this helps you if you're also struggling with TE. It can be so traumatic and depressing. Just know you aren't alone! If you ever want to chat, feel free to contact me anytime!! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Can't Look Away by Carola Lovering - A Book Review

Title: Can't Look Away
Author: Carola Lovering
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 320 pages
Pub Date: June 14, 2022
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Details from the Publisher:

From the author of Tell Me Lies and Too Good to Be True comes Carola Lovering's Can't Look Away, a sexy suspense novel about the kind of addictive, obsessive love that keeps you coming back––no matter how hard you try to look away.

In 2013, twenty-three-year-old Molly Diamond is a barista, dreaming of becoming a writer. One night at a concert in Brooklyn, she locks eyes with the lead singer, Jake Danner, and can’t look away. Molly and Jake fall quickly and deeply in love, especially after he writes a hit song about her that puts his band on the map.

Nearly a decade later, Molly has given up writing and is living in Flynn Cove, Connecticut with her young daughter and her husband Hunter—who is decidedly not Jake Danner. Their life looks picture-perfect, but Molly is lonely; she feels out of place with the other women in their wealthy suburb and is struggling to conceive their second child. When Sabrina, a newcomer in town, walks into the yoga studio where Molly teaches and confesses her own fertility struggles, Molly believes she's finally found a friend.

But Sabrina has her own reasons for moving to Flynn Cove and befriending Molly. And as Sabrina’s secrets are slowly unspooled, her connection to Molly becomes clearer––as do secrets of Molly's own, which she’s worked hard to keep buried.

Meanwhile, a new version of Jake's hit song is on the radio, forcing Molly to confront her past and ask the ultimate questions: What happens when life turns out nothing like we thought it would, when we were young and dreaming big? Does growing up mean choosing with your head, rather than your heart? And do we ever truly get over our first love?

My Review:

Being a sucker for a good thriller, I was immediately sucked in after reading the plot of Can't Look Away. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and as soon as I did, I couldn't dig in fast enough. Once I started reading, I got sucked in and had a really hard time putting it down. I found myself taking breaks to live my life but couldn't wait to get back to the world of Molly & Jake. One of the things I loved most about this book, is that while classified as a Thriller, it has so many layers beyond that. The character development was outstanding. You really get a feel for each character and can almost picture them as if you're watching a movie. In my opinion, the best books are those that you can't remember if you read it or watched it! 

It's hard to really get into what I loved most without giving too much away, but I feel like Can't Look Away is just as much of a love story as it is a thriller. If one or the other is not your usual cup of tea, give it a chance, I promise you, the love is all necessary for the thrill! Everything in this book just progressed so well and was so well done. It truly got to my core, touched me in so many moments, and because I'm such a romantic at heart, it was really gut-wrenching for me at times. I got so attached to the characters and fell in love with Jake right along with Molly. This was one of the best books I had read in a long time and one of the few I would read again at some point. In fact, I think it would make an excellent movie or mini-series - fingers crossed!!! (Speaking of books to Tv/Movies….  One of my absolute favorite things to do when I fall in love with a book, is to cast it in my mind! I came across this site last year where you can do just that. Check out my stories and let me know if you agree)

The only slight negative that I have is that I was so torn throughout the story. But that's my selfish feelings, not any reflection whatsoever on the Author or her beautiful book. Being torn means you feel things and feeling things for people that only exist in a story is only possible while reading an exceptionally good book! Carola Lovering truly delivers. There was anguish, disbelief, anger, sadness, and even tears, which doesn't happen often for me! 

About the Author (from her website):

Carola Lovering is the author of the novels
Tell Me Lies, Too Good to Be True, and the forthcoming Can’t Look Away. She attended Colorado College, and her work has appeared in New York Magazine, W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. Her novel, Tell Me Lies, is currently being adapted into a television series for Hulu. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

also find her on: twitter - instagram - facebook

Ps - I was so excited to see that Tell Me Lies is being adapted into a TV Series on Hulu! I had read this book a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. Can't Look Away is not due to release until 6/14/22, so make sure to check out Carola's other books before you pre-order!!!

So many thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me the ARC of this amazing book to review! And thanks to Carola for creating such beautiful people and stories!! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

I'm Back!

Wow! I really can't believe it's been over two years since my last blog post!! So much has happened in the world between then and now, it truly feels like a lifetime ago. I know I've popped in here from time to time over the last several years and have had grand plans of relaunching my blog, but this time I'm so excited that I can actually follow through with that plan! Me and my family came down with C*vid right after the Holiday (who didn't, right?!) and I had a tough time. I ended up with pneumonia and long-haul, while, my Husband and Son felt like they had a bad cold for two days and sailed on through. For me, it was one of the most weird, scary experiences, and while sparing this from turning into a C*vid post, I believe that my past issues with Mold Illness and Epstein-Barr are to blame for the severity of my illness. The point of this story is that because of my Long-Haul, I resigned from my job. 

Now I'll finally have the time to do all the things I want with this blog. I'm super excited because writing has always been a bit cathartic for me, and I could honestly use that right now. You'll definitely be seeing a lot more posts from me! Think Book Reviews (this will most likely be one of, if not the first official post), Organic Beauty posts, Wellness Gadgets, Healthy Recipes, and whatever else I feel like posting about! I'm also considering possibly moving this blog to Wordpress or Squarespace. If you have some experience with this or have any thoughts on it, please feel free to drop a comment below or reach out to me! I would love some honest feedback. 

I'm really looking forward to getting back into this again! I already feel more like myself as I type. Look for an exciting Book Review soon!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Intellipure Ultrafine 468 Air Purification System - A Review

Hi, lovelies! I had posted about my Mold Story earlier in the week and wanted to do a separate post about this amazing Air Purifier I purchased. As I had said in the closing of my post, indoor air quality is becoming a major issue and the EPA is rating it the number 1 environmental risk facing humans, and not just because of mold! Ultrafine Particles, carbon monoxide, lead from paint and other chemicals in our consumer products, as well as dust, pollen, mold spores, and VOC's are quickly degrading our air, and not everyone has the knowledge or the funds to help combat this by avoiding certain contaminants. As much as I commit to living a very healthy lifestyle, I really can't afford an organic sofa and cork flooring. Not that there's anything wrong with these things - I would love them in my home! It's just not a possibility in my life at the moment. And with the environment changing constantly, it's almost impossible to completely avoid these things unless you live in a bubble! This is where things like air purification come in. It's an easy way to help improve the air quality in your home and also the health of you and your loved ones.

As far as research goes, I had my work cut out for me! I looked all over the internet, scouring article after article. I found this post on Surviving Mold especially helpful, because it talked about mold & mycotoxins, specifically. After really researching and being so sick at the time, I even ordered a pretty pricey unit after thinking I had finally found "the one" and promptly sent it back after having many issues from receiving one of the few units with a manufacturers defect. All I can say is, do your homework! But hopefully you don't have to, because this one is the bees knees.

In my search there were quite a few things I was looking for & were absolute requirements...

- Filters particles down to the smallest possible, including Mycotoxins & VOC's

- No or Low EMF's coming off the unit with running

- No ionizing of any kind, as to avoid ozone

- No hydroxyl technology, as the research states that the byproducts of this can be harmful

- ease of use, moveable from room to room, and energy efficient

- Cost of unit and also cost of replacement filters was also a factor

After my bad experience with the previous company, and the fact that I needed to find a stellar purifier since we decided to stay in our home, I decided that I was willing to pay a little more than initially intended. I just wanted to purchase a unit that would give us the best air quality we could find. I came across a review on Intellipure in that mold site article and I decided to start looking into them. I was extremely impressed with their DFS technology ,the filtration down to .007 microns, and the fact that they are also medical-grade and utilized in hospitals, medical clean rooms, government buildings, and military applications! After a lot of thinking I went with the bigger Ultrafine 468 model and am so glad I did! Some of advantages of this unit include:

Product Performance:

  • Patented DFS Technology- deactivates mold, bacteria, and virus in the filters through Microbiostasis condition, which prohibits the breed through effect, where living organisms captured can grow inside the filter and be released back into the environment
  • Proprietary blend of granulars proven to adsorb a high level of gases and odors
  • Greater lifetime filter performance due to lower density media, resulting in much longer lifetime performance of the filter
  • Reduction of dangerous Micro-plastics
  • High level reduction of mycotoxins
  • Highly effective on all speeds

Product Features:

  • Highest-quality EC motor results in 50% less operating cost than other machines on the market
  • Incredibly energy efficient
  • Highest CFM per decibel level or noise
  • Less dense media filters for maximum airflow and filtration power
  • Quick and easy filter maintenance and replacement
  • Individually tested and certified, guaranteed to be 40x more efficient than HEPA

I've had my unit since September 19th (funny enough, this is my birthday) and I absolutely love it!!! It has different levels of purification, meaning you can adjust it to pull in air on the low side, or on as high as turbo if you want to put it in a room and leave it. I wouldn't recommend this high if you're in the room, because Turbo mode is a little loud!! I was actually quite surprised at how quiet it is in the normal modes. Even on the middle setting, with it right next to me sleeping, it just sounded like white noise. And I'm a light sleeper!

The air quality is fantastic! I noticed a huge difference almost immediately. Because of the issues in our home and the fact that we couldn't run our central A/C all summer, some rooms would get humid and the allergens would really kick up. The Ultrafine 468 helped me with this immediately. I would wake up with asthma, horrible sore throats, and congestion and this went away once I started running my unit. It also helped with air circulation in my stuffy room. Even my cats love it. I'll find them hanging out in my bedroom when the unit is in there, because the air was is so clean. The bad air quality even effects our pets.

The technology of Intellipure units is also really quite amazing. They utilize DFS Technology, which does not emit any ozone, gases, or other harmful byproducts. This short video explains it really well!

A further testament to how well this unit really works, though I wouldn't recommend this at all, is that when we had our remediation done last week, after they fogged our ducts, we ran the unit in my bedroom, to make sure the chemical vapors wouldn't be bad once we turned on the central air. Both fortunately and unfortunately, this worked really well! My room was definitely the least offensive as far as smell and contamination - I'm extremely chemical-sensitive. But the problem was that the unit worked so well sucking up the VOC's coming into the air from our ducts airing out, that it ruined 2 portions of filters - the prefilter and the VOC filter. There's no denying exactly how well the 468 works after this, but it's a bummer that I have to replace those filters. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend using it for things such as airing out a room after painting, laying down new carpet and wanting to minimize off-gassing (at least not immediately following installation), etc. Good old-fashioned open windows is good for that, and your wallet, too!

So as far as pro's to all of the Intellipure units, there's a million! I love mine, would consider getting the smallest one at some point for my sons room, or if I get the extra money, possibly the whole-house unit! I can't recommend it enough and it has absolutely saved me during such an awful time in my life. It makes me feel so much better knowing that it works so well to give myself and my family clean air to breathe. As far as any negatives, the only things that come to mind are cost for some. The units are a little on the high side, as are the replacement filters. But.... In this case, especially after having a bad experience with another fairly high priced purifier, I think you absolutely get what you pay for and I feel that any of the Intellipure models are worth every penny. DFS Technology is pretty amazing and I'm sure it's costly to manufacture units. And the filters don't need to be replaced as often as other units (annually for some and semi-annually for others), so definitely less than other units out there. There are also sensors alerting you when it's time to replace each filter. So no guessing! This can also save some money, as most units require guessing and you're either replacing too early, or running the risk of recirculating contaminants into the air with dirty filters.

If you have any questions on my experience with Intellipure, please let me know! I'm happy to give you honest feedback! And for more technical questions, the company offers amazing customer service - another huge plus!!!

Make sure to stop back soon to check out some more rec's on how I'm continuing to keep my home clean &  mold-free!

ps - this is not a sponsored post. This unit was purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

What's been going on - My Mold Story

Wow.... Has it really been well over a year since my last post?!?! I know I haven't been good at posting on here the last several years AT ALL, but I really do want to change that. What started out as an unintentional hiatus, turned into more and more time between posts, and then just... well... Life.

In my last post I was talking about all my health issues & struggles, and at the time, I just figured it was the stresses going on in my life that triggered everything. I had no idea what could have started this horrible snowballing of health problems, when I had been so healthy - probably the most healthy I had ever been in my life!! As much as I know about many things with health, I just never put some things together in my head. I was running this constant hamster wheel and had tunnel vision with one laser focus, and that was getting better!

Little did I know, that my tuning everything out, would delay my healing and put my life in a major upside down turmoil. This is where Mold comes in. Yes.... Mold. The nasty stuff you see growing on food and sometimes elsewhere. Mold was in my basement and I had no idea until I was already exposed and sick from it. And even though I knew Mold makes me sick (I'm highly allergic to at least 9 strains of mold), I had no idea what Mold sickness even was! And I never put two and two together.

So around the time that I first became ill, unbeknownst to me, my Air Conditioner had leaked all over a part of my basement that I couldn't see. It was in an area that I never walk back into and we had so much going on in life at that time, I really just went downstairs to work out in my "basement gym" on the other side and to do laundry. Sometimes I wouldn't feel great after being down there, but it was also a terrible allergy season, and I figured that was the issue. Even when I got a strange rash, even when the dead of winter hit and I started getting heart palpitations, and vertigo and all these strange things out of the blue, other than a weird basement smell, I had no idea. The following spring, when we put the air back on, I started having major issues - I got shingles and then a mono reactivation (which I talked about here). At that point, I was not able to workout at all, so I was no longer going in the basement. I still made no connection. Finally, one day we went in the basement and saw it and started contacting our homeowner's insurance to try to get it squared away. That experience alone between then and now, could fill a book. We got our moldy A/C replaced and a remediation company finally came out a few months later. We thought all was fine. Fast Forward to Spring 2019 when we go to turn on the A/C - moldy smell coming through the vents and I start having issues immediately, including..... ding ding ding - another Mono Reactivation! Come to find out, our ducts should have been included in the remediation, and the remediation itself, wasn't completed at all. Not only was there still mold, but it was a major issue.

In a nutshell, we tried to file a lawsuit. We had a case, but unfortunately, it's extremely hard to prove that medical issues are linked to mold without testing from your regular MD, and them signing off legally that you are sick from mold. Even if you have one that doesn't brush you off, a lot of the tests, at least where I live, are no longer done by labs. And most conventional MD's, at least Family Doctors, aren't versed in mold illness to be able to even understand some of the covered tests that can indicate illness from exposure. Anyway, long story short.... because of the fact that I could find no one to test me (I tried Internists, Allergists, Immunologists, and Infectious Disease Doc's), other than ND's which cost thousands out of pocket, we had to drop it. Honestly, at this point I've moved on from that. I think holding onto things and having to constantly relive things through telling Doctors, and a Lawyer, the story over and over, just wasn't healthy for me. So you might be wondering how I finally made the connection. An amazing ND that I follow on Instagram was talking about Epstein Barr Virus and Mono Reactivations, and the link to mold exposure. After learning more and more, and especially after having another mono reactivation right after being around mold, I realized this was my issue!

There is so much more to it, but it's way too much to type on here. It involves possibly moving, almost walking away from our home, and literally almost losing my mind. But luckily, other than the basement, the rest of our home wasn't too bad, and it wasn't Mycotoxin producing molds upstairs. This made it where we were able to salvage things and stay, which was good, because we really had no choice. Some people aren't so lucky, and they literally have to leave their homes with little belongings because everything is contaminated. Other than losing pretty much every belonging in our basement, we are ok and are so lucky!

We actually just got our basement remediated this past Monday, along with our HVAC and duct system, and we are all good! No more mold!!! So now, at this point, you might be wondering if you have mold, or if you know you do, you want to know how bad it is or what kind it is, etc. There are many tests out there that you can do yourself, and even though these tests are less than Environmental testing, if you have a big area or a potential major issue, call a professional. You want to go with a standalone testing company that does not do remediation. When they do both, this can create a conflict of interest. You are much better off calling just a testing company. It can be costly, but if this is a major issue, especially where your health might be concerned, it's worth it!

When it comes to remediation's (after having two companies screw us over), make sure you do your research!!! Make a list of companies in your area and look at websites, facebook, yelp, google reviews etc. Read every single one! Look for certifications and most important, a warranty. Make sure you do consults if they offer it, so you can get a feel for them in person. And if they come to your property to do a major remediation, and don't block off the moldy area and start putting protective suits on - kick them out. I mean it!

There is so much more in the world of mold to talk about, but for my friends on here that aren't into it, I'll spare you. Air quality, in general, is the next big world issue. This is already an epidemic, whether you realize it or not, and is just going to get worse over time. I solved this issue in my home, and will be doing a separate post on that this week.

In the meantime, if you have mold issues or think you might, and you have questions about my experience - drop them in the comments! I'm happy to help however I can. It's my hope that maybe by sharing my story, I might be able to help anyone that might be going through something similar. It's honestly crazy how many people out there are struggling because of mold exposure! I also post regularly on Instagram, so look for me on there, too!!

Check back soon for a review on the gadget I'm using in my home to combat poor air quality! And also some future posts about what I'm doing in my home to keep it mold-free and to combat my mold illness.