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.