Real People.........Real Stories
Toxic Mold can affect anyone anywhere around the world. The misconception is that mold is only a problem in low income or dirty housing. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Toxic Mold can grow in buildings, schools, churches and even new construction homes. The following people have chosen to share their stories so that they can help others realize the importance of preventing mold formation, growth and mold illness.
Below are some real life stories of victims of toxic mold exposure:
Friday, November 07 2014
This is Andrea's Story
I thought I had won the battle with inflammation upon receiving the news from my doctor back in 2010 that I was gluten intolerant and needed to be on a gluten-free diet. Not only did I need to be gluten-free, but dairy-free as well. Over the course of three years leading up to the events of December 2013, I had lost 60 pounds of inflammation and was feeling healthier than I had felt in a long, long time.
I was in a better place, both mentally and physically. I will never forget what happened on December 13, 2013. I was renting a townhome after my divorce and my thirteen-year-old son, who was twelve at the time, was living with me, along with my significant other. One day, the unit next to ours, which had been in foreclosure, had its pipes burst and all of a sudden, water rushed out from the home. My townhome had three stories so my main living areas were on the second and third floors, we hadn’t yet decided what to do with the room on the first floor so fortunately, there wasn’t too much in the room. As water was rushing from the unit next door, water was also coming into my first floor. The local fire and police departments were called out to shut off the water so fortunately only about half of the carpeting in my first floor room was wet. I still was very concerned. A carpet cleaning company was sent out to extract water from the carpet the next day but no other steps were taken to ensure there would not be a mold issue. I expressed my concern to my landlord at the time and was told since I was on a month-to-month lease, I had the option to leave at any time and that if mold was found, it would be taken care of. My son has had respiratory issues (Croup and Asthma) off and on since birth, he was born three weeks premature, his lungs were not fully developed and he spent a week in the ICU. My concern was mostly for him but still wondered how it would affect all of us.
Months passed since the water had entered my unit. I had progressive sinus issues and bouts of laryngitis. It all came to a head in May, just before Memorial Day weekend. I was out with my significant other and fell ill very suddenly. He rushed me to an acute care center and the doctor came back with a diagnosis of tonsilitis, which I still question to this day. I was given a prescription for antibiotics and sent on my way. During the next few days, something didn’t feel quite right with my breathing and I had totally lost my sense of taste. I am not one who likes to take medication, usually can do home remedies for sinus infections and be okay. This time I gave in and took the medication. It took a few days but I did start to improve. Still wondering what the heck was going on with me, we all seem to know when our bodies are not quite right. At this point, I had also gained about 25 pounds of inflammation since the flood next door had occurred.
A few days later, the townhome association president alerted me that the unit next door had a very serious mold problem and there was concern for my son’s and my health if we continued to live in our unit. I was in the process of looking for another home when I was alerted.
The neighbors furnace room & Garage
I was shown what happened to the other unit
what was going on in my home?
I was told I had better see a doctor as soon as possible. I consulted with other friends in the health industry and was referred to a local area doctor who specialized in toxic mold exposure. He ran blood work on me and checked to see if I had a gene, that 1 in 4 people have where your body does not recognize mold as a toxin and does not produce the antibodies to naturally get rid of the toxins caused by mold. I did test positive for this gene and also for toxic mold poisoning.
Not that I needed any additional confirmation that mold was present in our home, I had a mold inspector come out and test the unit for mold because it was not visible. I just knew it was hidden somewhere on the first floor, mainly underneath the carpeting. It did indeed come back that we had a high level of chateomium mold, one of the most dangerous types of mold you could have. This mold is only present in a building that has had water damage.
We did move into a new home but I do have to say this move was one of the worst I had experienced yet. I had movers come and move the big stuff before I knew the best thing would have probably had been to leave everything behind.
I was told by one of my doctors to wear a mask upon entering the home to retrieve boxes, etc.
I remember being so stiff from the inflammation I could barely move. My new neighbors immediately noticed my condition, as I was moving into my new place. One neighbor noted that it looked like I had MS. I was in so much pain and so stiff, but knew we had to get the rest of our belongings out by the end of the month. I was so grateful to have had help from my significant other and friends, I don’t really know what I would have done without them!
As far as the suggested remedy by the doctor I was seeing for the mold poisoning, I was told I had a chronic inflammatory condition caused by the mold and the best remedy was a pharmaceutical called Welchol, which is normally used for lowering cholesterol but was discovered to be a toxin binder as well. Unfortunately, at $350 per month (after insurance) based on the dosage prescribed, this was not an affordable option for me and besides; I was uncomfortable taking the drug. My son also tested positive for the gene and his blood work came back showing he also was affected by the mold. Again, I was told he should be put on the Welchol at yet another $350 per month. If I was able to recoup all the expenses for replacing personal items and medical expenses (that is a whole other story), I might have considered it. I know where I stand though.
I knew there had to be a better way….
After moving in to our new place, I did start to feel better but knew I had to come up with a remedy that would act as a toxin binder that wasn’t so harsh on my body and didn’t cost a bundle to take. It has been a few months now since the move and I have had a decline in my health including two ER visits in a three week span to rule out a stroke and DVT (deep vein thrombosis/blood clot). I decided to consult with my holistic doctor, Dr. Marc Pinto, who has helped me immensely before. I am also seeing a new primary doctor who performed a wellness check and ordered some testing. The additional diagnoses so far are all not official yet (possible Sciatica, Carpal Tunnel, De Quervain’s tendonitis) and I still have yet to see a Neurologist. Besides changing my diet, Dr. Marc has put me on a homeopathic protocol to detox as well as helping me not focus so much on my symptoms/diagnoses but my body as a whole.
Out of the 44 pounds total I had gained from inflammation over the past 14 months, I did lose 11 the first ten days on the new eating regimen. I am following a very strict (and not fun) eating plan, eating no gluten (of course), dairy, sugar, and grains and not drinking any caffeine, alcohol or fruity teas. It is very similar to a Candida diet, adding in not eating any food or drink that can get moldy or feed mold.
I know I can heal. I know I can help my son so he will not be put back on an inhaler for Asthma. Healing is all in your mindset. If you will it to be possible, you will be shown how your health can improve.
I will update you all with my progress over the next few months as well as give more detailed information on what has been briefly been touched on here. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I hope and pray that I can help others who may also be affected by hidden toxic mold or toxic mold in general and not realize it.
Andrea is a health and food coach that specializes in gluten-free living. Her experience with the dangers of toxic foods and environmental toxins makes her a unique and experienced coach that not only is educated and trained in the field of nutrition, but also backed up by her personal experience with that too close of an encounter we all know to be "Toxic Mold".
I encourage you to visit Andreas website where she has more information about Gluten-Free living and is ready to take your call to help coach you through this tough time of "Surviving Toxic Mold". http://www.andreamccarthyhealth.com/about/