My Mold Story

I was trying to heal in a house filled with mold.

I have had health problems since childhood. Gut issues, asthma, allergies and anxiety were issues even when I was a child. I had started making health changes a few years before. I had cut gluten and dairy. Eventually I was cooking from scratch and eating a Paleo type diet.

While my body had some initial relief, I continued to struggle. Thinking I would take it a step farther, I started the GAPS diet to try to repair my gut.

If you aren't familiar, the GAPS diet involves a lot of cooking. I was in the kitchen hours a day which didn't really bother me because I enjoy cooking. 

I didn't know I was in one of the worst rooms in our house.

2 years before we had found out we were pregnant with twins. We had a couple of choices: 1. Sell our home or 2. Add on. We weren't finished remodeling our home so we decided it was best to add on. It would increase the value of the home anyway.

We hired a jack of all trades (mistake #1) to come in and do the plumbing for the addition. Within a couple of months I realized that water was coming up under the kitchen floor. My husband kept going under the kitchen floor but couldn't find the source of the leak. He had someone else come in, they couldn't find the source of the leak. All the while I was cooking in my kitchen and with an older kitchen without good ventilation, it could get pretty hot. Steve finally told me that he was going to have to tear up the entire kitchen floor to find the leak.

We never got around to that.

While doing GAPS, I continued to feel worse and worse. I had been dealing with a weakness in my arms. My stomach would swell up over my liver and gallbladder area. We were on vacation the week before I got sick and I was miserable. While we were gone, my husband had turned up the thermostat. We didn't know we were making an already bad problem worse.

The week I got home I decided to do a liver detox.

What I didn't know at the time is that if you have the perfect storm of genetic inability to detox + a lot of toxins built up in your body and you do a detox, you can make a terrible situation a whole lot worse. Toxins store in fat and if they start circulating in your system and can't exit they will go to one of the fattiest parts of your body- your brain.

I immediately started having severe panic attacks. I had truly never experienced anything like this. I wanted to claw my skin off. I turned grey.
I rapidly started losing weight. I weighed 130 before I got sick. Within several weeks my husband thinks I weighed 90 lbs at most.

Someone suggested that it could be mold so we started looking into it. My husband took me to his parents to get me out of the house and started meeting with remediators. Because we were all out of the house he turned up the thermostat again. We didn't realize what that would do.

As Steve started coming back to meet with remediators he started seeing visible mold in our home. It was growing on the dining room chairs. He found this in our laundry room. The laundry room that had just been remodeled as part of our addition.

The mold had been in the air all along- we had no idea. Once the heat was turned up in August, it took off with a fury.

In meeting with remediators, my husband found that most of them had no idea what they were doing and they weren't regulated in any way. Someone finally told him that he could hire the lab directly. That was our next step.

The mold lab came in and found the mold... everywhere. It was growing underneath our entire house. It had gotten in the HVAC system and was circulating throughout the entire house. We were all breathing it in.

The entire house needed to be gutted if it could be saved at all. Steve spoke to our doctor, experts online (there are very few when it comes to mold) and we had to make a hard decision. We had to walk away. 

While we learned there were a few pieces of wood furniture that could be saved, we lost almost everything we owned. If that was all, it would be a difficult but distant story. Unfortunately, it was just the beginning. I will share more in my next blog post.

To read part two, click here.

To read part three, click here.

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