Mold, The Boogeyman in my Closet

Mold, The Boogeyman in my Closet
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In June of 2018, we found our dream house in Dunedin, Florida. It was the most beautiful home I ever owned. On the outside, she was stunning. We named her Leilani, which meant ‘child of god’ in Hawaiian. Lush landscape, sliding glass doors leading to a tropical lanai, a huge backyard full of mature trees with a landscape that summoned honey bees and butterflies. It had marble floors, a brand new renovated kitchen and most of all, a lovely, quiet neighborhood.

We left a trying time in Tennessee and were looking forward to fun in the sun in Florida. The worst of anything we ever went through, was behind us.  I was off my thyroid medicine and was feeling great. Then it started two weeks in, after we moved. I woke up achy all the time, gained weight, was depressed sporadically, had no energy, didn’t want to leave the house, felt fatigued, wasn’t up to socializing much, and worst part of all, I had horrible inflammation in my body, especially my legs. I could feel it. I could not stand for very long and when I went food shopping, I was leaning on the cart to help hold me up. I was in constant pain with every step I took.

St Pete Pride with best friend, Sue

Through it all, I smiled. I kept going. It was hard to keep up with people, events and just basic everyday life. I went for chiropractic adjustments, Chinese medicine, massage, accupuncture, and PEMF,(magnetic energy work for inflammation). On one visit, in tears, I asked my Chinese doctor, Dr. Carrie Graves of The Wellness Tree, “what is wrong with me?” She said in Chinese medicine, I have ‘too much moisture‘ in my body. She too was also trying to figure it out. I ate very clean, drank my water, so we just thought more accupuncture and see if we could get the lymph moving. I got home and called a dear friend of mine, Lee Thornton back in Tennessee. She taught me so much about my Hashimotos illness, auto immune issues in general and worked her Magnawave PEMF on me when I needed it. She was, and still is, an amazing healer. She taught me to heal myself, but in this case, no matter what I tried, I couldn’t. I felt as if my Hashimotos came out of remission or I had fibromyalgia.  I told her about the ‘too much moisture‘ in my body.

Rome, Italy

Then she uttered the words I will remember forever and that saved me and Holly’s life. “Too much moisture in your body? You need to get a mold test for your home!” We moved into the house in June, I struggled through October, then went to Italy for three weeks and felt amazing. I thought Italy simply healed me. I visited St. Francis of Assisi’s grave, toured the Vatican, ate great food, breathed in fresh air…that’s it. It was Italy. Two weeks after being home, I was back to being ill again and full of pain. It was then that Lee and I had that conversation. We connected the dots. There was something in the house that was causing inflammation and auto immune issues for me. I felt it.

Aspergillus Mold

We decided to call John Bodhe of The Mold Pros, they are located in Naples, Florida. They travel throughout the country, attending health summits, mold remediation seminars and conferences. I will say this and it’s quite important: YOU MUST FEEL 100% COMFORTABLE AND CONFIDENT  WITH YOUR MOLD REMEDIATION CREW. They are the ones to not only professionally remove the mold, but help you with retesting, knowledge and ongoing prevention. They are your peace of mind so having the right remediation crew is so important.  A third party must always retest the home, but having a great team will make the process as least stressful as possible.

Mold Life Cycle

Mr. Bodhe explained to me, so I would understand better, that mold has a life cycle. It grows in moisture. It is like a dandelion with little fuzzy sticks that blow in the wind, then settle, those are the spores. This explanation helped me to understand things better so I would not panic on mold infested items in my house. We ended up with a new bed, pillows, comforter and sheets even though Mr. Bodhe reassured us his team would clean everything. You see, the spores gently sit on top of the items. He cleaned all that out. It’s an entire process, you can find more information on The Mold Pros website and feel free to call with any questions.

John Bodhe (left) from The Mold Pros. They came back for a second round of mold remediation.

Our mold testing came back with high levels of aspergillus, penicillium and Stachybotrys. Our mold specialist, John Bodhe of The Mold Pros told us it was the worst case he had ever seen. He had to treat our home twice, and that is common in some cases and certainly for our house. The mycotoxic mold spores were growing in our leaky duct work in the attic, bringing mycotoxic air and hot air from outside, through our air conditioning system. Our house read at 75% humidity which is super high and was a breeding ground for mold to keep growing. We had dangerous mold spores coming through our air vents! We fixed the air ducts in the attic and had mold removed up in attic as well.  The main issue was in our master bathroom and closet. The previous owners took marble and sealed it over existing tile that had leaks and moisture behind it. That environment got worse and worse for every person who lived here.  It is important to get a mold test for any home, anywhere. In the end, it cost us our health, especially mine with a compromised immune system, and a lot of money! Buying a home? Get a mold test. Period! (One thing I must note, in this blog, I am referring to dangerous mold toxins, mold that releases ‘mycotoxins’,  not the everyday mold we inhale outside in humid places like Florida.)

It is very important to pay attention to how you are feeling once you move into a place, or start at a new place with  work. If within a few days you don’t feel well, it is a good time to really pay attention to how long it lasts. Sometimes, we just get a cold, but other times, we can develop upper respiratory issues that won’t go away. Many people who are exposed to dangerous mold have similar symptoms to fibromyalgia. They get misdiagnosed and go down an axiety ridden rabbit hole. Everyone reacts to mold exposure differently: upper respiratory, inflammation, pain in legs, becoming immobile, vertigo, continuous coughing, trouble breathing, anxiety, depression and so much more.

I suffered from a few of these and thought I was going crazy. I could not understand why I had so much pain trying to walk, I was depressed and had brain fog; but through it all, I did not give up on my health. Searching the internet for answers can be a scary experience too, but I was fortunate enough to stumble across a woman who is a mold expert in her own right due to dangerous exposure herself. Her name is Catherine and her informative blog page is called Mold Free Living. I hightly recommend her site and please be sure to go through all her wonderful blogs to learn about how mold affects our environment, our health and our families. I was suffering from so much fear and anxiety and when I reached out to her, it was as if Catherine stopped my boat from rocking and it was then I realized, once mold was professionally removed, I would be okay. It just takes time. I emailed her several times and took her advice on healing and recovery. Mold Free Living was one of the keys to my healing through knowledge and understanding. Catherine also recommends products from Micro Balance Health Products. I have purchased their candles, laundry cleaner and other products for peace of mind. John Bodhe of Mold Pros also gave me a spray that he felt was very powerful to keep mold free cleaning at the top of your list. I use it all! Can’t hurt! I take recommendations from both Catherine and John, they are experts at it and made my spirit be at peace.

Anxiety comes in many forms. For me, anxiety manifested into worry, fear, feeling stuck, didn’t wish to get out and socialize.I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was more emotional and most of all, in a lot of pain. I felt like I had fibromyalgia. We a person struggles in constant pain, their personality is different, that was me. We traveled to Italy and the pain immediately went away and so did the anxiety. As stated in the beginning of this blog, Italy was the saving grace too because when I came home, the pain set in again. I knew there was a boogyman in my house making me sick. His name was Mold.

I encourage you to pay attention to sudden changes in your health when you move into a new place, or even suddenly notice them now. Many doctors misdiagnose because mold illness is masked by auto immune symtoms. I was fortunate enough to return to my old medical center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Magnolia Medical Center. Many doctors in Florida were charging thousands of dollars and demanding MRIs and blood transfusions! Even though Dr. Morris at Magnolia Medical Center was not a pro in the mold illness field, he is certainly known for helping those with auto immune issues and together we would figure it out. I did not want to try the Shoemaker Protocol for mold because it involved a lot of pharmaceuticals and was quite aggressive. We chose a homeopathic approach, DesBio which is a series of drops under the tongue for two months.

Steps to healing from mold exposure:

  • Remove yourself, pets and family from the environment and get professionals to do proper and thorough mold testing and mold remediation. I don’t recommend doing it yourself. I felt confident and anxiety free when Mold Pros handled our house. I felt safe again. All of my pets got bathed as well.
  • Read Catherine’s blogs!! Knowledge does give one power, but for me, it was peace of mind. I knew I would get through this.
  • Find a medical professional you trust that can help you get healthy again and teach you better ways to live a mold free life. Don’t do this on your own. Help is out there.
  • Be patient with the healing and recovery process.  Mold doesn’t leave the body in a day, it takes time, and the longer you are exposed, the longer it takes.
  • YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS! Catherine from Mold Free Living and John Bodhe of Mold Pros reassured me all would be okay. Never give up and search for answers. Mold is no joke!

I continue to heal with PEMF treatments and use infrared saunas to reduce inflammation, I eat whole foods and watch my ‘mold contaminating’ foods such as peanuts, coffee and red wine. (You can find more information on the internet.) I use Bullet Proof Coffee from Whole Foods, it is ‘mold free’, who knew! 🙂 I use a coffee press instead of a coffee maker, due to mold build up found in coffee makers. I meditate and write daily affirmations and gratitude in my journal.We have two dehumidifiers, recommended by M0ld Pros to keep the humidity stay below 50.(STOP THE MOIST ENVIRONMENT, MOLD CANNOT DWELL THERE. John Bodhe always said that and told me if I ever get worried, just look at the numbers! He showed me before and after mold tests to show me how safe our home was. The numbers showed it. I was anxious my first night back home, but after that, I slept like a baby.)

I continue to be under my doctor’s care at Magnolia Medical Center and now take natural thyroid medicine (NP) for my Hashimotos. I am not a fan of medicine, but it has made me feel so much better. The mycotoxic mold exposure reawakened my auto immune issues and therefore must be on it now. But I am at peace with it. I also went on a Repair and Clear Program that healed my organs and I ate really clean, mainly an auto immune/paleo protocol. I continue with my DesBio and feel confident that eventually, the mold will be out of my system totally, but I will have sensitivity to mold now. I am the ‘canary in the coal mine” as my wife says. If it wasn’t for my body’s auto immune response, we would not have discovered this. There was no mold smell in our home.

Shiloh and Me, Ferrell Hollow Farm

I wanted to write this blog incase anyone else is suffering from possible mold exposure and they need some direction. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or health professional. Just a woman who experienced a painful and emotionally challenging time. Mold is to be taken seriously and if you feel some of my story is similar to yours, then get a mold test. It will be so worth it to you, your loving pets and your family. Now that I am pain free, 20 pounds lighter and happier, I see the person I was always meant to be. I am lighter in not just appearance, but more importantly, I am lighter in spirit. Pain changes who we are, it alters our personality. We cannot even think or react clearly. I feel better than ever and thank goodness for my persistance. More than ever, I cherish life and I cherish the happy moments I was truly robbed of for nearly 7 months. Blessings to all who took the time to read this blog. A healthy body holds a happy soul!

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