Out of Nowhere

wing-221526__340On November 16th I flew to Arizona after my health began plummeting.  My doctor had suspected toxic mold exposure and had me do a urine test that showed 7 times the toxic level of trichothecenes in my body. ” Trichothecene is a type of mycotoxin produced by toxic molds. Trichothecene is one of the most notorious mycotoxins because trichothecenes are extremely toxic and because they are so difficult to destroy.”                http://blackmold.awardspace.com/trichothecene.html

Trichothescenes are also used in biological warfare!  This is not something you want to mess around with.

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/biological_warfare/page17_em.htm

This was a major red flag and we had the house tested. red-1028366__340 First we hired a mold inspector who assured us the air sample was good enough  So $700 later his report showed aspergillius/penicillium, but was unable to differentiate between the two.  Doctor said “now do the test I asked you to do!”  We ordered an ERMI test and It came back positive for 3 toxic molds. It is much, much more sensitive that the air sample test. Our house tested positive for Stachybotrys (toxic black mold), Wallemia (water born mold) and Aspergillius.  Here’s a picture of our ERMI results-Ideally you don’t want even 1 Stachybotrys and we had a score of 8!

Location

Spore E./mg

Fungal ID \ Sample ID MAC-045/EC-Bathrms, BRs, Kit, LR, DR, Hallway

Aspergillus flavus/oryzae 1

Aspergillus fumigatus 5

Aspergillus niger 280

Aspergillus ochraceus 7

Aspergillus penicillioides 31

Aspergillus restrictus* 3

Aspergillus sclerotiorum ND

Aspergillus sydowii ND

Aspergillus unguis ND

Aspergillus versicolor 23

Aureobasidium pullulans 470

Chaetomium globosum 1

Cladosporium sphaerospermum 5

Eurotium (Asp.) amstelodami* 1800

Paecilomyces variotii 2

Penicillium brevicompactum 38

Penicillium corylophilum 33

Penicillium crustosum* 31

Penicillium purpurogenum 1

Penicillium spinulosum* ND

Penicillium variabile 10

Scopulariopsis brevicaulis/fusca 39

Scopulariopsis chartarum 24

Stachybotrys chartarum 8

Trichoderma viride* 10

Wallemia sebi 300

Stachybotrys is very difficult to catch on an air sample. “The spores are therefore not readily disseminated in the air compared to other fungi such as Aspergillus. However, when the fungus and substrate dries and is disturbed by mechanical means or air movement, conidia can become bioaerosols.” (http://www.apsnet.org/publications/apsnetfeatures/Pages/Stachybotrys.aspx)

“One weakness of direct visual examination (of an air sample)is that some common genera, such as Penicillium and Aspergillus, cannot be differentiated and reported cumulatively. Another obvious weakness is that heavier spores, such as Stachybotrys, may be present but not aerosolized and therefore,underreported if only air sampling is performed..” (http://healthybuildingscience.com/2013/02/14/mold-testing-air-quality/) This is exactly why our air sample test showed what it did.

IMG_6987

The ERMI, on the other hand is highly specific and tests for 36 different molds. Please don’t waste your money with air sampling.  The ERMI is about $300 and will give you way more information.

We opened up one wall and found stachybotrys (toxic black mold) At this point my doctor said “you have to walk away from your home and possessions”.  Let that sink in a minute.  Walk away from your home.  It was devastating news but not unexpected.  I had researched and we’d even talked to the twins about it being a possibility.  But now it was reality. Why did we have to leave our house and not just remediate?  Remember trichothescenes are a gas, and therefore can penetrate every porous surface.  Think, sheetrock, carpet, drapes, bedding, clothes, books, unfinished wood, etc, etc, etc,.  The only things I’ve been able to tolerate since leaving the mold are glass items and metal items after they have been washed and wiped down.  It was one of the hardest things we’ve had to do, but my health was very, very poor.

It sounds unbelievable, and it was even to me who was living it, but I literally left 99% of my life behind and flew to Arizona.  I bought clothes that had never been in my house and at the airport threw away everything I was wearing and changed into brand new clothing including shoes.  After rinsing my hair in the sink, it was on to the next flight.  The only things that came with me were my phone, drivers license, and debit card.  These items were in plastic bags and stayed in the garage for three weeks.  I bought a waterproof case for my phone but still kept it in the garage.  Within 5 days I felt better than I had in 6 years!  The word I used the most often with hubby was “surreal”, because that is exactly how I felt.  How could getting away from everything connected to the toxic house make that much difference?  It seemed impossible.  But I continued to feel better and better as the days passed.

tick-1271763__340I’ve plateaued at 50% but I suspect that is because my body is still fighting Lyme, Hashimotos, CRPS, Cytomegalovirus, chronic Epstein Barr and HHV 6.   Having my pain and neurological symptoms dial down 50% has been life changing.  I came home mid December, well, not home, we lived with friends for 6 weeks .  We have since found a house that feels very very good to me.  I became super reactive to that particular “soup” of toxins and can tell within a few minutes if exposed to it.  I continue to sleep very very well, 8-9 hours a night, which hasn’t happened for at least 6 years and feel so much better.  My youngest two don’t even remember me not being in pain 24/7 so to them I’m a new mom. 🙂  I’ll continue to walk this path of wellness and see if I can conquer the other chronic infections also.

If you are not making gains with long standing health problems, please consider mold might be an issue.  It cannot be smelled or even seen most times.  But oh the damage it can do.  I am well aware that some damage from living in that house may be permanent, but am doing all I can to get to the highest level of health possible.

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