This last part of my story is the hardest to tell. Not because it is the most emotional persay, but because it is the hardest for others to swallow. I cannot tell you how many people have asked me to help them with their own journey out of toxic mold, but I can tell you that very few of them wanted to follow the same path I did. The things I learned are not easy to wrap your mind around. They are big hairy scary changes that often must be made to find optimal health. They are neither cheap nor easy… but you simply cannot put a price on your health.
So, before I get into the last part of my story, please know that I regret none of the things I had to do to get better. Know that I would recommend the same thing for anyone else dealing with mold. And know that it most likely will heavily challenge you.
But, I will also share that everyone is different. Some people in the moldy community couldn’t abide by many of the choices I made. Their sensitivity level would simply be too high. Others wouldn’t need to do everything I did to get results… but most will have to do something along these lines. I am not telling you how to live, but I am telling you that whatever you need to do to regain your health is worth it!
So here we go…
After finding out that it truly was my house making me ill we began making some connections. We discovered that our attic was indeed filled with mold. Upon further testing it was found that this was penicillium… not even the most dangerous mold… but it had filled our attic from that small leak.
We also found evidence of some of the more toxic mold spores including cladosporium and aspergillus in the bathroom. Now you may recall this is the same bathroom that had carpeting that we’d ripped up a few months back. We realized that this was the same time I started to get ill, and with horror recognized that we had ripped right into dangerous mold and proceeded to spread it through the house as we dried out the wet subfloor and removed it.
I began a period of intense research and counsel. Talking to a few others who had been through something similar, as well as other mold experts. While there were some disagreements, the overarching theme seemed to be to leave my house as though there were a fire and never return.
I could hardly fathom this. Surely remediation was possible. I learned that while it was, for the person who had become ill in the home, the chances of ever being able to return to even a properly remediated house were slim to none.
Not only that, but the belongings in the home must be treated with great care. Anything porous could easily transport mold spores or the mycotoxins (the poison in essence) on to my next home. That meant books, clothes, beds, carpets, unfinished wood, plastics, toys, pictures etc… almost everything had to go.
I tested myself with a few items. There were many theories on proper mold cleaning, but only a few seemed to actually address the damaging mycotoxins. Soaking items in ammonia, and using an ozone machine on them in a small confined space were two methods that were recommended. I discovered that if I aired out an item, wiped it down with ammonia and then ozonated it, sometimes I could keep it without feeling sick.
The level of intensity of my reactions to objects was incredibly high. I would get sick within minutes of exposure to my old home. I purchased a biohazard suit and mask designed to filter out biological spores. I would go to my home for 30 minutes at a time (about all my sick body could handle) and slowly clean items with ammonia and lock them in our shed for ozonation. Only the most precious items could be kept. Nothing porous made the cut, except for the risk I took with some family photos.
Once the cleaning was done my husband (who I was now separated from) took two massive dumpsters and filled them with the rest of our belongings. Approximately 95% of our belongings were disposed of.
We then hired a proper remediator. I could not ethically choose anything that I felt could make anyone sick in the future. Thousands of dollars later, remediation was done and we listed our home for sale. My husband and I parted ways, I living in my parents home for what would become the better part of two years.
I spent hundreds on detox supplements and supportive therapies. I found essential oils, sunlight and metabolically stimulating food to be the most helpful in my recovery. I would be happy to share on any of those to any that need guidance. I started down the route to the shoemaker protocol, but couldn’t afford it. I found that I didn’t end up needing it to fully recover.
It has now been over two years since I left my mold filled home. I, for the first time in a long time, can say I feel healthy. It took all of those two years to slowly return to health in most of those areas. I still struggle with the weight, I still have stretch marks that bleed when I’m stressed, I still get the occasional tremor if I spend a lot of time in a public area (movie theatres are the worst for mold spores FYI), but as far as the rest of me goes… I feel better than I ever have.
I know that the potential to lose so much seems overwhelming. You certainly learn what is important to you in a short time. But my heart and love is with you. If you are in a home filled with mold you can do this! I recommend the following resources for anyone dealing with this currently: