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Toxic Mold: You Are Not Alone

Feeling Alone Toxic Mold

Those who have experienced ill health due to toxic mold exposure often feel isolated, and even crazy. This article is meant to assure you that you are not alone, that many are struggling.

The late Dr. Jack Thrasher, the leading toxicologist in the field of toxic mold for many years, often said that he would like to retire, but there were too many people suffering. (Dr. Thrasher shares this perspective in this interview with momsAWARE's Andrea Fabry, recorded eight months before his death.)

Since the founding of momsAWARE in 2009, emails have poured in by the hundreds. All share the same themes:

  • isolation
  • desperation
  • panic
  • devastation

The following are excerpts of emails received in a three-week period in 2018. Hopefully these will validate your own experience and lessen your feelings of isolation.

Excerpts of Emails Received in the Spring of 2018

For the 3 years living in the home, my kids were constantly sick with upper respiratory infections, ear infections, strep throat, pneumonia, etc. I had my kids in the hospital every month and still did not put 2 and 2 together. The house looked nice from the outside of the walls but behind them was hidden mold.

I went to the doctors and they kept telling me that it was my asthma, that kept flaring up. At that time I went along with it.

I became very tired, trouble breathing and overall weak. I would cry—my body was soooooo tired and I could not explain it. I had that cough for a year when I started having numbness and tingling in my arm where it felt like I had little circulation.

Leaving everything behind was tough enough and now I can't seem to find a doctor to help me. The dizziness and weak legs is causing me to become discouraged and depressed.

Have you heard of these symptoms before? Could you direct me to any resources? Should I be throwing all our belongings away? We lived in this apartment for one month.

I am sick all the time. I have been to all kinds of specialists, so many different tests and even repeats. No one can ever find what the problem is. They assume it may be fibromyalgia. I keep telling them I feel toxic.

I feel alone and lost. I have lost my job and business and feel like a burden to my family. My health affects so many people.

I worked at a business for a year and a half and was so sick and could not figure out what was wrong with me. My symptoms were so bad I just recently left there a little over a month ago. I cried when I read your story.

It seems that the toxins keep following us around despite stringent efforts to try and not cross-contaminate. It's literally driving us insane.

Here are some recent subject lines of emails received:

  • Sickness wont go after living in mold
  • PLease help
  • Pls how do i make contact w/you , so dizzy and confused pins and needles all over my face, lots of pain here

These two statements are quite common:

  • I'm not sure why I'm writing to you, except to find hope.
  • I feel like it's one step forward, 20 steps back.

Sadly, environmental illness is not on the radar of most physicians. The world at large has yet to embrace the reality that poor building and maintenance practices often lead to serious health issues.

Thankfully, the tide is turning. Awareness is growing. A group of physicians has come together to form the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI).

While the road can be long and the journey isolating, there is hope. Sometimes hope is found in simply knowing we're not alone.


Read more about recovering your life in How I Got My Life Back After Our Toxic Mold Exposure on Andrea's blog.

Quotes

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"...at age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

Dedication