Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oh, my back...I mean, I'm back!

If you've followed my blog, you'll recall that when I moved thirteen months ago, I swore I would never endure the torture again. Well...I have a new address.

I really loved the house we were in, but after months of being ill...and not just me, my sister and my husband, we started getting suspicious that there was something amiss. All of us had unusual fatigue, headaches, and all were treated for respiratory and sinus problems. I was even beginning to feel like I had dementia because my thought processes were so confused. Imagine...all these symptoms are side affects of prolonged exposure to mold.

Black Mold Symptoms (Just one of many sites I found on the Internet)

Black mold exposure in humans usually leads to a range of physical symptoms. Mostly, they revolve around problems with the airway, nasal passages, and lungs. Coughing, sneezing and stuffy noses are usually evident in people exposed to large amount of mold. This is because our bodies try to physically expel the irritating substance from the nose or airways.

NOTE: I have a letter from the doctor certifying that all occupants of the house were treated for respiratory and sinus problems.

Aches and Pains

Most aches are of the headache variety. They're not actually from the mold, but because we work so hard to blow out our noses and cough mold from our lungs, our heads begin to ache a bit. In a few cases, a non-fatal toxin from the mold will cause these pains, or even general fatigue.

NOTE: I've been to the doctor several times, confused by why I was so exhausted all the time. I've had countless blood tests and even was referred to a rheumatologist for the pain. I've always boasted that I never have headaches, but they've been almost a daily companion for at least the past six months.

Heavy Amounts of Black Mold. If a person is subjected to a lot of black mold, minor lapses of memory can result. Additionally, it could feel like the onset of the flu has begun. Also, there may be some nausea or vomiting, and maybe even diarrhea. In this case, go see a doctor.

NOTE: I actually feared I was getting dementia, and my husband was ten times worse than usual at forgetting where he put anything. My sister always complained that she felt like she was getting the flu.

If you live in an older home and suffer any of the above, I urge you to check it out.

The house had a "musty" smell when we moved in, but we chalked it up to it being closed up and unoccupied for a time. The smell never went away. We live in a high humidity state, so one can expect moisture from time to time, but our bedroom windows were a constant hotbed of mold. A month or so ago, my sister wanted to wear her leather jacket, and when she took it out of the hall closet, we all gasped. Her leather and mine were covered with white mold. We thought them ruined, but we were able to salvage them.

Then a little two inch "spore" sprouted between the carpet and the baseboard in the family room. My sister was the first to vacate. She has lupus and has been on inhaled steroids for months. After only two weeks away, she's feeling like a different person and stopped using the expensive meds. We actually decided to push our move up when my husband got dual eye infections and a visit to his Vanderbilt eye specialist (he has had two cornea transplants and dual cataract surgery recently) informed us that mold is a prime reason for transplant rejection and could have actually speed up the cataract growth. When I think of all the money we've spent on co-pays and medicine, I'm astounded.

Kelly and I wore masks and goggles while we cleaned up after the move, and I think we left the property cleaner and certainly with improvements we intended to enjoy for years to come. I guess fate had a different plan for us. I refuse to let people believe I've a slob which seems to be so commonplace among renters. I did leave this little patch for the landlord as proof and I'm sharing the picture here so you can see what mold looks like. We found this behind the armoire in our bedroom.

Anyhow...just wanted to whine a little and let you know why I've been gone.

Now all I need to do is wait for my back and knee to heal, and I'm good to go. Love my little Condo! For the first time in years, Kelly and I are living alone! What a feeling. He actually walked naked through the house, just because he could. *lol*

Thanks to my friends who kept this place going while I was gone. It's good to be "home."


Phyllis Campbell said...

I'm so glad you're out of there, Ging! And I'm glad you let us know how bad mold can affect our health! Scary!


susan said...

enjoy your new home..you have a good rest also. susan L.

Margaret Tanner said...

Wow Ginger, you poor things, you ought to be able to sue your landlord for damages and personal injury. That picture of the mould made me feel sick.

I am so glad you are out of that hell-hole, pity about your back and knee, though. Speedy recovery I hope. Nice that hubby could walk around naked. What about you????


Ginger Simpson said...

Thanks for your comments.

I have to say that Landlord really is a nice man. He lived in the home plus his parents lived there, and none never had problems. I think we made him understand that people who have respiratory problems are more susceptible, plus things change over the yers. He was very fair and thanked us for taking such good care of his property. I was angry for a time, but I think my anger was misdirected. Under his circumstances, I might have been upset to have someone move out so abruptly, but our health is important and I think we suffered enough. The bottom line...we both lost a little money in the deal...him in rent and us with all the medical expenses. Bottom line...I feel like a new person and I can actually say, I'm happier than I've been in months. Hooray!

Kathleen said...

All best wishes in your new home. Glad you are feeling better. We live in Florida so I know how dangerous mold can be.

Cheryl St.John said...

Your story is incredible, Ginger. How awful that all of you suffered through that without knowing the cause.

So glad you're better and your husband eyes are doing well.

Thanks for poring my class!

See you there.

Maryann Miller said...

Wow, what a horrible experience for you all. Hope the new place treats you better.

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