When did you move into your current home?
How many years have you lived there?
7 years (moved in 2006)
How soon after you began living there did you begin to feel sick?
2004 (5 years)
What were your symptoms?
Headaches, fatigue, coughing, GI problems, tremors, memory problems, ice pick pains in my legs (felt like bee stings), anxiety, brain fog, memory problems, problems with cognition and understanding instructions, difficulty concentrating, problems with speech, coordination and balance, strange vision (felt like I was looking but not “seeing” things properly), severe abdominal pain that would come on suddenly, difficulty managing stress (would flare up symptoms), nightmares.
How many doctors did you consult with?
During the entire ten-year period, I have seen eight doctors with whom I have discussed these issues. I was fortunate to have an alternative practitioner (clinical kinesiologist) help me diagnose this fairly early on; but until I was able to find therapies that helped me detoxify, I continued to have strange health issues that required additional testing to rule out other problems. I also saw two therapists and three different marriage counselors during this time as the long-term health issues created problems with the marriage.
How helpful were the doctors you consulted with?
My clinical kinesiologist diagnosed me within 8 months of the first symptoms, which helped me discover the problems caused by the home and led to nutritional supplementation, which was a HUGE help. Another therapist gave me the name of a woman who does “fit for service” testing for military personnel. I had symptoms of PTSD and she was going to test me for that. After interviewing me and hearing about my mold history, she gave me the name of a doctor that was studying mold related illness. This referral helped me tremendously. Other than that, none of the doctors were able to help. Many told me that it was ‘all in my head’, which is why there were so many visits to therapists and counselors as well. One neurologist found anomalies in my MRI and EEG, but dismissed them I think because he couldn’t explain them. He offered antidepressants which were not very helpful. When I finally showed the MRI to the neurologist that is working with mold patients, he understood and correctly interpreted the scan.
Did any of your initial doctor visits consider mold or air quality as the cause of your sickness?
Yes, the clinical kinesiologist made that connection. Without her diagnosis, I would not have had the early intervention that made my recovery possible.
When was mold identified as the cause of your sickness?
Eight months after the symptoms began. This was in late 2004.
What treatment are you currently under?
I am in the Mold Study group that Dr. Empting is conducting. I am currently being monitored, not treated.
How long do your doctors think it will take to recover?
My doctors have all been really excited about my recovery. I believe that I am better than I have ever been, with more energy, more concentration and more physical stamina than before.
I was very fortunate to have made such a great recovery. I never thought I would be able to work again. I struggled with the fatigue and CIRS flare-ups for so long that it just seemed like I would never have the opportunity to live a normal life. I recently switched from a bag of expensive supplements to a program of meal replacement shakes and bars, along with nutritional products for detoxification and hormone balancing—and that’s when I started to really make progress. Before, it was as if I was always on the verge of a flare-up. I couldn’t exercise at all without becoming very stiff and sore the next day—as if I had done ten times the amount of exercise. I will stay on this program indefinitely—I have lost weight, toned up, and have had lab work that came back and confirmed my improvement. All three of my doctors agree that I am really healthy now, so I am thrilled with that!