Christa Upton

When did you move into your current home?

I moved into the moldy house in October, 2007.

How many years have you lived there?

I lived in the house for about 2.5 years until I had to move out in April, 2010 because I was so sick.

How soon after you began living there did you begin to feel sick?

About 4 months.

What were your symptoms?

“Crashing” in energy several times a week, progressing over the months to: difficulty sleeping, heartburn, nausea, extremely limited diet due to digestive issues, dizziness, tachycardia, chest pain, increasing fatigue until I was bedridden, muscle pain (sometimes extreme), weakness, sensitivity to light and sound (sometimes extreme), irregular heartbeat, and chemical sensitivity (to perfumes and progressing from there).

How many doctors did you consult with?

No doctor could tell me what was wrong, but I found some clues from recognized Multiple Chemical Sensitivity doctors when I began to react to chemicals. However, it was a mold consultant that put the final piece of the puzzle in place for us to help us see that mold was the root cause.

How helpful were the doctors you consulted with?

One doctor acknowledged that mold is very dangerous, but he did not know what to do for me.

Did any of your initial doctor visits consider mold or air quality as the cause of your sickness?

YES, the one I spoke of! Unfortunately, I told him we were “taking care of” the hidden mold problem in our new house and had no idea we were doing things wrong!

Later when we figured it out, he still wasn’t sure what to do, beyond good health practices and trying to stay active. Since then, I have found my body to be intolerant to supplements and medicines. However, every time I camp in a non-moldy place, I get more energy and experience decreasing of symptoms.

When was mold identified as the cause of your sickness?

Around March, 2010, the day I hobbled outside in the spring and lay outside on the grass for a few hours. I started to feel human for the first time in months, and that’s when I realized something was wrong with the house. We did a flurry of research and consulted with several mold inspectors. When one professional told us that “killing” mold was dangerous, we immediately knew what the problem was. We had attempted to “kill” the mold in almost every room of our house.

What treatment are you currently under?

Avoidance, including chemicals. I also take probiotics, try to exercise and am focusing on a detox diet.

How long do your doctors think it will take to recover?

They don’t know. In February, 2016, I will, hopefully, be moving into a mold-free, low-tox home, with an efficient outdoor intake system. After that, my guess from research is 8 to 24 months. However, in the sense of being able to tolerate “normal” life, for example in a city with pollution, I doubt I will ever recover.

Any thoughts?

Don’t “kill” or spray mold!

Instead, properly remediate it and hire a professional with experience and references that knows what they are doing.

February and March of 2008 we “killed” mold, sprayed with Lysol, bleached subfloor and ran fans, replaced carpet but left mold in the subfloor, walls, etc. Eight months later I was so sick I could not get out of bed.

By the time we left, I was so injured by the mold toxins that my body can not handle chemical toxins either (paint, carpet, car exhaust, plastics, vinyl, pressboard, etc.), and therefore we have struggled with homelessness for over 5 years. Literal homelessness, not “stay with a friend” homeless, because all of my friends and family at that time lived in cities/towns, near fields sprayed with herbicide, etc. that made me ill.

Even in March of 2010, our industrial hygienist and his assistant could not smell much mold because we had done such a “good” job killing it. But it had left behind massive amounts of toxins. They destroyed my body’s ability to detox effectively.

Not one spray has been shown to denature these toxins. Some sprays appear to make toxins worse or more airborne.

Humans cannot smell most mold toxins, especially after the mold is “dead.” They are so small that they cannot be seen. They are so tiny that they generally cannot be removed with air purifiers or filters. But they are deadly.

Thank you for your research! Many people could be saved suffering if this information can get out.