Jun 2011: Move to Florida apartment. Two washing machine floods, continual window and dishwasher leaks. Three exhausting and frustrating years of health issues assumed to be from dietary deficiencies, but always new problems despite correcting deficiencies.
I dealt with debilitating exhaustion, muscle weakness, enervation, insomnia, trembling, hormonal imbalances, breast lumps, hair loss, weight problems, fungal infections, excess mucus, pounding headaches, frequent illness (despite being on a healthy raw food diet)...the list goes on.
I've since learned that deficiencies and problems like these are common among those who live in toxic mold.
Dispose of the visibly moldy items in the dumpster, but symptoms become almost immediately unbearable; moving the furniture allowed the mold spores to spread quickly throughout the apartment. Management allows us an immediate 3-day transfer period, granting us a new apartment in the same complex.
Finally gave up, the mold spores were on everything; threw all our belongings away except a few sets of clothes (which we washed multiple times in vinegar and bleach) and one pocket hard drive with all our computer data (yes, we got rid of computers, phones, guitars, bikes, kitchen equipment...EVERYTHING).
Insurance would not cover any of our losses. We lost thousands and thousands of dollars' worth of belongings that we could not afford to replace. We also lost our sentimental and heirloom items.
The apartment complex would not give us another apartment, so we were temporarily homeless, searching for a new place to start over.
Found a new apartment and signed 1 year lease. Bought air mattresses to sleep on, but could not stay in the apartment because the cleaning and other chemicals that had been used in it were intolerable. Stayed in a tent at a campground (meanwhile, paying rent on an apartment we couldn't live in)...until we got symptoms from the campfires from other campers.
Got rid of car that caused symptoms and bought pickup truck and aluminum camper top to sleep in. Began searching for MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) - safe housing.
Worked on replacing the bare necessities (beach chairs for furniture, blender for smoothies, clothes, etc). Could not tolerate public places due to symptoms from both chemicals and molds, so wore a respirator mask everywhere, and went to the beach in order to breathe, mask-free.
Found RV lot on the water with a breeze, tolerable air. Rented for a one month trial period, then signed one year lease.
Flew to Texas to check out and purchase an aluminum mold-resistant camper, never used, 9 months old. Tolerable for chemical sensitivities (spent a few hours in it at the RV dealer), since mostly off-gassed. Frame needed fixing, so it was returned to the manufacturer and would be delivered to us in 4 weeks.
Fresh air and beautiful, but 3/4 mile to the bathroom and back. Okay to make smoothies with outdoor electricity, eat from cooler, keep warm with heater and blankets, and ride bike to bathroom (many times a day)...until health crashed.
Health continuing to decline from complications of mold. Major gut issues, debilitating pain and muscle weakness (fainting) due to inability to digest food or absorb necessary nutrients. Hubby acting as caregiver; I could not function or leave the house for weeks.
Extensive medical visits, labwork, specialized testing, anti-mold and detox supplements, and consults with health professionals.
Health, after a little improvement before moving in, goes downhill again during 3 weeks living in the RV.
Discover many very bad leaks (major mold concern). Wake up early one morning in the RV, experiencing all the classic mold symptoms. Plead with manufacturer (LivinLite) to replace RV; they refuse.
Still very sick. And exhausted. And broke. And so ready for this horrible nightmare to end.
All throughout the last eight horrible months, we have felt that this is not living; we are the walking dead. We have felt depressed, even suicidally depressed. Now is no exception.
But we believe God's got a plan, and has been, all through these months, making good come of the misery. We continue to trust Him, and are praying now that God will do a mighty work in our impossible situation. We continue to pray for Him to provide and to lead us through this. We rely on His strength and joy, taking the path to healing one step at a time.