Progress Report: Life After Mold

Posted to Subscribers on 8 March 2008

Dear Subscribers,

It's been a long time since I posted a message specifically for subscribers to Mold Misery.  This should not be interpreted as a lack of interest but simply a lull. 

Many of you write me about your mold experiences, all challenging, heart breaking, and often tragic.  Having been there, I truly understand what this is like.  When I first began discussing my own mold odyssey, I said that it was very slippery at the bottom of the mountain and since I hadn't reached the summit, I did not know what the view would be like from there.

My last formal report on my own remediation efforts was more than a year ago when the mold dog sniffed his way through my house and the owners of the company issued a clean bill of health for the house. 

Well, there are varying degrees of "clean" and the most irritating part of official and stubborn ignorance about mold is the failure on the part of people with responsibilities to differentiate toxic exposures to chemicals from toxic exposures to mold. In the former case, consequences are generally dose dependent whereas with mold, a very tiny exposure could throw some people into anaphylactic shock or even death.  However, even when the person is not allergic to mold, an exposure to viable mold, even a small amount, can be exceedingly dangerous because the mold can continue to grow . . . inside the body.  As such, while it matters somewhat whether there is a tiny spot or massive amount of dripping stachybotrys, in reality, the long-term risks may be quite similar.  In short, missing a spot is simply intolerable and in tribute to the folks who ran the seminar I attended, the emphasis was on 100% clearance, not 99.99%.  For some people, this is going to mean discarding clothing and furniture and even treasured heirlooms, but I did not do this even though my lawyer had advised me to do so.  Fortunately for me, I tend to think for myself and yet the manner whereby others can claim expertise is alarming.  I think that my own journey has prejudiced me against allowing insurance companies and attorneys to meddle in what properly is the domain of doctor-patient relationship.  They should all be rigorously barred from voicing their opinions, and they should also stay out of politics.

The mold challenge for me as well as most of those writing to me is divided into three main parts:  the health crisis and concerns; remediation of personal belongings and property; and the hassle with officialdom in the form of builders, landlords, property inspectors, insurers, lawyers, courts, and stone walls.  Since health and healing are my areas of personal interest and specialization, I actually found getting well the easiest part of the battle.  Ironically, it was also the least expensive.  Moreover, I am happy to report that I have not detected any mold in my blood for a long time.  The slurring has been gone for years and I have no permanent cognitive impairment.  My memory was affected and I was truly in a terrible state for a long time, but throughout, I kept looking for what would cure me 100%.

The option of leaving, living on a park bench as my lawyer once suggested, might have been there, but I couldn't pull it off because when in the middle of the worst mold infection, little decisions are difficult enough and big ones are impossible.  I was unable to figure out where my birds and dogs would live if I couldn't keep a roof over my head. 


One of my major traits is curiosity so I listened to everyone but believed no one.  It's very important to keep this in mind.  In the whole course of my online study, avid acquisition of reading material, phone calls to experts in the health as well as remediation fields, I never encountered a single person whose opinions seemed reliable enough that I would implement 100% of the suggestions.  This said, I never closed my mind and I never stood totally still.  I tried this and that and used up much more than my life savings as I still have a credit card debt, but both my house and I are well.

If you followed the story from the beginning, I lost a dog and four birds.  These losses still cause me a lot of emotional pain because I feel responsible for their suffering and deaths.  However, I also learned a lot from my cockatoos because they fared well and they were avid about cinnamon sticks.

Celeste is quite an innovator. She not only shredded the cinnamon but put some in the water dish.  She made the end of the stick into a kind of feather and brushed it over her entire body.  Both she and Sky bathed in the cinnamon water and they have always seemed absolutely fine.

Moreover, I sealed the vents from the HVAC system that goes into their room and installed a radiator, $59, so their room is both warmer and less drafty.  Taking the tip from them, I diffused cinnamon bark essential oil through the HVAC system.  Warning, this is intense.  If you put just a couple of drops of good quality cinnamon oil on some cloth or cotton and stick this on the filter at the return, the whole house will smell of cinnamon in minutes.  If you use too much, it will burn the skin.

I researched hundreds of essential oils and came up with my own blend.  I also found a diffuser that can purify space.  I started this a bit over a year ago and that's when I finally reached the end of the remediation.  Of all the measures I took, this was the most important because it does double duty by decontaminating the property and going into the lungs and bloodstream of the occupants.  The effects of good diffusing are more or less cumulative because studies indicate that mold growth is inhibited for one to two years following proper diffusing.  Though there are immediate benefits even in the first few minutes of use, longer-term use tends to result in fewer and fewer sources of contamination.  The diffuser I have been using is tiny but powerful.  I simply move it from room to room and leave it on for five minutes at a time.  It has a timer that regulates this so really, it's not difficult to manage but I think this part of the remediation was decisive.

Before using the diffuser, I had tried ozone, countless different filtration methods, UV lights, and various essential oils but they were not nebulized enough to do the job required.  This is a critical part of effective use of the oils.

I cannot say I am at the summit yet.  However, I am high enough up that mountain to have a better view.  The health issues that were most compromising:  fatigue, very specific memory problems, slurring, disorientation, allergies, and dizziness are all resolved, not mostly but 100%.  I still have a few lingering side effects:  the spots on the skin, maybe they are 85% gone.  I think they arose because of the mycotoxins that poison the liver so it will take a while longer to detoxify completely and then to regenerate.  The skin tags, which many of you also have, went away in strange stages:  first all the ones inside my elbows, then under the arms, but there are still some on my upper eyelids that have not disappeared completely.  I went at this with determination on the left eyelid so it's fine now.  Next, I will use the same concentration on the right eyelid. 

Unlike some of your friends and family, I really understand what a bite mold takes out of your life.  However, I believe there is life after mold.  There is health after mold.  There can be clean housing.  As you may recall, I replaced nearly all the dust collectors.  For instance, all the carpeting was replaced by smooth surface flooring.  I had bare particle board floors for a long time, but it was better than carpeting.  I washed everything with orange oil, sometimes mixed with wild oregano, lavender, cinnamon, or clove oil.  I even put this in the dishwasher.  Some of you have told me that you have mold growing in your washing machine.  I don't think you will have this problem if you use the products I have been using.  I did replace most of my bedding:  the pillows and blankets, not the mattress.

The worst part of my experience was the attitude of other people, mostly people pretending to be professionals and offering expert advice or even expert testimony on subjects about which they were either ill-informed or duplicitous.  It has made me adamant about the need for reform:  corporate reform, health care reform, and political reform.

Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2008







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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2010

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