Tag Archives: sick building

Mold Forces Legislators out of Council House

Recently my husband was given a copy of the Cherokee Phoenix’s September 2013 issue.  He was reading and suddenly saw an article titled, “Mold Forces Legislators Out Of A Council House”.  I immediately read it and then found it online so that I could download the September Issue.  The article is on page 6 of the newspaper.

What caught my eye and I have been saying for ever and ever are the following sentences:

“Although the mold levels were not

exceedingly high for most rooms, each

individual reacts differently to mold. Some

may have no symptoms while others may have

headaches. The Cherokee Nation’s top priority

is the health and safety of our employees.”

There was a number to contact the writer of the story which I am doing this weekend.




Catch Up Mondays – At a loss for words – revisited

handwriting during a reactionDon’t you just hate it when you lose or can’t retrieve the word you want from your brain?  Since becoming ill I have found it is a regular occurrence.  I will be talking to someone and in the middle of a sentence I can’t come up with the word I want to use.  Try as I might, the word won’t come.  Sometimes I have been successful by trying to find another word that means something similar.  In the middle of a reaction as I was in yesterday, I was hard pressed to come up with the other word.

What was the word you say?  I don’t know.  I still don’t know.  I was trying to convey how when dealing with someone I would just respond very vaguely without giving either a yes or no answer.  As I was searching for the word I became tearful.  I tried and tried and finally came up with equanimity (calmness, poise, serenity, self-possession).  It seemed to work but wasn’t really the word I wanted to use.  Maybe I was wanting to use apathetic (showing little or no emotion, indifferent, not interested or concerned).  As I am writing this definition I think that is the word I wanted to use.

As hard as I try to retrain my brain by reading, crossword puzzles, etc. I still lose words in conversation even more so in the midst of a reaction.  I still find when I type that I transpose the same letters in certain words over and over again even though I know how to spell the words.  Yesterday when I was in the reaction my handwriting became hard to read (see picture for a sample of my handwriting in my journal during a reaction) and I spelled things wrong, my right hand became very cold and I had a much harder time expressing myself.

I have been told that mold mycotoxins can damage brain cells.  Sometimes you regain some of the processes you lost but usually not all of them.  When I was first exposed to mold (didn’t know it then) I would take phone messages and then look at them and realize they didn’t make sense and have to re-write them. Sometimes my boss would come in and ask me what the message meant even after I am sure it had been rewritten.  My handwriting was also deteriorating .  At the time I would become frustrated over this but it never dawned on me that something serious was going on with me and my brain.

This was originally posted on June 23, 2012.  I still find myself in a conversation and suddenly don’t even know what I am talking about.  All it takes is the tiniest of distraction (a noise in the background, a knock at the door, hearing someone else’s conversation going on, or the person on the other end of the conversation saying something that distracts me).  When typing I make the same mistakes over and over and over again despite knowing how to spell the words and where the keys are on the keyboard.  It is so frustrating!  Has chronic illnesses affected you this way?

Catch Up Mondays: Why did my face feel like it was being pulled apart? – revisited

This was originally posted on June 13, 2012.  Surprisingly when I have looked at the search engine terms that have led others to my blog, this has been a question posed more than once.  I guess I am not the only one who has felt like this.  — A side note is that at the end I talked about my cover photos – – the cover is done and everything has been submitted.  Hooray!

Valentine’s Day 2001 was anything but romantic. I had been on the IV for a few days and the antifungal drug and oral antibiotic for close to a week. I had gone to work as usual…..Shortly around noon, my throat began to feel restricted. I tried to wait it out. Finally I phoned Dr. D. He suggested that I go to the emergency room. I drove myself to the hospital, which, I realize now, was probably not the smartest thing to do.  While waiting to be seen, I phoned Sarah. I asked her to pick up her father as soon as he got in from school and to drive him to meet me at the hospital emergency room.

The constriction in my throat began to get worse and I was beginning to have tremors. My face felt like it was being pulled apart. The ER doctor came in. I told him—in between spasms in my throat and face—that I was having an allergic reaction to one or more of the medications that I was taking. He asked what medications I was taking and why I had an IV line…..

The ER doctor had the gall to tell me that my reactions were not typical of allergic reactions. I was just having an anxiety attack.

Later the next day while Sarah was visiting and helping me make soup, I began having problems again.  In my book I continue to write:

Some of the same symptoms began while we were working on the soup. My throat began to get tight and feel constricted. We phoned Dr. D, and he told me to come to his office. Unfortunately, he was not in his local office. Sarah drove me about six miles to see him at his other office.

By the time we reached Dr. D’s office, I was beginning to have tremors. He ordered an EKG and had my blood sugar tested. My EKG was normal, as was my blood sugar level.

The tremors and spasms in my face and neck continued to get worse. This time, however, I also began to have tremors on the right side of my body. My right hand and leg would shake. During the spasms in my neck, I had difficulty breathing. The doctor’s staff would ask me questions. I would not answer right away so they would ask them again. I had no control over my body. I had to wait for the tremors and spasms to stop to answer questions. It was if I were riding a wave. I would have a spasm and tremors and then it would stop, only to start up again within seconds. It was almost like a seizure.

I was so frightened, and I hated that my Sarah had to see me in this state. I didn’t want to die here, not like this!

Dr. D ordered an ambulance to take me to the hospital. The tremors and spasms were getting out of control and I needed to be in a hospital setting. I remember hearing his nurse asking if he wanted lights and sirens. He responded yes! He wanted the ambulance there as soon as possible. Hearing the urgency in his voice only made me more terrified.       

I became increasingly sicker and had a fourth sinus surgery while in the hospital and developed so many problems that we had to stop most of my medications to see what was causing what.  I was on an oral antifungal, oral antibiotic and IV antibiotic.   After all this, I thought the worst was over and my journey towards wellness would begin.  I had no idea what was to come.   The tremors and the pulling apart feeling in my face (as if someone was taking my skin and stretching it over facial bones that were too big for it) soon came to be a common occurrence when I reacted to chemicals and molds.

It is because of the skeptics like the doctor in the ER on my first visit and those who know I have been sick but not really known what I have gone through that I have written my book.  There are still so many out there who do not believe mold can make you chronically ill and that there is such a thing as multiple chemical sensitivity.   I hope to have the final edits soon so that I can get my cover photos done and submit it.       

Did someone just beat me up?

Yesterday morning I got up after my exposure at the oral surgeon’s office feeling less than myself.  I was tired and a little out of it.  I got myself motivated to at least vacuum and steam the kitchen and living room.

By 2:00 p.m. my arms and legs hurt so bad I just had to go to bed. I have mentioned that I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  Mine for the most part consists of achiness off and on unless I get an exposure to chemicals or mold.   I stayed in bed and slept on and off until I finally got up at 8:00 p.m. and ate some dinner (much thanks to my dear husband).  I immediately climbed back into bed and slept through the night.  I had a slight fever for a bit.  I was worried that I might be coming down with something but no this feels too much like my body reacting from a hefty exposure.

I am still achy and could easily just crawl back under the covers and ignore the world.  This tells me that there is no way I could be in that office without my mask for 30 minutes or longer.

I am going to attempt to get through my jumble of emails and read posts from fellow bloggers through the day.  Maybe I need some more glutathione, Vitamin C and magnesium.

Have a good day you all.




Okay, I am stepping up on my “soap box”.  Everyone, beware!!

I have talked about the problem I have with a tooth and the decision I have had to make regarding pull it out or suffer through a crown lengthening procedure and having a crown fitted again.  Recently I made the decision that I would just pull the tooth and get a bridge.

Last month I phoned the office of my biological dentist and spoke with his assistant.  I asked her for the name of the oral surgeon he was wanting me to see and a phone number.  Last week I got brave enough to make the call to his office (which is nearly an hour from my home).  I asked if they had experienced any water leaks (mold) or if they used any fragrances in the office.  She replied we burned candles but we haven’t burned them in about three months.  REALLY?  Like not burning the candles for three months is going to suddenly remove the chemicals from the carpet, the walls, the furniture.  I thought maybe I would just drive there and check out the office.  Night before last when I couldn’t sleep I began using my intuition and asking my self if this was a wise decision.   I got the horrible electrical sensation I get in my head when I am deciding if an action is a good one.  This electrical sensation means no.  I know this may seem strange to many of you but I learned how to listen to my body several years ago as part of my energy balancing treatments. If a decision is good, my body remains calm.  I have also learned that my intuition (gut feeling, sixth sense whatever you may call it) does not lie.  NEVER!

Yesterday I phoned my biological dentist’s office and said that I would not be seeing the oral surgeon recommended because of the candles and that my intuition told me it wasn’t a safe place for me.  I was told by his wife that she wouldn’t use anyone else.  They are supposed to call me back with other ideas.

Meanwhile this morning I phoned my regular dentist where I get my cleanings done and asked for a name.  I phoned this oral surgeon’s office this morning as well and was told they use “air fresheners”.  I decided since I had to be across town to check another office I would pop in.  It was horrible.  I asked to be taken into an exam room to see what it was like.  I didn’t feel well in there and once I removed my mask the hoarseness, the tightness in my throat, and the brain fog came on me.  I asked them why they used the air fresheners.  The response is that they deal with often very disgusting smells coming from decaying teeth and they use the air fresheners and additional spray air fresheners to cover the smell and so it won’t smell like “a dentist’s office”. They offered to try to make some arrangements prior to me coming but let’s face it there isn’t anyway they can make it safe enough for me.  I can’t even imagine sitting in there for 30 minutes without my mask to have my tooth pulled.  By the time I got back to my car I needed a histamine shot.  I haven’t used one in a very long time.


I had a similar experience when visiting a dermatologists’ office about a year ago.  They finally helped me to the surgical area where there weren’t any air fresheners.

OKAY-Here I go!  Why in the world do doctors, dentists, or any medical professionals put so many chemicals in their offices when they are dealing with sick people?  I am curious what percentage of medical offices use candles or plug-ins etc.  For that reason, I am going to start making phone calls and ask this question to many offices in my town.  I will be reporting back on my findings and will be writing a letter to the editor.  I am sure writing this letter to the editor won’t solve my problems but it will make me feel better having made myself heard.  When I get this done, I will be posting the draft letter for your review.  I am sorry to ramble on (part of it is anger and most of it is my body dealing with all the chemicals and the reaction).  I really needed to vent somewhere that I knew I would be understood.  It is a good thing this is not an emergency to have the tooth pulled but I can’t wait indefinitely.


Can my home be cross contaminated with mold from another house?

Yes it can in my opinion! My home was cross contaminated from my workplace. I unwittingly brought mold and mycotoxins into my home via my clothes, shoes, purses and even my hair.

There are so many schools of thought on this and opinions from those who have experienced mold exposure and having to leave their home/work environment, from those who do remediation, from doctors and scientists who specialize in mold and their mycotoxins, and from those who have no understanding of mold at all.

What I believe is that when you leave your home that is contaminated with mold and their toxins (mycotoxins) and take your belongings with you, you are without realizing it cross contaminating your new environment. The mold spores and mycotoxins get spread through the air as clothing and furniture are brushed against other things  in moving them from place to place. The fan on your computer puts air out and dust that came from your contaminated environment.

Some believe that you only need to leave your paper, cloth furniture, clothing or porous items behind. Others believe you need to also not take your computer, refrigerator or other electronics that may have dust in them from the previous home or office. There are those that believe if a piece of wood furniture has a hard seal on it, it can be saved by wiping down with ammonia and possibly spraying more sealer over the wood surfaces. Others have had success in keeping their clothing by washing them in ammonia which Dr. William Croft believes can kill the mycotoxins.

I learned about the ammonia and clothing long after I had gotten rid of mine. Although for my own piece of mind, I don’t think I would have kept my clothes and taken a chance that it would work for me. After going through all that I have and still deal with today as a result of my mold exposure, the thought of doing something and risking that  the mold/mycotoxins are not being completing killed off is not something I want to do.  Risking a re-exposure and worsening of my conditions is just a risk I cannot personally take. Not only have I had to throw away clothes from my home that I had either worn to work or washed with the work clothes or stored with the clothes, I have had to throw away clothes after exposures in defense doctor appointments.

This question has been posed in search engines that have led others to my blog.  To those  who follow my blog and who have experienced mold exposure and cross contamination, I would love to hear your responses to this question.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a doctor, mold remediation specialist or expert in the area of mold and mycotoxins.  Anything I say is just my opinion based on my own experiences.

It’s My Blogiversary

A year ago today I started with an idea.  I wanted to begin promoting my upcoming book and I wanted to share what I have gone through so that others would know they were not alone.  I wanted to share what a mold exposure can do both physically and emotionally.  It seems like yesterday that I published my first post and this is my  285th.

I had no idea that in that time span I would have come into contact with such wonderful bloggers, authors and fellow sufferers.  In the short span of a year I have written 285 blog posts, had  over 14,000 views, attracted 78 followers and began following about 80 other blogs.  In this age of computers and the lightening speed of the internet, I have reached viewers from 90 countries.  Some of these countries with little known names like Mauritius and Macao.

I have also been awarded three blog awards:  The Reality Award, the Liebster Award and the Versatile Blogger Award. 

I look forward to another year of blogging and the debut of my book.  Thank you all for sharing this amazing journey with me.

I just want a new nose!

Ok – we all at some point we all wish we could change something about ourselves.  I have never really considered changing my nose although it isn’t a perfect nose.

I am not talking about wanting a new nose because of the way mine looks.  I am talking about exchanging it for a healthy nose, one that didn’t get invaded by aspergillus from my sick building at work and one that doesn’t get infected more often than I would like.  While I am grateful the infections are no longer defined as osteomyelitis (bone infection) requiring IV antibiotics, they are painful and frustrating none the less.

At one point I joked about getting a silver nose like the villain in the movie Cat Ballou.  Thinking, mold couldn’t grow in the silver.

Or maybe I could exchange my nose for one of these below.  They are all nice looking noses if they didn’t come infected with mold.

Click to show "Human nose" result 3

Or maybe I would try to see about getting Elmo’s nose.

A friend back in the beginning used to joke with me about how to get rid of the fungal infection.  Her husband was an AG teacher and they also lived on a ranch.  She told me she would just go and get some Dursban and pour it into my sinuses.  Of course we were just joking and whenever I complained about my sinuses she would offer to run and get some and then start laughing.  Can you imagine putting that in your sinuses?  Not me.

What body part would you like new but not for cosmetic reasons?   If I chose cosmetic reasons, I would be changing out a lot of parts.

Occupational injuries cost America roughly $250 billion/year

$250 billion per year!  That is a staggering amount of money. This is an estimate of what occupational injuries and illness cost the American economy every year.

Today when I opened the newspaper and saw this article from the New York Times I became angry.  The article discusses Sheri Farley from North Carolina.  Ms. Farley is about the age I was when I began my downward spiral from mold exposure at work.  Ms. Farley was exposed to n-propyl bromide daily as she worked in a furniture manufacturing plant spraying glues on foam cushions.  She now suffers from neurological disorders.

What I found very disturbing about this article was that even though many of her fellow co-workers were becoming ill and OSHA  records show that managers at her work place repeatedly exposed gluers to n-propyl bromide at levels that exceeded levels considered safe by federal officials.  These workers were also not provided respirators and fans meant to vent fumes were turned off.

The most disturbing of all is this quote from the article:  Royale has not switched away from the nPB glues, managers said, because alternatives did not work well, were sometimes more dangerous and were almost always more expensive.

Read the article in its entirety here.

Into the Light and Living in the Wild

A dear friend of mine over at the-labyrinth posted today about finding a safe place to live and how she is dealing with the old moldy home.  I am so happy that she is doing better in her new surroundings.  Take time to read her post.