Still on that boat…

Strawberry blonde in a dizzy world!

Toxic mould – scary or what?

July17

I had a practitioner a couple of years ago who asked me if I had any mould in my home. How vary dare she? Just kidding, do you think I had energy for cleaning especially when I had my mum armed with a Henry Hoover living just down the road? The Doctor was convinced that exposure to mould can cause many neurological symptoms and even prevent recovery from illnesses like Lyme Disease. Where as I was convinced she was a bit nuts. I totally dismissed it, just another thing that sounds crazy and something I really didn’t want to have to deal with.

I’d come across people in Lyme support groups online discussing mould. They had spent thousands, having their homes professionally assessed and mould cleared if they found it. People were having to move, throw away soft furnishings and heaven forbid their clothes! All that hassle and throwing away all my clothes – no thanks, head firmly in the sand.

Over the following months this idea that mould may be causing me problems niggled at me. My symptoms were getting worse and I didn’t know why. Maybe I should check this out? I half heartedly bought some basic agar plates from Amazon and conducted my own scientific study. They obviously came back showing ‘stuff’ but I didn’t know what I was looking at even after hours of google searching. I told myself it was just normal, we don’t live in a sterile environment (certainly not in my house!) so something would grow. I could not afford to get my home tested and I certainly couldn’t afford to have mould removed or to move out. I was so exhausted I couldn’t even bare to think of having to move. At this time my anxiety was through the roof and I couldn’t deal with anything even slightly stressful. It was far easier to put my head back into the sand (well at least there wasn’t any bloody mould in there!)

After I left the UK for treatment in America my mother cleaned my home. I’m very lucky, I know! However, she found mould behind the curtains. I should be ashamed that I hadn’t even noticed but I’m not. It sounds crazy but I’d have loved to have had the energy to clean. There was also water damage behind the shower – a perfect storm for mould to grow.

I went to America still pretty much in denial of this crazy fad mould illness. I had my urine tested for mould mycotoxins and surprise surprise it came back with elevated gliotoxin (which is released from several fungi). Once more I was horrified and pleased at the same time. Something we can fix but why hadn’t I listened to the advice I was given months ago?

There is a lot of symptom crossover with Lyme and Adrenal fatigue just to make diagnosis that little bit more complicated – just what we need! If you are suffering from mould toxicity there are so many symptoms that it can be responsible for and here are just a few that are relevant to me:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Brain fog/memory changes/ change in cognition
  • Anxiety/depression/irritability
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neurological dysfunction
  • Hormone changes

The mould effects your white blood cells and is therefore not uncommon to be seen with Lyme disease. From what I have read it seems to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Does the mould cause a weakened immune system so that Lyme can take hold or is it the other way around? All I know is is that its important to get rid of it.

Initially I was treated with so many herbs and tinctures I couldn’t even name one of them for you. This was during my ‘Must Attack My Body as Hard as I Can Whilst Withdrawing From Highly Addictive Drugs’ sensible phase. The ozone therapy that I am now having can also kill mould (as well as the Lyme and viruses). It’s truly awesome stuff isn’t it? I wonder if it can cure world hunger too? I have been taking cholestyramine which is used for people with high cholesterol (something I clearly don’t have a problem with, I haven’t seen so much as a doughnut in years!). It is used off licence to basically mop up all the mould toxins when you kill it off. I’m hopefully being retested soon and that the resolution of the mould will help me on the way to my recovery. It will be nice to take one problem off my list of illnesses.

I’m also managing it by having a mould free diet on top of my normal diet. Things like nuts, alcohol, coffee, chocolate – so nothing anyone would ever miss really. I eat loads of fresh fruit and vegetables, nothing processed, even things as harmless sounding as tomato paste can trigger someone with this illness. I also diffuse essential oils in my room, alternating between Oil of Thieves, Bergamot and Rosemary to keep the air as clean as possible. You should always check your ventilation and air conditioning units. You could actually be living in a mouldy environment where one person is really sick whilst the others feel no ill effect. Apparently up to 24% of people have an abnormal gene that prevents you from breaking down the toxins that the mould creates.

 

 

For now, I’m still treating mould as once again there is no quick fix. I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to get enjoyment where I can. This was July 4th – I’d passed out due to evil vertigo about an hour before this picture was taken but I got BACK UP again! For now that is all I can do.



Oh, and if you ask me about giving away my clothes now. Please, please, please just take them all if it will make me feel better!

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Who am I?

Was – independent, intelligent (with plenty of dizzy moments), successful, busy, funny (depending on how much Prosecco I and the people around me had!), quite stressed out but overall happy, without even realising how lucky I was.

Now  – ? just a mess really! I was diagnosed with Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV) eight years ago when my life changed dramatically. It’s a variant of migraine that means I feel dizzy and tired nearly all of the time. If I try and do anything ‘normal’ this sparks of vertigo which gradually gets worse and worse until I pass out unless I lie down for hours, sometimes days. What this means is I spend 90% of my time in bed in a quiet dark room. Normal activities like shopping, walking, going anywhere bright or busy, the cinema even visiting friends who have patterned wallpaper or a gravel drive is a nightmare!

I’m continually trying new medications, all of them with quite nasty side effects (worsening of vertigo, weight loss, hair loss and sense of humour loss to name but a few) to try and find the magic one that will work for me. Fingers crossed the one I’m on now will work, time will tell.

A good friend set up this website so I could become a ginger whinger. No I’m kidding, so people can understand what I’m going through and maybe it would help me to have a bit of a rant. I have quite a dark sense of humour, I think that’s the only reason I haven’t gone completely bonkers! I clearly don’t have the most exciting of lives but I live in a small village with some entertaining characters and I’m always having blond moments (I blame the meds but I’ve always been a bit dappy!). Who knows I may even get better, and I can assure you life will be filled with amazing adventures then!

Scrap that! After zillions of Consultants all saying that they know what’s wrong with me and that they can get me better. Endless drugs and procedures I was finally Diagnosed with Chronic Lyme which was great – until I find out that nobody in the UK has a clue how to treat it. That complicates things some what 😉

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