Emotional Responses to Last Week’s Newsletter

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Emotional Responses to Last Week’s Newsletter

By Request: A Continuation to “When Mold Becomes a Member of the Family”

By Cesar Collado

Following last week’s newsletter, I received several emotional responses to the impact that mold illness plays on family relationships, emotional health, and the isolation that results.  The pain inflicted by mold on families is immeasurable; it is difficult to hear some of the heartbreaking stories of patients and their loved ones.

As with many devastating illnesses such as cancer, addiction, depression, or any other debilitating disease, the entire family suffers during the stress and strain while seeking diagnosis and treatment. The financial stress associated with the inability to work with mounting medical bills sometimes drives families into bankruptcy, separation, and deeper depression. It is its own obstacle. Physicians do not have the time or training to better understand the “whole story.” Depression and anxiety symptoms are then simply treated with medications that mask or sometimes make mold-related symptoms worse.  In addition, I discovered a “whole new world” of pain experienced by office staff who often have the responsibility of much of the communication with the patients.

Office staff members and physicians have described numerous cases of marital problems, divorce, inability to care for children, and family arguments due to the financial stress created by the illness.  These health care professionals are so important to patients; because they listen to them with an empathetic ear.  This is an important element of treatment as patients seek to validate and vent their perception of their situations.  At the core of this need for understanding and to feel heard is the disbelief exhibited by spouses and family members for the seriousness of the patients’ illness.

The perception that the illness is in the mind of the patient or that they are hypochondriacs is hurtful and angering to them.  There is a constant need for “proof” that what they are experiencing is, indeed, real and dangerous to ignore.
When emotions get risen, we can conceive of all the hurtful permutations that can come out of arguing participants mouths.

I’d like to share a few stories from readers who had the courage to share their stories online to validate the extreme nature of this problem.  In addition, I encourage readers to a very specific article on this topic by Catherine at Moldfreeliving.com here.  In her post, Catherine had the courage and inspiration to provides her very specific account to how mold impacted her marriage. She is very specific and provides both her and her husband’s perspectives and the dynamics that occurred during the entire process of working through the issue and their marriage.

Another Divorce Story

In this story, the author, Jill, described how far the illness spread into her family relationships, in addition to breaking up her marriage.  Divorce alone is too high a price to pay for any illness.  In this case, it spread to the immediate family and poisoned critical relationships for Jill. She describes a “ferocious loneliness,” isolation, and ridicule.  Debilitating chronic illness aside, contemplating the described isolation and emotional impact suffered would be devastating for any person. We all have our health, family, and livelihood to cherish.  Losing even one of these is a devastating loss.

Here are her words:

“This newsletter is my story. A newly purchased dream home, a supportive husband. When I was diagnosed with mold illness after 6 years of suffering, it became clear that I could not live in the home (our third in a row with mold), and my husband said, ‘You come back to live with me in this house, or I will divorce you.’ And, so, we are divorcing, despite his acknowledgement that I have improved greatly since leaving.

He also told my mother and siblings that I was mentally ill and imagining the mold connection – the ultimate in self-absorption! I have lost my family of origin, too, as a result. Of course, my grown children don’t understand either. It is so ferociously lonely. If I had had a cancer diagnosis, or heart disease, the people in my life might have ‘circled the wagons.’ With a mold diagnosis and all the life changes that the diagnosis commands, there is isolation and ridicule on top of the suffering already endured. How hard it’s been.”

“Beaten Down”

There are even sadder stories where the marriage survives, but the years of fighting so many battles takes its toll on the human spirit.  When this happens, hope is somehow lost.

A reader named Beverly had the courage to post about her situation.  This is one of the most painful accounts of the impact mold has had on one family that I have read. In this case, I hope Beverly can find the right combination of changes and treatments to restore hope and love of life we should all experience.

Here are her words:

“Please address the bitterness, rage, and despondency that builds in a formerly loving, high-energy, positive human being before she was cursed with this illness. I merely exist now, I don’t live anymore. 

The pain, the nausea, the chronic exhaustion, heat flashes, cold chills, etc. This isn’t living anymore.

I’ve become painfully constipated from trying four different binders. No matter how slow we go or how many preventative measures I take, the results are the same. My diet is squeaky clean, but I remain 60 pounds over my pre-illness weight, because I can’t move, exercise, etc. I’ve tried coffee enemas, skin brushing, charcoal soaps, salt baths, supplements and more supplements. Nothing is changing; nothing is improving. $35,000 later we have a clean, safe house with very little in it.
I don’t even care anymore. I play by the rules, do it all how I am supposed to, but nothing improves. What my poor loving husband is going through. I had been vibrant, active, and filled with encouragement and love for others. Today I feel half alive. I’m left empty except for bitterness, rage, and despondency. Why don’t any of the toxic mold writers address these issues?”

A Medical Professional Speaks Out on Schools

In this case, an unnamed patient of Dr. Dennis’s voiced her empathy with children and frustration with schools and the traditional medical establishment’s lack of understanding of mold and its potential harms in school buildings.

“As a survivor of exposure to toxic mold and being in the process of healing, it breaks my heart to think of the number of students that have been exposed to mold in schools. And, yes, moldy dorms that are seen by their physicians, but who don’t even think to ask about their environments. I am a healthcare professional (PA-C) and Dr. Dennis’s patient, and I have become very frustrated that more healthcare professionals will not open their minds to mold exposure and toxicity in their differential diagnoses!”

As I have discussed many times before, in today’s world, the burden of identifying and diagnosing mold sickness falls on the patients and families.  The regular “process” of seeing a general practice doctor, treating symptoms, trying medications, and following the referral system dictated by insurance plans not only takes lots of time and money; it is ineffective. Educating our communities about mold and its consequences is a start.  We make every effort to share experiences, solutions, and hope to readers.  Unfortunately, it takes the “gift of desperation” to research the illness or luck in finding a medical professional who understands the magnitude of harm mold in indoor environments can create for those living or working in them. Word of mouth and sharing in online communities is the best way to participate in the conversation and spread of knowledge.

What Can You Do About Mold?

  1. If you or a family member is suffering chronically from any of the above described, you can always test with mold plates for a conclusive determination of if you have a mold issue. These plates can be purchased inexpensively at hardware stores or on microbalancehealthproducts.com.
  2. Seek medical attention for unexplained symptoms that do not subside. It is important to seek out a physician or integrative medical doctor for treatment. These doctors
    pend more time with the patient, and are trained to inquire about the patient’s environment and to make suggestions on addressing it.
  3. Continue to research and explore “out-of-the-box” solutions. When it comes to environmental illness, the patient often carries the burden to find the right medical professionals.  Traditional general practitioner M.D.s may not formally trained to treat mold illness and manage the complex balance of detoxification.
  4. Find the cause of moisture in your home and fix it.  Without addressing the cause, continuous inhalation of mold spores or mycotoxins will prevent the body’s ability to heal.
  5. Be consistent in replacing HVAC filters with HEPA capabilities. This will help improve the overall air quality in your home for a healthier living environment overall.
  6. Practice mold hygiene using non-toxic, all-natural products to remove mold and mycotoxins. Doing this regularly will decrease mold counts in the air and on surfaces. This includes cleaning walls, floors, curtains, furniture, and clothing.
  7. If you suffer from sinus issues, daily rinsing with a nasal rinsing system and Citridrops Dietary Supplement will remove mold and mucous from the sinuses. If mold does not gain entrance to the body, it cannot cause inflammation and make you sick.
  8. In the event mold is visible or can be smelled, seek professional remediation help. Proper containment of the moldy area is necessary to avoid disruption and distribution of mold spores throughout the home. If the mold is confined to less than 10 square feet, a competent DIY practitioner can manage with instructions and safety precautions such as an N95mask and protective clothing, eye protection, and gloves.
  9. Invest in a high-quality HEPA vacuum and use it regularly on floors, furniture, and upholstered items to keep dirt, dust, and mold spore counts down.
  10. If you do not own your home or suffer at your place of work, cold fogging with the EC3 SANI+TIZER Fogger and EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate is a “short-term” solution that can be continually replicated to keep mold air counts down and to make a less than ideal space livable.

Please feel free to ask questions or provide comments to this post or email cesarcollado@icloud.com.

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About the Author:

Cesar Collado is a former pharmaceutical R&D executive, venture capitalist, and seasoned strategy consultant in biotechnology and technology industries in general. He currently works as an advisor to multiple technology start-ups and advises several companies that provide healthcare and other services for environmental illness. Read More

10 Comments

  1. Trisha July 16, 2018 at 4:27 am - Reply

    It may Begin in the sinuses but that is just the point of entry. It’s far more than “mold” for many. These water damaged buildings were not always “damaged”. Standards were ignored,sanitation has been lost in many ways. The saddest part about the “medical industry” is they have chosen to avoid the patients/issues. Sewage is often a part of the equation which led to the “mold growth”,Bad Plumbing. If property owners/public officials/medical authorities can “overlook” raw sewage floods,Knowing the likely hood of Many human diseases involved. How can anyone be surprised “building related diseases” don’t exist in the “medical world”.

    Legionaire’s disease was The Game changer in the lat 70’s. Indoor,Airborne deadly diseases were proven,people died,many, in a hotel in Pennsylvania USA. Strangely, Docs rarely test for that either; and we have lots of data and Easy available Lab tests.

    I was taught to Prevent the “mold” first and foremost, never asked why. I grew up in rural New England, we had Weather. Clean it up and dry it up ASAP. I’m in So CA., they do just the opposite. It’s common practice to do as little as possible,patch jobs and wet materials are left to dry “on it’s own”. It’s more than “mold” and Dr.Thrasher and others tried to educated the those who have become unteachable. Ask a plumber, HVAC, honest contractors,engineers. They have been warning for decades. Infectious diseases are a big part of the Cause of “lingering diseases”.

    Mention of “building issues” gets us more trouble, misdiagnosed,or late diagnosis, To never evaluated/tested for treatable infections assumption is the medical approach. We’ve had the technology for decades; but most “Docs” are “allowed” to do as they please. That’s the norm in Sunny California. The more “proof” of cause, the less likely anyone will “get involved”. Real Estate is expensive but rotting from the inside out and well concealed. Docs “don’t want to open that can of worms”,so, they oppose. Most people here are none the wiser.

    • Cesar Collado July 16, 2018 at 3:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you Trisha! You make some very important points for readers. The most interesting and astute observation is the notion that physicians do not want to raise the topic because it opens them up to a conversation that they are either unwilling or unable to have due to a variety of issues, mostly time with the patient in order to stay on schedule. The average patient sees a doctor for less than 15 minutes.

  2. Janice July 12, 2018 at 4:50 am - Reply

    I am prayering for anyone who are gone through the agony of running for mold spores and the devastation it can have on your life and your mental health. Your family just don’t understand and tell they you it’s all in you mind. I have had facial rashes and facial swelling for 6 years now. Every time I think we have left everything behind, my husband without thinking always seems to bring something porous with him and the he’ll starts all over. I’m consistly prayering for a miracle because that it the only way I am going to make it through this. We moved into a new built home and I started experiencing pain in my eye, face and sinuses and I realized my husband brought some old wood from the contaminated home. Now what? Cross contaminated is hard to comprehend. We recently tried bomb foggers and air scrubber that we ordered from this company called Boicide Labs. It was not effective. I hope that know has to ever go through this Hell…Sorry. I even stayed with family member running away from the molded home and now I’ve cross contaminated there home. How do you killed this monster.

    • Cesar Collado July 13, 2018 at 4:15 am - Reply

      I’m so sorry for your situation. Thank you for sharing this. The only suggestion I have is to cold fog everything regularly and rinse sinuses regularly. This type of vigilant hygiene is necessary when someone is that sensitive. If you have reached your “Toxic Load”, you might be sensitive to many things including chemicals and even EMFs.

      I would also double check the products you are using to remove the mold. Check to see if you are sensitive to the products. Many products kill mold; however, some chemicals are as toxic as the mold you are trying to get rid of. There are liabilities with using bleach and ammonium chemical products. They kill mold but some don’t penetrate porous materials and others are toxic.

      It is helpful if you find a building scientist who understands mold mycology and building physics. There aren’t many of these specialists like this; but they exist. They are used to helping people outside of their geographies as well. It sounds like you are reaching your limits. If finding a safe place is a challenge, a beach with salty air provides a mold free environment that provides the relief needed to heal.

      Cold fogging with EC3 mold solution concentrate, all natural and safe, has been very effective for many patients when done regularly.

      I appreciate your sharing as people need to hear these stories.

      Best wishes and you have my email on the article,

      Cesar

  3. Pamela McGee July 10, 2018 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Wow, the past two Articles really spoke to my Heart!!! I am and have been a Patient of Dr. Dennis for over 10 years!! I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for Dr. Dennis-Praise The Lord for him!!

    My Mold Allergy (symptoms) began when I was about 16 years old and my Family made a move from Salt Lake City to Fort Walton Beach, FL!! I started having many Respiratory problems and my parents were always taking me to the ER at the Hospital!!
    I would always be told it was bronchitis or sinus infections and would be sent home with antibiotics!!!

    By the time I was 28 years old and I had just given birth to my 3rd Baby I felt emotionally and physically sick!!! I was advised to go for allergy testing so I and my 3 week old baby (I was Breastfeeding at the time) went for many days and sat at the Allergists office getting skin pricks!!! I went through all of their protocols and allergy shots but kept feeling worse!! Everyone told me it was due to the stress of having 3 children under 3 years old!!! I couldn’t deny that might be true!!

    Well, months later a Dr. advised me to go see a Rheumatologist which I did! I got a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis but I had no joint pain and I was very physically fit as I had been a Ballet Dancer for 15 years and continued my exercise routines! I was very confused and upset. I was put on very strong medicine which was a danger to my eyesight!!

    I went on with feeling terrible, raising 3 children and keeping up with my Husband and Family life! It wasn’t until my little 3 week old baby (that went through all of the Allergy Shots with me) was starting his first year of College that I realized I couldn’t even get out of the bed until late in the afternoon!!
    I had no energy, was depressed and had kept having the feeling I was SUFFOCATING that had plaqued me for many years!!! I would panic for air!!

    We had 3 children in College and were in the middle of building a vacation home when I was watching TV and saw Dr. Tanner
    describing Environmental Illnesses and I thought I have to get an appointment with her!! I did and she was so helpful!!!!
    Then, she sent me to Dr. Dennis and the Story of my healing began Thanks to those two Dr.’s!!

    Dr. Dennis advised me and my Husband that I needed to move away from FL into our Vacation Home in GA!! I did that and lived there over 10 years!! I was very much in CONTOL OF MY ENVIRONMENT which helped me feel so much better!! My diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis went away and I got off all of those medications!! I used all of Dr. Dennis environmental products and didn’t let anyone or anything in the house without spraying it or checking it throughly!!
    I started feeling NORMAL again and enjoying Life!!

    Well, our first Granddaughter was born in FL So of course I wanted to be near her!! I sold my “Safe House” and moved to FL!!

    Needless to say -it has been a struggle!!
    We rented a home which ended up making me very sick from MOLD and almost killing my 2 lb and 3 lb little dogs!! We evacuated and left almost everything there and rented another condo while we built a new home!!

    The Building process was a challenge too because I have become so Chemically and EMF sensitive!! I was super cautious about the materials being used in the home and even put a ” Kill Switch” on my bedroom floor!!

    It is so hard to get the Builders, my Husband at times and my own children to believe that all of these things affect me sooo much!!

    Thank You for addressing these issues-it is an “Isolating Illness” because people think you are crazy and don’t believe MOLD can have so many far-reaching problems!!!

    • Cesar Collado July 10, 2018 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I believe each story helps someone who can relate to specific elements. Good luck and keep communicating with your family. People will learn about the impact of the illness because it affects the whole family!

      Cesar

  4. Ed July 10, 2018 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    applaude you for writing about this. It’s so horrific I can’t even talk about it and do it justice. its like the guys who went to Vietnam and were so screwed up, they wouldn’t/couldn’t even talk about it because no one would get it. It is ceaseless agony, mental scenarios of whats causing it. What diet, supplements, treatments, can address it. What in the environment is causing it, clothes, carpet, HVAC, bedding, air purifier, vacuum, dust, etc.. Most of the problems talked about are sinus related. I didn’t really have a problem with my sinuses, my symptoms were all neurological and devastating. Migraines, dizziness, tinnitus, tremors, insomnia, night mares, and full blown brain lock. My wife would say “go to a doctor” Doctors have absolutely no clue how to handle this, even the integrative/environmental ones struggle, its just so complicated. The super strains of mold we have created today through the use of mold inhibiting paints and such have rendered all traditional antifungal treatment- like itraconazole, useless. Stop whatever water is feeding the mold, treat it/remove it, then start on yourself. Keto/paleo diet, rotational antifungals (all of them, garlic, lemon, silver, oregano, etc,,,, and my favorite Jatoba.). Binders all of them, laminaria, act charcoal, zeolite, psyllium, cholestyramine, etc.. Supplements, exercise, and prayer – a lot of prayer, in fact pray all day long for the wisdom to fight the Hell you find yourself in. God Bless.

    • Cesar Collado July 10, 2018 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing this! This is the way we get the word out!

      Cesar

  5. Justine Simone July 10, 2018 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    A great article, again! Thank you.
    I believe you successfully point out how mold sufferers become sensitized to mold and how it follows them from place to place. Cross contamination is a major issue when leaving a highly mold infested home. We must take care not to bring porous articles with us! After 13 moves, I am down to very little of my original belongings. My many antiques, although wooden, needed to go. Wood is porous!
    Justine Simone

    • Cesar Collado July 10, 2018 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      Than you for your comments! This is the one way we will get the magnitude of the illness out.

      Cesar

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