Escaping the Mold, Healing, and Finding Purpose in an Unconventional Lifestyle

By Nakita Stone 

Within the same week that my doctor diagnosed me with Lyme Disease, I also learned I was suffering from mold illness. When we found out that our rental house was the exposure source and infested with dangerous, toxicogenic mold, we fled. We soon signed the lease for a brand-new apartment, assuming that “newly constructed” meant we were moving into a mold-free home. Safe at last! We had escaped the mold, and I thought I could finally start healing, but there I was, standing in my brand-new shower, begging God for my life. Lyme was not going to kill me. But hidden mold in our new apartment was still convincing my body that it would.

Anytime I stepped into the shower, I felt overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts. At night, I would lay in my bed, my mind racing and unable to turn off. I would wake up with heavy bones, numb hands and feet, and aching joints. My cognition was also off; I could not recall important details. Words frequently slipped my mind mid-sentence. During the day, I walked around in a daze only to retire in the afternoons due to horrific head and neck pain. My son was also suffering and would wake at night screaming yet unable to recognize or be consoled by us. I watched him slowly regress in his numbers, letters, and social skills. He went from having an advanced vocabulary for his age to using baby talk. He changed from sweet and compassionate to defiant and aggressive. Throughout this season of my life, I would experience little moments of clarity and think, “There’s mold here too. And I just know it is in that shower.” 

With a mold detective mindset, I searched our apartment from top to bottom. I could not find anything. “It’s a brand-new apartment,” my husband would say. “It’s safe.” But my body knew better.

Desperately, we reached out to Mold Finders on Instagram who were able to refer us to their course on how to find and renovate hidden mold. With their help, we discovered that when it rained, the water flooded down and in between the outside wall and the interior wall of our apartment. We tested this wall with an air cavity sample that confirmed extremely high levels of Aspergillus/penicillium, a mycotoxin-releasing mold. 

During that time, I had also been reading Erik Johnson and Lisa Petrison’s book, Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance. Since the weather was gorgeous and apartment management refused to allow us to break lease, we decided to give the Mold Avoidance lifestyle a try. We thought that if we could just physically remove ourselves from the exposure, I could begin to feel better.

We went camping for two months. I will never forget the memories we made during this season, resting in hammocks, daily dinners around a bonfire, and eventually even finding the strength to go hiking. I felt healthier and happier than I had felt in ten years. I watched my son’s personality return and blossom. Simply being outdoors gave us what we needed to heal.

While getting out of the mold was THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE of beginning our healing journey, we boosted the process by adding Micro Balance CitriDrops Dietary Supplement to our drinking water and by adding a few drops to a spray bottle with purified water to spritz in our nostrils. We found that using the product helped to clear our sinuses and brain fog. Now we use CitriDrops if we visit a moldy building or when the outdoor mold count is higher, like during rainy season. 

We also used this time of camping to slowly let go of our contaminated belongings and wash what we could keep. I had become so sensitive to the mold that washing our clothing with peroxide or vinegar was not enough. If we had not discovered Micro Balance, we would have had to buy an entirely new wardrobe. I began washing our laundry by hand with the Micro Balance Laundry Additive. After 1-3 washes with the product, I was finally having no reaction to the clothing items anymore. At some point, my husband said, “We will wash our laundry with this for the rest of our lives.” We still do. 

My doctor recommended we toss any belongings that were porous or could not be washed. This included books, memorabilia, expensive wooden toys, games, home decor, and more. This was at least seventy-five percent of our belongings. What remained after that, we sprayed, soaked and/or wiped down with the Micro Balance EC3 Mold Solution. 

With the heat of summer approaching, we knew we could not camp forever. We decided to continue our Mold Avoidance journey by becoming full-time RVers. After everything we had gone through, I was terrified of the prospect of another moldy home, so along with our RV purchase, we also invested in a few items to help prevent mold growth. First, we purchased two countertop dehumidifiers and an air quality monitor. Then we bought the Hypervent Aire-Flow Moisture Barrier from a company called Mattress Insider. This was essential in protecting our mattresses from moisture and subsequent mold due to unwanted condensation that can often happen beneath RV mattresses. We also invested in the Intellipure air purifier to help filter out mold spores. 

Since moving into our RV, we have had a few instances with opportunity for mold growth, but we have stayed vigilant about properly drying any area that encountered water. Once after parking at a contaminated site, I wiped the entirety of the RV down with EC3 Mold Solution out of precaution while burning their EC3 candles—there will always be mold spores in the air, but this practice helps keep spore counts down.

We have been full-time RVers for almost a year now and are still well and mold-free. We have discovered a wonderful community among other RVers, even meeting people like us who chose this lifestyle to heal from chronic illness and mold. This community has enriched our lives and healing journey in delightful and surprising ways. Now that we have a choice to continue RV life or purchase a home, I am not sure if I ever want to go back. 

Healing from mold illness is not easy. It led my family on a rocky, unexpected path. There are days it still feels like one step forward two steps back. It is definitely not linear, nor is it always clear. But perhaps, eventually, with trust, if you are also suffering, it will lead you to where you are meant to be. As much as I have suffered because of mold, I have also found myself living my best life because of it. Perhaps I was paranoid that night while standing in the shower, heavily influenced by neurotoxins, but my prayer was answered. I started my mold journey in a place of striving through life to survive. Today I am thriving and finally living the life I’ve been searching for because I was willing to open my mind and take chances to save myself and my family.