The biggest difference between an allergy, and a hypersensitivity/mold illness exposure is an annoying experience, and as Lori Tondini, author of “Are You Moldy” wrote in a FB post “a hellish experience“.
Chronological report from doctors info is dated and I have back up reports
I take this very seriously, it has affected my life and livelihood in every way. I am struggling with doctors and people in general who know nothing about this problem.
I need the help of professionals who know how to make this better. I am worried now that it’s gone on too long and I may be damaged with regard to my health.
I have interjected other episodes as I remember and as friends recall back to me. My trainer saw me change from a healthy strong fit person – to a weaker, repeatedly ill (including nausea, diarrhea, light headedness, weakness, respiratory issues, coughing and more) but still showing up for training, all this over the past year. Last year I could do 50 man push ups, now maybe 10? Actually now none. A year ago if ill I would still train and work through it. Now I’ve missed 5 weeks of paid training. Friends have witnessed my chronic respiratory and skin issues too. I felt so bad last year I was joking with friends that terrorists were sending poison through the air and I was the first to go. I felt last summer that my skin was being attacked and with other symptoms felt I was truly being poisoned.
I do have a history of migraines that happen a couple times a year. Also have a history of sinus infections. I was tested by an allergist and I believe he said I was allergic to cat dander, up until 3 years ago I had a long hair cat. I have never known I was allergic.
Medical history as it might relate to “over exposure to bad mold”. Reports are more detailed this is just a short review.
9/01/07 took possession of property on Loudoun Street. Opened shop 10/01/07. I am an owner operator that is there almost everyday we are open and opens many holidays as well. So I am there a lot.
Fall and winter of 07 had chronic cough and flu like symptoms that lasted for long periods, but would go away.
3/07/08 Doctor visit. Complicated report that may now reflect the beginning of seasonal flare up from building. Headaches are more prevalent. Fever yes, and diarrhea and stomach issues are not going away, nausea. Admitted to emergency room for headaches and nausea. They did test for flu and infectious diseases. Tested negative.
3/14/08 Went to family doctor to talk about health, still sick. Got a referral to a local Psych. Will explain. Symptoms include nausea, fever, sleep disturbance, alteration in taste (this lasted for about 4 months), Heartburn, diarrhea. I have lost 5 lbs. All of this over the past several weeks. Referred to Dr. Doug Foster.
5/22/08 Went to family doctor. Nasal congestion, head congestion, runny nose, sneezing, difficultly breathing through her nose. Dryness of skin on outside surface of both arms. Occasional cough. Hyperacidicity in the epigastric area as well as increased frequency of stools and diarrhea. Stool specimen done. Lab work as well. Co-worker though I might have Lyme. Two of us at the shop myself and an employee did experience a rash on our legs last summer. Employee worked as needed a couple times a month.
9/9/08 Went to family doctor. Trouble sleeping. Waking up frequently during the night. Light headed when I get up for bed repeated. Light headed when working out with trainer. Back discomfort. Frequent urination. Overall tired. Lab work ordered.
12/8/08 Went to family doctor. Since day before Thanksgiving (2 weeks prior) post nasal drip, nasal congestion, sore throat, temp 102, left ear throbbing. Nausea and flu like symptoms lasted approx 4 weeks. Buying Theraflu and Pepto a lot.
4/7/09 Went to family doctor. Maybe injured during training. Headaches are more frequent. Taking more and more medication for headaches.
7/16/09 in for medication. Muscle tightness in shoulder area. More soreness after working out need medication to help with soreness. Having more extreme pain after working out. Med for headaches again. Persistent cough.
10/01/09 Bowel problems occurring again. Had a bad night where I was cramping very painful and middle of the night terrible diarrhea. Developing a history of this in the night and morning. Fatigued a good bit of the time. Hair loss and thinning. Pressure around the eyes. Lab work again ordered. Given nose spray. Persistent cough.
Fall and Winter season skin problem that developed in April/May now gone in December. Sick for approx 4 weeks with bad flu like symptoms. Fever again up to 102. Stomach issues are daily. Started a bland diet of chicken soup and rice, ate this for the better part of the winter. Ongoing issues with diarrhea. Cough is prevalent and hard, worse in the morning, but continues through out the day. Taking Theraflu daily and Pepto.
April 2010 skin rash appears. 4/15/10 Appointment with dermatologist, he says I’ve developed a sun sensitivity. Pick up prescription cream for skin. Skin first has raised bumps on upper arms, upper chest and upper back. Pre the skin rash had 4 days of bad sleep nausea and waking up in sweat. Not feeling well. Fatigued. Diarrhea is really bad in fact it’s been going on for a long time. Stomach is cramping in the morning with diarrhea . Day after appointment with skin doctor woke up very sick. Feel like I’m poisoned. I coughed all night, coughed non stop. Had headaches for about 5 days, this really scared me. Fever 102 red rash of assorted sizes on entire body with the exception of my face. Shaking and shivering so bad could not stop. Could not put clothes on my body it ached so bad. Very sick nausea Theraflu and Pepto are the norm. Took 2 Aleve, Theraflu and worked. Made it through the weekend, should have gone to emergency room, but waited and called both skin doctor and family doctor on Monday. Monday saw skin doctor and he did a biopsy, saw family doctor as well. They have no experience with people who feel they’ve been exposed to toxic or “over exposure to mold”.
Today 5/23/10. Diarrhea had never stopped. I’ve lost more weight, can’t keep anything in stomach. Takes 3 hours in the morning to get straight. Tired and skin is prickly. Cough is present after being in the building and voice is horse. I believe this last episode is related to air from the basement. For the past 2.5 years I have been sitting over a vent that sends heat and air cond. to the room. I went into this last episode days after we had the 90 degree weather in April and immediately after we turned the AC on. We have not run the AC or the heat for a month now since I feel this is sending us air from the basement. I do notice that my cough is lessened except after times that I’ve spent in the building. I am spending less time in the building as well. Still have terrible stomach issues, I believe my stomach is really in distress. I can eat anything, but need Pepto as a chaser or visa versa. Nothing stays in my body and it comes out as diarrhea. Skin is prickly and I still have evidence of rash from a month prior.
Other possible related symptoms I have experienced in the past 2+ years
Flu like symptoms
Cough and raspy voice
Extreme and long bouts with diarrhea
Extreme and long bouts with stomach cramping
Skin feels like its prickly and clothes can feel scratchy
Flush face, red and hot feeling
Muscle aches and pains
Taste of foods and drink altered
Trouble swallowing at times
Episodes of memory loss and loss of current thoughts as I am talking
trouble at times forming thoughts
tingling of extremities
ringing of ears-full feeling in ears
sensitive to smells and in the past couple years perfumes and air fresheners
mouth has white foamy look even after drinking a lot of water
when clearing throat a clear and gluey mucous and sometimes greenish/gray
rash on lower legs last summer
feeling like I’ve been plugged in
eyes feel hazy, blurry
This last month I have watched my symptoms and how it relates to the building. I have cut back the hours there and due to the situation and logistics still need to be there 4 days in a row. After 4 days I can feel completely plugged in (buzzed body feeling), diarrhea is out of control, have no appetite, am afraid of foods and how they will affect me, can’t walk dogs until I have had a couple times on the toilet, can’t sleep after 5am. Have more trouble falling asleep. Coffee hasn’t tasted good in a long time. Feeling tired. Some shortness of breath and always a clear to sometimes greenish brown flem from my clearing my throat. There is much more that as I am now understanding what has happened I am remembering clues and pieces of a puzzle that are now beginning to make a lot of sense. I will keep notes of other items and things that I experience and remember.
Over the past two years I have spoke to my mother about the doctors either not getting me or thinking I’m a little stressed. I have told her many times it’s not worth going we do the same tests and find nothing.
That’s more than I had hoped to include, but I feel everything is important at this point to help figure me out and what has happened to me. And more importantly how am I assured that I can and will get better.
Symptoms of black mold and toxic mold exposure include:
• memory loss
• personality disorders
• shortness of breath
• abdominal pain
• hair loss
• skin rashes
• numbness in extremities
• mood swings
• pain in the extremities
• sore throat
• rectal bleeding
Other symptoms of toxic mold include: destruction of brain tissue, open skin sores, fungal infections, lung diseases such as Aspergilliosis), and chronic sinus problems.