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The Day We Lost Everything (Part 4)

admin September 29, 2014

lost everything 4

Image by suika

If you haven’t read our story yet, see part 1, part 2, and part 3 first.  Part 1 is especially important because it shares the basic story of what’s happening.

In case you don’t read them, the gist is this: due to a major mold problem, we left our home on August 16, 2014.  It was something I’d suspected for months, but finally became bad enough that I felt we needed to go.  It took me some time to convince my husband of it (but he is so glad we left, now).  Once we got the tests back — results are in part 3 — we knew that the counts of dangerous mold were very high.

Now, we’re settled into an apartment and on our way back to health.

The House

At this point, we’ve done very little with the house itself.  We’ve had the testing done.  We have gone over to bag stuff up and take it to the dump.  We took no furniture, no clothing.  We did take our TV, some small appliances, and many glass jars.  Anything that is non-porous and completely smooth is easy to clean.

Meanwhile, left mostly untended, the house is getting worse.  When Ben was in there a few days ago, he said the toilet seats are growing visible mold now.  It’s really dangerous in there.  We hope to finish cleaning it out in the next couple of weeks and then get rid of it, one way or another.

Our Health Now

When we left the house, our health was not great (adults especially).  We were suffering from extreme brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, depression, low energy, and more.  My acne had flared badly and I couldn’t lose any weight.  (I’d lost about 15 lbs. at the beginning of the year then stalled again.)  Ben had yeast rashes on his feet and legs that were extremely itchy and his stomach was upset most of the time.

The first two weeks were rough.  We slept a lot, and we went through phases where we were angry and depressed and we each had to give the other space, and take turns with the kids.  That was not always easy, but we made it work.

Six weeks later, we’re finding a number of things improved.

  • Brain fog is mostly gone
  • Anxiety/depression is much less
  • I’m starting to lose weight
  • Acne is much improved
  • Energy levels are higher
  • Yeast rashes are mostly gone
  • Digestive issues are (slowly) disappearing

In general, we feel much better.  We’re not fully “normal” yet but we will be a few months down the road.

How Did We Do It?

I know this is the big thing that everyone wants to know — what did we do?

Grain-Free

For the first few weeks, we were grain-free, to allow our guts to heal a bit.  We weren’t GAPS, per se — we did use arrowroot powder and potatoes.  We chose foods that worked for us, that didn’t cause any reactions.  Grains and sugar, at first, caused immediate and strong anxiety because they were feeding the mold.  After a few weeks we could do limited grains and that’s where we are now.  Although my husband still does better completely off grains and sugar.

Juicing

We drank fresh-pressed juice most mornings.  I blended together:

  • 1/3 pineapple (with core)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 – 3 oranges
  • 1″ piece fresh ginger
  • Big handful or two of kale

Kale is low in oxalic acid and good to eat raw.  Pineapple is high in bromelain, which is anti-cancer and promotes detox.  Lemons promote detox, especially from the gallbladder.  Ginger is anti-inflammatory.  Oranges are high in vitamin C.  

Each adult would drink about 1 – 2 cups of this fresh green juice every morning, along with eating eggs scrambled in bacon grease.  Eating a healthy breakfast was really important.

Detox Baths

We took detox baths about every 2 – 3 days.  Ideally we would have done it everyday, but we were so busy with everything else.  

We used Epsom salts and baking soda for the first few days (about 1/2 – 1 c. of each), but then we got our favorite Redmond clay and bath salts, and we used about 1/2 c. clay and 1 c. bath salts in a very hot bath (for adults).  We soaked for 10 – 20 minutes, or as long as we could stand.

After the bath, we laid on a bed for 20 minutes or so (it makes you very tired and sometimes dizzy), and then drank a lot of water.  We often added lemon juice to the water for extra detox. The baths are really important — if Ben doesn’t take one every 3 – 4 days at least, his symptoms start to return because the junk in his system isn’t getting out.

Supplements

At about the 4-week mark, we saw our alternative doctor, once we had gotten ourselves settled in our new apartment.  He tested everyone to see what they needed and what their issues were.

Three of the kids tested positive for mold in their bodies and needed some supplements to help.  Our youngest has gut damage from it — he basically grew up with mold almost since birth, so all the stuff I was doing to build up his gut ( breastfeeding, probiotics, grain-free diet) were competing with the mold.  

Our third child, though, had no issues!  He was healthy enough that his body naturally detoxed it all.  He was given just a multi- vitamin (Standard Process) to help rebuild any minor deficiencies, but he didn’t need anything else.

Our oldest two have other issues.  Our oldest son has some gut damage and is on a couple supplements (Detoxosode and Fung-dx) to help get rid of the mold.  I had noticed that his belly seemed a little bloated and he always had a big appetite, despite being the skinniest of the kids.

Our daughter is struggling with some gut damage (which is an ongoing issue) and we’ve seen some sensory issues with her.  This is really a more complicated situation because it all goes back to her struggles as a young toddler.  The mold just set us back a bit.  

The supplements prescribed to me, Fung-dx, Multizyme, and Spanish Black Radish (all Standard Process) did not seem to help and made me feel sick.  I know the difference between “die off” and “this isn’t good.”  SBR seemed to do the exact opposite of what it was supposed to!  SBR is supposed to stop constipation, clear out the liver and gallbladder, and help the body detox.  Instead I felt some pain in my gallbladder plus it caused constipation, dizziness, nausea.  I stopped taking it after about 3 days.  I personally do better on specific herbs that I choose.

The rest of the family did well on their supplements.

Sleep

Whenever possible, we have tried to rest/sleep more.  I have often slept on the couch because my youngest will sleep through the night if I am not in the room with him!  Extra sleep is really important.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods were huge in our recovery.  We drank 1 – 2 bottles (16 oz. each) of kombucha per day.  We also ate Bubbies pickles pretty regularly, and when we didn’t do fresh juice I made smoothies with yogurt or kefir.  I’m now creating a turmeric bug, and fermenting our own pickles and some jalapenos.  I take a probiotic supplement, too, especially on days where I only drink kombucha and don’t have other forms of probiotics.  This has been really, really important.

Herbs and Home Remedies

I’m now starting my home remedies to rebuild.  This includes:

I will continue with fresh juice sometimes, and we’re introducing sourdough and other soaked grains now.  We don’t even have white flour in the house (although we do eat it when out sometimes, or buy the occasional box of organic mac’n’ cheese or sourdough bread made with it) and I hope to bake without it for awhile.

What Now

We’re lucky.

We were able to get out.  We were able to replace most of what we owned (and got some great deals on Craig’s list!).  We were able to heal and have access to quality foods and supplements.  We’re really so grateful for this.

This is the last post in this series, for now.  Down the road I’ll write a wrap-up post once we’re months past this, healthy, and we’ve gotten rid of the house.  I’ll write the overarching story of what happened, and how we felt about everything changing the way it did.  It’s been a road with lots of ups and downs for sure.

You can keep up with us with minimal emails and also get a FREE ebook, “Start Your Healthier Life, One Step at a Time” when you join our monthly mailing list.  The book will be released next month and everyone on the list — or who joins the list later — will get it!

Have you faced mold?  How did you detox from it?

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I am sorry for all that your family has been through. I hope your recovery continues and that it is complete and you all are able to return to your normal life. I hope you are able to get rid of your house and recover financially. I will look forward to the update when you are on the other end of this.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I never realized how bad mold can be. Have you continued to breastfeed your youngest while doing this major detox? Continued prayers for your family as you sojourn this road. May God continue to give you great resources to heal your bodies! 🙂

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  3. One would think someone as “educated” with internet “research” as you could figure out that mold grows in dark, moist environments. Basic (I mean really, really – like third grade basic) biology. Tell me why I should consider your opinions about contracting and curing disease valid?

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  4. I’m fairly new to your website, coming from the Ultimate Bundle. I read through your horrifying mold story with profound gratitude. Several years ago we had a similar problem with a house, but on a tiny scale by comparison. I know the “smell” you describe – I thought of it as the air being “sharp”, it hurt my throat as I breathed. A few years later, walking through a wooded area in late fall, I kicked through some leaves and smelled “our mold”. Of all the tens of thousands of molds out there, I could immediately recognize the one that had infested our house. We were able to “fix” the house as there was no basement carpet, and three dehumidifiers running 24 hours a day kept the basement too dry for the mold to flourish. We ripped out the forced air heating system and completely replaced it, and then with a thorough cleaning the house was ok. Until I read your account, I had no idea how much worse it could have been. Our mold clearly hadn’t been able to get as thorough a foothold as yours.

    When we moved, we told the realtor that we needed a DRY house. After clarifying what we meant, he asked how many bedrooms or baths we might want. Size was such a secondary concern that we hadn’t thought to mention it! Even after he had vetted the houses, we still found that at least half had a problem. It’s astonishingly widespread.

    I am so sorry that you had such an awful experience, and glad that you were able to figure it out and leave. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned, I’m sure it will help many people.

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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