This is part 2 of 7 in series “Background: Getting to More About our Adventure.” You can find the rest of the series here.
When I first announced on my Facebook a friend reached out asking how I learned it was mold. I had an advantage of marrying Laura who has spent years learning about and addressing her own mold illness. This was key to my realizing that I react to mold and water damaged buildings.
Prior to meeting Laura, I had been unaware that there were any negative health impacts from mold. As I got to know Laura and learn how she responds to buildings that have had water damage, I started to think back on my experiences. I realized that when ever I went down to my grandparents house, I always took a nap and usually got a headache. I also knew that their house had leaky skylight which had visible mold growing on it.
While we were dating, Laura discovered a window leak in her office and had mold remediation done. I went over to move a thermostat for her related to this project. The thermostat was in one of the rooms that had major mold growth in it. At this time, I was suspicious about my grandparents house, but still thought I was mostly non-reactive to mold. I spent an hour to an hour and a half moving the thermostat. After that, I went home with a headache and didn’t sleep right for 2 nights.
At this point, I was convinced that I didn’t have major mold reactivity problems, but knew there were some minor issues in places that were particularly bad. My mold reactions went through the roof with two events. First, we lost our apartment to a water leak and subsequent mold growth. Second, with COVID-19, I worked from home for a couple of months.
During the move to get out of our bad apartment, Laura told me to stay in the new apartment and not go to the old one, because I couldn’t think while I was in the old apartment. As I’ve learned more, I’ve noticed a link between an inability for me to make decisions and mold exposure. When I went back to the office after COVID-19, my energy plummeted and I struggled to think again.
If I hadn’t had Laura to tell me about her story, I wouldn’t have considered mold as a problem. To actually realize that mold was an issue, it took my knowing that I was in a bad place and having a negative result from that. For my grandparents house it was so bad, that was easy. For my work place, it took getting into a clean environment while working form home for a prolonged amount of time to clear out enough to see it. Having someone who understands mold was vital for my learning more about it. There is a massive amount of learning feel, which is hard to do by reading.