By 2008, I could no longer deny that something was wrong. I have always been very active, and I have lived a very 'stressful' life. By the age of 25, I was managing a project with 40 people from eight countries and was dividing time between Paris and Budapest. I had always thrived amidst this stress, but I was beginning to falter.
I had developed MCS or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and I was very sensitive to odors or chemicals and any source of exposure. I was also sensitive to EMF's, and my head was almost always buzzing. I had night sweats, and it seemed early for menopause. I would wake up tired and in pain. Perhaps worst of all, a brain fog was setting in; I would stand at the bottom of the steps and now know why I was there or where I was heading. I began the doctor circuit. In my conventional route of 'western medicine', I was fairly quickly sent to a rheumatologist, the end of the line for most mystery ailments.
The rheumatologist diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia which I've later learned means you are in pain, and we have no idea why.
I also went to a more innovative doctor who is an expert at environmental medicine.
I went to an urgent care clinic after an incident of chest pain. I was diagnosed with Asthma and referred to a holistic chiropractor. I do owe a debt of gratitude to that M.D. for 'drawing outside the lines'.
The chiropractor found that I was reacting to dozens of foods and substances. He treated me using NAET, and I would feel better after his treatments.
The environmental medicine doctor helped me with two very important discoveries. The first was that I tested positive for two thyroid antibodies. It would be about a year later with continued hypothyroid symptoms, a thyroid ultrasound and biopsy, and a failing thyroid as evidenced by blood tests before traditional M.D.'s would diagnose me with Hashimoto's and begin treatment with Synthroid. I have since learned that you have a chance to turn around autoimmune thyroid illness in the early stages when antibodies are detected but the thyroid has not been attacked to the point where supplementation is necessary.
Secondly, the environmental medicine doctor gave me four or five mold test plates to put in key areas throughout my new house. I did this setting out the plates and then incubating for 24 hours then visually inspecting. As I opened each plate, I saw nothing and was discounting that the plates even worked. But, the last one was a plate I had placed on the mattress where I slept. The plate was teaming with mold. I had a mattress which had been with me in the rental house, and I was able to open and see the mold inside of the mattress. Now I knew the cause for my night sweats and nightly pain.
I hired a mold inspection company to come out and take a tape sample from the mold on the mattress and one from the ambient air. Stachybotrys, a well-known toxic mold, was detected on the mattress (as well as various other molds).
To this point, I knew the rental house was a 'sick' house, but it was not until this point that I knew the cause was mold. I had concentrated my energy to build a healthy house, but I had not thought about the contents which we moved from the rental house to our new house. Fortunately, the kids were sleeping on mattresses which had not been in the rental house, and we did not have a lot of upholstered or other things which we moved. I removed the mattress, and the mold company sanitized the room. Over the years, I discarded couches and books and rugs and other items which had traveled through the rental house. But, I still have some clothing and photographs and other items that present some concern.
However, for my health, the damage was done. I now believe that the toxic mold triggered the Hashimoto's and directly or indirectly led to my current health challenges.