I knew mold was bad for me. I knew it was responsible for a large part of my fatigue. I did not know it could explain all the cognitive problems I’ve developed in the last few years.
I also did not know until recently that one of the country’s leading medical experts in mold and health has a practice right around the corner from me (well, “around the corner” in rural terms). While looking up the phone for Dr. Michael Gray in Benson, Arizona, I found a short YouTube video interview with him that has astounded me.
I urge you to view it if you have a child in school, an interest in your or a friend’s health, or know anyone experiencing spaciness, memory blips, confusion or brain fog. A whopping 20% of American schools have mold, a situation Dr. Gray finds unconscionable and in need of immediate action.
He published research in an environmental health journal a few years ago that found a strong statistically significant correlation between variables such as length of exposure to mold (I lived in moldy houses from 1998 until April 2013), length of time between a water intrusion into a building and evacuation and other practical variables AND decline in a long list of cognitive and neurological functions.
I was sick before 1998, though. Come to think of it, the place I lived for two years in the mid-1990s was little more than a shack on the edge of a large upstate NY lake, so it likely harbored mold. The first house after that had a spring bubbling in the basement. So that makes it 1995 – 2013 that I lived in a series of moldy houses. Before that, the apartments in which I lived were in better condition and had no water issues of which I was aware.
1995 was the year I developed chemical sensitivities. I also spent the year bingeing on ice cream more than ever before — I have observed that mold exposure makes me crave sugar.
Wow. I’m floored.
Because of the chemical sensitivities I can not live in new houses. Plus, I’ve always had an affinity for older houses “with character.” So I need housing that is new enough to not have mold, old enough to have fully outgassed, without evaporative cooling (aka swamp coolers, which are mold factories) and preferably with heating that doesn’t blow allergens all over the house, although if it is a health house that is not as much of an issue.
Since leaving moldy houses and living in my car (and now a tent), I have felt SO MUCH BETTER. I still experience many of the symptoms that I list in this blog’s categories and tags, including neurological and cognitive problems, unusual fatigue and extensive food sensitivities. But my moods and overall energy are better.
In fact, given that I’m living in a tent in the middle of winter at 5,000 feet elevation, one might say I am “unreasonably cheerful.”
That’s a joke. I love feeling better.
I’ll be making an appointment to see Dr. Gray, now that I have ACCCHS health care to pay for it — that’s another post.