I have said little about the impact of the toxic mold exposure on my life. By necessity the focus of my life this last 19 months has been my children. I have been increasingly aware, however, that something is amiss with me. The pulmonary and neurological testing in December confirmed my suspicions. Further blood testing has also revealed abnormalities. By sharing a bit of my story I hope others will find help and hope.
These are the symptoms I have experienced: Chronic fatigue, ringing of the ears (tinnitus),disrupted sleep patterns, rashes, black tongue, emotional outbursts (to the point where my 10 year-old sobbed, "I want my old mommy back!"), joint pain, and general malaise.
I have read numerous times about something called brain fog. We have been on aggressive treatment for exactly a month and today I felt a level of clarity I have not felt for a very long time. Honestly, the inside of my head felt lighter. My pulmonary tests showed decreased lung capacity. I exercise so rarely I hadn't noticed the shortness of breath that comes with this. I did notice the decreased appetite that led to my weight loss in the last year. Mycotoxins play with leptin levels and several of us have high or low leptin levels.
By far my most debilitating symptom has been short-term memory loss and the resulting inability to multi-task. This is a very common symptom and easily dismissed as stress or age related. Let me immediately put the age issue to rest. My 19 year-old daughter has the same symptom and it showed up in her testing. I began to notice last year when I mixed up a number of appointments and missed some key events for my children. Uncharacteristic but understandable in light of the stress we were under. I could never find my cell phone or my glasses. I was having a much harder time in the kitchen. I would start something, leave it, and forget it. I had a hard time with my son's insulin doses. One time I gave him our dog's insulin by mistake. (It turned out fine. Just a humbling phone call to make to the doctor.) My kids couldn't depend on me to remember things they needed. I found myself saying, "Write it on the board or I won't remember." I started to forget where my car was parked. I couldn't find my keys. I couldn't remember what I needed at the store. This all was exacerbated when we re-located to Tucson. Parking lots are far more daunting without the familiar spots. Directions are very very difficult. I have to write them out in large print to read while I'm driving. I don't remember things I have told people. Numerous friends and family members have said to me, "You told me that already." It is indeed a disability and undoubtedly a result of mycotoxins at work in the brain. I have had two doctors assure me this is reversible and so I remain hopeful. Until then I am finding ways to adjust.
The other day my daughter gently "encouraged" me to buy a cell phone holster. I have thanked her numerous times because I haven't lost my phone one time. I keep a notebook with me and index cards nearby. I did miss an orthodonist appointment this morning for Colin. I wrote it down. I just couldn't find the paper.