The Horrible Truth About Mold Illness and Homelessness

This video is hard to watch.

It was 2017 and I had spent 3 years under dozens of doctor's care with no solutions. It started with mild fatigue and worsening asthma symptoms. The fatigue worsened. I found I couldn't climb to the top of the stairs without my muscles aching like I had ran a 100-meter dash. My sleep started to be affected and I was only able to make myself sleep for 2 hours at a time, and spend the rest of the night sweating, shivering, and wondering why I couldn't sleep when I was desperately exhausted.

My family had moved into a beautiful house in a small town outside of Pittsburgh. My husband was transferred to the town a year or so before, and he was grateful to now have a shorter commute. Even though we loved our old house hidden in the woods, it was tiny, and our family of 6 had outgrown it. This new house seemed like a dream come true with two full baths and my girls didn't have to sleep 4 to a room.

This video was taken after we found some mold under the ceiling tiles, almost 6 full years after moving into the home. I woke up the next morning with my face even more raw and my eyes nearly swollen shut. My husband drove me to the hospital, but they said there was nothing they could do.

"We don't treat rashes."

The doctor then advises me to not go back into the house. I didn't hear much after that. My head was reeling. Where would we go? What about the kids? 

We set up a tent in the yard until we could figure out our next steps. I tried to make it fun for the kids. We watched Peter Pan on my phone, and brought snacks in the tent. I silently cried in the middle of the night while they slept on the air mattresses. The tears burned my cracked skin, but I could breathe! 

Then we knew it was the house.

The third day, it was to rain. My husband said it was best to pack up and head to a hotel. I left with the kids, and he stayed at the house with our beloved Charlie. I sat in the parking lot of  a local hotel and called and asked if there were any rooms. "No," I was told. I drove to the next and booked it online, in my car.

We walked in, and the desk clerk looked at me strangely.

"Don't worry, it's not contagious," I reassured him.

He gave us the key and we went up to our room, with just a few items and the hope that we would soon find a permanent place to rest our heads. I laid my head down on the soft pillow and soon dozed off, exhausted with fear and sickness. I was afraid of dying. I was also afraid of my family living in our car. I was terrified of what this was doing to the kids, and hoping it would all end soon.

Soon exhaustion relinquished to a deep sleep. For the first time in two years, I had a full night sleep. I slept for 10 hours straight. I was both relieved we found the cause of my illness, and desperate to find out what to do next.

To Be Continued...


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