How Mold Uprooted our Lives and Why We’re Moving (Immediately)

What a wild three weeks it has been. If you want to know the details of how our lives have been flipped upside down, why we’re moving immediately and why we’re encouraged, read on.

We moved to Texas in 2018. I shared recently why we’re still renting and the ins and outs of our experience since living here. The plan is still to build our home and we were hoping to stay in this rental until then, but for the past few years we’d had growing, sneaking suspicion this house had turned on us.

When we moved in, Oshiolema had just turned three and Keogena was almost two. Lema had showed signs of having allergies and being really prone to congestion, earaches and sinus struggles as a whole during allergy season. Keogena got a cough maybe once or twice a year but aside from that, they had a typical toddler amount of runny noses and random colds. Once we moved into this house, things began to change. We noticed Oshiolema would have a wonderful day all healthy and chipper and clear only to develop a cold after being tucked into bed. We knew he had some pretty intense allergies so we started being more diligent to not allow allergens into his room. Changing out of ‘outside clothes’ when he came in, washing his feet before getting into bed, setting up a fan in there to circulate air and splurging on a Molekule air purifier to keep in his room. Things would ease up a little but but as time went on, the ‘bedroom cold’ as we call it began to become pretty predictable. The earaches became more frequent, the colds and congestion intensified until this year, he began needing breathing treatments alongside Keogena.

Keogena has progressed over the years as well from being prone to a more intense respiratory response to a simple cold to regularly needing a steroid and breathing treatment for what we were told is ‘allergy induced asthma.’

And as for me, it has been a really rough stretch of years. I found out I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis a month before moving to Dallas. Since we’ve lived in this house, I’ve been under the strict advising and care of one of the best holistic nutritionists in the country and yet, I still feel similar to how I felt in the beginning. Other people with my autoimmune disease have made more progress in four months than I’ve made in four years and when we reviewed my bloodwork, my nutritionist would say “It’s like there’s a glass wall we can’t get through for some reason and I just don’t know why.”

When we moved back into the house after three months away from it because of the flooding and damage after the Texas ice storms, we knew it was time to look into our hunches. We decided to do a mold toxicity test for O, Oshiolema, Keogena and me and when the results came back three weeks ago, they were far worse than I anticipated.

a portion of keogena’s bloodwork

You know when you’re equal parts shocked and not surprised at all? It was one of those moments. We found the glass wall.

I’ll share more about what it means to have ‘mold poisoning’ and why such rigorous steps need to be taken but for now, I’ll just give you a brief overview of the ‘next steps’ we were given.

1. Move. Immediately. Into a home that has been tested for mold.

2. Leave as much as you can behind.

3. Begin a strict vitamin + supplement protocol for the next six months

4. Cut everything that feeds fungi and mold from the diet of the entire family: potatoes, sugar (including honey, maple syrup, agave etc.) beans, shelled nuts, most fruits, all grains and so on for a full six months

The day before we got this news, Oshiolema came home from school with chicken pox. O never had them as a child and the vaccine came out after he was a kid so he and the rest of the kids essentially had to quarantine for 14 days. That means for two weeks, I had to go to house after house after house on my own. The market in Texas is absolutely wild so things would be put on the market that morning and be sold by the afternoon. What made it even more difficult was trying to convince homeowners to let us get a mold test. No one wants to know they have to pay for mold remediation so no one wants to get the test. Needless to say, we were turned down many times but we finally got the mold results back of a house that we’re able to rent nearby this weekend and everything is clear. We don’t have a single box packed but friends, we start moving in on Wednesday.

Bizarre.

I’ll share more soon but for now, that’s where we are. This transition has been A.LOT. Tomorrow starts the hard work portion and if I’m being honest, actually moving, actually leaving things behind, actually following the restrictive diet and having my kids eat the same way and doing it all with the same demands as regular life-it’s really daunting, you guys. Even seeing it typed out makes me overwhelmed, but O and I feel such a peace about it. A peace that surpasses understanding. And it’s a blessing to be able to leave a situation that has been making you unwell. It’s a blessing to be able to actually have hard work pay off. I’m ready for healing-and I’ll take every single prayer.



*A quick note: the majority of the mold exposure is due to an improperly installed HVAC unit. The unit that services downstairs is mild but the unit that services upstairs was covered in mold on the exterior which means the interior-the part that brings air to the big kid’s bedrooms, play area and school area, was swamped. This had been the case unknowingly since we moved in and the mold exposure isn’t just a result of the flooding this spring.

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