I would like to tell you about a recent occurrence (problem) I have just experienced. I was told years ago that I was definitely exposed to mold in a apt in which I was living. An environmental agency, (the president, no less) saw the mold, & told me I needed to move immediately, or I was going to die! For over 6 years I have been seen by many pulmunologist & other specialists, & most have gotten to the point they simply don’t know how to treat me.
I have doctors. that are telling me that I have an acid reflux problem, (despite the 900 mgs of Zantac I am now taking) & others tell me acid reflux absolutely does NOT cause the mucus my body keeps developing. I just know I am almost always congested & that the only real relief I can get is drinking lots of water so I can throw up (gross I know, sorry.) & when it comes up in comes out in chunks, clods etc.
As I discussed with Susan from this website a few months ago, I was finally so fed up with no help and results, I decided to go to a specialist that was listed on this web-site under doctors per state. When I met with this toxicologist/mold expert, A Dr. Wassenger, partner of Dr. Gary Ordog, Santa Clarita, CA, he spent about 2 hrs. with me taking lots of notes. His conclusion was that I definitely was suffering from mold/fungus infestation. He told me that I should move (again) out of the apt. I currently live in, and of course I should sue the present owner of the building. (This apt. is not far from the ocean and we get a lot of marine layer. Normally I would clean it, but in the past two years I have been quite ill & not been able to keep up w/the cleaning.) According to the Dr.-I should contact an attorney, he gave me a list with whom he works (Wassenberger) and they will front me the $ to proceed w/needed tests to find out what type & to extent this stuff has damaged my body.
Wassenberger told me the needed tests he requires are most likely not covered by insurance and they are VERY costly. (Especially for me since I am forced to live on Social Security Disability and have Medi-Medi coverage! Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful for that coverage, but this is a horrible way to live financially when you have advanced college degrees and have worked in fairly high paying positions.)
I left the doctor’s office (in June,2002) very depressed as I had/have no idea how I could enlist his help. I also told this doctor I was suffering from breast cancer discovered in June 2001) fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, memory lapses etc. After pondering my situation, and talking to friends & my current pulm. doctor. I figured I had no other alternative but to continue on the path I have been walking, since I saw no way I could pay for these tests etc. Within days after that first apt. w/Dr. W., I sadly canceled my appointment. Well, now I’m in a bigger mess than before! Tuesday 7/30/02, as I was going home from the Marina del Rey, CA dog park with 5 dogs in my car (typical, I have become a pet sitter and at times had more in my car) I started coughing, very hard and deep.
Normally I try to drink a lot of water, when I can to drown the cough, enabling me to throw up the gunk in my throat/lungs, (as stated before) but I had run out of water!! Here I am in bumper to bumper “rush hour” traffic, can’t turn off this 4 lane street, to pull over. I have explained to all of my recent Drs. that in the last 6 mos. I have been admitted to the emergency room 3 times, they give me breathing treatments, then release me. Almost all Drs., even my Pulm. w/whom I have been w/for 6 + years has said he simply doesn’t know what else to do for me. I am on a ton of drugs, etc. I’ve told him that recently this coughing sometimes is so deep & long that I get extremely light headed, and I feel very faint.
I cough, cough, cough etc. until I almost faint. My complaints have fallen on deaf eyes, especially when I bring up the mold exposure possibility!! Well, as I was driving on this busy street, I’m trying to do “self-talk,” trying not to panic. I am holding on to the steering wheel for dear life, hoping to get to the upcoming street, where I can get off & park. HA! The next thing I know, a young woman had opened my car door, shaking me saying, “lady, lady, are you alright?) I looked up & I had run my car off the street on to an apt. building yard, knocking down a metal gate!!! I had “blacked out” & the police had already arrived, ambulance, & a crowd had gathered, about 25-30 strong. I had to go to the hospital, they hardly treated me & what attention was horrible, after 2+ hrs. they finally gave me a breathing treatment (even though I couldn’t catch my breath etc. & they could see that!) The LAPD collision office continued his questioning @ the hospital (I think he thought I was “on something,”) & now I understand I may loose my driver’s license!! The next day, after being released from the hospital, where they absolutely did nothing, & I mean nothing, except put 5 needles in my hand, that never were connected to anything!!) I called Dr. Wassenberger’s office and he met with me the next day. He again reminded me of all the blood tests he really needs to treat me properly, (which of course I can’t pay for…..) put me back on the Prednisone, that I just got off of a month ago, (because of a mistake the radiology staff made, while getting the last cancer treatments!) And a anti-fungal medication, which should help my lungs somewhat, as he is convinced the fungus is definitely contributing to my problems. It also should help my fingernails since I lost all of them, most of my toe nails, and now there is fungus under the nails. But these problems are minor since I am looking at loosing my right to drive, which I desperately need, (Doctor appointments about 4 a wk., picking up, dropping off and entertaining/exercising dogs that are in my care!!!
Thank goodness I have decent car insurance, no tickets, points accidents, & I have NEVER experienced such a frightening “event.” But I understand I may still lose my driving rights, since this was such a serious situation. Thank goodness no other people were involved, I know I was going very slow, 10-15 mph, since it was bumper to bumper. Also, I have an old car (1990 Nissan) that was in almost perfect shape, but no coverage on mine as the insurance co. told me to not bother since the car wouldn’t be worth it. So, the insurance co. won’t have too much to pay out. HA! Now my car has a front end w/ “prison stripes!” Great!
In summation, I thought that mold exposure problems still don’t seen to be accepted or acknowledged most “main stream” doctors, etc.. I can not tell you how frustrated, mad, scared & totally confused I am about this whole “misunderstanding” of the health problems, mold can create!! If you have any idea how better I can tackle this horrid situation, please let me know. The problem is, I don’t have the $$$ that it takes to do much.
My cancer is in remission, I guess, since I’ve just completed the last radiation treatment. My hair is now about 1/8″ long, my nails look like I have a very dirty “chewed” look, but I am grateful that my cancer was treatable. What gets me is that the cancer issue seemed minor-to me anyway (yet got all the attention) whereas I feel like I AM dying when I get so congested. It affects my speech, I’m almost always “gurgling” & when I do start to cough, people become very concerned I may have a virus, or something, & move away from me!! And as stated, few “medical experts” address this issue and they say they they don’t accept this “mold problem theory!” I have always been considered a fighter, but I’ve about lost all the fight that’s left in me!!!!! I sure wish I could get some support from folks that don’t cost me $$, since my grandiose life style just doesn’t support it!