I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Mold update...

It's been a while again... I guess there has been so much going on, and getting the keyboard set up with the tablet somewhere comfortable is not as easy as I thought it would be...

But today, I was debating whether to take a shower or go for a walk (and as my Mom said, it sucks that it's actually a choice I have to make), and I decided instead, to put my afternoon's energy into this. And so I am sitting outside, blogging!

I brought out one of the little kiddie chairs, and an old (clean!) changing pad, and I'm sitting on the ground, and the tablet/keyboard are on the chair in front of me. Much less expenditure of energy than going up the stairs to my mom's computer, and I get fresh air to boot! Yeehaw!

Now, as things are turning out, there may actually be no mold in my house (if you missed that series of posts, they're in the archive to your left). We have had a total of 5 different people traipsing through, looking for it, and this is a short version of what happened: the people who had a vested interest in finding mold, found possible evidence. The people who had no vested interest in finding it, did not find any evidence whatsoever of mold, or recent moisture. My head says "blaaaaaiiiirrrrrgggghhhh!!"

The biggest indicator that flipped us all out is an air quality test, which I have since found out, are not all that reliable. That was done by the company that then recommends the mold remediators - the folks who rip apart the house in hazmat suits. I prefer not to embrace my cynical side, but here are the facts: The remediators quoted us upwards of $15,000 to rid each of the houses of mold. They looked, and found no actual growth, but said it could potentially be behind the drywall, or underneath the shower, or under the carpeting. The carpeting that they actually lifted showed a little bit of old water damage - the nails were barely even rusty. So nothing there. Next step, start cutting into the drywall, and see what happens. In other words, tear the house apart looking for it. One of the guys even told my Dad that it would be cheaper for him to take the roof off the house than have him and his guys go through the house into the attic. Seriously. Ok, so they're looking at $30,000+, and goodness, how can you actually realistically expect them to NOT find some sort of evidence that there could possibly be something growing in my house? That would be awfully naive, and much as I hate being cynical, naivitee can be a lot more dangerous, not to mention costly.

Granted, the mold in the attic is visible at my parents' house. But the attic is completely closed off. There is no way for the air in the house to be affected by the air, or the mold, in the attic, without us opening the hatch (which we did when the mold people came, and I think that's the first time since the place was rewired, or possibly since it was insulated), or making another hole in the ceiling. The roof is pretty new, so that's highly unlikely. One of the remediators even said our best bet with the attic was to seal it closed fully. So the only visible mold, is a non-issue.

The next person to search through my house was the condo corp guy, who brought a little humidity reader with prongs that he stuck into the wall, and everything. The old roof leak is indeed an old roof leak. The remediators and assessors all said it couldn't be old, because there is a stain on my ceiling. And when I told them all that it has been exactly the same since I moved in 3 years ago, they all  said they would recommend cutting into the ceiling to make sure. The condo guy stuck his pronged thingie into the ceiling, in several spots, and it read no moisture. He confirmed that there was a leak there, 5-10 years ago, and that it was fixed. So no mold there, and if there is, again, no air flow means no contamination. He did the same thing everywhere where there could possibly be moisture, and found none. Anywhere. No moisture means nowhere for the mold to grow, right?

The last person to traipse through was a contractor my father has worked with. He went a step further, and actually cut into the shower in the basement where everyone said it was most likely hiding. It was cleaner than I could believe. I mean cleeeean, clean. I talked to another contractor as well, who confirmed that a) air quality tests are unreliable and b) if there is no recent moisture, there is no mold problem.

In the meantime, the tests that medical doctors can do to see if I am sensitive or affected by mold are terribly invasive, and carry serious potential for negative side-effects. Not something my body can handle right now.

It seems that the doctor in California, as his expertise in is wierd systemic illnesses, has more knowledge about such things, and I am hoping that he will be able to better tell me whether and how this could be affecting me. In the meantime, I'm just confused, and displeased, because all this leaves me not knowing whether to trust the mold experts, or the people who have no vested interest in tearing my house apart.

In the meantime, I remain at my parents' house, and wait for my next appointment with my Osteopath to discuss this further.

On the bright side, I'm sleeping again, and that makes everything soooo much better. As does the weather, and the feeling of renewal of life that spring brings. According to my Star Wars weather app, it's like Endor out here - and I can do Endor. Much better than Hoth :)

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