My Toxic Black Mold Journey (Part 2)

Bonjour my loverlies!

Big, long, info laden blog post happening right here!
Today I am opening up and showing a part of myself/my life that has been really difficult for me, throughout this mold exposure experience.
In the previous posts I discussed known and documented symptoms, told a bit about my personal experience and what went down that lead to the mold discovery, with some beginner stuff.
Today I delve a little deeper.
In the beginning,  there is health and a glow, then, as we go along in the world of nefarious black mold exposure, we see diminishing returns. We stick around this psychopath because he hides his true nature in places we cannot see until it is too late; eventually we break up with mold and rise like a phoenix from the proverbial ashes! The pics that follow show you what this silly tirade means:
You can see the extreme changes that took place, I know the pictures are not all that great. I do apologize, my previous cel died a sad drowning death and there were way more, clear, mold effects pics of me but I couldn't recoup them. I have managed to find a few and they are not a happy place for me. I was smiling on the outside for the world while crumbling physically and emotionally on the inside. You can see the happier place in my face in the 2018 starting to recover pic on the right.
I hated what was happening to my body, I had gotten to a point where I stopped taking pictures and I wouldn't allow others to take pictures of me because I felt so ashamed and insecure.
Left are me in mold environment and right are 2018 out of the mold, following detox protocols, and recovering.

I went up to 214 lbs at one point!
That's more than I weighed when I was pregnant!
I know you're not supposed to focus on weight, or looks, that vanity is a sinful creature, etc.
This was about more than vanity though; you see many years ago, as a teenager, I had an eating disorder. I was going through a lot at home, was experiencing anxiety, and my body was v-e-r-y different than most of the other girls my age.
I had been an athlete from the age of four into my teens. This meant my body was more muscled/ athletic than most of the girls I knew.
I was also a tomboy, and to top it off, I have always had a curvy, pear-shaped body.
Tinier up top and serious badunkadunk in the lower area and a phat bootay.
This is not cool when you're shy, introverted, already look bigger than other girls your age, and society is putting mad pressure on you to be thin, look a certain way, and nobody else around you looks the way you do.
Booty is wanted now and people pay big money to get small one's to look more full but back in the day, it was not considered attractive. It also made me feel very self-conscious because I couldn't hide it, clothing clung, and I felt it was rudely large.
What does this have to do with black mold exposure? A lot, actually.
You see mold was robbing me of my physical looks and physical health but it was also impacting my mind, and I was ashamed. The cognitive issues, depression, and anxiety were riding high but I did not want to tell people much as I was terrified of labels and mold was adding to my paranoia.
I noticed the swelling and the weight creeping on, nothing I did worked to get it off, and I was beginning to hear that old internal dialogue. The very destructive one that was pushing me to purge what little food I was able to eat and keep down; my mind nudging me to take the laxatives, starve myself, do fasts and colonics for the wrong reasons, get the diet pills.
I never told anyone about this but I think my then man, could tell something was up because he did mention that my thoughts were bordering on obsessive with regards to my weight. Something he had always been supportive of, encouraging, and made tremendous effort to let me know how beautiful and sexy he saw me; no matter my perception.
It was a blessing to be loved so much and verbalizing what he intuited, snapped me out of it.
Truly, I can say that this test, by the Grace of God, was turned into a wonderful testament. I decided not to give into any of it and turned to my prayer life. I refused to go backwards to my teenage years, I am a woman now and will make choices based on wisdom and maturity. I chose to listen to what God was speaking to me instead of the enemies voice.

As a person who likes to eat healthy, exercise, abstain from drugs, cigarettes and alcohol, and live in balance, mycotoxin toxicity put a cramp in my healthy lifestyle.
One of the big problems was, and still is, on bad days, flare ups of pain and swelling.

Those pictures are literally the night before going to bed and morning, right upon waking, since being out of the mold and after detox. Yes, I had to change my jammies during the night, because I felt uncomfortable, swollen, in pain, and nauseated in the flannel one's.
People who are healthy won't understand the pain of simple things like touch or clothing on skin being unbearable due to swelling, a room being too warm or too cold which can send you into dizzy spells, or nausea, dampness/humidity because of rain, forcing you to change all your plans and cancel something you were looking forward to as your body is in an autoimmune response, having to lie in bed for 3 hours to recover after a shower or making breakfast, because you're exhausted from such simple things.
Mold poisoning is not usually a forever thing, however, for some who develop MS or Alzheimer's it can be. I use many of the Spoonie aka Fibromyalgia pics and memes because mold and fibromyalgia mirror one another a lot. Both create extreme autoimmune response and mold exposure symptoms have been misdiagnosed for fibromyalgia. I will be posting mold effects on the brain soon but today we focus on other things.

I feel the most annoying parts of mold exposure are how it messed up my relationships with people and with food. People we discuss another day, today is noms.
I once was so passionate, inspired, and thrilled by food and all things culinary. Boy did that ever change.
Food became the enemy and I began to loathe it! A Chef hating food?!? Whoever heard of such a thing?
When everything you put in your body causes an immediate inflammatory response, food becomes the demon spawn of your life.
Let me state, I eat healthy. People laugh at my rabbit food, green drinks, gluten-free and everything else free from, whole foods, whole grains, healthy way of eating. Do I have treats? Of course and I also have a major sweet/salty tooth. But on the whole, I crave fruits and veggies with good quality proteins and low glycemic carbs.
Yes, I actually like the super sprouted grains, gluten-free, baby size breads. Most of my purchases are from the health food store, organic as much as possible, and my favorite grocery section is fresh produce.
Well, mold exposure changed my ability to like food, let alone enjoy it. I would wake up dreading eating anything, as I would literally swell 3-4 sizes bigger after a simple meal of rawfood breakfast porridge and a green smoothie, or a poached egg and fruit with one slice of whole grain sprouted bread toast. Before you try suggesting different diets to fix the problem, believe me, I did em' all baby. 4 year's is a lot of time to test and play with food, to see what would work. Turns out mold really needs a very different approach.
Thank God I found natural alternatives and a mold free/low mold diet, that made all the difference.
Now I am enjoying food once more; well, mostly. No, I still can't eat whatever, and I pay for it if I try, but it has improved greatly.
I am, to date, still waiting on the return call from the hospital for my appointment with an IBS gastroenterologist specialist.
The hardest thing to give up was peanut butter! You have no idea how ironic that statement is but never mind. Yeah, peanut butter was and is an absolute fav of mine when it comes to treats and comfort foods.

And I am not talking the healthy, organic, sugar-free, health food store peanut butter. No sir, I crave that extra creamy, yellow, Kraft foods, oils and icing sugar laden pb. I know, I know, it's freaking awful but it is what it is and I own it.

I have tried healthy versions and even went as far as that dried PB2 powder, no touchie is all I have to say about that. And let me say that peanut butter cups are still delicious, although I found some tasty almond butter cups called Unreal, when I was in the United States. I still love my pb one's best though!
So why did peanut butter have to go? As it turns out my beloved pb, is filled with mold spores; as are many commonly eaten foods. Corn was another yum scrum that has had to be buried in my backyard of broken dreams that went to die.
Hold me...
Or just give me a really cute puppy.
Okay, but seriously though, look at this pic of moldy corn. I had to go through all the cupboards, further obsesss about labels, and am now extra allergic, and careful to so many mold food items/additives that live in everything!
The story of my life:

Back to body and detoxing.
Please don't get discouraged when doing this stuff, it took time to get sick and will take time to get well. I'm going to remind you of that often in these posts because you will not be miraculously healed and there will be many more bad days than good; initially. The good news is, once you start having more good days, you will really notice the bad one's, and be grateful that you're not living those as much as before.
You can see here in the next pics, what was happening to my body before I began the detox protocols, during and after.
I know these next pictures are not flattering, I look awful in them, am sick, fat, blah blah blah. No one needs to be nasty, there's nothing others can say that come even close to the mental beat downs I gave myself.
Kindly keep any rude comments you may have to yourself, the point of all this is to be honest about my healing journey and help others who are struggling.

This first set are day one pics.
These below are the week before beginning the 15 day fast, which is my freaked out swollen stomach on the left. Then on the right is me after 7 days fasting.
Below left, is me 3 days after we moved, which was the same week after being re-exposed to mycotoxin spores. On the right is after my, mostly water fast, of 15 days.
The doctor freaked out when he saw the legs and feet swelling pic and that I had travelled on a plane. Apparently that can be a very dangerous combo, like deadly for thrombosis or blood clots, aneurysm? I can't recall exactly because we talked about so much that day. But it's especially dangerous if you're not wearing compression socks and swelling while traveling in a plane.
Thanks again Jesus, for protecting and seeing me through.
In this below set of pics, you can see under my eyes is dark but also yellowed. My liver was not doing well.
My skin is also hella blotchy and swollen to my neck. This was the morning of starting the entire mold detox protocols and diet. My hair had also been falling out and breaking off, along with being horribly dry and brittle.
Look at how far I have come!
This next pic is me with only lipstick. We're talking 4 months later!
This next one is me after I lopped off a lot of my hair. It had been down my back but had to go as it was not healthy. Again, only wearing lipgloss.

So, how did I manage to do all of this, and in a relatively short period of time?
You need to research, straight away, everything you can about black mold exposure and how to heal. My absolute favorite blogger on this subjest is The Hybrid Rasta Mama. This amazing lady and all the hard work she puts into her blog, the wealth of information, treasure trove of natural alternatives-that truly work, and loads of links and answers to questions I had never known to ask, made all the difference in my life! I modified some of her suggestions and I will explain why further down in this post, along with including a link to her amaze bombs blog! She had her own toxic mold exposure journey and like me, has shared so we can educate, reach, and help.

Back to how with the steps.
Being a professional Chef, having worked in the health food industry for 10+ years, having been an athlete who still prefers to eat healthy, experienced in loads of fasts and specialty diets because of my numerous allergies, along with studying colonic irrigation, polarity and craniosacral therapies, having been vegetarian and then eventually raw vegan, I had a pretty good grasp on the necessity of food and supplementation, as a means to detox and healing.
Mold was an entirely different beast and I was determined to slay all day baby!!!
I researched like crazy, to the point of obsession for 6+ weeks, leading up to our move.
We had difficulty finding a rental at the end of March, and in all of April; which helped me prep for the big job of getting better.
We finally moved in May.
Unfortunately nothing was available in my area before then, the doctor's at emergency were freaking out when I had to return just 2 weeks after my previous visit, because I had developed severe bronchitis, and I was not yet out of the mold environment.
They insisted we get out immediately and I tried to tell them we were making every effort to but most rental leases go from July to July, it is not an easy task, with limited health and funds, to find a place on short notice in March.
We also had to go to the rental board with proof of our medical visits, prescriptions, pictures of floods, mold, and receipts from numerous plumber visits, along with a written detailed statement of everything that had transpired over the 4 years we lived in the semi-basement (we wrote everything on a calendar throughout the flooding issues).
We were given legal abandonment of dwelling and permission to vacate immediately without repercussions. We also filed legal proceedings against our landlord with the rental board.
This is still in process, so more on that at a later date.
We did finally find a quaint house on a main floor, no more basements or semi-basements ever, Doctor's orders!
Luckily, where we moved fell into our laps and God answered my prayers for a swift resolution. We saw the place on Sunday at 4pm, we were signing our new lease at 6pm, and moved in 5 days later.
It was crazy but born of necessity.

The things to know are:

1) You're not crazy, yes this is really happening, and you cannot ignore the situation. Black mold does not improve, it spreads and kills!

2) You must get out of the mold environment asap! And make sure the new place does not have mold and that you do not bring mold spores with you.

3) You will have to make tough choices.
Meaning, you will have to leave a lot of your belongings behind and throw expensive and sentimental things in the garbage. Mold spores cling to soft surfaces, and are easily brought from one location to another.
I had to throw out furniture, clothes, towels, curtains, blankets, books, papers, pillows, a very expensive, almost new, Serta mattress and box spring. The mold was visible on both mattress and box spring and I was breathing it in and directly sleeping on it; as it had spread to so much of the house. Be careful with the boxes you are packing and moving, the cardboard makes for a perfect clinging surface. We didn't know this when we moved and had brought boxes in the new home and were unpacking slowly, as we were unwell. My microbiologist freaked out and told me not to leave them there, to get them all out right away, and that I was not even to handle or touch them at all. He explained that the spores were in them and in 6 months there would be a repeat if all was not removed. I was terrified! My son helped me out and a disaster was averted. Thank you Jesus!

4) Do not start a detox regimen or diet until you are out of the mold environment. Your immune system will plant and you will get sicker than ever because it will be too much of a toxic load, with your body in a weakened state, that will allow the mold to further proliferate in your body. I know from personal, foolish, and expensive experience.
Don't do it Chip!! (kudos to you if you get the reference)

5) YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR DIET! You will need to do an autoimmune protocol diet that focuses on elimination of mold foods. Yes, there are freaking mold spores in your food! Now that you have been exposed and are reacting and ill, your body cannot take on the load of other naturally occurring mold in food and our environment. You will need to check The Bali Eating Plan on Dr. Fitt. Link is provided down below, along with getting info on aip diets and getting all offending foods out of your house so you do not cheat.

6) You need to find the right doctor's and get tests done, along with having your major organs looked into. Mold endangers our lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, and brain. Do not take this lightly, even if others don't get it. This is serious!

7) Natural supplements are your friend, you can get better and find simple things that work. Here is a list of products I used, and company links, to help you get what you need, along with a quick explanation of what and why. P.s. I am not paid or sponsored by any of these, I researched and did what I knew would work best for me. Consult a knowledgeable naturopath for more guidance.

*I have specified where I purchased these products and provided links. Some I have not linked because they were bought off of amazon or at my local health food store, which is something you can take notes of, find yourself on-line, check amazon for your country, and call your local health food store to find out more about.*

-Bullet proof detox kit with coconut charcoal. Okay, this needs a super shot-out because it is literally a freaking game changing, life saver! I bought extra charcoal,  as I had to take 2-3 pills 3x a day, it really got the mold out of my system.

-PS factor by Natura Factors, is for the support of your brain. This product rocks! I notice the difference when I take and don't take it. I got this at my health food store but will include a link for this as it is something the link provides important information on.
-Gaba, this is an amino acid that helps the brain regulate mood and anxiety. I also got skullcap in tincture(liquid) form as my anxiety was insanely high. I purchased both at my local health food store but you can find them on-line.

-Quercetin to help combat allergies. I was also prescribed Blextin eventually, as my body was not able to cope with the histamine load. Again, purchased at the health food store and on amazon.
Blextin must be prescribed by a doctor, you cannot get it otherwise; and this is only after all other over the counter allergy meds no longer work.

-Digestive enzymes, I developed IBS and still struggle to digest food and absorb nutritional values from food. I bought these off of amazon but found others at my health food store.
-Zyflamend a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory
This I buy at my health food store, amazon does sell it as well.

-Milk thistle* this was to help my liver which had become fatty for the first time in my life!
Healthfood store again.

-Vitamin D* I was super low in this and it had to be prescribed. 5000i.u. a day. This is not normal and only a doctor prescribed this because my levels were seriously critical, it was another factor in my inability to train, recover, and having constant aches and pains. I  am down to 1000iu a day and this is being closely monitered to make sure my kidneys are functioning normally. This was from the pharmacy with a prescription and was really because of my blood test results. Vitamin D is toxic to the kidneys in high doses and should only be given in such by your physician.

-Probiotics* 50 billion+
Another health food store purchase.

-Bone broth, I  made this myself. Recipe links below.
Paleo ethics I bought at my healthfood store as it was cheaper than the one's I found on amazon.
Naked glutamine I ordered off of amazon

Btw, Paleo ethics Paleo protein in vanila for me, and chocolate for mom. We needed readily and easily absorbable nutrition; these fit the bill. Along with being quite tasty, we bought packets that traveled easily, and filled us up so we got through nights when we were hungry from the limited Bali/Aip diet. I threw Naked glutamine BCA (branch chain aminos) in our smoothies as well, to assist the body in recovery.

-High quality spring water, no tap water as there are things like chlorine, flouride, and if there is a water boil warning in effect, your body simply cannot handle even a minute toxic load.

-I also did at home colonic irrigation with only water, during my fast, every other day, and had a probiotic capsule which I opened and drank the contents of, mixed in water. This put good bacteria back in my gut straight away. You can check videos on youtube for this or contact your local hydrotherapy center in your area. You are not obligated to do any of this if you do not want to. I needed it as my colon was in a bad way.

*Liquid probiotics are not recommended for the beginning of  a mold detox as it is a fermented product that, although gives good bacteria to the gut, it can help mold proliferation in the body. As such, I waited a month and a half and then began to take a very high dose in capsule form, that had to be refrigerated.

I also recommend staying on these protocols for a year if you can afford to. I unfortunately, had to stop when it became financially impossible to continue, at about the 4 month mark. I have just put myself back on the supplements, particularly the Detox anti-anxiety products, and PS factor. I am noticing some cognitive issues I have never had before in my life and realized I had to get back on as I was not mentally doing as well as I was physically. At first I thought I was doing okay but things pointed to otherwise and I chose to listen,
I also started researching more about the mold brain and the brain coping with chronic pain, it ain't pretty .

The Bali diet was something I screen shot, and put one of those images here but you really should check out the site and get more information. Link below.
I also did an autoimmune protocal diet because I noticed quite a bit of allergy cross reactivity. Pinterest has tons of info on AIP diet and recipes. The keto or paleo diet is not recommended for detoxing from mold as the liver is often in distress due to spore proliferation blocking organ function.
I learned this the hard way, yet again, and put on 15 lbs in a week and a half, had horrible pain in my side, and my liver swelled. Do not do it. Stick to the Bali diet and use AIP protocols that fit with the Bali detox protocols.

So, the reason I modified some of the hybrid rasta mama suggestions were because, financially I could only afford to do so much. Also, I knew from a previous aip diet experience, what I was allergic and reacting to; so I used swap outs for aip and Bali as my allergies, intolerances, and health issues dictated. I also have a goiter on my thyroid which flared up again because of the toxic mold. This means I have to avoid goitrogenic foods along with everything else. Yay for me!

I am including stuff I used for externals as well-my body and for the house.

As my skin was wrecked, I went into dry brushing with a loofa sponge, and had to use a Baiden mitten to remove the horrid, clinging, yucky, dry skin.
In the house where we moved to I used and use to this day, these babies: ec3 eco candles. Along with a moso bag and a homemade, essential oils, mold and dust mite killer.
I replaced the lavender oil with clove oil and roasemary, as I am allergic to lovely lavender. I love it but it does not love me back, I have the same dubious relationship with chocolate. I spray this on my pillows, new mattress, sofa, chairs, curtains, books, bags, mats. Everything!! It smells nice too. Just be careful as it is an oil mix with plain water, and oils can stain. I have had no such trouble, put it in a fine mister bottle from the dollar store. We also replaced all of our pillows and I had to get a brand new bed.
Borax was and continues to be a huge boon to our health and care of household items that mold spores cling to.
My doctor was very happy to hear that we were using this to clean all our clothes, bedding, coats, pillows, curtains, all that went in the washer got a shot of borax. It kills mold!!! Best part, it's an inexpensive way to begin. Ours is around $6 and we find it at our local grocery stores, hardware stores, and even health food stores. Get it!

As an informational piece, please note that I only started this entire detox in August of 2018. I needed May to August, to rest, slowly unpack the house, eliminate a lot of stuff, purchase, research, and prepare. My energy levels were so low that it could not be done overnight. Be patient and gentle with yourself and the process. You will also feel worse before you feel better. It will usually hurt to heal because mold clings stubbornly, your immune system is shot, your energy reserves are nil, ability to recover and function are low, your cognition reduced, emotions high and overwhelmed, and like all things, it takes time. Be patient, you will overcome.
Big hugs and loads of positove vibes!

For now, I am going to end this post here, as it is loads to learn and read. There is another upcoming post on mold and the brain, along with food and mold and much more.
Chin up folks, we're made to survive and thrive!
God bless and keep going.
Feel free to add questions, comments, anything you need to know that I can answer i will, in the comments down below.

Take care, be well, love freely...
Chef Kiki
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