Today’s Mold Talks guest is Cassandra Bock. A Minnesota native, she’s an active mother of two who began experiencing mold exposure around 2018.
Our chat touches on Cassandra’s personal experience with mold during her pregnancy, how long it took to understand the root cause of her issues, and how a home renovation changed her life.
Cassandra’s mold journey began in 2018 during her first pregnancy.
Looking back, she experienced a range of symptoms including fatigue, headaches, memory loss, and brain fog. But, when she tried to go to the doctor, they chalked it up to pregnancy symptoms- not mold exposure symptoms.
As an active soon to be mom, Cassandra started noticing the biggest change when she couldn’t keep up with her on-the-go lifestyle. While she used to work three jobs and skateboard or bike everywhere, she began asking for rides and taking less off her plate instead. At first, she blamed it on the stress of being young, but as her symptoms progressed, she realized something else must have been at play.
During her worst days, she said she couldn’t leave the bedroom because of migraines. She was forced to just lay in bed and hope the ibuprofen would help.
“It was dark rooms and ice during that time.”
She kept going to different doctors to try to find out what was going on, but it kept getting blamed on other things. Asthma made worse by the pregnancy or a virus causing her digestive issues were ones she heard a few times.
It wasn’t until she and her husband decided to renovate their home after she gave birth that they found out they had mold.
“It was very clear that it (her illness) was probably from mold.”
Her husband, a builder, was in the middle of gutting their kitchen and stumbled upon a large area of black mold. The previous builders improperly installed gypsum boards and left the door wide open for mold to start growing.
The light bulb moment!
And they had lived in their home for six whole years before discovering the problem.
Luckily, her husband was familiar with treating mold and rebuilding so he was able to handle the problem and properly renovate their home to be mold-free.
It took months of work and a diet change before Cassandra began feeling better, but healing did begin. She’s still battling with a fungal disease, but starting to feel more like herself every day. And her home is officially renovated!
For others dealing with mold exposure, Cassandra suggests a few things she learned from her time dealing with mold exposure.
1. Ask questions and then keep asking questions.
2. Do research about your local area-specific environmental molds, local diseases, etc.
3. Keep asking doctors for help until one finally listens.
4. If you rent or buy a home, look at the bones- there can always be hidden enemies inside.
While her journey with mold was a long one, Cassandra says that at least now she knows what to look for and can keep an eye out for mold exposure symptoms.