Fighting Through Gaslighting

Michael Rubino

November 24

Today’s Mold Talks guest is Michelle Todd, a wife, mom of four, and a nanny. Her mold experience started with a bang and continued on for quite some time before she was able to find the answers to her problem. Being an incredibly busy woman made her encounter with mold exposure that much more jarring. 

Her journey with mold lasted over the course of six years, through different homes and across state lines. Luckily, she found the resources and help she needed to mitigate her symptoms and give her body the chance to heal so that she could return to her normal self. 

Our chat touches on Michelle’s experience with the medical realm, fighting for her diagnosis, and the relief she felt when her body finally got back into balance. Looking back, she attributes many things over the years to her encounter with mold and is now dedicated to helping others find their answer sooner rather than later so they can start down the path to healing. 

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Today’s Talk:

"Mold has changed my life in so many ways."

Michelle’s experience with mold began on the very first day she moved into a rented townhome in Washington. Her husband found a new job, so they packed up their belongings in Texas and made their way to this fairly wet, humid, and evergreen state. Within the first 24 hours, her body had already started telling her that something was wrong, but a looming Disney trip had her taking a quick trip to the urgent care for an antibiotic to kick what she thought was a cold to the curb. 

She knew at the time that she had a mold allergy, but didn’t consider how high the potential for mold was in Washington and how it would affect her health so quickly. 

"It’s the hindsight that I go back and I go, ‘Oh, like this was a serious mold problem.’ You know, because like the two weeks we were gone (to Disney), I had zero issues!"

Unfortunately, she couldn’t leave their rented home until they found a home to purchase elsewhere that suited their needs. Her upstairs neighbor tried multiple times to let the renting association know there was a problem but to no avail. Over that time, Michelle developed various symptoms and witnessed a few hints as to how bad the mold problem really was in their townhome. 

Eventually, they found a home, and Michelle and her family were able to move out. Some of her symptoms triggered by the mold exposure went away, but others stayed for the long haul. She spent over six years going to doctor after doctor trying to find the answers, but all she found was a deep distrust of the medical industry as a whole. 

"It's a psychological thing. Because, you know, all these things are happening to your body. But no doctor listens. They're like, ‘Oh, you're over-exaggerating,’ ‘Oh, it's this,’ ‘Oh, it’s that,' and they're not really listening to what's happening, but I had specific symptoms."

Instead, they gave her prescriptions or told her there was nothing wrong and sent her on her way. After a few years, she found a few doctors that listened to her and ran a long list of tests, most centered around feminine issues, but all came back perfectly normal. Finally, a medical professional tested her vitamin levels and found quite a few issues that needed to be addressed. From then on, the majority of her other symptoms finally eased. Some, though, still persist to this day. 

It wasn’t until she stumbled upon mold on Instagram that she finally connected the puzzle pieces as to what was causing her symptoms to persist for so long. 

"Six years I've had multiple different testings, all female related, and when I saw your like six mold symptoms, and I got to the last one, and it says hormone issues and infertility... I was like, okay, so maybe for six years I've been totally testing for the wrong thing and thinking different things. When it all could have been mold-related." 

For anyone else struggling through a similar experience, Michelle encourages you to continue looking for the answers and always keep mold as a possible culprit in the back of your mind. 

"After going through all my testing and all these negative things, I would say do a mold testing first, regardless of price, because I mean, that one test could have changed the course of my life." 

And above all, do extensive research on the climate before moving to another state! That way, you’ll be prepared to handle any moisture problems in a home that could lead to mold.