The Loneliness of Mold Exposure

Michael Rubino

February 9

Today’s Mold Talks guest is Haileigh, a registered nurse, independent wellness advocate, mother of three, and mold survivor. Haileigh, her husband, and their three sons suffered from mold illness for years before figuring out that it was their environment making them sick. From detoxing and the loneliness of mold exposure to dealing with Western medicine trends, she’s gone through the wringer trying to heal her family. 

Her determination and persistence in finding the answers are what finally led Haileigh down the path of mold. Looking back, she’s finally starting to realize exactly how much mold exposure impacted her family, particularly her young children. Using this experience, she’s continuing to focus on detoxing her family while also beginning to take steps to help others who are going through similar situations so they don’t have to experience the loneliness of mold exposure. 

Their chat touches on a range of important issues with mold exposure and why it’s important to trust your instincts and follow your gut. Haileigh's journey shows just how much mold can impact daily life, children’s health, and parenting, and why living with mold illness should never be the "norm." 

Also Available On:

Today’s Talk:

"I'm here because we got impacted by mold living in a moldy house for three years, and it literally has destroyed our health… It's just been more and more lonely because family.. they don't understand. Or sometimes they think, you know, the symptoms are made up in your head and, ‘Oh, well, you seem fine. You seem healthy.’ And it's like, "No, actually I'm really struggling every single day and so are my kids." And that's the hardest part: watching my kids struggle with their health issues." 

After moving into a new home, each member of Haileigh’s family slowly started developing a range of symptoms and conditions. Between EBV and mast cell activation syndrome in herself (along with a list of other symptoms) and PANS/PANDAS and kidney issues in her sons, they went through the wringer while living in their home. 

Haileigh also dealt with the combined effects of pregnancy and mold exposure, which would eventually lead to an appendix issue and a birthing situation. 

"Ever since we moved into that house, we kept getting sick. Between strep throat infections month after month, really bad GI issues, and I was pregnant when we moved in, and all of a sudden, I would wake up at night super nauseous and I was having gallbladder issues. And mind you, I was healthy. I ate healthily. I exercise every day. Still, it was just... constantly something was going on." 

She continued to try to find the answer to their problems by seeing a range of doctors and specialists, but no one could pinpoint what was causing them so many problems. The worst part, she said, was watching the impact this illness had on her children. Between not being able to sleep and developmental issues, they continued a slow but steady decline in health. 

During this whole process, Haileigh said that loneliness was one of the most difficult aspects. Between the doctors telling her that her entire family was fine and her friends and family not understanding or offering support, she felt alone during their struggles. But, she didn’t give up. 

Tired of the same responses of "nothing’s wrong" and "you’re just tired," she started thinking outside of the box and attempted to see a functional medicine doctor. They were the ones who finally discovered that mold toxicity had been the problem the entire time. Their problems didn’t stop there, though. 

"Western medicine has taught us to be like, ‘Oh, you just take a pill and you're fixed.’ And it's not like that with mold at all. I mean, there are weeks where you're great and then you have a relapse or trying all these different things during your detox, so it's all just figuring it out and figuring out what works."

She went through a long process of finding the right doctors and protocols to help detox every member of her family. There were some setbacks and relapses along the way, but eventually, they began finding what worked best for each of their bodies. As Haileigh said, doctors have to understand that, "No one protocol is going to fix everyone." The key is to listen to the patient and the unique reactions they’re experiencing. 

Relief came when she finally found a chiropractor who listened to what she said and accepted it as truth. 

"I said to him, ‘Well, what do you think we should do?’ And he goes, 'We need to follow your body. Your instincts are right.’ Because I told him…this is what I think I'm suffering from. And he said, ‘Alright, let's go for it. Let's run with that. You know yourself and you know your body better than anyone. Follow your intuition.’ And I think hearing that from a doctor or any kind of doctor is… you don't hear that very often. It’s more, like, they kind of think they know best."

While looking for a doctor to have her back and help her family heal, she and her family were also in the process of moving out of the environment that was making them sick. Again, Haileigh explains just how devastating this process can be. They had bought a number of expensive new items before moving into their moldy home, all of which they had to leave due to the severe amount of contamination. 

Even though friends and family thought that they were being over the top, Haileigh stuck to her guns because she knew the contamination could follow them into their next home. Luckily, her husband has been her rock during the experience. 

"When I'm sensitive to EMF, my whole body buzzes. I get panic attacks when I feel it really bad. It sounds crazy. I literally can't sit in one part of our living room because there's electricity or something in the wall that I feel. That's how bad my mast cell activation is. And he doesn't think I'm crazy. He totally, he believes it, and understands it."

Even when they attempted to move into another house and Haileigh immediately felt like there was mold, he trusted her and they left immediately. 

Now, she and her family are focusing on healing and replacing what they can when they can. While they’re currently living a minimalist lifestyle and struggling with the financial burden of mold exposure, they’re simply happy to start feeling normal again. They’re especially thrilled, Haileigh said, to be able to see their children feeling better every single day. 

Haileigh is currently using her experience to help others as much as possible heal from their experience with mold exposure and bring more awareness to the impact home environments can have on health. For others out there going through similar situations, Haileigh encourages you to always be your own health advocate. 

"Don't stop. If you're not getting the answers that you need from a doctor, if they're not listening, and things are still happening and things aren't making sense, listen to your gut. Get uncomfortable. Be comfortable with getting uncomfortable."

Learn more about Haileigh at:

Instagram: @hpopp425