I'm not sure what the exact spore count was. I have the paperwork at home but I am at work right now so I can send it later.
We were living in a loft type of apartment in Queens, NY. The top floor was ground level - living room, kitchen, etc. Our bedroom was technically in the basement of the building. There was actually a door that led to the outside with some stairs coming off of the basement. When we moved in we saw that it had been concreted shut. When we asked the landlord why he said that a little water had come in under that door previously but had been cleaned up. That should have been our first alarm but we were naive and didn't pay any attention to it. About a year and a half after moving there we had a bad rainstorm and a bunch of water came in under that door regardless of it being cemented shut. It got pretty wet down there and we had to throw out a ton of stuff. Kept asking our landlord to get somebody to come out and clean it properly but of course...nobody did.
So I started getting sick about a month later. I had no idea what I had at the time. I went from doctor to doctor (probably close to 30 different doctors) and was in the emergency room 6 times in a 2 week period where OF COURSE they thought I was crazy :) I actually asked a doctor if it could be mold and he said no. Thanks doctor for steering me in the wrong direction when I actually had the answer :)
Needless to say I ended up finding an amazing doctor to help me through this and he suspected mold from the beginning. I was still in denial and he tried some different methods to help me. First thing he did was put me on the candida diet which helped my symptoms tremendously.
Then I feel like everything that happened afterward was divine intervention from God or something (and I'm not that religous of a person).
It was early March and I was literally at the end of rope. I couldn't take it anymore, I was crying every night, convinced I was slowly dying. I was looking online at apartments for some reason - something I hadn't done in a really long time. And I saw an amazing place. It's hard to move when you live in NYC and have 2 large dogs. There was a place online that was perfect for us with a huge backyard for the dogs. I showed my husband and he said something about how - we will be more serious about looking for a place when you get better. So I turned off the computer and walked downstairs into the bedroom to get something and stepped into a ton of water!! I said to myself...God is trying to show me something right now. So we contacted the owners of the other apartment, ended up getting it and had a move in date a few weeks later. As I was packing up a few last boxes in the closet, I pulled a box away from the wall and there was a ton of sticky black mold and the wall was all warped and wet. I couldn't believe it.
So when we told our landlord we were moving...he asked why and we told him that we had found a better place and we had just had too many problems with the apartment - water damage, flooding and whatnot. He was like - Is everything ok in the closet? This was before we had found it so we said yes. We saw our super the next day and he asked if everything was ok. We told him that we just had a lot of water damage and nothing was getting fixed. He also asked about the closet. Before we moved we were looking on the outside of the building to see where the water could be coming from and we found a huge hole in the foundation that lined up perfectly with our closet. So they both knew - Awesome!!
Anyway, we had the mold inspector come out before we left because I wanted confirmation. I think the basement had something like 1800 spores per cubic meter. I believe 600 of those were Stachybotrys and 1200 were Aspergillius (dont' know if I'm spelling those right). Upstairs had a lot too but not as much as the basement.
The doctor told me I'm probably more prone to having the mold affect me because I have previous medical issues. (Metal rods in my back from scoliosis surgery).
So it's been quite a ride. My dog has had to have her whole thyroid removed due to thyroid cancer but strangely the cancer is not showing up in her bloodwork at all - the vet believes it is mold related.
I'm currently following the diet in the book "Surviving Toxic Black Mold Syndrome" with a few modifications. My doctor has me on a rotation of grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil capsules and a probiotic. I take a lot of vitamins - C, D, P-5-P, Multivitamin, digestive enzymes, HCL capsules. I eat a ton of yogurt and actually made it homemade before I was able to tolerate organic from the store. I drink a cup of kefir a day. I take fish oil pills and sprinkle flax meal in just about everything. I eat lots and lots of greens - tons of raw spinach. And I started the Limu Moui about 3 weeks ago. I started taking 2 oz
in the morning and 2 oz
at night and upped it about a week ago to 3 oz
in the morning and 3 oz at night. Oh yeah - and I get lots and lots of sunshine!!
I would recommend tossing anything that could be porous. This was the hardest part for me. I am a girl and I love my clothes :) In the long run I thought it would be better to be safe than sorry. We have spend thousands of dollars in new furniture and clothing. It's a hard thing to do but think about all the money you have put towards your health so far - why take the chance? Some things I could not throw out (from our wedding) so I put those in plastic bins in the attic. This part is completely up to you. You can do some research first if you are concerned but when you move you want to make sure you do not cross contaminate your new environment. Oh yes - and definitely get a HEPA air purifier and a dehumidifier if you do not already have one. You must keep the humidity down so more mold does not grow.
I hate this stuff!!
Sorry I just wrote a novel!
I just want to share my story in the hopes that I can help somebody else....