Leaks, Bites & Mold (too much for one weekend.)
The post that believed it would be able to accomplish more than it ended up accomplishing.
I had so much I wanted to say in today’s post, annnnd I wasn’t able to get to even half the things I thought I was going to say.
I had to, again, decide to split up everything into multiple posts. Today, we are wading back into my recent common topics: health, stress, trauma,
and resilience… (Unfortunately.. resilience, the most important part, is the part I couldn’t get to in this post, I made a long note about it at the bottom.)
I woke up anxious this morning, which is not normally how I feel when I wake up. But I quickly realized why: I was waiting for the results of two tests that would both probably be arriving in my email today. First, I was going to find out if the deer tick that I found attached to me on Friday was infected with Lyme...
And the second one, was the post-mold-remediation results for my basement, and mold results for the ceiling under my recently leaking bathroom.
I just got a new bathroom in my house, which was a big deal for me. I’ve never hired out for a cosmetic house project before. Every project in my old tiny city house was structural or functional: leaks, putting in a floor plug, new heater, new roof (why? LEAKS!), leaks, leaks, leaks, new windows (why!? Leaks! of course!), more leaks, redone chimney… new water heater (why! because it LEAKED from the second floor and warped my front door…) etc.
So the bathroom reno felt like an exciting, but also stressful, high-stakes venture for me. It was expensive. (For me, at least. I “got a good price” - for 2022.) The guys I hired to redo the bathroom, I also hired to do a “remediation” on my basement. I had a carpet with mold underneath, plus crumbly moldy walls that had to be re-parged, and some slightly moldy drywall that had to be cut away to see how far the mold went. And, I didn’t go with an official remediation company, because even the remediation companies said that my air sample levels weren’t that bad at all. And then quoted me $12K. I paid way less just to have some guys half-ass the remediation, and redo the cement walls and paint the cement floor. The $12K remediation would have left me with only destruction. I was able to less than half of that to have it all put back together, with a good industrial dehumidifier.
But back when I was trying to navigate the mold world in the late spring, I was pannnnnnnnnnniiiiiiiicked. Everything you read was doom and gloom. Someone told me they were going to have to spend 100K just to make their house livable for them, because the house was making them sick, so they just did the remediation that they had to do on paper, and sold the house. I read horror story after horror story. People with chronic unexplainable illnesses that ended up being MOLD lurking in their house. And the only cure? 70K in renovations and 10K in detox supplements! I went into major, major mold panic, reading all the mold fear porn out there. Thankfully I found some people who were able to educate me, ground me, and give me a practical approach to dealing with navigating the mold, and, luckily for me, my situation turned out to be not-that-bad either. I ended up just doing half-assed remediation, getting a good duct cleaning, and doing a good clean on the rest of the house, using some good nontoxic products like EC3 candles, and cleaning and laundry products from Microbe Balance. Back when I didn’t know how bad my mold situation was, I got a consult with someone who was so calming and helpful and told me: “Don’t panic. Just do a good cleaning of your house.” He said, “every house has mold. You’re going to follow the steps I give you to see what kind of remediation you need, but in the meanwhile, don’t panic, and use a good product like Benefect or Microbe Balance.” (If you think you may have a moldy environment or mold spores in your house, you can use the code CAROLINE for 10% off of the Microbe Balance products.)
But, I spent this Friday morning flustered over a deer tick I found in my leg. I’d tried to pull it out, but his little mouth got stuck in me. And I did what I rarely am willing to go these days: go to urgent care, put on a mask, and ask for antibiotics. I also wanted them to take the tick mouth out of my leg, but they were pretty blasé about it. They were pretty blasé about the whole thing actually, and did not give me antibiotics. So I went to the health food store to buy the anti-Lyme herbs I’d researched in the urgent care waiting room instead.
People in my DMs were amping me up about Lyme: “I NEVER take anitbiotics. But LYME IS NOT TO BE MESSED WITH!” Agh! Ok! Ok ok!
I got back from urgent care and the health food store with my herbs, took a shower, went downstairs and saw…. my ceiling paint under my new bathroom filled with water, and leaking onto my kitchen floor. Adrenaline rush. Oh my … god. I called the contractor, numb, and once he asked me enough questions to be able to identify that it wasn’t a supply pipe, but was the drain, he said he would come first thing tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
All I could think was: How long has this been leaking? How many weeks has it been damp up there? …More mold. Oh my god. My mold anxiety kicked into gear again. How many more thousands of dollars am I going to have to spend on this new remediation now. Actually, I could barely think about it. I knew it was a possibility, but I couldn’t fully go there… I had Lyme herbs to take, and a tick bite poultice to change.
Funny enough, I was also getting DMs about my tick bite saying: Ohhh chronic Lyme isn’t really a problem unless you’re already compromised, or have mold exposure or something. Yes! Great! Mold exposure! I thought I had that covered! But maybe not!
I also got a DM responding to my leak story saying: I think at this point we need to seriously consider whether you’ve been cursed.