There is so much to say…so I’m just going to cut right to the chase.
Seventeen days ago, we found out that we had toxic stachybotrys black mold growing in our house. And so…exactly sixteen days ago, we moved.
There was literally less than 24 hours from the time we bought the moving boxes, to the time that every box was completely moved out and into a new house. If any of you have moved recently, you know how stressful a month long move can be. I can’t even begin to articulate what it was like to have to move in a day. And to make matters worse…after talking with my mold doctor, we knew there was potential that if we moved our things into a new home, the microscopic mycotoxins that mold creates, would cross-contaminate any new place.
We decided that because of my rapidly declining health, the first priority was to immediately get out of the toxic place, so we just hoped for the best and moved. Honestly, it was like moving…with lice. Every single thing we moved had to be wiped down with clorox wipes, and every single piece of clothing had to be washed in ammonia twice before moving. And we moved knowing that we still may not get to keep any of our things. Live mold is one thing. It’s easy to see. Easy to wipe down. And that would have been great. But there wasn’t really any clearly visible live mold growing in our old place. And the only way to know the extent of the mold poisoning, was to get an $800 mycotoxin urine test done.
So we tested my body. And then we moved, we wiped, we washed, we cleaned, we waited, and we prayed.
And then, on Valentine’s day, the test came back. A test that will forever change our lives.
The doctor who is treating me is the President of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and one of the top mold doctors in the country. Her assessment of my test results, combined with my extremely serious symptoms, is that I have endured extended exposure to the highly toxic stachybotrys chartarum which is in the trichothecene group of mycotoxins. One would commonly know this as toxic black mold, typically found in water-damaged buildings, like those found in Hurricane Katrina. It is also the same mycotoxins used in biological warfare.
Basically, mold creates mycotoxins which are infinitesimally small toxic particles that destroy immune function. I was tested for all mycotoxins, and the results indicated that I have double the detectable limit of the mycotoxins produced by stachybotrys. There are many side effects and symptoms related to these mycotoxins – neurological and reproductive problems, thyroid and respiratory problems, and sadly even cancer.
Because mycotoxins are virtually indestructible, too small to remove, and still can be toxic for years, our doctor has assured us that the only way I will improve is to literally eliminate all of our porous material possessions because those contaminated possessions cannot be sufficiently cleaned and will cross-contaminate a new environment. This means, yes, everything. Every love letter. Every book. Every picture. Every single
lovey and stuffed toy. Every car. Everything.
I can’t tell you what it feels like to get this news. I haven’t even begun to process what it means that I went to fourteen doctors in the last twelve months, and every one of them looked at me like I was a mental case and just told me “babies die” and “keep trying” and “I don’t know what’s wrong with you.” Fourteen. And meanwhile, I would come home to a toxic house where every one of the babies died, and we would eat and sleep and grieve and play and love and live in a home that was making every single one of us sicker and sicker by the day.
I don’t know if I’m going to be ok. I am not “allergic” to mold…I have been poisoned by a dangerously highly dose of deadly mycotoxins and my body is literally shutting down on me. I’ve had an ear infection for the last six months. I have an upper respiratory infection and bruised a rib from the painful hacking. I cannot remember things, eventhough I used to have an incredible memory. My nose is the “dirtiest nose” my doctor has ever seen. And I’ve seen two doctors who now believe I may have developed thyroid cancer from this.
And three babies died in my body.
We are not ok. And we are not going to be ok. I can barely function physically and my parents are flying in tonight just to help me get through the day. We have spent thousands of dollars on medical bills and are completely financially decimated. Every sock, every sheet, every towel, every toy, every envelope still needs to be replaced if we have a fighting chance of making it through this thing.
And it may all be too little, too late.
We take the kids in for mold testing next week and are praying desperately that their exposure to these deadly mycotoxins was lower than mine. I ache thinking that our precious Sophie spent almost every breathing moment of her life…in a place that could take her life. We live in the shadow of cancer every day, and we would so appreciate your prayers for our family during this time.
And where is God? I honestly don’t know. I know He’s still somewhere deep inside the whirlwind and the storm. But we feel deeply defeated and are struggling to believe that He really sees our endless, catastrophic suffering.
Ultimately….I know God made our bodies and ordained and numbered all eight of our lives.
God provided the house.
God sent the rain.
God let the roof leak.
God grew the mold.
God led me to the right doctor who finally ordered the right $800 test.
And God took us out of that death hole and finally brought us to a house that was safe. The first house we could find…and a house we actually like, that happens to miraculously be two blocks from the beach.
God gave, and God took away.
And took away, and gave.
It feels so good to take our deeply weary kids to the beach. It feels so good to breath air that’s safe. If feels good to wear socks that are no longer poisoning me. It feels good to find Ikea beds on sale for $60 and that our kids finally got to sleep in real beds last night.
And I see Gods relentless love in these simple things.
But like Hagar in the desert, at the point of death and watching her child on the brink of death…I am struggling to see.
Please pray. Pray that we would see.
Pray for sight during our upcoming appointment with our mold doctor, Dr. Hope. Yes, if you can believe it…HOPE is actually her last name. And she’s amazing.
And she will be treating every single one of us, until we die of liver cancer from mycotoxins…or miraculously live to see days beyond this dark valley.
I don’t know which one it will be. I just know that we are completely decimated financially, emotionally, and physically and we beg you to pray.
A few months after Charlie died, as this storm of suffering raged on in the form of hurtful and lost friendships, financial difficulties, my failing health, and more baby graves I remember driving away from the house one day and thinking, “I fully believe that one day, we’re going to come home and find this house burned to the ground.” I fully believed that eventually, we would lose literally everything.
And we have. Our babies, our health, all of our worldly possessions and all of the money left to our name. And we now live in the shadow of the threat of cancer…which would literally take the very last things on this earth that are precious to me.
I am very, very sick. I lost fourteen pounds in January alone, and I did not have fourteen pounds to lose at this point. I am waiting for the oncologist to call me back today. And my precious Sophie layed with me on the bathroom floor this morning while I coughed and cried and said, “Mommy, mommy, are you ok?”
I. Am. So. Not. Ok.
But as I was reading Job 5:8-11 this morning I felt God giving me just enough strength to breath in and out for one more day…
“As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number: he gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields; he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.”
Rain that grows mold.
And rain that maybe just maybe, will restore our broken lives.
Grateful for your prayers on this endless journey,
Misty for the Zeller family