We moved to 11689 McDonald Street in July 2005. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and due to give birth through planned c-section on August 19. I was a healthy 35 year old mother of an extremely healthy 6 ½ year old son (Evan). My husband (John) was healthy at the age of 37. None of us had ever had anything but the common cold in the past seven years.
Within 2 weeks of moving into the house on McDonald St, I woke up one morning with debilitating joint pain in my ankles, knees, wrists, elbows...in every joint imaginable. It was so painful that I could not get out of bed without screaming in pain. My husband had to take off work to help me with our other son. He would put me in the bathtub and cradle me in warm water so the pain would subside. It helped relieve the pain a bit until morning when it all started over again. I had my baby (Caeden) on August 19 and never had this problem again. Therefore, I wrote this off as pregnancy related even though there is nothing to indicate that this is a normal part of pregnancy and it felt like something was very wrong with me that was not pregnancy related. However, this was the beginning of many unexplained illnesses.
Some time in September of 2005, I began to get hives all over my body. My dermatologist determined that it was not a food allergy and I was not on any medications. I continued to get these hives off an on the entire time I lived there (2 years). The last bout of hives lasted for 2 months until we moved out of that house in fear of the health of our family. Immediately after moving out, my hives disappeared.
In July of 2006, my oldest son began to get headaches at least 3 or 4 nights a week. His eyes were tested and he had no vision problems. We did not report this to the doctor until June of 2007 when we discovered toxic mold in our house. The reason why we discovered the presence of toxic mold is because our baby began to have severe respiratory problems in February of 2007 at the age of 18 months. He began coughing but only at night sometime in December of 2006. On the morning of February 15th of 2007, he woke up wheezing. The Dr. prescribed an inhaler. The wheezing stopped.
On the morning of March 6, 2007, he woke up wheezing, gasping for breath, retracting chest and abdominal muscles, losing consciousness and turning blue around his mouth. His blood oxygen level was at 88%. He was admitted to the ER and then to the hospital for 3 days where he received several doses of steroids, antibiotics, IV’s and 24 hour oxygen. He was diagnosed with a lung infection in one lung, and ear infection and a sinus infection. He was released and place on steroids at home along with a nebulizer. He made regular weekly visits to the Dr for the next month and checked out just fine.
Then on May 21, 2007, the same thing happened all over again. He was fine when he went to bed and then woke up not being able to breathe, turning blue, losing consciousness etc. His blood oxygen level was at 86%. The Dr admitted him to the hospital, where he stayed-on oxygen and IVs for 4 days. Both lungs were infected this time. His pediatrician could not understand why or how these infections came on so suddenly and with such severity. She recommended that we go on an extended vacation or move from that house.
My oldest son whose headaches started in July of 2006, began to have headaches every night by May of 2007. He also began to have nosebeeds on a regualr basis. Additionally, he was having a difficult time concentrating during the day. In May he began to run a fever. It peaked at 104 and lasted for approximately 3 days. The Dr could not find anything wrong with him. A week later he began to cough violently. He went back to the Dr and she diagnosed him with a lung infection.
My husband and I began to become ill as well. My illnesses started soon after I moved in as mentioned before. These illnesses will be outlined as a timeline in a future post. The end result was that my husband is still dealing with respiratory problems (and is still on an inhaler) and I ended up with a severe sinus infection that did not respond to routine antibiotics.
We hired a mold inspection service to check for toxic mold on the advice of a friend. They found toxic mold in my baby's room. As a result, we feared for the lives of our children so much, that in June of 2007, we began living in a tent in the backyard. We had no other place to stay and was desperately looking for a different home to rent. I will post more detailed blogs about the mold, our interaction with our landlady, her homeowners insurance company, the hospitalization, numerous medical visits, attorneys etc in the future.
We moved out of this nightmarish home and into a new home only to discover MORE MOLD and another near death experience for my youngest child...click here to read more
Just when we thought we were out of the woods, our youngest child has to be hospitalized for the 4th time in 2 years (all between the ages of 18 months and 4 years old)...click here to read more