This is my story of how I was diagnosed with Neurotoxic Illness due to long-term exposure to mold:
Hi! I’m Leandra. And for 26 years of my life, I was healthy, strong, confident, and independent. I was living in beautiful San Diego, California.
I thought I had it all. I was working my dream job full-time, surfing every day after work, and spent my weekends with my best friends. Suddenly, things took a turn for the worse…
I woke up one morning struggling to breathe. It felt like bricks were on my best. My eyes blurred over, and I was trying to get ready for work. I sat in my car and realized there was no way I could drive. I landed myself in the Emergency Room the following day with severe vertigo, nausea, and a headache that wouldn’t go away. The doctors came back with:
“Oh, you’re just having anxiety.”
I rolled my eyes and left.
During this time, I would travel to Portland on most weekends to visit my boyfriend. I noticed that on weekends I felt fantastic. I could breathe, I wasn’t dizzy, I could focus, I could walk without feeling like the Earth was tilted left. But when I’d return to my apartment, it would all come back.
I went to numerous doctor appointments with my regular MD, many nurse practitioners, a pulmonary specialist, and none of them could figure out what was wrong with me. There was only one blood test where I tested positive for ANA. This blood panel determined that I had some sort of autoimmune disease but not sure which one. The doctors never tested further. So, I grabbed the book called, Dr. Amy Myers: The Autoimmune Solution, and I followed the diet heavily. I never caved. I never reached for the chocolate, the gluten, eggs, or anything I really wanted. The book basically promised that in 30 days I would feel better. But I felt WORSE. At the end of the book was a Chapter that said, if I wasn’t getting any better, then check for mold. BINGO!
I had an air test, swab test, and tape test, and all came back with 7 strains of toxic mold. I moved out that same night and fled to my mom’s house. I started to get better. A lot of the symptoms faded. A few months later, I decided I wanted to live in Portland, so I moved.
I noticed I had chronic fatigue, I could stay in bed for days. Was it the cold, wet, and cloudy weather in Portland? Maybe. But then another 2 months went by and I was having endless headaches. Then, I thought they were migraines. Then, I thought maybe cluster headaches. Within a week, I was debilitated. I would have 8 hour episodes of pain that was crushing my brain. I could hardly see. My speech was slurred and slowed down. My memory was shot. I was too weak to walk. My joints were aching. I was miserable…In fact, I held my mother’s hands and looked her in the eyes and told her, “I’m so sorry, but I know I’m dying.” My mom promised she would do everything to help me.
So she did! She researched doctors back in California that specialized in mold patients. I saw him immediately, and what do you know? I hit every single marker for mold on my blood labs. I was off the charts. So then I asked myself, well does my apartment in Portland have mold? I tested it, and nope, no mold. So, why did I get MORE sick if I left my original moldy apartment? I’ll tell you. I’m part of the 24% of people with the HLA-DR haplotype for mold susceptibility (thanks Mom). I’m also part of the unlucky 2% with the HLA-DR haplotype for multi-susceptibility (thanks Dad). What does this all mean? It means my body cannot recognize toxins from mold or Lyme, therefore it cannot create the antibodies to fight off mold on its own. Therefore, even though I left my moldy apartment, the mold did not leave my brain.
I was diagnosed with Neurotoxic Illness due to long-term exposure to mold.
For 2 months, I read every article I could. I ordered multiple books and I read them all. I took everything I learned and created a protocol that worked for me. And that’s what brings me here to YOU. I hope that what I have learned, will help you get better the way I have helped myself get better. The only thing I ask of you, is to give this illness 200% because you’re going to need it. This blog will have everything I know about mold, because it’s something I wish would have been given to me the day I was diagnosed.