Sick apartment

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by AuntTammie, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I am almost positive that I have mold in my apt, possibly among other environmental contaminants. I have felt awful there, esp in my bedroom, for quite some time, but when I recently stayed with family for a week, I felt so much better. When I returned home there was water leaking into my bedroom, (probably exacerbating an existing problem), and now I feel a million times worse. I have been researching the problem, and still don't really have answers, short of moving. I have been looking to move for a year now, but have not had any luck with finding another place I can afford. Now it seems even more pressing, because of how much worse my health is getting. Living with family is not an option, for a bunch of reasons. A roommate would possibly be ok, though not thrilling, but I haven't been able to find one. I don't know that anyone will have any suggestions, so I am mainly writing to vent, but if anyone does have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
  2. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    did you see the post on work building making person sick?

    You need to get out of this apt. Have you talked to the manager? This is a health issuse. Could they move you into a different apt?
    call your board of health. there are regulations for this.

  3. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, AuntTammie.

    Here's a repost of something I posted to another thread, to a person who is working in a water-damaged building that likely has toxic molds. Most of this would apply in your case, too, I think. I hope it is helpful:



    From what you've reported, it sounds as though you could have mold illness due to biotoxins produced by toxic molds in a water-damaged building. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker has studied this and is one of the main doctors treating it. He has written the book Mold Warriors about this subject, which is available from Amazon or from www dot moldwarriors dot com.

    He reports that about 24% of the general population is vulnerable to getting mold illness if they are exposed to toxic mold spores, because their genetic makeup causes their immune system not to be able to detect the toxins, so that they remain in their bodies and cause all sorts of symptoms.

    Dr. Shoemaker's website is www dot chronicneurotoxins dot com. He offers a visual contrast sensitivity test on this website that can be taken on your computer. I think it costs $20, and it will determine whether you have neurotoxins in your brain. Dr. Shoemaker has a panel of additional tests that he recommends if the visual contrast sensitivity test comes out positive.

    There is also a test available to determine if toxic molds are present in a building. It is called the ERMI test. It involves vacuuming dust into a filter and sending the filter to a lab for DNA analysis. This test can determine the types of mold that are present.

    If a person has mold illness, it is very important to get out of the environment that has the toxic molds. Dr. Shoemaker then has a treatment that involves taking an old cholesterol-lowering drug called cholestyramine. This binds the toxins as they circulate through the gut in the bile, and carries them out in the stools.

    There are others who post to this board who have been dealing with mold illness. Some have had toxic molds in their living environment, and have had to move and get rid of all their clothes and possessions, which were contaminated with toxic mold spores.

    I don't know how you can go about convincing your management that you need to move to a different working environment. If your doctor is knowledgeable about mold illness, perhaps he/she can help. This is not just an allergy to mold. It is a response to toxins produced by certain types of mold that multiply in water-damaged buildings. It is actually a very big problem, and old government and school buildings seem to be particularly affected.

    I hope you can get relief from this.

    Rich
  4. redhummingbird

    redhummingbird New Member

    I agree with what others have posted.

    I had to move out of my apt due to mold.

    It can definitely wreak havoc on your health. Were you sick when you moved into your current place or did you get sick upon living there?

    I would urge you to find a place as soon as you can especially since you noticed an increase in your symptoms upon returning.

    I wish you luck in finding a place. I know it's hard to do when you're not feeling well.
  5. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Hi Aunt Tammie,

    Please get out of your apartment as soon as you possibly can. Trust your instincts. Mold toxins are seriously bad.

    I recommend reading "Mold Warriors" by Dr. Richie Shoemaker, if you can muster the energy. If not, read www.biotoxin.info for the basic stuff.

    I moved out of my apartment after finding out it had toxic mold growing in a spot on the rug, and after finding out I had the symptoms of mold poisoning. I could not tell that my apartment was making me sick. The effect was very subtle, because the amount of mold was not huge.

    The effects of mold poisoning, or mold illness, as some people call it, are the same as the symptoms of CFS and FM. Blood tests proved that I was being poisoned.

    I decided to try something called 'extreme mold avoidance' that involved starting over with all new stuff in a new place. It was very challenging to do, but now I don't feel half-dead any more. If you want to read about extreme mold avoidance, see cfsunited.com

    Whatever you do, don't try to remediate it yourself. Try not to mess with any growing mold. Stirring it up may cause it to release even more spores. At least sleep in another room for now. I'll be thinking of you.

    Best wishes,
    Forebearance


  6. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I appreciate the replies. I have stepped up the search for a new place, but still am not finding anything even close to what I am paying now and I really can't even afford this. The idea of having to get rid of everything, if that's necessary is really daunting and financially not possible, too...and I'm afraid that if I do manage to find another place I can afford, it will wind up having similar problems, since all the newer, nicer, most likely healthier apartments are way out of my price range. (I am on disability, living on $900/month and my rent is $720, so I am not exaggerating the lack of funding.) Moving would be really tough physically, too, but that part I can somehow figure out if I can find a place. Anyway, like I said the replies are appreciated, but the situation is feeling impossible. I know I need to get out. I really need to get out, but I don't know how to do that barring a miracle. I can't sleep in another room, either. There is no room for my bed elsewhere, I don't own a couch, and the floors are carpet over concrete, so with FM I would be in agony trying to sleep on the ground, and the CFIDS would get worse, too.
  7. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Rats, I'm sorry you're in such a tough situation.

    I hope you can figure out some kind of solution that works for you. Or I hope a miracle happens!

    I see what you mean about having to sleep in your bed.

    It is really daunting, I agree.

    The way I made it through my tough situation was I had a lot of available credit on my credit card, and I used it. Then when I was apartment-hunting, I had to broaden my search into parts of town I hadn't even been in before. I did stay at my parents' house for a while.

    Thank you for posting about how things are going for you. I will keep thinking of you.

    Love,
    Forebearance

  8. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    Just wanted to thank you for your reply...even if a solution doesn't immediately present itself, it's nice to know that others understand and care...although I am certainly not giving up on finding some sort of answer
  9. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    Have you talk to the landlord about this problem? It is not normal for leaks in the bedroom.If they dont do anything about it call the health dept they will make them.I am a landlord and i would never let my tenants have a health risk I am calling the city all the time about the house next door to mine he has tons of violations on the outside and everytime I call I get something done.To bad you dont live by me I have an upper apt and I charge 500.00 with heat
    [This Message was Edited on 01/27/2009]
  10. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I have talked to the landlord about the leaks, and was told there is nothing they can do....the leaks have stopped for now, though....however, when it comes to the mold, I know how they have handled previous mold issues and they were not effective....they will only do the absolute cheapest temp fix and from what I have been reading, their "solutions" will actually cause more mold to get into the air

    $500 including heat would be so great! & a responsible landlord would be wonderful!! There is nothing even close to that low-cost around here

    As to the subsidized housing and Sec 8, there are no places anywhere near me that are even taking applications anymore, bc they have waiting lists that are so long

    I do appreciate all the suggestions...don't mean to shoot them down, but unfortunately I have looked into all this stuff with no luck

    I have also tried looking into moving to another state, but unless I could afford to live somewhere with really moderate temps, low humidity, and lots of sunshine, I think I would wind up feeling even worse physically and emotionally....and then I would be far away from any support, too

    I haven't given up, but it is really discouraging that I am finding NOTHING....even the tiny studios around me cost more than what i am currently paying
  11. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I have talked to the landlord about the leaks, and was told there is nothing they can do....the leaks have stopped for now, though....however, when it comes to the mold, I know how they have handled previous mold issues and they were not effective....they will only do the absolute cheapest temp fix and from what I have been reading, their "solutions" will actually cause more mold to get into the air

    $500 including heat would be so great! & a responsible landlord would be wonderful!! There is nothing even close to that low-cost around here

    As to the subsidized housing and Sec 8, there are no places anywhere near me that are even taking applications anymore, bc they have waiting lists that are so long

    I do appreciate all the suggestions...don't mean to shoot them down, but unfortunately I have looked into all this stuff with no luck

    I have also tried looking into moving to another state, but unless I could afford to live somewhere with really moderate temps, low humidity, and lots of sunshine, I think I would wind up feeling even worse physically and emotionally....and then I would be far away from any support, too

    I haven't given up, but it is really discouraging that I am finding NOTHING....even the tiny studios around me cost more than what i am currently paying
  12. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    why cant they do anything about the leak?If its the roof they can do something and if is a pipe they can do something. I have had leaks over the yrs mostly plumbing and unless you find the root cause it is going to come back.I just ripped my own bathroom apart that had leak and mold(not me but i paid someone) I mean leaks do happen but they have to be taken care of. I would call the health dept but be prepared to go somewhere if you do and the place is concidered unfit to live until it is fixed. good luck charlene ps I live in ny to cold for you and me
  13. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    I'm so encouraged for you, Aunt Tammie. If you can find the motivation to read about mold, and understand what is going on, as you are doing, then I think you can get well!

    It seems like people who are self-starters are the ones who do best at getting away from moldy situations. You have to save yourself.

    Love,
    Forebearance
  14. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    Yeah NY is too cold...I'm near Chicago and really want to be somewhere warmer....as to the health dept, I might wind up going that route, but I'm a little reluctant to do so, bc I don't really have any options for a place to stay if I they decide I have to move out for awhile...if I can find something temp then I might pursue that option...and I don't know why they say they can't do anything....except I think that they mean while it's this cold...hopefully they will fix it better when it warms up, but the mold issue is the bigger concern rt now
  15. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I have been on roommates.com, but I didn't know about the other link you posted. That looks helpful. Thanks, and thanks for your previous suggestions, too.
  16. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    Thanks for all your encouragement....it does help.
    Love,
    Tammie
  17. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Hi Aunt Tammie,

    I saw something on the news last night and immediately thought of you and Rivka (rrrr), who are both in serious need of mold-free housing.

    It's a website called wish upon a hero, where people make wishes and other people grant them. It is a way for people to give directly to others instead of going through some charitable foundation. The news story said that some people prefer to know exactly where their money is going.

    Anyway, a person who needs some help with something can make a wish, and then potential donors who read the website chose which wishes they want to grant. It all sounds extremely cool.

    I just tried going there and the site is swamped. The servers were down because of the number of people going there! So hopefully it will be up and running in a little while.

    Love,
    Forebearance
  18. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    Forbearance, that sounds really neat. It is still down rt now, but I will keep checking. Thanks so much for thinking of me (& Rivka).
    Love,
    Tammie
  19. gapsych

    gapsych New Member


    Wow, how do you do it with so little money in Chicago. I lived there for almost twelve years and moved back to my hometown. What I am paying for a nice duplex, with W/D fireplace, garage is less than what I was paying a friend whom I lived with the last year I was up there. She gave me a discount and her usual rate was the going rate for a room.

    Where I am now there is something called the Tenants Union and they can help you deal with your landlord. If the roof is leaking it is absolutely the landlords responsibility to fix the roof. You would probably have to rip up the carpets, etc. but again that is his problem.

    There are also places where you can get free legal counsel.

    I would also love to live in a warmer climate. The Midwest cold and humidity really get to me.

    You do not need this on top of this DD, right?

    Let us know how things work out.

    Take care.

    gap

    I live about two and a half hours south of Chicago, depending on where you are living in the Chicago area. It is a University town so we are lucky that the arts are big as well as other things you may find in Chicago. Still not as good as Chicago, but I can hop a train so I do not have to drive, and be there in a couple of hours.