It all started one day when my husband burned the black beans. Despite his awesome chef skills, he had walked away from the stove top and the bottom of the pot burned. The dense smell wafted through the house quickly, making even our youngest child belt out a “What is that smell?!” I opened the window in the hall, but that wasn’t enough. I walked down the hall to our bedroom, pulled back the curtain, and yelled to my husband to come quick.
By the sound of my voice, I am SURE he thought it was a spider or centipede. We get those here and I HATE them. As he got closer, he called ahead.
Him: What is it?
Me: I don’t know. It isn’t a bug, but it looks alive.
Him: Oh Sh!%. Close the window and the curtain.
This is what we saw and he was sure of what it was.
Yep, that deadly stuff that hear and read about. I instantly felt my chest tightening and a cough coming on. The mold and I had shared air. My lungs were exposed to spores. My head hurt. My kids were in danger. NOOOOOOOO.
I immediately thought of ways to “fix” the problem. What if I pour bleach on it? What if I get some Clorox wipes and go to town? Mold is no match for BLEACH! I had a situation.
My husband was immediately my voice of reason.
Back away from the mold. You may release more spores and seed this hole room.
You may not believe this, but he was right. The following weekend we had inspectors come who confirmed that we were dealing with black mold that had resulted from water leakage through the window sill. Two men, a saw and a two HEPA filters later, this was the result:
I am writing this post so that you too can recognize when you may be an unwilling landlord to black mold. Don’t touch it, keep the family and pets away from it, and seek professional removal.
Symptoms of black mold.
Though sometimes assymptomatic some symptoms include chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucous membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches. I had been complaining about waking up with a headache for at least a week before our problem was discovered. So crazy.
In the end, if you suspect mold, especially black mold, get it checked out. My window still isn’t fixed, but I’d rather have a wall under construction than black mold spreading and polluting our airways.
Oh, and as an aside, sorry for the unrelated feature picture of the dust mite-like creature. That, my friends, is a little thing known as click bait. I was just trying it out. I’ll get back to using my powers for good instead of evil. LOL
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Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald is a board certified OBGYN. She began practicing medicine in 2007 and now uses her extensive knowledge and growing following to increase health awareness in a fun and viral way. She is the founder of The Gyneco-blogic and an author of numerous books for adult and childhood health education and social growth. For more, check me, I mean her out at dreverywoman.com