Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Time To Walk Away?

Sorry for the lack of postings-between work and being sick, I just don't have the time to dedicate to blogging like I should.

I've been so tired, and just not able to get into much lately. I have entered some giveaways on blogs of course, but really haven't felt much like posting myself. I attributed the excessive fatigue I have to adjusting to a new schedule, but this year it seems so much harder than it has been in the past to get myself out of this fog.

My eyes are red, itchy and blurred vision has become a daily occurrence. Allergies? Perhaps, I just don't know. The constant pain in my chest, burning, hurting and feeling like a heart attack...stress? Maybe.

My blood pressure was perfect when I came back from my trip and I saw the doctor a few days later, 110 over 65. No need for blood pressure meds. 2 days ago I am in the ER where they are sitting me in a wheelchair and rushing me to a room due to chest pain and a blood pressure reading of 176 over 107. In May, it was the same thing-high blood pressure, heart attack like pain, with the result that my potassium was a little low, heart was fine, and I had non-specific chest pain.

After working Thursday, towards the end of the day I started in with the chest pain again. I'd called the doctor the day before and she'd prescribed me some Zantac pills (not the OTC stuff) thinking it might be some sort of gastric issue. No such luck. The next day, I went back to the ER for a workup, determined to find out more about my condition. (my doctor had instructed me to head to the ER if I wasn't feeling any better, as I absolutely HATE going there!)

My EKG was fine, and the heart monitor was not showing anything to be alarmed about. My diagnosis was an inflammation of the chest wall tissues-wearing a bra has become a very painful part of daily life while I try to heal this with Ibuprofen 800 mg and the occasional pain pill when it gets really bad.

Upon taking a chest X-ray, the doctor told me that there was a spot (I thought on my heart) and that they wanted to do a CT scan. After a painful IV (they have to use a honkin' needle on this since it has to be able to withstand the high pressure the contrast dye has when it goes in) and some waiting around after the procedure he came in again and told me I had 5 granulomas in my lungs. (these are supposed to be non-cancerous type things which I certainly hope they are!) There were 2 on one side, 3 on the other. Since my dad died of lung cancer, I was and am still pretty alarmed over it all. (and I don't smoke if you were wondering)

He said I was going to be fine, and to follow up with my doctor (I have a ganglion cyst on my wrist that needs removing ugh...) when I see her the 22nd. When I got home, I began doing some research on these things in my lungs. I found out they can be caused by a bad infection, and there could be a fungal connection as well. (think scar tissue due to fungal infection) Back in May, they'd noticed the spot but didn't follow through on it. This doctor did, and I am glad for that.

Every year I get bad, and I mean BAD sinus infections. This year was no exception. A week or two before I had the chest pains, I had finally gotten to the doctor for a double Z Pack after waiting more than 2 months. And that was after going to another doctor because I was so sick. (the office staff was not giving messages to the triage nurse, thus my calls were not being returned at all-a quick visit to the office manager took care of that!) So, it was possible that the prior May X-ray was considered no big deal as I was just getting over a very bad sinus infection.

As I began to read a bit more about my symptoms (and those of my hubby who couldn't breathe well and ended up in the ER himself and on one of those asthma treatments for a couple times as well as a breathing treatment in the ER back in April) I began thinking what if it was mold?

The evidence was overwhelming-as was the fact that when we were in Guatemala for a month out of the environment of our home it was bad the first week, but afterward no chest pain, eye problems, or high blood pressure for me and hubby felt just fine too.

When we purchased our house, we had a home inspection done. But NOT the mold test. If you are buying a house, spend the extra for the mold test-I wish I had done that now, but $900 for a current test with a specialist is NOT an option. Our agent did state that there was a small foundation leak that could be repaired which we set about doing with some sort of a sealant. When my hot water boiler burst the next year, I immediately called the company and got a new one installed the same day-and used huge dryers to dry the cement floor.

As time went on, our house began to smell musty. Having forced hot air heat made the Winter season terrible allergy-wise for me, as I am sensitive to regular house dust and cat dander. Every year brought one or two sinus infections, and itchy, dry eyes.

I began to notice that the smell was nasty-the minute you walked in the door you could smell a wet, humid, musty odor. We kept the windows open upstairs (no ventilated basement windows) and the cellar door wide open, to get air in. I also got big buckets of Damp Rid and laid them out in the basement-doing what I could to stave off that horrible odor.

It's funny, because a couple of days ago it was like a light bulb went off in my head-telling me that my sickness and that of my husband (and even my daughter's winter coughing fits maybe) could be because of this musty, nasty smell.

It got even better when hubby went to investigate in the basement. Everything was wet and slimy-boxes, the walls, the floor, you name it. Heavy cardboard boxes we had down there had just fallen apart and he said he noticed some mold down there.

Bingo! The light bulb went off again. After speaking with some co-workers and deciding whether to pay the mortgage (I have paid faithfully for 6 yrs, never a late payment, but living check to check like most other Americans these days I had to make a few quick decisions) we went to Home Depot and got a 45 pint dehumidifier. And it filled up completely... within a few hours. The same applies today, the bucket was full and hubby was shocked.

Coming in to the house now, I don't get that moldy, musty odor so much. But yes, it exists in the basement still-and my living room carpet has some sort of blackish stain as does the bathroom sheet rock wall. Next week, I am hoping that I have someone come out to tell me what is going on. And how bad it is. If it can be repaired for minimal cost, I will do what I can to save my home. If not, I will walk away. Sure, my credit may be ruined-which I hate doing. But risking my health, and possibly my life and the health of my family and pets is just not worth it to me by remaining in a house with mold just so my credit rating remains intact. I mean, who will care if I have a 750 FICO score if I'm dead, right?

I will update when I can-I have over 2000 emails to clean out and might enter a few giveaways here and there. I'm on 4 different prescription meds right now and pretty tired, so I will do things as I have the time. Thanks for understanding :)

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