Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Beatrice Latherings
The major problem in dealing with this illness is the lack of recognition by governments and medical people that this is a severe and real disorder, resulting in almost complete ignorance of what safe housing must consist of. A significant number of highly educated and intelligent people in the US are invisible due to being unable to live in normal circumstances, and hence unable to form any kind of an action-taking group. Mold illness’ consequence of lack of executive function leaves the majority unable to organize their way to any kind of stable living situation, and instead live in tents, travel trailers, pickup trucks, and back yards, counting on the internet to keep in touch with each other.
In our continuing efforts to let the victims of toxic mold speak, below is an interview I conducted with Beatrice Latherings. Many thanks to Beatrice and the interviewees before her–Gina Lopez, Raffaella Tassone, Kelsey Best, Elaine Kelly, Janis Bell, and Karen Dean–for sharing their stories with us. Awareness is our goal and hopefully these survival stories will lead to positive change to help future toxic mold sufferers get treatment quicker.
1. When did you move into your current apartment or home?
I bought the house in 2001; I moved out of it three years ago, made various attempts to find a safe place to live and failed in finding anything safe in my city, suffering several more exposures in my attempts to live inside a building. I lived outdoors, out of a pickup truck, on a back porch, in a garden shed, in a breezeway, for most of a year, and then I bought my Camplite travel trailer in March of 2012.
2. How many years have you lived there?
I lived in the Mold Castle from 2001 until 2012 when I starting trying to find somewhere else to live. The last six months, I lived in my garage with fresh air flow but still had to use the house for kitchen, shower, bathroom.
3. How soon after you began living there, did you begin to feel sick?
I don’t really remember but I think it was about two years after I bought the house. I found out eventually that it had developed a pipe leak inside a wall behind the water heater. There was no visible mold nor odor of mold.
4. What were your symptoms?
The first symptom was “restless legs syndrome” which over time developed into four-second-periodicity round-the-clock full-body myoclonic jerks. The short list of other symptoms: spasticity, unable to pick something up off a table without knocking it off; balance problems; attacks of vertigo; rage alternating with suicidal depression; food intolerances that worsened all the symptoms, causing me to eliminate all animal protein, gluten and nightshades; severe short term memory loss; significant loss of executive function making this engineer unable to balance a check book; weight loss (down to 89 pounds;) intense diarrhea; confusion; sciatica in both legs, making it extremely difficult to walk; muscle cramps, particularly in the calves in the a.m.; extreme fatigue; muscle weakness such that I could not remove a lid from a jar; extreme sound sensitivity; light sensitivity; PTSD from not being able to find any safe place to live no matter what I did or how much money I had. I did not develop asthma or other “allergic” symptoms
5. How many Doctors did you consult with?
At least 20 before I gave up and decided that if I were to improve I would have to find the answer myself.
6. How helpful were the Doctors you consulted with?
Not at all. I was offered drugs but no explanation of the cause. They all did the same blood tests which were always normal. None did any of the tests that would have indicated CIRS. Once I found out on my own what the problem was, I did visit a doctor in a nearby city who did the Shoemaker blood tests; I got the diagnosis of CIRS and found out that my HLA DR was mold-susceptible.
7. Did any of your initial Doctor visits consider mold or air quality as a cause of your sickness?
8. When was mold identified as the cause of your sickness?
I thought perhaps I had Lyme and was consulting with an engineer on the internet who had designed some Rife devices. One service he offered me was to remote view potential health problems. His conclusion: not Lyme, not Babesia, not Bartonella, not Ehrlichia, etc etc etc except that Mold was off the scale. He contacted me; I said that was not really possible because my house had no mold. He was persistent and finally convinced me to look into it. I read Mold Warriors, saw my NMD and got a prescription for CSM. I joined a yahoo group about water damaged buildings, and a person on that group told me emphatically to get out of my house no matter what it took, thereby saving my life.
9. What treatment are you currently under?
I am taking chlorine dioxide and following Kerri Rivera’s autism protocol to take care of the pathogenic and parasitic mess that is the result of a distressed and overburdened immune system. Oral chlorine dioxide got rid of my MARCoNS (proven via before-and-after lab testing) and has also alleviated many other troubling physical problems.
10. How long do your Doctors think it will take to recover?
There is not a doctor in charge of my treatment, nor has there been because of my lack of results with doctors. I am 95% recovered and have resumed normal activities except for not being able to spend time in a large percentage of buildings, and not being able to find any dwelling I can live in. I was offered VIP by a Shoemaker-certified MD but have declined because it will interfere with the chlorine dioxide protocol that I have decided to continue with. I may take VIP in the future.
11. Any other thoughts?
My theory is that when the immune system is under the extreme duress that occurs with severe toxic mold exposures, pathogens and parasites move in and set up housekeeping. I believe that many who do not recover either are not out of exposure (extreme avoidance was and is my principal “treatment”) or have not dealt with the (undiagnosed) parasites and pathogens that so often accompany mold illness. I have learned that lab tests for parasites are almost always false negatives and that treatment is the best diagnostic tool. I am doing the Kalcker parasite protocol and have been impressed with the results. Chlorine dioxide has been the most effective medical treatment I have ever done, but it cannot “save” someone who is still in exposure. I do not believe that CD denatures mold toxins, although I have evidence that it denatures other types of toxins, specifically oxalates. Its main function is to support the immune system in dealing with pathogens and parasites.
The major problem in dealing with this illness is the lack of recognition by governments and medical people that this is a severe and real physical disorder, with the result that there is almost complete ignorance of what safe housing must consist of. Mold-safe housing must be made of materials that mold does not feed on, and the vast majority of housing in the US is made of wood, which is “mold food.” Putting a plastic wrap around a house made of wood is a recipe for serious mold problems as soon as there is a water intrusion, even if the materials are mold-free to start with.
A significant number of highly educated and intelligent people in the US are invisible due to being unable to live in normal circumstances, and hence unable to form any kind of an action-taking group. Mold illness’ consequence of lack of executive function leaves the majority unable to organize their way to any kind of stable living situation, and instead they live in tents, travel trailers, pickup trucks, and back yards, counting on the internet to keep in touch with each other.
— #GotMold?™ (@gotmoldglobal) September 26, 2014