Does it ever happen to you where things just so look crummy that you can’t help but laugh? Thats basically been this week (this year) for me… for us… for our home. Ooof, what a week. I know I said it, but it’s like I’m stuck in a bad Lifetime movie or someone has some major pin action going into a voodoo doll named after me. Either/or, life is basically laughable right now. This has without a doubt been the hardest year for me ever, you guys know that. Between the c. diff ruining my life and getting some sort of completely crippling viral infection— I’ve been on a slow painful mend. I thought for sure, we could only go up from here. And I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m still going up– but the constant swirl of sickness in the house has been overwhelming. Well, it seems that our inability to get better might be due to more than Marlowe entering school and partially (or primarily?) due to a recent discovery we’ve made…. mold. We’re in moist, sub-tropical south Florida, mold is inevitable, it’s everywhere. We’re not the first or the last to have a nasty mold situation in our home. It’s one of the top home lawsuits down here. It’s everywhere. It’s annoying because it’s always something thats on my mind. I’ve always been paranoid about mold— and/but we’re clean freaks over here, you guys know this, but it still happened. I had a company come out recently to do mold testing (what a freaking rip-off)– the guy seriously just walked around our house and was like “no, I don’t see or smell anything”– well neither do I buddy, and I’m not an expert, and I’ve been sick and struggling to take care of crap for 6 months— thats why I called you to help me to do a professional inspection. But he said, it looks and smells fine, that we shouldn’t need additional testing– and that was that. But then a few weeks later, I plop on the bed to chat with Alex, facing the wall, instead of laying against the wall, and notice something off between the curtains. I pull back a curtain to find a mold stain spanning four feet across our bedroom wall. Thanks for nothing, mold guy. (So FYI, friends if you ever need testing done, don’t use THIS company– they’re available across the country and are absolutely worthless.) Whether or not the mold has been the reason for my chronic throat issues and Alex and Marlowe chronic cough and congestion issues, I don’t know. But I’m sure it was’t helping. But we’re obviously now doing everything possible to fix that one spot and any other problem areas ASAP.
You know, this isn’t even the beginning of the week from hell. The true horrendous week started when Marlowe’s chronic cough got worse. And the mucus spread to her ears. Then her eyes. And I couldn’t take it anymore. You know, I feel grateful, because in her five years of life, she’s never been sick enough where I’ve had to take her to the doctor– but here we are this month, where I’ve now had to take her twice for the same problem. She was fighting it and fighting it and would get slightly better than worse. And with me struggling enough just to feel sane each day, well, I felt like I was going to break down. Really truly breakdown. And something in my gut said it’s more than just school germs. That there’s a problem going on. And our (newish) doctor who understands where we’re coming from about staying away from meds and especially antibiotics, said it, unfortunately, it looks like it’s time for one, that whatever was happening, didn’t look like she could fight it off by herself anymore. And while I’d like to believe he was wrong, I don’t think he was wrong. Week after week I’ve watched the problem never truly go away– just get slightly better then a bit worse, then turn terrible. There’s so much fear in me now. So so much. I’m scared of what could be causing the problems. I’m scared of “the solution” to the problems. After this year? I’m scared of almost everything. And everything about these last two weeks has made me nervous.Everything from a headache to an irregular bowel movement makes my heart stop for a second and worry that something else could go wrong. But pulling back the curtain to find the mold? That was it. It just all didn’t seem real anymore. For months I had this (slightly irrational, but really not) fear of mold making my own problems worse— and no one would believe me. Alex looked at me like he just didn’t understand. My dad said it seemed as if I was just paranoid and making stuff up— but it’s not like I was crippled by fear or completely irrational thoughts— just fearing that everything I was fighting this year could still be lingering and that there could be little problems standing in the way of complete recovery from my problems and from all our recent smaller scaled health problems. And then there it was, one of my biggest fears, staring me right in the face.
I remember years and years ago, seeing someone I followed on IG posting about their mold issue. Complaining about all the shoes they lost because of it and whatever else– and me thinking (and writing) to look on the bright side— that their families health was intact. Sure, it sucks to lose your material shit, but health and safety comes first. And here I was, with no real damage to my belongings or things, just a giant spot of mold creeping and growing where I place my head each night. I’d happily give up my belongings to know our health concerns were not in part due to this garbage, but really, I’ll never know.
To get some air and feel a bit better, we left our house the next day. We decided to stay at my brothers house, not too far away, while Alex and I could tackle our mold issue. Have us all sleep somewhere safe, while Alex and I put our time in to figure out if it was just a surface thing, or if it went deeper, and see where else it could be growing. We didn’t know how long we’d be staying away, we just packed a few things and headed out. The next morning, we probably should have headed right home. Instead, I asked Alex to drive me out west to my breast follow up. The appointment took a few hours. Another ultrasound. And another freaking lump. How many lumps do I need to have in my breast? I mean, crap, they’ve already removed a golf ball from there. But fine, whatever, another lump. At this point I hardly flinch when I get told I have a new lump, cyst, tumor, whatever. My body just loves to make them I’ve decided and whatever they are, I can handle them later. The lumpy cherry on top of the week— or so I thought.
Alex drops me off at my brothers and heads home to grab a few things, to tackle some of the problems— and to walk into our house to find it broken into and robbed. Our freaking house burglarized. Are you kidding me? Seriously, I’m laughing as I type. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? We leave the house for health and safety concerns and come back 12 hours later to find it robbed? I’m just so over 2015. I mean, realistically, it’s not like there’s that much to even take from us. I never mind leaving the blinds right open cause I assume someone could and would look in and see we don’t have tv’s, fancy electronics, or anything of real monetary value in our home. But here we were, finding someone had broken into our space, trashed all our things, digging and searching for money or something of value that we could offer them. Alex is majorly freaked out by the robbery. Understandably. Yeah, I’m nervous about it and yeah, it’s definitely made me question our safety a bit, but I know things like this happen, and at the very least, I feel lucky weren’t home. It could have been worse. Two computers stolen, a handful of tiny electronics (iPods, chargers, Marlowe’s computer thing), Alex’s favorite (only) watch, mostly a sentimental piece. And a bunch of my jewelry is gone. Good luck pawning my sentimental (hardly worth any money) jewelry, douche bag. If my jewelry had been stolen at the beginning of this year, I probably would have been sadder. Memories of the sweet moments, romantic and kind gestures, one of a kind lucky finds— but after this past year? I don’t know, nothing material holds any real value for me. It didn’t before anyway, but especially now. And like I said, we didn’t own anything expensive in the first place. Yeah, we like nice house things, but things like comfortable beds to sleep on or comfortable couches to prop our feet on. Our house is free of extra unneeded fancy do-dads and things anyway. I just want myself and my family to be happy and healthy— and safe. Thats all I want.
This whole thing really feels like a bad dramatic joke. Oh dear drama, I wasn’t kidding, right? I feel like I should apologize for all the nonsense that’s happened really. I know it’s beyond me, but it all just sounds so dramatic and ridiculous. Like at any given point someone could jump out and tell me this whole year has been staged and I’m on candid camera. We came back home today, after six days of being away. We’ve had the house sprayed down, we’ve dug into walls, tore up wood, did almost all the necessary steps to fix any tangible and visible problems. (We have a list of extra preventative measures to work on this week.) And like every other night we’ve spent here in this home, Marlowe is tucked away in bed. While I’m here sharing my thoughts and life photos patiently waiting for Alex to come home and kick his feet up with me… except now, I’m just trying to think as rationally as I can… that we are safe. That nothing more will happen. I’m trying to just keep laughing it off, not be scared, and I’m trying not to lose it.
I wont. I wont lose it. But honestly, I feel like no one would really blame me if I did.
So there’s my life update for the week. Every single time someone asks me how I’m doing this year, an almost instant, unthought response comes out, “I’m breathing in and breathing out”— and it’s the same thing now. I’m looking for the good things and just trying to remember to breathe in and out through every single thing that comes my way.
How has your week been? I genuinely and whole heartedly hope that you guys have been swimming in good things in our place— good moments, good experiences, just moments of little and big joys around you. And I’m genuinely believing that I’ll feel and be in that again soon. That this year will end and a new fresh year will start with only good moments for our little family.
You know, I love a good quote. So let’s end the post with one that makes me smile: Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant. It just makes me want to set myself on fire. -Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development.