<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Mold Misery - Health Issues Associated with Mold and Sick Building Syndrome





Meet Ingrid


Greetings!  My name is Ingrid Naiman, and though this site is primarily devoted to the medical issues surrounding mold and mold exposure, I am telling "some" of my story because it provides a context for understanding my relationship to mold.  To avert any potential for misunderstandings, I want to make it clear from the outset that despite considerable background in various aspects of health and healing, I am not a medical doctor.  I wear many hats: author of articles, books, web sites, and audio cassettes; researcher; mystic and contemplative; and environmental activist.  To understand me and my writing, you should view me as a medical philosopher.  My formal degrees are in Asian Studies and development economics, not medicine.  This said, I have been studying holistic medicine for 35 years and am not really an amateur.

I do not believe that there are events without meaning.  I am not suggesting that bad karma brings bad experiences much less that our lessons become easier when we are closer to perfection.  In fact, it often seems that these pedestrian viewpoints are considerably off the mark; but when the chips are down, it behooves us to take the time and make the effort to understand where we are and why.

This said, it's too early for me to make total sense of my own mold miseries; however, it is not premature for me to share my experiences as well as the harvests of my quest to restore normalcy to my life.

My mold story began in early January 2001, a few days after moving into a brand new home in the Puget Sound area.  A washing machine was improperly installed, and the ground floor of my home flooded, and rest became a sauna. Those involved in causing the damage, removing moisture, and restoring the house failed to take mold seriously.

Note: I am in a law suit with the parties involved and will therefore be careful to avoid names and incendiary statements, but it goes without saying that had anything been handled differently in the beginning, the outcome would also have been less miserable.

Helena Stevens and the Reality Check

Early on, the Universe began to bring people into my life who became my teachers.  Mold was no exception. Helena Stevens contacted me about her cancer of the tonsils when I was still naïve about mold.

There was mold in the master bedroom in the home where Helena and her family had been living.  Helena's husband became ill but just as he was beginning to feel better, Helena went into a tailspin.  The house had to be burned to the ground.

Helena did not believe the disease had the power to kill her.  Those who are as radiant and filled with light as she was might have trouble believing that something as low on the food chain as mold can kill . . . but when we turn to dust, mold must have an entirely different perspective of the food chain than people.

I was enormously blessed to have such a buoyant and loving person in my life at a time when I was suffering from allergies, itchy eyes, burning nostrils, dizziness, and exhaustion such as I had never known before.  The truth is, I felt too devitalized to have anything to offer anyone else.

Helena was brave and determined, but she did not win over Death—and neither shall I; but I do believe I have the option of dealing more precisely with mold because I am fortunate to have been given more help and more time to sort out my challenges than Helena had.

This said, I will always be grateful to Helena for many reasons.  Her spirit was indomitable and, in the end, I am sure she joined the immortals.  Her manner of transition was a great inspiration; but Helena also gave me both my first and second warnings.  Oh, there were warnings from the American Lung Association and the various mold specialists on their referral list, and warnings from other holistic practitioners, and warnings from web sites; but Helena had a very personal story and a consequence that were impossible to ignore.

How can a beautiful life be terminated abruptly by something as primitive as mold?  She did not overcome the illness as had her husband.  She died, and this was the next serious warning; and it nagged in a way that would not go away. 

At this juncture, I believe that part of my destiny is to put forth the truth about mold.  It is really unconscionable to refer to mold allergies as something similar to pollen allergies.  The purpose of mold is to decompose organic material, not pollinate.  One does not suffer from mold-related illnesses because one's immune system is compromised.  One suffers because mold is exceedingly dangerous.

For years, I have counseled other people when they are ill; I also listen to the advice of others when I am the patient.   I am the kind of person who walks my talk.  Wherever possible, I take my own medicine, but I do not refuse help offered by others; in fact, I believe these people are often sent to us to help us in our times of greatest need. 

My mind is naturally studious and contemplative so I usually begin by trying to understand the problem and what makes it worse.  Five years ago, there was a fraction of the material on mold that there is today.  According to some specialists, mold testing and remediation are the fastest growing industries in the country.  This raises questions:

  • Is this rapid growth merely a reflection of increased mold sensitivity? 
  • Has the quality of construction and construction materials declined? 
  • Do weather changes favor the growth of mold over other life forms?

I am saying this very deliberately.  Mold decomposes organic materials. One might say, it aids our return to dust.  For me, mold has been an anti-life experience.  Mold is at one end of the spectrum of incarnate existence, and bliss — divine inspiration — is at the other end.  If one adds to the medical issues the frustrations of stonewalling insurance companies and various ignoramuses who with straight faces discount all mold-related suffering, one readily understands that the totality of the mold experience has really been a challenge to existence, not just my existence . . . but as the years passed, many more people and pets in my small circle of fellow passengers on the voyage of life have joined Helena in a world from whence no more emails are sent.

In the days ahead, I will tell my story, largely in the hopes of encouraging others.  I will take time to describe each measure I have taken—and why—and to give my opinion of the merits or shortcomings of each strategy.  Medically, I am significantly improved over a few years ago.  This said, my house is still not properly remediated.

My goal is not to tell yet one more sad story.   I hope to contribute to the raising of awareness of the dangers of mold.  If I also somehow manage to shift even a tiny bit of attention from brutalizing denial of reality and responsibility to humanitarian concern for how society should be viewing mold, I will have accomplished much more online than I could ever hope to achieve through litigation.  In addition, I feel I have some valuable insights and unique understanding of mold.  I would be remiss if I did not share these with others who are faced with challenges similar to those I have had.

With many blessings!

Ingrid Naiman

8 October 2005
Updated 26 March 2006


Please note:  there are five more pages in this section of the site.  They describe the measures I took to improve the air quality in my house as well as the toll the contamination took on my health. More detailed discussions of my health issues can be found in the section on medical mycology.

First Steps


Sacred Medicine Sanctuary



Notice:  The material on this site is based on the personal experiences and research of Ingrid Naiman, the site owner.  While every effort has been made to present accurate information, neither the site owner or web service provider claim the material will prevent or cure any medical condition, and no responsibility for the application of the information on this site is assumed by the any of the parties providing the content on this site.  None of the statements made on the site are intended to replace the services of health care or mold professionals.

Disclaimer: The information on this site has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.