If you have any chronic illness you MUST make sure you are not living in a house with mold.  I knew I was even though my test scores came back low.  Here is what I recommend.

  • Go by how you feel:  Leave your house for a week and stay somewhere you know there is not mold.  Try going to a dry desert climate.  Track in a journal how you feel before and when you are away and when you get home.
  • Do moisture reading on your walls in your house and get a mold mitigation company to open up any damp walls.
  • Get the HERTSMI or ERMI Test, even if your score comes back low, go by how you feel.


Here is what happened in our house:

When I was first diagnosed with Lyme Disease I was told by a friend that I will never get better if I’m living in a house with mold.  At the time I did not know the different testing methods so I called a company to come to my house for air testing and eventually learned I needed more sensitive testing called HERTSMI.

February, 2016 I did air testing for mold in my house and the report said that we did not have any black/toxic mold in the air but that we had damp walls in the master bathroom.  I wasn’t surprised by the damp walls because we have had problems in that bathroom since we moved in.

♦ I spend $800 testing every room in my house ♦

Then my Lyme Literate Nurse Practitioner told me that the air testing for mold isn’t sensitive enough and I needed to do the ERMI testing.  WTH?  Really?

I was so sick and overwhelmed with everything I was supposed to take that I ignored her recommendation about additional mold testing.  When your sick 24/7 it’s a HUGE accomplishment just to make it out of bed during the day.  So adding one more thing on my “To Do” list just didn’t happen.

In June 2016, I went to Wisconsin to my nieces wedding.  I almost didn’t get on the plane because I was so sick.  In fact,  I was so sick on my flight from San Francisco to Chicago I asked for a ride to my connecting gate.  Chicago O’Hare airport is ginormous and I knew I couldn’t walk that far at that point.  I got to ride on a big cart with 5 other people.

I’m so glad I made the trip to Wisconsin.  It was a beautiful resort with a great spa and it was the first time I knew for sure my house was making me sick.  Certain symptoms disappeared when I was away from my house.  When I got home certain symptoms came back so I decided to test the “my house is making me sick” theory again.

So in July 2016, I decided to go stay in a dry hot desert of Palm Springs.

 I LoveThe Desert 

The temperature ranged from 101 to 117 and I LOVED it!  I know what you are thinking.  You think I’m crazy and that you would never want to go there when the temperature is that high.  But NO HUMIDITY makes a HUGE difference.  I would go to dry desert heat any day before going to Florida humidity.  Sorry, Florida fans but I really don’t like the weather there.  I really don’t like humidity at all so going to the Midwest in the summer isn’t appealing either.  I moved to California from Illinois when I was 18 and I could never move back.

We have three vacation rentals there on VRBO if anyone wants to check them out.

September 2016, I was living in a hotel to get away from the mold and my husband did the HERTSMI testing on our house.  This is the company that I used.  My Cometrics.

My HERTSMI result came out low (8) however we knew had damp walls from moisture testing we did earlier this year.  My Lyme/Mold doctor was not convinced it was mold since the score was so low but we had already started the work to inspect behind the walls.  And, when the walls were opened there was so much mold we had to have the mitigation company get rid of it and our bathroom gutted.

I knew my house was making me sick because I left several times and certain symptoms would go away when I was gone.  So go by how you feel.  You know your body the best.  Feel free to email me with any questions about mold testing.  Here is a link to #KarlaFightsLyme blogger that did a good summary of the testing she did.

Good luck!