Many of you already know that I got sick and almost died from toxic mold between the walls of my MTV Cribs home. In next week’s blog I’ll post a link to where you can watch my documentary and get more information about how to recognize, remediate and recover from toxic mold and environmental illness. For now, here’s an excerpt from my book “Killer House”, which describes my harrowing journey of losing my home and my health.
Today, my son Rocco’s middle school hosted a Health Fair day and I offered to teach an aerobics class for the students. To prepare, I modified some of the high intensity moves to be less impactful and simple enough that everyone could participate.
When I arrived, one hundred middle schoolers and a few teachers filled the gym. Surrounded by a few of his buddies, Rocco beamed. The music started and I felt energized. However, after only ten minutes into the class, I felt dizzy and short of breath.
Rocco had looked so proud of his Mama when I arrived. Imagining his disappointment if I collapsed in front of his schoolmates, I kept a smile pasted on my face and continued jumping jacks and squats. As every breath became a gasp for oxygen, I panicked. Though I was familiar with what a muscle strain felt like, this was something I’d never felt before.
Lord, let me make it through the class without falling flat on my face.
The rest of the class became a blur, but somehow I managed to finish without anyone suspecting my rising terror. Struggling to keep my weak, wobbly legs from collapsing, I smiled and nodded to the students and teachers who said they enjoyed the workout.
Thank you, I think I’m having a heart attack. I better go now.
I quickly agreed when Rocco asked to go home after school with a friend, grateful he didn’t have to see what was about to happen. My breathing had become so labored I worried I wouldn’t make the three-mile return drive.
Home at last, I walked in the door and collapsed on the floor.
My husband, Ted, picked me up and helped me back into the car. “We’re going to the hospital.”
After a chest x-ray, and a variety of additional tests, the medical staff at the hospital couldn’t diagnose a reason for why I felt like an oversized elephant had taken up residence on my chest.