My coaching for moderate to extreme mold avoidance is based on helping you with your individual limitations to problem solve a plan, no matter how complex the situation.
I bring in my expertise in safe housing and my long-term view of healing locations to help you figure out where to go and where to stay. I use not just my own experience but the experience of hundreds of recovered avoiders whose cases I followed closely.
My Story (in Brief) – Mistakes, Mistakes, Mistakes!
I started mold avoidance in 2013, at that time there were no Facebook groups and no Beginner’s Guide to Avoidance. I don’t think there was anyone providing coaching.
I bought an all-aluminum Camplite and built an MCS safe tiny house, as I also had extreme MCS at the time. I had bad brain fog and mental and physical work was extraordinarily difficult. I was not able to take care of myself at the time. With brain fog, I could not even begin to formulate how camping would be possible.
The Camplite turned up with high levels of offgassing, my plan to use that to scope out the best locations in my area would not work.
I moved into the tiny house and began extreme avoidance there, but in one spot. My health picked up and up. I unmasked and got a lot better. With key supplements, meds and diets, I got started back with online work and taking care of myself on my own.
I made a lot of mistakes in mold avoidance that cost me a lot of money and a lot of further hits to my health.
Now there is so much more help on the Facebook groups and information provided by Lisa Petrison, but for those starting out it can still be extremely overwhelming.
I wish that I had support along that way in building the tiny house, with choosing the Camplite and with how to go more extreme with the limitations I had. As well as the likely pitfalls that are money sinks.
That’s what I provide now to folks, from my experience and from watching what has worked in the long term for others who healed (and what went wrong for those who didn’t). Some of my mistakes cost $100,000. That’s what I want to help others avoid. Housing mistakes are costly!
What I didn’t know was that the Camplite was a very valuable and hard to find asset (once it did offgas), while tiny houses, even though it was great for me from the get-go, are built very poorly and will almost certainly mold up fast if not built right.
I made the common mistake of building too soon, building without building science knowledge (only building for MCS), and selling a rare trailer.
Then I made one of the biggest mistakes I see folks make in the early stages of mold avoidance – BnB hopping.
BnB hopping is what most folks start out with when they are leaving a moldy house. But here is the problem (especially if you have severe MCS/chemical sensitivities), almost all BnBs are moldy. It’s a financially and physically expensive mistake to “randomly” choose a BnB (especially an older one that is geared towards MCS) and hope for the best.
I will help you choose indoor buildings in two cases – if severe illness means indoor spaces must be the starting point, not trailers or tents, or two, you are not very ill and we think we can help you get better while still staying inside (more moderate avoidance, or, the first step to more extreme avoidance).
When I lost my tiny house to mold, this began my “second run” of extreme avoidance. I spent most of two years in tents, disabled again by a tick bite, but this helped me recover to the point of finally bringing down my sensitivities (while staying unmasked) to be able to do well in regular housing again.
What is Mold Avoidance Coaching?
These are some of the areas we will look at together:
HELPING YOU WITH COMPLEX PROBLEM SOLVING TO COME UP WITH A PLAN
You will come up with your initial plan through the consults, if you have limitations, even severe limitations with energy, cognition, finances, jobs, and families, etc., we will put together an initial plan that includes a number of options.
After the first consult, you will have more ideas to investigate before choosing which road to go down.
DECIDING HOW EXTREME YOU SHOULD GO
I do not push anyone towards going more extreme than they want to, but I can help you decide based on your illness, goals, and what you are willing to do, what would be the best route to go.
If I think something’s possible that does not seem possible to you right now, I will point this out. Often an RV and tenting can work even for the severely ill.
CHOOSING THE TYPE OF LODGING
The main focus of my job as a Building Biologist is safe housing. Housing includes tents, shelters, trailers, tiny homes, and of course regular standard buildings.
A big part of most consults is that you will come away with more options on where you can stay and I will help you to figure out which living situation will suit your situation, limitations, and sensitivities.
Again, after the first session, there will almost always be homework as you will have more options to look into and some of the ones you thought might work may now be crossed off the list.
We are going to look at:
- Tents – how to camp alone and/or with severe symptoms and limitations.
- Shelters – how to set up a shelter in your yard or on a large property or farm that will be inexpensive, small but very comfortable in terms of temperature and staying out of the elements. This option is far too often overlooked. Those who cannot stay in tents or regular buildings can find a shelter that will work even if we have to do all glass.
- Trailers/campers/RVs – which one best suits your needs, the finances of buying an RV, offgassing, and chemical sensitivities, what’s the best way to go about buying one, what are the pros and cons of different types and models. Which ones are mold-prone and which ones tend to last.
- Building a tiny home or small structure – how to choose a small structure or tiny home that would be best for where you are in your avoidance journey, considering sensitivities, costs, and ease of build.
- Regular housing – if you need or want to stay in regular housing we are going to look at types of buildings and HVAC systems less likely to go moldy. We will also use my list of recently vetted places and network of unmasked vetters to see if we can find you a vetted indoor space.
CHOOSING A LOCATION
I’m a big believer in the Locations Effect as I have watched this phenomenon over many years (almost 10 years now). I have followed and tracked where folks have gotten better in North America (the US, Canada, and Mexico along with the Caribbean).
I have knowledge of locations in Europe as well as Africa though we have fewer reports from those areas.
What I do is organize all the reports from avoiders so that you can see pros and cons of different locations, make sense of the differing reports or contradictory reports, and we will come up with a shortlist of ones that might be best for you.
Your backyard may be your starting location in some cases!
Common Mistakes in Mold Avoidance
- Choosing regular housing that has not been vetted and hoping for the best (it’s likely to be moldy and/or too high in offgassing).
- Building without the ability to design and supervise a mold preventative build.
- Buying an RV/trailer/van that is moldy or prone to mold.
- Hoping to go on a sabbatical and then be unmasked enough to choose regular housing right after.
- Setting out when severely ill with no backup plan! This one is the most dangerous approach. If you are heading to a BnB/hotel or to a campsite you must have a backup plan, especially if your energy is very limited. If you have lots of energy and can take a night or two of no sleep and still sort things out, that is one thing, but with limited energy, you need a backup plan.
- Following the path of just one successful mold avoider and not taking into consideration the differences in situations, sensitivities, and abilities that might make your road to healing very different.
What to Expect in a Coaching Session
Most folks have a complicated picture. If you have a lot of brain fog it is best to start with writing out your situation and the options you are considering.
Then in the first phone call (1 hour), you will likely come away with more things to research as your options. You very likely could be more overwhelmed than when we started, as we will come up with new options and cross off other ones.
After the first phone call, I will send a summary of the call and things to look into further.
After you have looked into those ideas/options. A second call will go over your plan. The follow-up could also be done over email in some cases.
I want my clients to have a solid mold avoidance plan. After one call you will be left more overwhelmed with options and ideas to consider and this will not set you up to succeed. You will come away without a plan B, and wondering why I didn’t warn you about x, y, z, there simply isn’t enough time in a short session.
It’s like doing one round of a physical treatment or taking one pill of a medication and not continuing.
After doing this for a number of years, I have seen that the process is not complete without a minimum of time to work out your plan. The minimum about of time to book is 2 hours + a summary email ($190).
Mold avoidance doesn’t end after that initial plan is set up. Once you start on the first leg of your journey this will give you feedback on your plan – what works for you and what doesn’t.
The first leg of your plan will not be perfect, mold avoidance is a work in progress.
You can book the 2 hour + email summary session here.
To your healing!