Surviving Mold: Working with a Mold Health Coach
I’ve been practicing medicine for 30 years and have interacted with many chronically ill patients. I myself was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which opened my eyes early in life to investigate methodologies to support my own health.
I learned about mold illness and the Surviving Mold protocol several years ago, but my inability to consistently help Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) patients provided me with the incentive to become Surviving Mold (SM) certified. The SM protocol has created a reliable, reproducible and proven process that has helped thousands of patients.
Chronically ill patients and their doctors are desperately trying various approaches to achieve wellness. A common theme during their journey is they find some interventions that appear to be effective, others not so much. Perhaps the most frustrating scenario is when a treatment works for a while only to fail later.
The Surviving Mold Protocol has been instrumental in helping many of my patients finally find the root cause and relief from the chronic illnesses they have been suffering from. But then came the question… What Now?
One of my patients, Emily, whom had an arduous journey with CIRS was so relieved to have found my practice and begin treatment. But as reassured as she was in me her provider, she was still filled with extreme amounts of anxiety. She knew she had been exposed to mold in a previous apartment, but was still being exposed. She was living in a constant state of fear that mold was everywhere and she would become very ill at any moment. We got her in touch with a health coach, Gregory Potosnak, MS, Health Coach, Teacher-MMS and with his guidance has been able to remediate and create a healthy environment in her home, and has set up tools to continue to live healthy life. Emily wanted to share her experience with my readers because she knows what it’s like to be sick, confused beaten down, and desperately “Googling” for answers online. If by sharing her journey, it can help connect the dots for someone else, she wants to be able to help.
Emily’s CIRS Journey
“I had been experiencing for many years burning of the skin that wakes me up during the night. I have visited the ER too many times and, unfortunately, was labeled with delusional hysteria. At one hospital visit, they actually put me on involuntary hold for psychiatric observation. But to be honest, that time in the hospital was the only time I remember going to sleep without waking up feeling like my body was on fire!
Over many years I sought out various providers, sometimes driving up to six hours away and staying overnight in a motel or sleeping in my car to seek help. I’ve been poked and prodded thousands of times, have undergone every possible test on the planet, and I know I tried my best to follow every doctor’s advice. But nothing worked. Eventually, my family and friends became numb to my complaints over the years. To be honest, I started to feel alienated by them. No matter where I went or what I tried, I still had the symptoms of burning fire on my skin during the night. And during the day I could barely concentrate. It was as if my brain was in a fog. Not only was the pain so unbearable, but emotionally I was devastated. I felt like I was losing my mind and I was losing my ability to process and make decisions. And anyone I tried to talk to just dismissed my symptoms. I was heartbroken and eventually didn’t want to be around friends and family any longer.
One day as I was desperately searching for answers online, I came across Dr. Rothman and Greg Potosnak’s 2016 paper “CIRS Meets Revici”, CIRS - Cutting Edge in Diagnosis and Treatment. Michael Rothman MD, FACEP, Greg Potosnak MS. As I read the paper I knew this was the answer to what has been torturing my body and mind for years. I immediately contacted Dr. Rothman and scheduled a consultation. Finally, I had the answer! I had been severely exposed to mold and my body was raging an immune system response. I knew without a doubt I was being exposed in my apartment. I lived in an old 5 story walk up in Manhattan and needed to move immediately. Over the course of a year, I moved into a new apartment and continued treatment with Dr. Rothman. I felt better than I had in years, but not 100%. When we performed another round of metabolic testing, it showed I still being exposed to mold. How was that possible? I upended my whole life, broke my lease to move, but I was still exposed to mold? My anxiety had reached an all-time high because I was just started to feel myself again and I was terrified of getting sucked into this horrific cycle. I started having panic attacks because I was scared that anywhere I went, I would be exposed to mold. How can I protect myself from something I can’t even see?
Dr. Rothman had suggested I speak to a colleague of his, Greg Potosnak. He is a fellow mold patient, also lived in Manhattan and was familiar with local mold remediation experts. He had a hunch there was mold somewhere in my home.
Greg first helped me identify that while I had moved from my original apartment where I had first been exposed, I brought all my personal belongings which had not been decontaminated. I had naively exposed my new home to mold. With his referral, I was able to remediate my new home correctly, allowing it to become a safe space. But the biggest lesson I learned was that since I am extremely sensitive to mold, this is not something can be cured. I need to learn and use all the techniques every time I leave my house because I do not know where I might be exposed to mold. While Dr. Rothman identified and provided me the best patient care I could have asked for, Greg gave me my life back. I’ve been able to feel well and lead a normal life again! I am so grateful to this duo. I am happy to share my journey, but I don’t think words can accurately express my torturous life before and how well I am doing now. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Greg’s consultations were instrumental in Emily’s recovery and other patients whom had been suffering from mold sickness. We are pleased to announce that Greg has agreed to join the MD Wellness team. At MD Wellness, Greg provides patient support and guidance on their journey to wellness and developing healthy lifestyles and tools to support creating and maintaining a healthy home. In this process, he works with Doctors, individualized education programs (IEP’s), remediators, and most importantly, the patients to help accelerate their journey to wellness. To schedule a consultation with Greg, call us at (732) 268-7663 or request an appointment online.