Friday, May 23, 2014 was nearly the worst day of my life … to-date. The first bad, and I mean really BAD four-letter word in my vocabulary is “MOVE.” I was living with my son and his family during the winter months. Don’t get me wrong—I love my family to pieces, but I’m way too old and independent to be living under someone else’s roof. Moving should be a new start in life. Right? Wrong. The day of the big move first resulted in my daughter being rushed to the hospital smack dab in the middle of the day with a gallbladder attack. After returning with her from the Emergency Room to my teeny, tiny. two-bedroom, 864 sq. ft. apartment, I found the rooms way too small for my massively-sized furniture and all my personal belongings. After approximately six months of unpacking, organizing, room re-arranging, and donating huge bags of clothing to friends and Goodwill, I’m just beginning to feel at home.
Within a week or so of moving into the apartment community, I began having respiratory problems, aches and pains (at way too early of an age), insomnia, severe headaches, etc. This lasted throughout the entire time I lived in the complex. Every time it rained it resulted in standing water collecting around my apartment door. I could have had a fishing boat tied to my front door at times. Seems that my requests to the property manager-on-duty regarding the moisture, gutters overflowing (due to lack of cleaning), standing water, and those slimy little slugs that came with the water, were not an urgent matter for her.
Guess what? “SLUG” is the next four-lettered word that is just horrible to me. Slugs are the most disgusting little creatures I have ever experienced in my life. There were evenings when I would find 20 slugs at one time on my patio due to the moisture problem. I sure wish the numerous wild cats living in the neighborhood would find the slugs appetizing. This might have been the solution to the slugs AND the cats. My patio always smelled like mothballs, because using mothballs was the only way to keep the nasty, skin-falling-off wild cats away from my patio. These cats were probably abandon by their original owners and formed a colony in the crawl space under these apartments. Guess what—“cat” is not a four-lettered word, but they don’t care for the slugs either.
I knew one individual, Sarah, before moving into this local apartment community. She was my former husband’s x-wife, too. Sarah had lived in this community for five years, so I thought it had to be a great place to live. Sarah knew absolutely nobody in the community when I first moved in. I met my next-door neighbor, Sheryl, the first day of the move-in, as my toolbox had not yet arrived and I was in desperate need of a Phillips screwdriver to attach the stand to my TV. Within a few weeks, everyone in the community knew each other. I began cooking meals on weekends and sometimes during the week for most of my neighbors. Great friends were made with this next step in the journey of my life. I even met the love-of-my life, Bishop, while living here.
I know you are probably really anxious to learn of the last four-lettered word in my vocabulary. Well, that nasty four-lettered word is “MOLD.” In early March 2015, while doing some major cleaning, I found a water-soaked blanket on the floor next to my bed. My neighbor had just recently complained to the property management about all of her recent illnesses and thought that her apartment may have had mold in it. The maintenance crew informed her they inspected her apartment and found no mold. She was not satisfied with their answer, because, within the last year or so, she had been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and she was put on additional medications. The property manager phoned Donna Kueber, Senior Indoor Air Quality Specialist with the Marion County Public Health Department, to complete an inspection. After numerous violations and repairs that were made, I requested that Donna inspect my apartment, especially the area where I had found the wet blanket. Guess what—that nasty four-lettered word, “MOLD,” was apparent. Needless to say, another four-lettered word appears next—“MOVE.” Target date: the end of March 2015. NO. Not again! This explains many things…..
Okay, everything has confirmed that the first four-lettered word, “MOVE,” is in my plans in the very near future again. I called a realtor friend of mine, Bettina, to help me find a rental home in the Franklin Township, Marion Co., IN area. We used two afternoons to view nearly 40 rental properties. You just instinctively know when you find the best rental home to suit your needs.
Moving day has arrived again—April 18, 2015. Oh NO, that four-lettered word, “MOVE,” has brought more bad vibes to my family. My expecting daughter-in-law, Brandy, along with two of my granddaughters, were enroute to the apartment to assist me in any way possible. My daughter-in-law was sitting at a stoplight and was rear-ended by a woman whose car was sandwiched between hers and the one in front of Brandy. The lady indicated she just glanced down for a second. I wonder if the auto accident resulted from another four-lettered word—“TEXT.” Guess what. I had to stop the moving process and was now on my way to the scene of the accident—in the middle of another moving day—now complete with concerns for my daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and for how this would work out in terms of the insurance. Yep, my son took Brandy and both granddaughters to the hospital that evening for further observation. Brandy is now on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy due to a knee and neck injury from this accident.
Well, I can’t go into much detail regarding the mold exposure, lack of maintenance, etc., but I CAN educate all of you regarding one of those four-lettered words, “MOLD,” in seven easy steps.
1. Read your lease carefully before renting an apartment or a home and pull up a CLUE Personal Property Report before you ever close on a new home.
2. Anyone can call their local Board of Health to have a “MOLD” inspection completed. I have permission to post the contact information here: Donna Keuber, REHS, Senior Indoor Air Quality Specialist, 317-221-2172. Contacting her directly will get the processing for a mold inspection done a day or two faster.
3. There are NO “MOLD” regulations for the State of Indiana or the majority of other states. Donna only recalls a couple of states that have mold regulations in place.
4. Anyone can claim to be Certified to do Mold Remediation, but there are no Standardized Mold Certifications in Indiana. This is really scary!
5. There are no mold “miracle” products to rid your home of mold without demolition on all softer building products, such as drywall.
6. Anyone can get a copy of inspections and results from the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD). Simply request them by calling the Legal Department of the MCPHD at 317-221-2005.
7. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a great place to become more educated on Mold and Mold Exposures.
It’s now been more than 30 days since the last four-lettered word, “MOVE.” Everything is much better, including the disappearance of my daily, severe headaches. Here at Hook Connect, we strive to help and educate. Don’t let this happen to you or your family. Learn from my unfortunate experience.