Tessa airstream deck.jpg

Sick house

Hello, my name is Adam Reiser. Let me first start by thanking you for coming to my website & blog. Thank you for taking the time to "be" here.

In 2007 my wife, our Great Dane, Walker, and I bought a home. Walker didn't bring much $ to the investment but he did bring a lot of joy & energy! It wasn't a perfect home, but a home that we'd fix up. And grow into. A sturdy home built in the 40's, it had really good bones but needed a LOT of cosmetic work. We loved it nonetheless. Shortly after moving in, my health started to suspiciously deteriorate. My symptoms eluded diagnosis, but my discomfort and generally feeling-like-shxx on most days persisted. I saw generalists and specialists. I saw conventional docs & alternative docs & research experts & friends of friends of friends who had similar stories. The search for an answer was long, exhausting, very expensive, and even more disheartening. And I got no answers.

By 2012, I started experiencing cognitive symptoms like brain fog, memory loss, and issues with my balance. One of my doctors, suspecting issues with my nervous system, asked me to test my body for neurotoxins. (When you've been sick for years, you say 'yes' & find $700 to pee in a cup and test for X). Results found that my body was carrying 20x the level of a positive test for a neurotoxin called tricothecene, which is so potent that some countries use it in chemical warfare.

The source: our house. Mold had, unbeknownst to us, been growing in our houses walls and crawl space, and happen to be the kind of mold that produces these deadly mycotoxins (mold-created toxins). Molds create them to kill other molds - survival of the fittest among molds, I guess.

Honestly, though, even though that's a devastating piece of news (that both you and your house have a deadly neurotoxin floating around inside!), I was weirdly relieved. I had found an answer.

We immediately moved out.

And moved into an Airstream Travel trailer, while we sorted through our options for how to move forward.

Knowing what we knew about our house, we couldn't feel good about selling it and passing the problem on to the next unsuspecting buyer. We couldn't afford to sell it at a this-house-might-make-you-sick discount. We couldn't bring ourselves to make an attempt at remediation, because 1) Even the conservative expert said it was unlikely to solve the problem entirely, and 2) We intuitively knew that we'd always blame every minor discomfort on the remaining neurotoxin and/or it's inevitable return.

Long story short: we decided to tear down our house, start over, and come up with a creative plan for digging ourselves out of the financial mess.

Fast forward a year and a half...

(because who really wants to hear about how 3 people +the addition of a new baby, and an elderly Great Dane make life work in 150 square feet)...we will soon be moving into our new home. The lemonade we made out of lemons. The "Healthiest House in Austin".

This blog is a place for me to share what I have learned from all of this-and a forum to learn from others who are ahead of me on this journey.

I have learned so much and yet I know we have a lot to learn.

I am excited.

I am hopeful.

And that feels really good.

If you know anyone who:

-Has been through something like us

-Just wants to make their living space healthier

-Is passionate about building better

please share our blog, our new healthy home building business (SHELTER) and our story.

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