An Imaginary Conversation

I had a conversation with our pediatrician recently. One regarding the first year we lived in our Colorado home. This conversation took place in my head. An imaginary dialogue that occurred in June of 2001, one year after we moved into the home.

Doctor: Well, Mrs. Fabry, I've noticed you've had all of your 8 children in the office this year with a variety of illnesses. Let's see, we have your 6-year-old daughter diagnosed with complex partial seizure disorder. I'm sorry to hear you had to make that midnight run to the emergency room, but I'm glad you're under the care of a trusted neurologist.

I notice your 16-year-old daughter's nut allergy has become severe in this last year.

I also see that your 2-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, had an unusual hospitalization. Ileus is very uncommon in young children. I know I'm reiterating what you heard in the hospital, but indeed, this is very unique. I also see that you've had several of the kids in with strep this year. In fact, Shannon's case was extremely severe. You mentioned she was vomiting, the pain was so severe.

Andrea: Yes, it has been quite a year. In 16 years of parenting, I've never had a year like it, in fact. I've hardly been able to keep up with the level of care needed.

Doctor: Have you by any chance lost any pets this year?

Andrea: Funny you would mention that. We lost our bird Gabriel in February.

Doctor: How long have you lived in your current home?

Andrea: We moved in one year ago.

Doctor: Have you noticed any water stains or had any water leaks?

Andrea: Not that I'm aware of. There is a brown stain on our daughter's carpet right beside the bathroom. I'm not sure what that is. Why?

Doctor: Whenever I see a family with a variety of illnesses, I think immediately of environmental issues, specifically water intrusion. Some water leaks you don't see for years. But mold can grow behind the walls. You might check that out.

Andrea: That's an entirely new thought to me. I don't even know where to begin.

Doctor: I don't know much about mold and mycotoxin exposure. But there are hygienists who can help you determine if you have a problem. And doctors who know a lot more about it than I do. I'd be happy to help connect you with any one of them.

Andrea: Thank you, doctor. I believe you just saved our family 10 years of pain and heartache.

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