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Shades of Gray: The CLEAN VERSION!

Leslie Brown

Kevin has actually sent me three stories to cover this week, but most of the time, stories are just laid on my heart. As I got into bed last night, I saw that I had a missed voicemail on my phone; it was from United Blood Services. Yikes! This kind of took me by surprise, because that meant we are coming up on the one year mark of “BAD DAY AT BLACK MOLD” at my house.

Let me explain. I’m the daughter of a HUGE blood donor. I’m not sure how many gallons my daddy has given, but I am starting on my third. I give as often as I can, and it’s way more gratifying because I give for a specific person. One of my precious friends has a grand-daughter who is married, has a beautiful adopted daughter and is going to school to become a math teacher. She also has to have monthly blood transfusions. Whether she gets my exact blood is irrelevant, she gets the credit added to her account when I tell the blood bank her name. (So locals, help me out!)

Well, last summer, the week AFTER I had given blood, we had BAD DAY AT BLACK MOLD at our house. I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much fun we had last summer! You see, the inspector who inspected our home before we bought it, neglected to look UNDER our house at the plumbing. Guess he didn’t want to soil the knees of his pants…sissy-boy. Anyhow, our house had been plumbed with a kind of plumbing that had a class action lawsuit filed against it in the 90’s. Super!

Our house (underneath) was as leaky as our border! We had to have the WHOLE house re-plumbed or our insurance company was gonna drop us. Good times. Well, in the midst of these “good-times” our house acquired black mold underneath it, although we did not know this at the time. My husband placed a large “squirrel cage” fan underneath our house in an effort to dry it out.

Not too long after that, I began experiencing nosebleeds, BAD nosebleeds. Now mind you, I had not had a nosebleed of any significance since the 80’s after repair of a deviated septum. It was bad. The bathroom looked like the scene of some heinous murder on Forensics Files. Let me tell you, humility is having a crusty bloody nose, sobbing, with blood dripping off your chin, and your husband comforting you by the side of the toilet.

I had eight severe nosebleeds. Again, this was the week after giving blood, and we have no insurance. Thankfully my husband is a former E.M.T., so he shoved a flour coated q-tip up my snout and that stopped the bleeding one time, saving a trip to the E.R. We later bought a styptic stick (for shaving cuts) and shoved that “puppy” up my snout another time. Finally EINSTEIN here figured out it was the FAN blowing apparent black mold into the house. We turned off the fan, and the nosebleeds stopped.

Now I’m Irish, but have enough Native to inherit EVERY bad genetic trait they carry but somehow strangely none of the melanin, so I was literally GRAY, and laid around for TWO MONTHS with the energy to do, umm, NOTHING! I wasn’t just a “cracker”, I was a flippin’ RICE cracker!

My hematocrit was so low that the blood bank ran me off for NINE months. So, HEY, if I can go back, YOU can GO! Go give an hour of your time. One of my cousins last year had to have transfusions after the birth of her third child. Things like that still happen. So go bare your arm! Blood for everyone is RED and needed every day.

Every two seconds a transfusion is needed.


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