Yesterday, in a moment of solitude and extreme weakness, and in spite of the fact that I had burned off 450 calories at the gym only an hour before, I took it upon myself to consume the last sizable piece of vanilla cake from the twins' birthday party. (It was a corner piece with ample frosting.)
Three bites from the very end of the cake, I happened to pause and saw that there was a bit of green fuzz clinging to the bottom of the piece I was about to put in my mouth. In fact, all three remaining bites had green and grey fuzz. It is more than likely that the entire piece of cake had been decorated similarly.
This is the point where I ran upstairs and googled “I accidentally ate mold.” If google prompts and online forums are any indication, this is a common problem that should probably be discussed in town hall meetings.
Apparently, the type of mold that grows on cake is not generally toxic, so I was temporarily reassured and proceeded with my day. (Sadly, the remainder of the chocolate cake was similarly afflicted and needed to be discarded. Ella discovered the cake in the garbage and kept peering down at it, saying, “Birthday?”)
A little after 3:00pm, Caleb’s school nurse called me at home, which is always distressing. Caleb, she said, was covered in hives. He was not having any trouble breathing or swallowing, so we decided to allow him to come home on the bus since it was the end of school anyway.
He arrived home very itchy. The hives were large, white monstrosities that covered his arms, his legs, his back, and his stomach. One of his knees was swollen to the point where I felt mildly repulsed, so after giving him a dose of Benadryl, I called the pediatrician and talked to a friendly nurse:
Holly: Caleb is covered in hives.
Nurse: Is he having trouble breathing?
Holly: No… they’re very itchy and they look gross.
Nurse: Well, it’s probably just an allergic reaction. Is there anything different going on at school? Any new pets in the classroom?
Holly: Caleb- are there any new pets in your classroom?
Caleb (with serious expression on his face): The worms are gone now.
Holly: No pets. The worms are gone now.
Nurse: Well, people aren’t generally allergic to worms.
Holly: I suppose not.
Nurse: Has he eaten anything unusual? Anything different?
Holly: No…. everything’s the same…. Oh my gosh, he ate MOLD!
Nurse: He ate mold?!?
(I will now note that I have had very little sleep of late, thanks to persistent insomnia and some bed wetting. Not me, my kids.)
Holly: No, wait. Caleb didn’t eat mold. I ate mold.
Nurse: You ate mold?!?
Holly: Well, not on purpose. I didn’t know I was eating mold.
Nurse: You didn’t know you were eating mold?
Holly: Correct. But the point is, Caleb did not eat mold.
After we cleared the whole mold issue up, the nurse told me to give Caleb Benadryl before he went to bed and to just “watch the situation.” The hives were gone twenty minutes later and there has been no recurrence so far.
As for me- I feel fine. I think mold agrees with me.