Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Day I Ate Mold (Accidentally)

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.


Chris F. said...

mmmmmm corner pieces are the best- mold or not!

Toaster said...

Penicillin is mold, right? ;)

Anonymous said...

With a husband like John and 4 kids...how did the cake stay around your house that long?

Holly said...

Caleb had hives again today!!! He got them at the exact same time he did yesterday. Very odd. Penicillin is made of mold. Caleb is allergic to it.

Ironically, John refuses to eat anything that's more than two days past its expiration date. If something, like cake, doesn't have an expiration date, he won't eat it by about two days after it's been made. We have gotten into tiffs over his throwing out perfectly good food because of his fear of it "going bad."

Of course, I have now eaten mold and he hasn't, so he, of course, belives his lame fear is perfectly justified.

phoenix carpet cleaning said...

As a phoenix carpet cleaning professional these are great tips. Good post.

Holly said...


fraizerbaz said...

Hi Holly!

(I do believe that's a spam comment right above your last comment?!?!)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today... And thank you for the sweet compliment!

I am so leery of buying strawberries at the grocery store because they get moldy so fast. I have to thoroughly inspect all strawberries in the container before I make my decision on which package of strawberries looks safe enough to buy.

I'm not allergic, but the taste of mold is just nasty!

I hope your little guy is doing better now. :-)

MGBR said...

Is he nervous about getting on the bus? Can't hives be stress-induced? (I loathed the bus. Bad, bad memories.)

aplaceforthoughts said...

Hi Holly! I hope Caleb is all better today! Sorry about the mold issue - not fun. Love your blog - I'll be back!

hypermom said...

It could have happened to anyone. I feel bad for the chocolate cake though hehe

Anonymous said...

I am allergic to penicillin and I inadvertantly eat mold occasionally in similar situations to yours. I have lived to tell about it - no reactions whatsoever. Hope you can figure out what is going on with Caleb.

freckletree. said...

i have a bone to pick with you. i, and no one else, likes a bragger.

and you ate a corner piece of birthday cake. but before you ate it you exercised it off, so you basically had a free piece of corner cake. and you are just bragging all over your blog about how skinny you are and how you can eat all the cake you want and never get fat, well, it's not okay.

so there.

Holly said...

Bone picked- criticism duly noted.

If it makes you feel any better, this was the first trip to the gym in two months. Since last Monday, I have consumed far more calories than I have burned off and although I haven't weighed myself, it's possible I have gained. I would like more than likely. Okay, I've gained weight.

ePastor James said...

This amusing little ditty placated me greatly after slicing a hefty piece of Entenmann's marble cake after a phone call from the mother. (Note to self: next time, go for the apple pie in the fridge.)

This has never happened to me before, because I'm usually neurotic about checking every thing I eat or drink for any shed hairs. So of course, I gobble half of the cake before realizing the chocolate top had the beginnings of mold! No green yet, thank goodness--I suppose that's a relief? So just the gray stuff that sorta looks like Pigpen's dust, from Peanuts.

Needless to say, I spit whatever was left in my mouth out and gargled with the only think left on the counter: my boyfriend's almost empty bottle of Pepsi. Then I looked at the leftovers from restaurants I had since Friday that I planned to reheat for lunch, and immediately banished them from my refrigerator into the garbage can.

Who knew mold could prompt such delightfully maddening summer anecdotes?! Well, at least I discovered a new blog worth following =).

P.S. Reading your first comment above, I seem to be somewhat like John. If milk is past the date, I won't eat cereal until it's replaced. I wish these people would learn to date things properly. Don't tell me "Best If Used By...", just say "eat/drink after this date AND YOU WILL DIE". Cut to the chase, damnit.

thebabers said...

I ate MOLD! Holly Cow there is a whole group of people who have accidently eaten mold? YUCK! I feel betrayed...by a cake pop. But I guess I will not die...or even get sick, thanks for sharing your story!

KT said...

This is pretty funny, makes me feel a little better about accidentally eating it

Holly said...

You are not alone, KT. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Anonymous said...

ust ate some mold myself!! of course i had to google it to see what will happen......glad to come across your post and blog! damn that cake!! i ate almost the entire thing when i saw some white fuzz on the bottom! yuck!

kristin kelly said...

I was just eating a strawberry banana yogurt and it tasted funny so I looked inside and pulled my spoon out of the cup and there was a mess of mold inside if it. my eyes bugged out of my head cause I am very allergic to it.. I got up and spit it out and gargled with mouth wash.. it was disgusting! I ate half the cup and now I am waiting to see if anything happens.

it happens to the best of us. I feel disgusted lol ... blaaaahhh