Mystery of lost voice… solved

Consider this a public service announcement. Several months ago, my best girlfriend gave me an insulated cup, complete with cap and straw that was suitable for both cold and warm beverages. The nice thing about this cup is that it does not sweat. Because I know that a well hydrated body is a healthy body, I use this cup almost every day. Because I am a woman, I wear lipstick. I had noticed that no matter how careful I was, everyday some of that lipstick would get into the inside of the straw. I was forever cleaning it out, and concerned about bacteria growth. What I was not concerned with was mold.

Now, I live in Texas, and the Gulf Stream is ever with us. It is not unusual for humidity to be close to 100% and no rainfall insight. We have mold in our homes. I protect against that in my home with two heavy-duty air filters. One attached to the A/C unit, and the other, using silver nanotechnology in my living space. I am not worried about mold. I should have been.

About a week ago, for no reason, I lost my voice. We had just had what people in the South describe as a ‘frog-strangler’ type of thunderstorm. It rained and rained last Monday. It was good news, as we had been in a severe drought, and this brought much relief. I thought that my loss of voice had something to do with the rain knocking the pollen out of the trees.

As I mentioned, I keep my special insulated cup filled with water and herb at all times. I drink from it all day, replenishing it every morning. Because I have my herbs in the cup, I do not start fresh. I just add new, bottled spring water to the mix, add more herbs, and away I sip. Did I mention that the glass has a pretty green design on it? It does, and it reminds me that I am loved by my BFF all day long. Yesterday afternoon at quitting time, I noticed that my cup was dry. I decided it might be time to take it home and give it a good clean out, as there were no herbs that would be wasted if I were to dump the water out.

Imagine my chagrin, when I went to wash my cup, to find that the inside of the bottom of the cup (the part trimmed in green) was green on the inside as well. Mold had taken up residence inside my special insulated cup. I tell you this, and I am embarrassed to do so, but…. My reason for using this cup was

1. That my own germs would be the only ones I was exposed to: There would be no cross contamination from others in the clinic using each others’ cups on a day-to-day basis.

2. Covering the straw at night to prevent any ‘night visitors’ would protect the contents of the cup. What I imagine happened, was that overnight, with no ventilation, the herbal concoction bred mold.

3. Not being able to see the bottom of the cup, I did not notice that I had been infected.

So… Where is Marvin Zindler when you need him? Please, learn from my error. Check you favorite cup(s) and see if you have mold lurking…

Until next time,