The Simple Life is Not so Simple

Allergy relief is about eliminating the allergens; simple, right?  There are measures to reduce your exposure. Your efforts must be consistent and continuous. Half measures will give you half-ass results.  

Personally, I'm exhausted.

The rule of environmental control is everything in it must be able to be wiped or washed. You'd be surprised how mush in your home is not, I was.  The first hurdle was my doctors telling me that I would need to keep the cats out of my bedroom, and I did try when Maus and Jake were alive.  It didn’t work well.  Jake cried all night for weeks and if you are aware of how LOUD Jake was, ask Teri of the blog "Coco, the Couture Cat."  I am sure Jake would have been a record breaker for loudest meow.  Anyway, I relented to let them back in, and for total disclosure, I miss not sleeping with them.  Since I couldn't keep them out, I had to take additional measures to reduce my exposure to their dander.  This is what I have to do:
  • I change my bed linens every other day.
  • I change my pillow cases every day (I have three pillows).
  • I keep disposable face cloths on me to wipe my face and hands after I handled my cats (so as not to put my hands in my eyes or nose).
  • I use a fresh washcloth and towel every day.
  • All of my clothing and bedding has to be washable in hot water to at least 120 degrees. I avoid most colored clothing and linens because of this.  I no longer buy dry cleaned clothes.
A year ago I moved to my mother’s home to care for her.  Unfortunately, she has wall-to-wall carpeting and heavy drapes.  In the bedroom I occupy, I had to remove all of the curtains and valances and have the carpet cleaned at least once a month. I open windows and wear a mask when I vacuum and clean.  My only compromise is a fan, which I'm not supposed to use because it puts dust in the air.

I’m house shopping, and the home I buy will be sans carpet and drapes (only washable sheers). I will also have to invest in an air cleaning system, at the least in my bedroom. All of my décor, whether furniture, art, everything has to keep to the washable/wipe rule. No fake flowers or unnecessary clutter.

Some of this regiment is not solely because of the cats.  I got rid of my chotskies because the cats climbed everywhere and pushed them off of shelves. I have dust mite allergies.  The carpet and drapes hold dust, so it had to go too.  How I wash my clothing would be the case even if the cats were not here.  However, a lack of hair does not mean their dander isn’t everywhere (and it is).  Little of the dust in your home is dirt from the outdoors.  Most of the dust is dead skin and mite poop (seriously).  Gives you a whole new perspective on what is clean, doesn’t it?

Welcome to my life.  By the way, this does not include what I have to do to the cats and how I must maintain them to live with me. Not so simple anymore.

Next post – To Be Naked and Hungry

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