Monday, September 01, 2014
Happy Labor Day to all of my Spark friends. May you have a day of family, fun, relaxation and wise choices. Put yourselves at the top of your "to do list" today because you are important!
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Last Tuesday, my allergist told me that I needed to clean our bedroom twice a week and wash the bedding in hot water twice a week. He also said that our dogs can't set foot in our room even if they are non she'd. It has something to due the enzymes in their saliva and shedding of skin cells. I was to clean our room and shampoo our carpet, which I did. We have had someone cleaning for us off and on since I injured my spine in1994. When I have spine issues, cleaning becomes painful and often impossible. I also have severe allergies and need to control dust, dander and molds. The most recent person who cleaned for us for five years, was aware of my issues and initially did a good job. She cleaned twice a month and I cleaned lightly between times.
Last year, hubby and I decided to take the carpet out of all of the rooms except the bedrooms. It was expensive to put down quality tile and laminate, but it made a huge difference. The dust cut way back and the cleaning was fairly easy. However, the laminate flooring does require some special care. We have been very happy with the results so far. Our cleaning person, however, has not been thrilled that she can't just vacuum and mop the laminate like you can with the tile. Whenever I was around, she seemed to comply with the cleaning procedure that I gave her. The bedroom cleaning schedule, stayed the same. She witnessed my asthma attack last February due to allergens in the house. I never made the connection until this past Tuesday when I went to clean our room per the doctors orders. Our person had basically only lightly cleaned some of the surfaces so I never noticed the layers of dust hiding on the back, tops and around the bottom of everything. When I cleaned last Tuesday, I took the room apart and bleached, vacuumed, dusted and washed. It was filthy! She had spent less than 5 minutes in our actual bedroom cleaning because she spent the majority of her time supposedly cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen.
Yesterday, I decided to clean the rest of the house. Keep in mind, it had only been maybe 8 days since the last cleaning. It took me six concentrated hours of cleaning to clean it! Granted, my standards may be much higher that the average person due to my special needs. I timed myself just to see how long it would take to do what our cleaning person was supposed to do. That took at least three hours! That was an eye opener! The funny thing was, the house was much cleaner when I did it because I didn't take smoke breaks, food breaks, coffee breaks or telephone breaks. I decided to check to see if she actually did all of those "special" cleanings that she told me about. You guessed it, not one of them was done. I even found an old corn chip under one of the sofas from a party we had last fall. Disgusting!
I called her the morning after my initial cleaning last Tuesday to tell her that for financial reasons, we could no longer afford her services. I hope she doesn't ask me to give her a referral if she picks up a new client. I also noticed that this past time, many of the cleaning supplies that I provided were missing. She still has a key and has made no effort to return it. If I don't have it back by this Tuesday,, I will change the lock on the front door.
The good news is that the spark tracker says I burned 3500 calories yesterday. My Weight Watchers ActiveLink says I earned 11 activity points which is pretty consistent with what Spark says. Now that everything is clean, I can make up a weekly schedule for myself to keep it that ways. We will also consider putting a tile floor in our bedroom. So this shows me that even though a bad situation can arise, you can turn it to your own advantage and make it a good situation instead!
Thursday, August 28, 2014
It's the end of the month so it is time to do our household bookkeeping. This is a necessary but tedious chore that I don't particularly relish. Hubby and I will sit down after I have finished and set up our monthly budget. I am hoping to put some money away for a rainy day but things are so expensive. Sigh! I am sure that there are those of you out there who experience the same issues.
Yesterday, I decided to let out housekeeper go. My ENT told me that I needed to shampoo our bedroom carpet and add bleach to the water. So, when I got home from my appointment, I decided to get it done. The first thing I had to do was vacuum the carpet. It had only been 7 days since our housekeeper had cleaned so I expected maybe a little dust and dirt and then I could shampoo. Imagine my surprise when I looked closely and saw dust covering everything. After my initial disgust abated, I started to get angry and felt like she had taken gross advantage of me. That was disillusioning for me. This woman has cleaned for us for about four years and up until recently, I thought our house was clean. I realize that she has had some fatigue issues due to pain but in retrospect, she has given the house a quick once over and left. No wonder she liked to come when we were out for the day. The last time she was here, I decided to time her. She cleaned the whole house in an hour and a half. She said it was because she rotates heavy chores and it makes the process faster. She would tell me about the big things she had done, like wiping down the sliding glass door. The house smelled clean and the main room looked good.
Flash forward to this past Tuesday. I thoroughly vacuumed the bedroom and it filled half the canister in the vacuum. I found this alarming since I have been so sick, hubby did too. I decided to look at the window and window treatments. They had an inch or more of dust on them. Ugh! I decided to do some "light" dusting of the furniture and pictures. They were covered with inches of dust. Hubby helped me strip everything down and wash, scrub and bleach. It took 3-4 hours to clean. No wonder I am so allergic to being in the bedroom. Why would someone who was cleaning for me because I have allergies, do this??? Granted, my standards and hers may be different but this was just criminal. I feel duped. Part of it is my own fault for blindly trusting but the other part is that she apparently got sloppy and sneaky. Fast money, $60 a pop, for very little work. It has shaken my confidence in other people.
Hubby and I decided that I will clean the house myself. We have very little carpet since we re-did most of the floors last year so it will not be a daunting task. I will divide up my jobs so that I won't stress myself. Now I can be sure that our house will actually be clean. I will nurse my wounded pride and bank the $120 I will save per month. I am sure that it will help my allergies and overall health even though I had previously had the housekeeper do it to help me avoid the allergens stirred up by cleaning. Live and learn.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I had my sixth visit to the doctor's office this morning. Both my ENT and my primary care doctor are trying to sort through my treatment to come up with an idea as to what my health issue could be.
I saw the ENT yesterday. He fed a scope through my nose and down my throat to look at the back of my tongue, my throat and my larynx. Although I have some small amount of fluid build up around my larynx, and thus the raspy voice, it isn't enough for me to have the nasty cough that I have. At least I got a semi clean report with that! My ENT sent a note to my primary yesterday, indicating that although I have many allergy issues, he thinks that I have a pulmonary issue that needs to be looked at by a specialist. He scared me with all of his discussion about second hand smoke and the hazards of being around a smoker. I left his office very anxious. Both of my parents were long time smokers so the lecture about the dangers of letting me be around smokers hit a bit too close to home. My father had throat cancer and I am sure that stays somewhere in the back of my mind.
Today, I saw the nurse practitioner at my primary care doctor's office. She examined me very carefully, took copious notes and said she wasn't comfortable with any diagnosis unless she had the doctor's input. This was due to the fact that it is a difficult case (I never do anything half way) and she really wanted to make sure that all the bases are covered so I can get better. She left the room and I could hear her out in an adjoining room, having a lengthy discussion with the doctor. The upshot of that visit is that I have been really sick with a tough strain of bacteria that keeps wanting to multiply even though I am on my third round of antibiotics. This is complicated by the fact that I am apparently more allergic to the allergens that I was tested for than showed up on the tests. How allergic, is anybody's guess. The weird thing is that I have had this raging infection and I haven't even run a fever other than several short spikes. Much of the worst of the infection has toned down greatly but the length of my illness has created an overload on my body, which is having some nasty side effects. The worst of the side effects is the huge amount of inflammation in my sinuses, larynx and lungs due to the chronic coughing and infection. I have currently been sick for over 32 days. My primary recommended that I finish my current antibiotic, he added a strong course of steroids and ordered a CT scan on my lungs. This was just in case there are some additional abnormalities that we need to be be concerned about. The preliminary diagnosis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes and upper lung. Apparently, that is open to change depending upon what the tests say.
I have another appointment next week with the primary doctor and not the nurse practitioner. He wants to actually monitor my situation himself so he can stay on top of it. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that! I will continue to curtail all outdoor activity and be very careful about adding any intensity so my movements. All activity needs to be in filtered air, at a slow pace. Housework is okay as long as it is followed by a shower and rest. For dusty jobs, I will wear a mask and head cover. I am pumping fluids, aiming for 70-90 or more ounces per day since every medication requires a 8-10 ounce glass of water. I am using my nebulizer machine every 5-6 hours as needed around the clock. What I would give for some deep, restful sleep!
My ENT/allergist has designed a new protocol for me to follow when I start back with my allergy shots. I now have to carry an Eppi pen with me and take four precautionary medications before every shot I receive. I appreciate his efforts to keep me safe as I battle my ongoing issues.
I know that I haven't been as active recently, so please bear with me as I struggle back to health. Hopefully, nothing scary will show up on my lung scan and with time things will right themselves soon. Thanks everyone for all of your kind thoughts and support.
Monday, August 25, 2014
After losing my blog still again, I thought I would give it another try. Saturday's fund raiser was a success. We raised over one hundred dollars for the little toddler, who has leukemia. It was hot, tiring, sweaty work but we were more than willing to make the effort.
As for me, I am still under the weather. I went to get my allergy shot this morning and couldn't get it due to my cough, laryngitis and asthma problems. The ENT will look down my throat tomorrow morning and see if he can figure out what the issue is. I took my last steroid this morning and have 4 more days left on my latest antibiotic. The debilitating fatigue is the worst. I have been like this since July 29th so it is getting real old, real fast. The isolation and feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming.
The good news is that my weight, although fluctuating with the steroid, has generally held it's own. I miss my workouts but frankly, activity exhausts me. I have tried to keep my activity in filtered air conditioning. I have managed sporadic bouts of closet organizing and some cleaning. When I walk, it is at a disgustingly slow pace in an air conditioned environment.
Thanks for letting me vent my frustration! Hopefully, my ENT and primary care doctor will have some answers for me by Wednesday. Fingers crossed!
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