Thursday, February 23, 2012

Congratulations! You are allergic to everything!

I went to see the allergist on Monday. It was so helpful when we took Anna that I thought I would give it a go when I had some time. I did a skin prick test and wow, talk about the longest 15 minutes of my life. Immediately after getting the pricks, I could feel my skin welling up and getting very angry about the application of allergens to my skin. I impressed everyone at the clinic with my large allergic reactions to almost everything. I'm pretty much allergic to the indoors, the outdoors and soy. Soy! Wow. That was a big surprise for me. Everything else was not too much a surprise since I've always been plagued by allergies.

The doctor gave me a big folder with brochures and explanations and of course I read all of it right when I got home and then proceeded to FLIP OUT because I wanted to do everything right away. But some things aren't feasible for us - like removing all carpet and window coverings. I was feeling pretty upset and overwhelmed by everything until I backed up and took it one step at a time. Besides, I've lived 33 years with all these allergies so any steps I take to abate them will be helpful. I want to do everything I can as naturally as I can before we pull out the IUD next month. I want to be drug free for the pregnancy if I can so I'm cleaning everything up. (OMG no Zyrtec how will I live.)

I dry cleaned our carpet with this allergy spray/powder stuff. Not only does the carpet smell better now, it also looks better! It was actually fun brushing the powder stuff into the carpet. Fun in a sick type A way. I also bought covers to encase our mattress and pillowcases (ew, dust mites, don't even look them up unless you also want to buy mattress and pillowcase covers) as well as some dust cloths and yes, face masks. The face masks are really nice and inexpensive! So useful when dusting and also for going through the piles of crap in the garage from Uri's storage unit.

I'm not even going to link to the HEPA  air filter we bought because it's expensive, large, and kind of embarrassing that we even bought it. But man, our bedroom air was nice last night. The other large ticket item I'm pondering is a better vacuum but the one we have is HEPA and seems to do a good job if you look at the huge container of gross crap it pulls up when I vacuum every week. (Seriously so gross! Just the upstairs! Inconceivable amounts of dirt and cat fur!)

I am allergic to our cats so we're supposed to banish them from the bedroom, but I figure with all these other positive changes I've been making - I'll just let the buggers stay. I already put our down comforter away because I was sick of it and wanted all our bedding to be washable each week so that was another great step.

I will leave you with the main steps from my new Allergy Self-Help Guide:

  • If it is a hard surface, WIPE IT
  • If it is a washable surface, hot water WASH IT
  • If it cannot be wiped or washed, ENCASE IT
  • If it cannot be wiped, washed or encased, REMOVE IT (damn cats)
  • If the indoor air is not dry, DEHUMIDIFY IT (I kind of ignored this because I felt an air filter was enough and I can't even fathom also running a dehumidifier. Plus, I don't see Southern Cal as a super humid place but I don't really know. Just, um, ignoring this.)