So maybe like other kids who grew up on video games, books and science experiments, I may have some fairly bad allergies. It’s enough to impede me from say, running outdoors above 60 degree weather as my sinus passages swell shut and I transform into a mouth breather. And because I’m breathing through my mouth, my chest starts to hurt, which slows me down. I used to be an avid runner, but only indoors or on cold days. I may also have to wear a mask whenever I vacuum and I am forbidden to dry dust. After three sinus infections in four weeks from helping clean out a basement, I saw my ENT, tried medications but each one had a different side effect. Some gave me a headache and made me nap for hours, others made me so groggy for twelve hours or more, and still others made me nauseated, like an all day hangover. In the end, at the advice of my ENT, changing the habits around the house helped more than anything.
For instance, the temperature needs to stay low in the house whenever possible, below 70 degrees to keep dust mites from multiplying as fast. Plastic covers on the mattress and pillows and all cotton bedding, because it will get washed each week in hot water. Those are just some examples.
Well, there’s been a lot of small renovations going on and the dining are was first because it’s so rarely used. The last thing I needed to make it perfect, were to finish the chairs stashed in the attic. No one was sure how old they were but they were rinsed down when we inherited them but still didn’t seem clean. They had plastic on the seat cushions but not enough padding, I knew that would have to be replaced. I also had a plan to paint them.
I was in high gear, I brought three down, took them outside and immediately tackled the screws and upholstery. When given to us, the original owner kept saying, they were practically new, the plastic was still on them. Once flipped over and unscrewed, it was obvious that the seats had been recovered once before with vinyl cloth and then clear plastic on top. Someone was worried they were going to get dirty! Well, the vinyl was brittle to the touch and the fabric underneath was either ugly or dirty. The plan was to just clean and paint them and then they’d be ready for fabric when I got it.
The chairs refused to cooperate. They were filthy, I mean, awful. I was using some wood cleaner and outside on a nice day and the rags were just turning brown and orange. There was no way they’d be ready to paint the same day. I was disappointed but kept cleaning and at my third chair, had to stop. I was so nauseated that I was unable to stand up. My chest was hurting, my breathing labored and I was dizzy and immediately had to lay down. It was like being struck with immediate and severe pneumonia. (which I have had before, so I do know what it feels like). Once I was able to stand, I had to take a shower to get anything off me that may have been stuck to my hair and clothes.
I left everything outside and went to bed early. But I did not feel rested.
Maybe it was the “John Dies at the End” movie I was watching prior to bed but I had a ridiculous nightmare about demonic possession at a mall with some friends. I can’t remember the details but I do remember waking up at 2:59, my chest hurting, terrified and exhausted.
But because it was 3am and I have some people wanting to tell me about evil spirits and some significance of that time, I was too freaked out to go back to sleep. Except, it must have happened because when I next looked at the clock, it was 5:30. Thanks to changing the clocks, this was too early to get up, but not really enough time to go back to sleep, but I did it anyway because I was so tired and still felt so crappy.
I woke to a heavy feeling in my chest and plodded around debating on taking a nap right after a cup of coffee. Ever needing to be productive, I did paint the chairs but needed to rest frequently between coats.
Sometime during this, it came to my attention that none of my home phones were working. I have internet phone, but I knew the internet was fine. I checked the connections, all working and searched around for my cell phone. It must be dead because I can’t even call it to find it. Then the beeping started from the surge protector. It was a nice day out, no storms, no cold and when I went to investigate, it stopped.
Later on, while the phone started working, no one could hear me on them.
Aside from the weirdness, I kept figuring, how would I call anyone if I needed to? I haven’t touched the other chairs because I actually feel so ill, and I’m not going anywhere near the fabric on those seats. I will have to bribe someone with a stronger immune system to do that for me.