About the only constructive thing I’ve managed today, aside from running a couple loads of clothes thru the laundry, has been the daily dust-mopping with a microfiber rag attached to the head of a Swiffer mop.
This jury-rigged device works exceptionally well to pick up dog hair and dust. Of late, I’ve been trying to remember to Swifferoid up the floors every afternoon, along about 3 or 4 p.m.
At first, this collected vast wads of dog hair. But after about four or five days, less and less dog hair came up…just a light skiff from all 1868 square feet. But what DIDN’T stop coming up was the dust. Every afternoon, the microfiber rag comes up BROWN, uniformly brown, same as the day before and the day before and the day before.
So the only thing I can figure is that even when the air is still as the tomb (as it has been the past couple weeks), a uniform amount of dust is settling out of the air onto the floors.
What that suggests is that whatever has been ailing me may not be dog hair after all. Or at least it may not be 100% the dogs’ fault. It certainly could be something in the dirt that floats around in Arizona’s lovely atmosphere.
This year’s months-long choking-and-gagging episode started in March. At the time, I thought it was some kind of weird respiratory infection, because just then a very severe cold was circulating around the city.
But it never went away. Several months later, no change in evidence, I speculated that it was in fact GERD. Back to the gastroenterologist after unsuccessfully trying omeprazole and then ranitidine for eight weeks. She speculated that nay, it was an allergy.
Visited Young Dr. Kildare, who allowed as to how it prob’ly was an allergy, because experience shows that omeprazole works on me eventually and ranitidine works right away. He recommended an ENT. That guy’s punch-a-button phone maze was SO gawdawful I gave up after about ten minutes with no hope of reaching a human.
Still more eventually, I visited my doc at the Mayo, who suggested I try a double-dose of Claritin — making sure it didn’t have any decongestant in it (that’s pseudoephedrine, a really bad chemical). That DID work. So the conclusion was, I must have been enjoying a marathon allergy.
Figured it must be the dogs, since I let them sleep on the bed (I know: b-a-a-a-d human!) and am not about to throw them off because they will never let me get ANY sleep if I try that. Started cleaning all the bedding every day, with minimal results.
Then looked under the bed and thought…oh, shit! That was when I realized how much dirt and dog hair gathers on the floor between house-cleaning frenzies.
Fortunately the entire house is tiled, which makes it very, very easy to dustmop from stem to stern. When I started doing that, and especially trying to keep the floor in the bedroom super-clean, the ailment started to clear up.
Possibly not coincidentally, this clearing up business began the first of November. Since we now can see that no matter HOW much I swiffer up dust, the air inside the house must be a haze of dust pretty much all the time, it’s probably safe to assume that whatever pollen or crap was making me allergic is subsiding.
A-n-n-n-n-d…what plant that grows in Arizona spews pollen into the air from March to November?
Bermudagrass starts to come to life in the spring and thrives through the summer here. It goes dormant when the weather cools and the nights shorten, at which time lawn-lovers seed over their yards with rye grass.
That’s what I suspect. If it was dog hair, it wouldn’t get better for no good reason.
The young people who are moving into the ‘hood as us old people dodder off into the sunset have a) families of small children who play outside in the yards and b) jobs that pay enough to cover the hefty water bills demanded by an Arizona lawn. As they’ve bought houses here, they’ve promptly back-hoed the Sun City-style gravel off the yards and planted grass. So…over the past year or two, we’ve started growing a lot more bermudagrass here.
So if this allergy comes back next spring, I’ll have to go back to Wonder-Accountant’s allergist, ask him to test me for allergies, and get in line for the shots. Yippee.