Well, I've got news for you. Right now, your home is covered in dust. You may think you keep a pretty tidy home or pride yourself in cleanliness, but don't overestimate your achievements. Dust is everywhere all the time covering most everything you don't really think about. The backs of your televisions, radios, books and book cases, the tops of pictures hanging on the walls...... you get the point.
I have, for the past week, been working on David's room, making it a safe place for his little nose. I had no idea how intense this process would be until I cleaned off the book shelf in his room and moved it away from the wall. There was dust everywhere. All over the wall, the shelves, the books. And that was when I realized this battle would be a process.
One week later, I have vacuumed over and wiped down all the walls in his room, pulled all the furniture away from the wall and cleaned behind it, and cleaned the baseboards. I have encased his mattress and pillows with allergen protectors. I have boxed up some of the clutter and put it away. I took down his dusty horizontal blinds and replaced them with bamboo roman shades that will be easier to vacuum over and keep clean. I cleaned his carpet with a dry kit that I bought designed to help your vacuum suck up the allergens in the fibers of your carpet. I put a HEPA filter in his room that will run 24 hours a day. And I am sore and worn out.
Only one step remains. I just ordered an allergen cover for his futon mattress below his bunk bed. That should be in one day next week and will complete this room overhaul.
After a week of all the cleaning and the medicine regimen, I think he is breathing some better. His nasal passages are not open completely, but I think they are a little bit more so than a week ago. We will return to the allergist on the 20th to check in and see how things are going. I am hoping he will be even better by that time.
And of course, we can't stop at one room. Seeing all the dust in his room has made me painfully aware that it is in every room of our home. We've been here eight years now, and some of our furniture hasn't moved in eight years. So I can only assume what lurks behind and underneath and within.
Now I won't go insanely crazy and replace everything we have with new stuff. But I will say that finding out what his allergies are will change the decisions I make in the future. When it's time for a new sofa, it will most likely be replaced with leather. When we finally have the funds to replace carpet, it will most likely be replaced with tile or a wood product. When I finally have the money to redo our window treatments in the rest of the home (which I had already been dreaming of doing) we will not be purchasing dust catching horizontal blinds. It's time for a major overhaul in our home, and I am willing to do it to make my little one healthier.
Speaking of healthier, the time has come for personal changes as well. Over the past three years, I have gained twenty pounds. The ups and downs and all arounds of life left me turning to my favorite standbys for comfort... food and alcohol. The emotional journey of grief began long before my mother breathed her last breath, and now I am left with the physical repercussions of my coping mechanisms. Couple that with the crazy misunderstood fibromyalgia issue that I live with and I have a mess on my hands.
I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to do a protein shake diet along with a week detox from white flour and sugar. Today is day six, and I am amazed. For the past two years, I have suffered with night sweats and swelling. I wondered whether the sweats were related to hormonal changes, but now I am thinking they are not. And the swelling I believe is tied into the sweating. I truly believe my body does not like processed foods... there's something in them that reeks havoc in my system. Every morning this week, I have awaken to no swelling in the hands, no tightness at all. But I have not had any processed food with the exception of Triscuits (which are as lightly processed as possible) and cheese. I am down five pounds, all of which I know is water, but I believe the processed food makes me retain the water in the first place. I have not been fatigued at all. Tired, but suffered from no fatigue, which is a totally different feeling all together. I have been very active around the house cleaning and cutting grass, and have walked and done some other exercising on the other days. I am feeling so much better physically that I have no idea why I eat things like Cheezits and Fruit Loops and potato chips to begin with! I know they taste good, but I have to drill it in to my head that life is more than the moment something tastes good on my lips. Every time I allow something into my body, it will produce a consequence, whether that be good or bad. It's time for me to start rationalizing my food choices instead of reaching for the nearest and quickest fix for hunger pains. In other words, it's time for me to grow up when it comes to my food choices! Quit looking at food through the eyes of a child and look at it terms of what purpose it will serve in my life.
Truth is I do this in other areas of my life. I pick what I will watch on TV this way. There are many times I turn something off thinking, "This brings no good to the table." I use this philosophy in my relationships with people and in choosing what I will do around the house. I use this when deciding what to read and feed my brain with. So why is it so difficult for me to do this with food??? I have prayed over this issue and lay it all at His feet that He will give me the strength and wisdom to make healthier choices for my body. It's time. I have gotten off the emotional roller coaster of the past two years. My husband is settled into his job. My faith is the firmest it has ever been. I feel good about my life and my relationship with God. But I am physically unhealthy and have to make the changes I need to make in order to return to who I once was.
I am not looking to be perfect. Not looking to be super skinny or a workout queen. But I am wanting to treat my body better and tailor my eating habits to what will make it perform better so that I can live a more energetic life. And I am feeling incredibly hopeful after this first week. It hasn't been easy. Replacing two meals a day with a protein shake is tough. But it will be worth it in the long run if I can feel better and live my life with more energy and less symptoms from this weird disorder I have.
So here's to overhauls. Here's to a better and cleaner way of life. Wish me luck.