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I will cut off my hair and spite the mite.

January 27th, 2010 · 34 Comments · Daily, Shorties, Will it make me sick?

Harper is still coughing.

This morning I sat down with her doctor (in a room painted bright red. I felt very uneasy in that room for some reason. Who wants to explore that with me?) and we discussed the possibility of a dust mite allergy. (The doctor brought it up. I would never bring something like that up, because I know the obvious solution would be for me to, well, DUST. I don’t want to talk about it. Don’t look at me.)

If Harper doesn’t stop coughing in the next five days (as the antibiotics are realizing their potential to destroy any existing infection in her sinus cavities (Whee!)), I’ve been told that I should consider dusting and vacuuming three times each week for as long as we all shall live. Amen.

I’m crying. (I’m not really crying.)

For the first time in my life, I’m really hoping Harper has a sinus infection. I have a lot of knitting goals that will suffer if I have to devote so much time to cleaning up around here. ((You know I’m joking, right?))

Oh! Speaking of which, I have decided that Time is more important than Hair. I know most of you told me that I should grow my hair out, but the fact that I am spending ten minutes each morning blowing my hair dry is really bringing me down. (I’m clearly exaggerating on the emotion, but not the time.) If this keeps up, I will be spending roughly 52 hours each year (TWO stinking DAYS!) standing in the bathroom shaking my head around with the Conair Supreme 1500 in my hand.

The woman who cuts my hair will be returning to town in three weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing her.

By the way, did you know that 100,000 dust mites can live together on one square foot of carpet, and each mite drops waste at least 20 times each day?!

Sweet dreams.

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34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 betsy // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    agree with you on time vs. hair.

  • 2 Mitzi // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Major bummer about vacuuming so often. Thank goodness we have wood laminant (sp), it’s been a blessing for Eli, who seems to be allergic to everything (everything with the exception of dust!!). He now gets two allergy shots per week and has been doing that for a little over a year and a half. Before that, he was constantly sick.

    For everyone’s sake, I hope that Harper has a sinus infection. I really don’t like to wish a sinus infection on anyone though.

    I don’t blame you on the hair thing at all. For me, it takes a whole day to dry my hair, or I have to wash it before bed. I really don’t like to use a blow dryer, and only do so because I’m on sort of schedule or time restriction. Your short hair is super cute on you anyway!

  • 3 Jenn // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    My husband’s allergist wanted us to vacuum our mattress, wrap it in plastic (special plastic, not just any old plastic) and put our pillows in plastic. I’m on board with vacuuming the mattress (if I think about it and feel like lugging the sweeper up the stairs) and since we have a bagless sweeper, I can see exactly how much dirt comes out (A LOT OMG). But a plastic mattress cover? That made me feel like a toddler who might pee the bed in the middle of the night.

    (The allergist also said no pets in the bedroom and no books in the bedroom. Yeah, good luck with that, allergist.)

  • 4 Keyona // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you for that. I will now get out of bed and vaccum.

  • 5 Keyona // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Ugh….vacuuming…I can totally spell :)

  • 6 Lynn @ human, being // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    My solution to extreme allergies to all things inhalable is Zyrtec. No vacuuming involved. And I’m that chick who gets hives on the inside of my nostrils when I inhale a tiny bit of mold spores. Yeah, that’s fun. But Zyrtec (and a benadryl before bed) keeps me hive/sniffle/crazy free.

    Also #1, Neti pot. I know, weird for a kid, but it totally makes a difference but only if you use distilled H20 boiled with sea salt. Nasal rinses are the only thing that gets me through ragweed season.

    Also #2? Big study in the news this week about chronic sinus infections are due to fungal infections and inflammation. Steroid sprays & antifungal after antibiotics can be really helpful the article says.

    And hair? Short is better. Cut it. It’s sexy.

  • 7 Valerie // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I totally respect your right to do whatever you wish with your hair (and you definitely can rock the cropped tresses), but might I suggest a new hair dryer? My hair comes down to my shoulder blades and only takes me 10 minutes if I section it which is…never. :)

    Anyway, Team Sinus Infection!! Fingers crossed.

  • 8 Jacqueline // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Oooh, clearly you need a Roomba! Just think, you set it to working and then can knit WHILE vacuuming! It’s even better than regular knitting, because you can relax and do it while feeling all virtuous about being busy cleaning (or, you know, at least supervising your cute robot cleaner).

  • 9 Sara // Jan 28, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Let’s see a picture of this rare phenomenon of partially-grown out hair! I cannot STAND to go more than 4 weeks without a haircut.

  • 10 The Coffee Lady // Jan 28, 2010 at 4:37 am

    I have read studies saying that women who clean their homes too much are ENTIRELY responsible for childhood asthma.

    Don’t do it. Don’t do it FOR YOUR CHILDREN.

  • 11 Zoot // Jan 28, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Re: Time v/s Hair – I agree with you so often I just skip showering all together! TA DA! (Why don’t I have any friends?)

  • 12 Pamela Goldsteen // Jan 28, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Had I initially weighed in to grow or not to grow, I would have said no, don’t grow! But I am a woman who considers her hair too long if I can feel it tickled by a breeze. Besides, growing out can be so _awkward_. Through no fault of my own, I was once a gawky teenager; never again!

  • 13 Alli // Jan 28, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Maybe it’s the cat. Ew…dust mites…ew!!!

  • 14 Dooley // Jan 28, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I have to agree with Valerie — I can blow dry in less than 2 minutes with my ceramic drier, and my hair is shoulder-length and many-a-splendored section.

    Also, my asthma kid gets a pulmicort inhaler (not nebulizer, now that he’s older) every morning almost all year. As a benefit, we can keep books and stuffed animals in his room, and I can slack on the tidy+clean and focus on the tidy.

  • 15 JustLinda // Jan 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

    My husband refuses to replace his favorite bed pillows. I tell him there is nothing of pillow left – it’s merely a collection of dust mites and their excrement held together in a cotton slipcase. The whole thing sort of freaks me out.

    I don’t want to talk about it!! Denial, denial, denial. Harper with her incessant coughing is stealing away your blissful ignorance on this topic. I’d have a stern word with her over that. You raised her better!

    (I’m kidding, too. Because who wants to dust and vacuum when you could be diffusing your hair to get some lift and volume??? Next thing you know, we’ll have to do dishes everyday too!)

  • 16 joaaanna // Jan 28, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I’m thinking that the dusting and vacuuming would scatter the dust and mites making everything worse. Right? Right? I HATE to dust AND vacuum. (If you must vacuum – I vote for a Roomba too!)

    Maybe Harper could lay off the smokes for awhile and see if that helps. It worked for me. :)

  • 17 Emily // Jan 28, 2010 at 10:01 am

    They probably told you no stuffed animals but I think that is a good tip for someone with dustmite allergies (I have them myself). We don’t have much carpet which also helps. Does she take allergy meds? I know they make a kids Claritin or something along those lines. Personally I like Zyrtec a lot. Good luck! xo.

  • 18 Emily // Jan 28, 2010 at 10:05 am

    PS as for dusting, get some of those wipe things – those are good for not spreading the dust through the air and they are also pretty fast. I love them. These are my favorite – they smell good too.
    http://www.methodhome.com/product.aspx?page=509

  • 19 beyond // Jan 28, 2010 at 10:27 am

    i can handle accent walls, but when people paint all four walls of a room in a non-neutral color, it creeps me out. red rooms always remind me of clockwork orange.
    is there any way you could envisage getting rid of your carpets? my sister has allergies and does MUCH better with (hard)wood/ polished concrete/ stone/ tile floors. (area carpets are not as bad as wall to wall carpeting.)
    yay for short hair!

  • 20 Ani // Jan 28, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Hmmm…we of the all-mighty allergies say…no no no you don’t have to dust everything (can make it worse!) Encase her mattress and pillow in dust-mite-proof casings (sold at Kmart/WalMart and not at all like bedwetting supplies per previous poster).

    And get her some nice generic OTC allergy meds…Claritin and Zyrtec are both generic now.

  • 21 Anne // Jan 28, 2010 at 11:45 am

    My wife is allergic to dust mites, too. We don’t dust and vacuum three times a week (my WORD that is a lot), but we DID buy dust mite allergy safe cover things for our mattress and pillows (stuff like this http://www.allergysolution.com/products.asp?dept=52) and they made a HUGE difference. I just make sure to always wash the sheets and blankets in hot water and tumble dry on high like “they” tell me to, and wash the mattress cover every few months. AWESOME stuff, and way easier than that much dusting and vacuuming.

  • 22 Isabella Golightly // Jan 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Imagine doing all that if you were home-schooling? you’d never have a minute to knit. Something’s gonna blow……..

  • 23 Alyce // Jan 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    My shoulder length hair takes 10-15 minutes to blow dry, so I would love a link (Amazon?) to those above-mentioned miracle dryers.

    Also, I vote Roomba, because vacuuming is for the birds.

  • 24 Courtney Chesley // Jan 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    As a Long Hair, I’m getting ready to chop it all off a few inches at a time. Buzz cuts are looking mighty tempting right now…

    I’m with you. Dusting is in that group of pure evil along with laundry and hangnails. Bleh!

  • 25 Velma // Jan 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    After growing it out all year, my hair is down below my shoulders now. I would say the “How Much Do I Like It?” Meter is at about 20% Feels Sexy, 80% Total Pain in the Ass.

  • 26 Kylene // Jan 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Are you going to have her checked by an allergist before you do anything about the potential dust-mite allergy? Because it might be a good idea just to have her tested for a bunch of allergies and see how she reacts, before you start making changes.

    Just a thought.

  • 27 Haus // Jan 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Um, I think you’ve got better medical advice in your comments than from your doc. Dusting and vacuuming. As if! Just sayin’. Get thee to an allergist! And I’d worry more about their bedroom than the rest of the house to start with.

    Also – short hair is mahvelous, especially on you. Stick with it!

  • 28 blackbird // Jan 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Cut your hair.
    Don’t even THINK about that vacuuming regime.
    I’m here to tell you (don’t I always sound so authoritative?) that all the vacuuming in the world added to plastic mattress and pillow covers, coupled with hepa filters, will not make a damn bit of difference (is that right? DAMN BIT?).
    Trust me on this.
    If it’s an allergy, she’s needs allergy medicine.
    If it’s an infection, the antibiotics will help.
    If it’s a virus, it must run its course.

    The
    end.

  • 29 gorillabuns // Jan 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    geez, I’m thinking my house is covered with a crapload of mite feces.

    If I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right?

  • 30 marianne // Jan 30, 2010 at 12:52 am

    My aunt is an obsessive (and cheerful!) house cleaner and I have never been as allergy-free as I was while living with her family. Including a cat, to which I’m typically extremely allergic. It was bliss. So the cleaning can work. But only if you’re of a certain cheerful OCD disposition. I second all the advice here. Good luck!

  • 31 Mandy // Jan 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I agree with the poster on just buying the bed covers and stuff that are dust mite free. That’s what my allergist suggested to me, and he said no amount of dusting I did would help that much anyway. I mean, he did say to try to dust as much as possible, but that wasn’t his drive home point.

  • 32 Dooley // Feb 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Someone asked for the hair dryers. Here’s a link to a professional hair dryer site (I know who knew?):
    http://www.folica.com/Profession_312_1.html

    I’ve got a CHI that’s on sale here for about $134. Less time under heat = healthier hair. Seems extravagant, but after buying cheapos at Target and Walgreens and having to replace them after a couple years, this has been Worth It.

  • 33 stacers // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I feel you on the hair. Had super short hair for 10 years. grew it out. hated it. (spent way too much time wearing a wet, heavy ponytail.) cut it off again. But now I can’t (won’t/can’t/married with actual home responsibilities/this sounds so lame and lazy) commit to every three week haircuts and am growing out again. Short of learning how to trim my own hair, am doomed to ponytails forever. You look fabulous with short hair! I envy you!

  • 34 Pammer // Feb 10, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Oh, here here on the zipping up of mattresses and pillows. Iz MAGIK. The Mites also afflict me — hugely. And this has helped. Too much dusting bugs the shit out of me (heh heh on that thinly veiled pun) because of the fumes. And vacuuming kicks UP dust – not helpful. Zipping and an antihistamine and hopefully you’re on your way to “better”. Good luck!