The Great Rewashing of 2014

For three days I suffered until finally Mr. Katje kicked me out the door to go get some godsdamned antihistamines, for Zeus’ sweet sake. (Actually I don’t really think Zeus cares if I’m itching or not; I think it’s rather a thing below his sphere of “Shit I Care About”.)

For the past 4 days I have had the worst allergy attack of my life. Runny nose, inflamed eyes, hives, itching constantly — itching so bad I wanted to cut off my skin and set it aflame. I thought I was dying. I thought it was measles (there’s an outbreak in our area and I’m missing one of the shots). I thought I was patient 0 in the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

Whatever I thought, I couldn’t think straight. Couldn’t work, could barely keep house. Most times I couldn’t even concentrate on watching TV shows, which uses the least brain power like, ever.

The itching on my feet was the worst. At some point I attacked them with a pumice stone, viciously trying to scratch the itch out of my skin. It didn’t work, but the calluses are much smoother now.

For three days I suffered until finally Mr. Katje kicked me out the door to go get some godsdamned antihistamines, for Zeus’ sweet sake. (Actually I don’t really think Zeus cares if I’m itching or not; I think it’s rather a thing below his sphere of “Shit I Care About”.) I’m sure he would have picked them up for me if his work schedule didn’t prevent him from doing so.

I’m not really sure how I looked to the people who saw me at the grocery store, but I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. Red-faced, red-eyed, frizzy hair. Jittering and rubbing my hands together constantly like a raccoon hoped up on caffeine pills, scratching my wrists and my arms and my neck and face, my head — whatever skin was exposed. I rubbed my legs together like a cricket and did little dances in the aisles, trying desperately to rub the arches of my feet against the inner soles of my shoes, anything to stop the ever present itch from HELL.

I was so out of it from the allergy attack that it took me agonizingly long to find the antihistamines in the pharmacy section, and even longer to decide which one to get. I wanted non-drowsy, but budget won out — I got the 10 dollar cheaper drowsy meds, no-name brand. Perhaps there was non-drowsy no-name for the same price, but I didn’t see it. My eyes and brain were failing fast.

I also picked up some itch relief cream for some immediate relief for my hands. That was more expensive than the allergy pills, and it didn’t work for shit.

Dancing and jittering out of the pharmacy section, I picked up a new 4L bottle of milk on my way to the checkout. I got through as fast as possible and went home as fast as I could, eager to take pills.

1 – 2 pills every 4 to 6 hours. I took 2, because the attack was so bad I knew I’d need it.

A few hours later I fell asleep onto my keyboard. Keyboard face isn’t very attractive but it was so worth it. A little while later I staggered up and went to bed at 6pm. I slept for 4 hours, and went back to sleep at 5 am.

Woke up at 8am today but despite the short sleep sessions, I feel 100 times better than I did yesterday. The allergy pills are fucking miracles. I can finally function again — as you can no doubt tell, seeing as I’m sitting here writing this post.

Mr. Katje and I spent some time trying to figure out what caused the allergy attack. We just moved; there are a lot of new environmental factors in our lives. We narrowed it down to the new laundry detergent being the culprit. I’ve always had sensitive skin, and have always had to use sensitive skin laundry detergents. We didn’t check carefully enough when we picked this one up — we thought it was sensitive skin, because it was scent-free, but it wasn’t. It’s a brand we’ve never bought before — Cheer — and the only reason we got it was because we were at Costco and it was the only scent-free detergent there.

(Both of us get headaches from scented laundry detergents, and often the scents cause allergic skin reactions for me. The only scented laundry detergents I can stand are the Arm and Hammer ones.)

It’s not bugging Mr. Katje, so likely he’ll continue to use it for his work clothes. In order to save my sanity and my skin, I’m switching to the Tide Free and Clear for my clothes, any clothing of his I may borrow, our towels, and our sheets.

Thus is beginning the Great Rewashing of 2014. I’ve done several loads of laundry in the past 3 weeks — we both had dirty clothing from the move and from everyday wear, and our new washer is…incredibly small, compared to our last washers. We even have less clothing than we did, but now we’re doing more laundry.

I have to rewash almost everything I own. There are very few things I’m absolutely sure I haven’t washed in the Cheer. If there’s any doubt in my mind about a piece of clothing, it gets rewashed. I cannot risk another reaction like this.

Today I started with a load of pants and skirts, and ALL my underwear. Those seemed the most important. The last load I’m doing today is our sheets and duvet covers, as soon as Mr. Katje is awake and off to work — these are actually the most important things to rewash, but I couldn’t start with them because of our different sleep schedules. Tomorrow, shirts, socks, and towels. And so on and so forth, till the end of time.

I feel guilty using the washer and dryer so much, and for clothing that’s ostensibly clean. But there’s no other option. I can’t continue to wear clothing that will give me an allergic reaction.

Yes, theoretically I could go to the laundromat. If I could drive. So long as I’m taking the allergy pills, I can’t operate heavy machinery. Until I can stop taking the pills or we can get me the non-drowsy kind, I’m homebound unless Mr. Katje is driving. As his truck is still full of stuff and he’s working tonight, I’m definitely not going anywhere today.

So it’s into battle with the laundry on the battlefield of the living room I go.

Katje dons a suit of armor and goes charging at windmills with zir lance. “The Impossible Dream” plays in the distance. End scene.

The Saga Continues: Katje is still persona non laundra.

It’s the end of the month and yet again, I’m standing (well, sitting) here wondering what the hell just happened.

I’ve spent maybe a week, tops, at my new place — I’ve spent so much time running around between Coquitlam, Nanaimo, and Powell River — not to mention Ogre’s house — that I really haven’t had a chance to be at my new home. My herbs are suffering.

I’ve gotten very little writing done, and none of it on The Jade Star of Athering. I’ve worked very few hours. I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo (because, let’s face it, I’m going to be participating — the event is a damn drug) and October, or NaNoPlanMo, is starting tomorrow.

I’ve done no Autumn Equinox celebration, and the full moon has passed me by (not to mention the rest of the moon cycle for the past month and a half, if not longer). Bad witch! No gingerbread cookie.

Oh, and yes — I still don’t have a working washer and dryer.

I’d had high hopes of having a working washer and dryer by the end of September. That was the plan — to have it all done by the 27th or 28th. But, as we know, plans just sort of roll off me like chicken crap off an armadillo.

The guys came over on Friday. By now we’re on a first name basis with each other. I offered them tea, because good hospitality is sort of a genetic imperative for Dutch folk. (At least it is for Frieslanders. Or maybe just van Loons. I admit to not visiting many other Dutchies at their homes; mainly we go clubbing, because we also have a genetic imperative to p-a-r-t-Y? I just told you; it’s genetic.)

They looked everything over and got to work…and it quickly became apparent that they didn’t have all the parts. The vent kit, yes. The clamp-thingamajigger, no.

They called the Brick and it turns out the clamp hasn’t been delivered yet. So when it does show up, they’ll come and finish hooking things up. So for another week, probably, I have no working washer and dryer.

I’m not at the freaking out and calling mom stage yet. Mostly because she’s in Nicaragua and is not only hard to reach but also can not do much from there. I’ll keep her apprised of the recent developments via email, and for now I’ll just keep on going. I’ll try to make October a far more productive month than September was. I’m also going to try to make it last longer, because it is my favorite month. Mind you, making it last longer may require far more knowledge of quantum physics and sorcery than I have, so I’ll probably just settle for it being more productive.

Happy end of September, everyone. Pray to whatever gods you follow, though preferably the gods of clean clothing, for working laundry for me by the end of this week.