I am thirty-three. Technically, that is middle aged. Therefore, I will exercise my prerogative as a middle aged man and mutter on about my health problems. If you’re getting up to go, please close the door on your way out. I don’t want any drafts in here. Otherwise, pull up a chair and settle in.
I went to the allergist today (beware the proliferation of medical specialists, my other newly middle aged friends tell me) who poked me with a bunch of tiny needles designed to make my arms itch and then told me not to scratch anywhere. Then she left the room for fifteen minutes and came back to see which pinpricks in my arm had turned into angry welts. All allergists must all be a little bit sadistic, I’ve decided.
Turns out I am not allergic to cats and dogs (yay pets), but that I am highly allergic to dust mites. And apparently, says my allergist, I have been keeping a few hundred million dust mites as pets in my own home. Just to up the gross out factor, she told me I’m not allergic to the mites themselves, but to their poop and scattered dead body parts. See above for my comment about allergists and sadism. To up your gross-out factor I will tell you that dust mites live on dead human skin cells, and that they are technically arachnids. So, my bedroom is inhabited by millions of tiny flesh-eating spiders. You may remember how much I love spiders.
I grabbed a pamphlet on my way out which described how to make your bedroom a less hospitable place for mites. If you took this list and reversed all the items on it, you’d get an uncanny description of my bedroom:
- Use allergen resistant pillows and bedding.
- Avoid having throw rugs in your bedroom.
- Be sure to keep the closet door closed.
- Remove any stuffed animals.
- Use plastic or wooden blinds instead of curtains.
- Use an air filter.
- Don’t keep too many books in your bedroom.
Unbeknownst to me, I have been creating a paradise for my arch enemy, the dust mite. Time to go drop a ton of cash on things to fix my newly diagnosed chronic medical condition. Is this the story of adulthood? Do we just have this experience more and more often as we age?
Okay, I’m done kvetching. Next week, I tell you all about my sciatica and how I get too much junk mail.