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<p>I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this but I can't think of where else... allergies, maybe?</p>
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<p>Anyway. I posted awhile back that I finally figured out that I'm part of a cycle of messiness and I am determined to break out of this mold so my children won't perpetuate the cycle (or something like that!) and started being a bit better about cleaning.</p>
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<p>Then my 23 month old starting struggling to breathe and we landed in the hospital for 3 days while she got steroids and breathing treatments and so on. They told us she has asthma, sent us home with a puffer and instructions to come back if she needs it more than 4 times a week.</p>
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<p>I don't know the first thing about asthma. I have a million questions that obviously can't be answered by the hospital- I tried, I got really really dumb answers- so I'm waiting on our follow-up appointment with our family doctor and I've made an appointment with a homeopath to get DD checked out.</p>
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<p>This is the first time she's had something like this happen. I keep thinking, "this was an isolated incident, I'm sure it won't happen again" but I'm scared enough that I'm trying really really hard to get my house in order. I just don't know what I need to DO. </p>
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<p>I've been talking to some people who are starting to worry me. I'm not sure I can keep up with my house as it is without adding on an entirely new list of chores that I so far rarely even think of. Washing pillows and stuffed animals will keep me busy, bed linens once a week, vacuum/sweep/mop/wet dust daily, I'm told I need to wash walls, baseboards and other vertical surfaces twice monthly because allergens can stick to the walls. Bathing 2 dogs and 1 cat weekly. Washing curtains twice a month. Then there's the money- humidifier, air purifier, air conditioners, replacing all pillows, changing all detergents and cleaning products... Ugh.</p>
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<p>I don't know if I can achieve this all-out cleaning regime. When she first came home I was DETERMINED my house would be SPOTLESS. For the rest of her life. The second day I was running out of steam. Today I'm thinking, "well, what would happen if I just did... nothing." I don't want to test it again, I do not want to end up in the hospital again and I don't like thinking that I'm pitting my laziness against my daughter's health but I need to find a way to manage this or I'm going to have problems. I keep thinking I just need to find that sweet spot- where she's not sick, but I'm not killing myself either. I just don't even know where to begin.</p>
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<p>I feel like this post had a point when I started, but now I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I know other people have kids with much more severe disorders and bigger problems but I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around this diagnosis and the fact that it's possibly a long-term, life-changing sort of thing.</p>
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<p>Thank you if you got through the whole post. I'm sorry I'm being such a whiner.</p>
 

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<p>I have asthama and while my mom did keep a clean house, she didn't do any of things you listed and we didn't have any of the appliances.  The things that triggered my asthma were animals and smoking.  We didn't have pets but my mom was a chain smoker (in the house) and my asthma let up a lot when I finally moved out.  Dust is a major allergen for me but only in large amounts blown into my face. Normal amounts of household dust isn't a problem.         I still have asthma and don't clean nearly as much as my mom did and I'm usually fine.  I do have a major aversion to wall to wall carpet.  Any new place we've moved to, we've removed the carpet before I moved in.  It holds a lot of dirt no matter how much you vacuum. </p>
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<p>I have asthma and dust allergies.</p>
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<p>I would suggest focusing on your daughter's sleeping area/room first.  Don't keep stuffed animals there and keep your dogs and cats out.  You can get allergy pillow covers and mattress covers instead of replacing pillows.  I think aiming to wash linens twice a month is plenty, especially if you limit allergens like stuffed animals and keep the dogs and cat out of the area.  I did have an air purifier in my room growing up and still have one.  <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHoneywell-17000-Permanent-QuietCare-Purifier%2Fdp%2FB000050AQ5%2Fref%3Dsr_1_9%3Fie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1289492589%26sr%3D8-9" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">Mine</a> was close to $100, but you can get them under $50, especially for smaller rooms.</p>
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<p>If you can wet dust daily or every other day, that's great.  I don't think you need to wash the walls - that's overboard.  I don't vacuum more than once a week (although you might need to vacuum more often with three animals), and you can use the vacuum to clean stuffed animals and the curtains.  I rarely throw either of those in the machine unless they are visibly dirty.  If you can get a vacuum with a HEPA filter, that would be great.  I have the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FEureka-4870MZ-Smart-Vac-Upright-Cleaner%2Fdp%2FB0015ASJIY%2Fref%3Dsr_1_4%3Fs%3Dhome-garden%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1289492872%26sr%3D1-4" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">Eureka Boss Vac</a>, which isn't expensive.  I've had mine almost ten years and it's still going strong.  If you have lots of carpet, you may want to get a steam cleaner to use every few months.</p>
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<p>My biggest concern would be your animals, especially the cat.  Does your daughter react to them?  I had to find a new home for my cat, even though I did bathe her and had a Devon Rex, which is supposed to be less allergenic.   When we bought a new house, the previous owners had animals, and DH had to steam clean the carpets, wash everything, and run an air purifier before I could be in the house at all.   It can be hard for people who haven't experienced it to know, but living with something that triggers your asthma is awful.  It compromises your whole quality of life.  It really sucks, but if your daughter does have signs of reacting to your animals, I would strongly suggest finding them new homes.</p>
 

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<p>I have asthma (developed it along with allergies as an adult) that is triggered by cats, dogs, dust, mold. Our house is far from perfect (in part because it is over 100 years old & therefore musty & dusty) & it's not as clean as I like but there are some key things that have really helped me.</p>
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<p>First off, getting rid of the animals was NOT an option for me.</p>
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<p>So, we keep the animals out of the bedroom as much as possible (sneaky buggers get in sometimes). We don't have carpet in our house except small scatter rugs that can go in the washing machine. We don't have throw pillows or upholstered furniture (leather couches & chairs). I personally didn't find the special pillow shams & such all that helpful but washing the sheets frequently is important. When I can I try to get windows open to air things out. We own a really good vacuum.</p>
 

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<p>My allergies kick up when people clean, depending on how they clean.  So maybe your initial cleaning stirred things up and once you get a good cleaning done, you can do lower level but consistent maintenance.  Dust and allergens hide in fabrics, carpets, and upholstery so anything you can do to minimize those in the house will be helpful.  I like wood framed chairs that have padding but aren't fully covered with cloth.  Leather furniture would be great but obviously expensive.  Vacuums are great, even ones that aren't special HEPA filter ones (though I'm sure they would be better).  You can toss throw pillows and stuffed animals in the dryer on air to dust them without washing them (I'd wash them once in a while and dryer fluff them other times).  I have a problem with books.  They harbor dust and dander and are hard to clean.  I do vacuum them on the shelves from time to time but I'd love glass door bookcases to keep them from getting dusty.</p>
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<p>ITA with the PPs who said concentrate on the sleeping areas the most.  My allergies get so much better over night if I'm staying with friends with cats but have a cat free refuge at night.  It makes a big difference.  Our bedroom rug is like a large bathmat and can be washed easily.  Keep the animals out.  Keep dust harboring furnishings to a minimum.</p>
 

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<p>My younger brother (13 years younger) developed severe asthma as a child. We had a cat, my cat, and my mom did not have the heart to make me get rid of it. It was a constant struggle for her and my brother, hospital visits, nebulizer (sp?) treatments. Dealing with a child with asthma can be very scary!  Years later I moved out and took my cat with me. Over the next few months, as the cat effect faded, my brother and dad could then breath and smell again.</p>
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<p>I guess my point is the cat in the house had a HUGE effect on their breathing.</p>
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<p>Sorry you are dealing with this, good luck.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>Thank you for your replies.</p>
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<p>For the pets- she's never had a reaction before. Starting in late September she got what i thought was a recurring cold, she'd cough and get a mild fever once every week or two that would last for 24 hours. In mid-October we started fostering a dog with a local rescue and her cold seemed to get worse a week or two later, and then we ended up in hospital. She's never had anything like this before, she's barely ever been sick until this fall, and hasn't shown any reactions to anything until now. The cat used sleeps in her room during the day but didn't stay there at night.</p>
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<p>Before she came home from the hospital I stripped her bed and washed everything, vacuumed her room, and wet-dusted. I boxed up the extra clothes that don't fit but haven't moved the boxes out of the room yet (someday! I need somewhere to put them), leave the window open a crack and keep the door shut so the animals can't go in. Then I started in on the main floor. We have no carpet in our house, no throw pillows, but we do have sofas with an awful microfiber fabric (terrible- it's like an allergen magnet) and tons of stuffed animals (all got washed).</p>
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<p>4evermom- you're probably right. Moving furniture around, dusting, etc, is probably stirring up a lot of allergens. I'm hoping I can stay on top of the house (I have good motivation now! I hope that helps). I also like the rec. to minimize fabric in furniture. Lucky for me (if you can call it that?!?) the foster dog destroyed our one sofa this week so it's a good excuse to toss it. We have a couple of those wood-framed Ikea-ish chairs downstairs, not being used, and I can bring those up.</p>
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<p>I'm feeling a lot better now. I was picturing the house of one of my friends - you know, SPOTLESS, nothing ever out of place, self-admitted OCD when it comes to cleanliness- and thinking there is absolutely no way I could ever hope to accomplish that and feeling like a failure for not wanting to even try.</p>
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<p>But I can do this. She's not horrible (yet?) and now I know better what to watch for (sort of) so I can keep things clean without killing myself in the process. Hopefully.</p>
 

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<p>Also, mold can cause breathing issues. Just a thought. Good luck.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mich</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278483/cleaning-for-an-asthmatic#post_16038034"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Also, mold can cause breathing issues. Just a thought. Good luck.</p>
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<br><br><p>We don't have any mold that i'm aware of. Our house is VERY very dry. So unless it recently developed in the walls or something, I don't think that would be it.</p>
 

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<p>My youngest daughter is an asthmatic but her trigger is illness and mold(hence the reason we are leaving this house).  I keep it very low key.  We  use a daily maintenance med(pulmicort) in the cold/flu months because it helps IMMENSELY.  We don't go out much in public during these months so we minimize the illnesses that come home to our family and her big sisters are required to wash hands when they come in the door from school.  I change and wash bedding and all linens once a week to minimize dust.  We are moving into a house with hardwoods instead of carpet which I anticipate helping enormously.  I clean with vinegar, water, castile soap, and baking soda.  I don't use commercial cleaners.  These are cheaper and better for her breathing.  I also don't use highly scented products like laundry detergent(we make our own which is again, much cheaper anyway) and I don't use perfume or very scented lotions or hair products(we use coconut oil for moisturizer).  She was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease at 9 months and asthma officially at 2 years old and she's now close to turning 3 and doing MUCH better.  We used to visit the ER for breathing difficulty 2 times a month on average and since the pulmicort and the changes in lifestyle around her second birthday, we haven't been to the ER even once.  :)  It's been amazing!</p>
 
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