dust mites

“Cleanliness is next to Godlness” and that’s probably where my problems in life began. I was never taught proper self-hygiene and never learned to clean a house. I am physically disabled. My psychotherapist had me showering every day for a while but it was so hard for me that I couldn’t get anything else accomplished. Now I am back to showering (thoroughly, now I know how to really scrub) about every four days, not so unusual in England in the old days where my family comes from. I also have a severe sleep disorder. I have resolved to eat, shower, and sleep according to the Lord’s will, and this has been working out better for me than my psychotherapist’s demands in maintaining the greatest possibly harmony to my life. However I am left with the problem of housecleaing.

I know how to clean up a big mess, and I have learned how to keep things tidy, but I have a problem with spatial relations that affects things like, specifically, trying to figure out how to change the belt on the vacuum cleaner.

In my house I had cleaners on and off, but I couldn’t supervise them because I was sick at the time and also because I don’t really know how it’s done. I always kept the kitchen and bathrooms clean when I was well, but the floors–sweeping, mopping, vacuuming–I can’t handle, and dusting I just don’t know where to begin. I have a bad back and am generally a twisted up not much good for anything wreck.

Right now I have an apartment because of the ongoing divorce, but have been staying at home to supervise my son, and I’ve been trying to get on track with vacuuming here but I haven’t been here and now that I have, for the last few days, I’ve been up all night and too tired to get the needed vacuuming done. So, having been up all night I am now getting bitten by dust mites and itching all over, I can smell the strong odor of dust when I lay down and so now I can’t sleep.

My son did a lot of the housework when I was very ill, my husband worked him to death, now he is 18 and I am thinking of asking him whether I could pay him to help me. Pending the divorce, we would be sharing the house. He has bigger plans in mind for his future but right now he needs money. The only issue is whether I can get a sufficient settlement from my husband, obviously the whole marriage has been crazy, also my son is loco right now, husband had head injury, trying to throw son out of home and write me off and go somewhere to curl up and die. He has been working sometimes but I don’t know whether he will continue to.

Any suggestions?

Basically I probably need social services of some sort. My parents have never been any help, they tried to keep up appearances and maintained that I was just mentally ill, and my husband believed them. Meanwhile I was quietly desperate. Meanwhile I lived the life of a married woman with a husband and child for 20 years and had everybody fooled, because I was asked to. I wanted to beat the state hospital and get back into society and didn’t realize how much damage had been done. Now, I am unapproachable and don’t know which way to turn. I can’t go back to the life of being a “ward of the state,” which is what my parents made me, because I have a son, but with parents like us he’s not very competent, and I can’t expect him to take care of me. I don’t really get along with anybody any more, given the chance I might find someone compatible to look in on me but my situation and my husband, also concerned about appearances, don’t give me that chance.

Right now I am just trusting in the Lord, maybe I’m just feeling overwhelmed, things are just changing a lot and it’s been a difficult few years.

You are likely allergic to dust mite fecal matter, but if you are experiencing bites, they are NOT from dust mites. Dust mites do NOT bite humans. If you are getting bit while sleeping, check to see if you have bed bugs. Bed bugs DO bite you while you sleep.

I have a few ideas for you.

  1. it’s great that you’ve been able to make progress re: hygine. are you able to wash up at the sink with a washcloth between showers, and make sure you use deoderant? yes, people used to go longer without showers… but they also smelled much worse. when everyone was like that it wasn’t a problem, but because most people now shower more frequently, they are not used to body odor smell and it will stand out! in addition, your whole house will smell like it - including your and your son’s clean clothes. think of this as similar to how secondhand smoke clings to everything. to help with that, open your windows for a bit every day.

  2. catholic90 is absolutely correct - dust mites don’t bite. you probably either have bed bugs or fleas (while fleas prefer cats and dogs if there are enough of them they will munch on people as well). just like roaches, they can show up anywhere, regardless of cleanliness levels. it’s super easy to get any of those in apartments, thanks to the close proximity of neighbors and plenty of open cracks between units. bed bugs are flat top to bottom, while fleas are flat side to side. eradicating either takes some time. try getting a mattress encasement, one that zippers and goes completely around the mattress. get one for the boxspring as well. this will help if you have bedbugs.

  3. I’ve had the same vacuum for five years and have never needed to change the belt, but it probably would be cheaper for me to buy a new one than to make sure I ordered the correct one, wait for it to come in, and then try and figure out where it goes. I imagine it would be the same for you.

  4. you mentioned when you had previously hired someone, you weren’t able to supervise them. why on earth would you need to? if you go through a properly bonded and insured company, the person who comes to your house is a professional.

  5. when I dust, I work from top to bottom, then I vacuum.

  6. I would leave your son out of it for now. could you hire someone from church who needs work? you could have them do one room at a time. have them bring a dust mask and gloves, and you supply the cleaning equipment. once it’s caught up, it’s much easier to maintain, and then your son can pitch in. since he’ll be living with you, it’s only right he help with housework.

  7. you could also try to find kids who need community service hours. confirmation programs, high schools, girl or boy scouts, or service fraternities often require volunteer hours from their members. ask at your church, or at your local high school or college. let them know a parent or friend is welcome to come along (after all, they don’t know you!)

  8. wash your bedding and towels more often. this will get the dust off your sheets and a large portion of the germs out of the kitchen and bathroom.

  9. why do you say you’re unapproachable and don’t get along with anyone? it seems to me that maybe you’ve had outside influences telling you you’re no good, that no one likes you, because usually people who really are jerks have no clue it’s them and think the problem is with everyone else.

  10. I don’t know anything about social services, but if you call your county health department, they should be able to direct you further.

hope this helps a little!

I remember once there was a television program where this woman would go to hotels and B n B’s. She’d lift the mattresses and nine times out of ten there were visible beg bugs and one of the land ladies screamed at the sight of it.

Apparently this has come from migrants…

Your apartment got me thinking, lynnehelen…

Also, excessive amount of dust and dust mites if anything would give you a burning throat and the feeling that you have a cold, because of the inhaling.

Also, just a thought, do you have pets?

House dust mites. I once had a pic of these magnified 300x and it wasn’t a pleasant sight. There are some materials that make it harder for them to subsist, washing bed sheets regularly at hot temperatures is agood idea, you might want to rid your bedroom of carpets and dustcollecting stuff and invest in a small HEPA device (air filtering). If falling asleep is a problem, go to a pharmacy and enquire about melatonin, it’s cheap, non-addictive and efficient. Have you been diagnosed with asthma?

THANK YOU! I was in such a panic this morning, up all nite, SOMETHING was biting me, or maybe it was just nerves. I had a case of severe bug phobia once with disastrous consequences and instantly escalated into panic.

As I said, I have a lot going on right now.

THANK YOU, I especially wanted to know about asking my son, I think you are right, it would be best to get things cleaned up first and then just ask him to pitch in keeping it that way.

Feeling better and more competent now after a some sleep.:slight_smile:

Thank you .:blessyou: :thumbsup:

Keep in mind to update us on your wellbeing.

Try to just do a little at a time, “baby steps.” If you get overwhelmed when you think of cleaning the whole house, you can do it by “zones.” Read this website, the person who started it was like you, didn’t have a clue about how to keep things clean and organized, but she followed one system and then tweaked it for herself.


And here is one of Marla’s essays about cleaning and decluttering.

One Bite at a Time

(The “Fly” in FlyLady is because she used to do fly fishing, not that she flies or has flies or anything like that.)

A lot of naturally messy people have been helped by using her simple, a-little-at-a-time approach to cleaning.

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