Well, after last week’s “FOOD WARS” posting, the houseguest and I got into it over her demand that I give her her own shelf in the fridge. Seriously. She has 3 half shelves, so that we can take advantage of size alternatives, and she’s taking over my half of the space, but she thinks that I’m being dictatorial in not giving her a single shelf for her own use.
The houseguest who is homeless.
The houseguest who lives with me for free.
The houseguest who has been here since July 16, 2019… Going on 9 months… And she picks a pandemic, when we’re on shelter-in-place directives, to start picking fights over me being controlling. Now she has decided to debate my cleaning choices.
Me, who got bacterial pneumonia from her bringing a cold home in February.
Think about that a minute.
I’m sitting here fighting for my life, actively, every day since August 23, 2015, when it was confirmed that the medications they were giving me weren’t working well enough to help me versus their dangerous side effects. It was determined that I go on permanent disability, and that I figure out how to live the rest of my life (maybe 3-5 years at that point, but there were no fixed timelines or date stamps on my foot because everyone reacts differently to triggers and their version of the COPD illness). So, you’d think I would have learned a bit about my triggers in my 55 years of living up to that point, as well as adjusted my needs as my COPD continued to worsen.
At age 59, I am as healthy as I possibly can be, despite 25% lung function / lung capacity, and approximately 92-96% routine oxygen saturation.
Trying to avoid breathing issues as most scents and aerosols trigger difficulties, I have made it my mission to clean as simply / quickly as possible to avoid exhaustion (hey, it only took me 4 days to clean the kitchen floor when the houseguest was away having her knee replaced, LOL).
Generally, I use 70 – 91% alcohol (whatever I can get inexpensively in the first aid aisle), with the addition of peppermint oil (because it helps me breathe, and doesn’t cause any coughing spasms).
The houseguest hates this, because it smells “too hospital-y”. Seriously.
Screw the fact that I can’t breathe with the scented crap she keeps trying to sneak in !
So, as we’re on lockdown / shelter-in-place, the houseguest is becoming increasingly paranoid, not wanting to go out, not wanting to be in the fresh air (even away from people!), and she decides that “we” need to do a better job of cleaning with a disinfectant. Seriously.
As always, she’s free to use whatever she wants in her bedroom (not my concern, as long as it doesn’t travel to the rest of the house), but I have had to put my foot down again and again that the crap that she wants to use – when she actually bestirs herself to clean our common areas – may smell better, but works WORSE than my affordable and very effective solution. To back up my belief that alcohol is better with scientific references:
What makes me crazy is that most of the crap she wishes to use, because it’s all about what the media has “educated” her via commercials, takes 2-10 minutes to be effective in terms of truly disinfecting a surface, while straight alcohol at 60% concentration or above, kills in 10-30 SECONDS.
For someone who has made an art form out of how to survive, 10-30 SECONDS for cleaning / killing / sanitizing effective rate sounds much more livable for me than waiting 2-10 minutes for something to take effect, never mind the habit that we all have of wiping / drying a surface vs. letting it dry for 2-10 minutes…
Why in the world would I want a slower-effective product, especially an aerosol that messes with my breathing ability, to be used in place of alcohol??? Never mind the fact that I have limited energy and already need to take frequent breaks when cleaning, so why extend the time involved in cleaning properly?
And, why pay for a brand name when the product exists, cheaper, in the first-aid aisle (and there’s no run on this aisle in the stores as most people buy into the ads vs. truly understanding the difference between ethanol, alcohol, and over the counter / OTC commercial products)??? When I tell her that 70% alcohol works better and doesn’t hurt me, I get an argument that I’m a know-it-all from someone who refuses to hear that this is my house, and that she’s lucky to stay here and be having these debates, especially considering she is a guest. She refuses to back up her beliefs by showing me, with outside scientific opinion, that I am mistaken. So, we’re at a stalemate.
No bueno. Pouty temper tantrum and back into her bedroom she goes… I am living with a 64 year old teenager who wants what she wants, regardless of its impact on my ability to survive. Exhausting. And that’s before we get into how exhausting it is for me to do anything on a regular schedule, never mind when it’s deep cleaning (vs. simply picking up clutter and thinking that a space is “clean”).
Having this shelter-in-place edict extended out to May 3rd may just end up killing us both. I can put up with a lot, but her nerves are getting on my last nerve.