By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 51 - The Cat and the Matt - Hard Knocks

The title of this post is misleading. There are two cats involved, but it just wasn't as witty of a title that way!

So I haven't been using the office portion of the home office/craft room because my wonderful wife has essentially converted the entire room to crafting and sewing. I am not overly shocked.;-) In her defense, it is mainly due to still organizing the tons of material and other items onto shelves, and we need to grab more storage items for them.

Now here's the rub. I go down to the basement tonight to help her clean up that room and the living room. We've been keeping the two cats downstairs also. Be it known, I am allergic to cats, yet still have two of them and a dog in a small home. But we have a special litterbox, and having lived with them for a couple of years in 800 sq/ft upstairs before gaining access to the basement, I didn't see any problems. Boy was I wrong.

For starters, my allergies have been shooting through the roof upstairs since they went downstairs. Itchy, burning, watery eyes are now a daily constant, and occasional itching on the body and throat. Heading downstairs usually I notice my nasal passage and throat begins to swell after a couple of minutes. Today I was down for about 15 minutes, and I thought I was going to die. A massive allergy attack with my trademark sneezing fits (I can sneeze 40-50 times a minute for up to ten minutes...), eyes felt like dirt was tossed in them, nose running, difficulty breathing, deep tissue itching in my throat and across my body, and more. I had to run back upstairs to relative normality.

So this poses a problem for me: I need to sue the basement also. It is where we set up for board games and puzzles with guests and each other. It is where I would like to focus on writing in the future. And I can't stay there for longer than 10 minutes.

So what can I do? Currently I am doing a massive research into the best HEPA filters. I'll try to get one tomorrow if I find one locally, otherwise I will be overnighting it. Also, I'll need to have my wife resume giving the cats regular baths. We could in theory get rid of the cats, which I would be fine with, but both my wife and son love them, plus she tolerates my dog who seems to run on caffeine. Not as bad as living daily with horrible allergies, but still. We all make our sacrifices. I also don't like allergy medicine as a long term solution and it makes my mind feel... odd.

The reason I share this is because those who have been reading this blog know how excited I was about having the downstairs and a quiet place to write. Setbacks like this can be devastating if we let them. I am slightly OCD, so when I set my mind to a specific area and conditions, varying before I am ready personally to do so can drive me up the wall. But we all have to adjust. For now, I will try to minimize the problem. If that fails, I'll be a few hundred dollars poorer and be self-banished from the basement beyond short forays. And still I, like everyone, will find a way to press on. It's too easy to simply say "I climbed my mountain, faced the challenge, thought I won, and then discovered an even bigger mountain ahead, so I gave up." I am reminded that Hannibal (of Carthage, not the cannibal...) had to climb through an entire mountain range to attack Rome. The Latter-day Saints traversed a mountain range, frigid temperatures, and more. Sometimes, it's not enough to climb a mountain... we have to cross an entire mountain range. And we really can do it. All of us.


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