Hesitated to write about this…More of what?…

dust mite medical 3d illustration - typical dust mite dust mite stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Yikes! This is a dust mite, un-seeable by the naked eye.. (Not our photo).

I hesitated to write this story today. Genetic health issues, primarily from my mother’s side of the family, left me with a variety of medical problems which I’ve struggled with most of my life. As a child, I had severe asthma beginning at about three years old. As I got older, I developed hay fever, which only exacerbated the situation.

In my 20s, I started taking cortisone tablets daily, which continued for 14 years, wreaking havoc with my health and well-being, but at least I could breathe.

In my 30’s I went through all those allergy tests and subsequent weekly injections to reduce my symptoms while at the same time tapering off the cortisone tablets, which took two years. Finally, the injections were completed, and I was truly free of symptoms for many years.

On top of that, as mentioned in the past, I suffered from metabolic syndrome causing high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and constant battles in attempting to maintain my weight at a healthy level. These issues have only recently been entirely resolved when I once again changed my diet, becoming more strict in a low-carb way of eating while in that hotel room in India. I no longer have high blood pressure (off all medication), and I am no longer pre-diabetic.

As I continue to learn about metabolic syndrome, I have realized that constant high blood sugar and high blood pressure caused me to develop cardiovascular heart disease, often a high-risk factor in diabetes and hypertension. Also, after 40 years have passed since I had those allergy injections, the positive effects have worn off. The allergies have returned and manifested in different ways.

Kudu, named Bossy, was surrounded by mongooses and didn’t seem to mind a bit as long as there were pellets around. The mongooses don’t care for the pellets.

Yes, after all my posts about my health over the years, I hesitated to write about it again today. But, over the past few months, I’ve thought that if perhaps my writing about this could provide one of our readers with a morsel of curiosity about their conditions, resulting in their pursuit of answers, it was well worth any potential retribution or criticism. I can only imagine many of our readers thinking and saying, “Here we go again.”

So here is my most recent allergy dilemma. I am suffering from severe hives (or what appears to be insect bites) from dust mites. When I had the allergy tests 40 years ago, dust mites were the number one allergen I responded to, number two being grasses.

This house we’re in is impeccably clean. You’d have a hard time finding a speck of dust anywhere. Each day Vusi and Zef clean every inch of space. But the harsh reality regarding dust mites is that they live unseen in mattresses, pillows, stuffed furniture, and clothing. Dust mites, per se, don’t bite their victims. See below from this site:

Tom mixed ups yet another batch of raw scrambled eggs.

“What Are Dust Mites?

Dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests that generate some of the most common indoor substances—or allergens—that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in many people. Hundreds of thousands of dust mites can live in the bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpets, or curtains in your home. They feed on the dead human skin cells found in dust.

Dust mites are not parasites; they don’t bite, sting, or burrow into our bodies. The harmful allergen that they create comes from their fecal pellets and body fragments. Dust mites are nearly everywhere; roughly four out of five homes in the United States have detectable levels of dust mite allergen in at least one bed.”

Here is information on rashes caused by exposure to dust mites, which I appear to be suffering from over the past few months. I do not see new rashes during the day or evening while outdoors. But, at night, when I go to bed, I start itching like crazy and discover new rashes all over my body in the morning, particularly areas that touch the mattress and pillows.

Utilizing extreme caution and the frequent use of DEET repellent several times a day, I no longer am getting many mosquito bites. For a while, I thought the rash might be a result of the harsh laundry soap. Louise had Vusi and Zef start using baby-friendly chemical-free laundry soap.

We rarely feed the impalas. There are so many of them, and we’d draw even more if we did so. Occasionally, they visit when there are already pellets on the ground. There is plenty of green vegetation for them to graze at this time.

We purchased the same type of laundry soap for our laundry, clothing, and towels.  Although there was a slight improvement, I’d still awaken in the morning with new outrageously itchy spots all over my body, particularly any exposed skin. A few nights, I wore winter pajamas with long tight pants and long sleeves. This helped, but it’s tough to wear these hot clothes to bed when temperatures are in the 100Fs, 40Cs, during the day. The air con in the bedroom couldn’t keep me cool enough to be able to sleep.

My arms are the worst, covered in inflamed, red bite-like spots that continue to itch for no less than three weeks once I have a new batch. My neck and face have been covered at times with the rash. When old patches recover, new ones occur. I try not to complain. My Fitbit shows how poor my sleep has been, often around four or five hours intermittently. I take antihistamines daily and use prescription cortisone cream several times a day and night. Nothing helps.

Last week, Vusi and Zef cleaned and sprayed all sides of the mattress and pillows with anti-dust mite spray. It lasted only two nights and then was back with a vengeance.

Yesterday, in dire frustration, I threw my arms in the air. I asked Louise to find a professional exterminator to come and fog the entire house, hopefully ridding us of this problem. We insisted we pay for this service. As it turned out, the only professional in this area is gone for two weeks. Instead, he told Louise and Danie how to fumigate the house and what products to use that will hopefully provide some relief until he returns and does the full-professional treatment.  I feel bad that they have to do this. But, that is how they are, always concerned for our well-being and the well-being of all their clientele.

Bossy always stares at me for more pellets. She has us both well trained.

Monday, we have to move out of the house for 24 hours while they come in the morning and do the temporary fumigation job. They insisted we stay at their wonderful current home while staying in another of their fabulous properties with family joining them for a few weeks’ visit. Monday morning, we’ll pack up an overnight bag and head to their beautiful house, only minutes away.

So there it is, another of my recent dilemmas. This same thing happened to me last time we were here in 2018 and when we stayed in a hotel in Minneapolis during a six-week family visit in 2017. There were no such issues during those ten months in India. Thank goodness.

Last night our friend Alan came to visit, and we had an enjoyable evening. Tonight, we’re going to Jabula for dinner. Soon, we’ll visit Kruger National Park once we wrap up this situation and complete a few looming tasks.

Happy day. Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, March 13, 2020:

“Buffaloes are believed to have domesticated around 5000 years ago in the Indus Valley and thrive best in the areas of moderate rainfall as they require plenty of water for their daily bath.   Indian buffaloes are considered to be an important source of milk today. They yield nearly three times milk like cows. Interestingly, 47.22 million milch buffaloes produce 55 percent of milk, which is more than half of the total milk produced in the country. Whereas, 57 million cows contribute only 45 percent of the total milk yield.” This is from the post one year ago, when we knew we had to end our 54-night private tour of India prematurely due to Covid-19. Please click here for more.