Krissie: Oh God

25 Nov

Literally. I’m going to church. I probably shouldn’t, considering I have a book to finish plus thanksgiving meal to cook, but it’s our minister’s anniversary of his ordination, plus he’s baptising his first grandchild and he’s written a song for her (he’s a musician as well as a minister). And the baby is doubly precious — his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early twenties. And it might even be the first Sunday in Advent — I haven’t looked at a calendar. I haven’t done anything but write.
But I figure if I can’t take an hour and a half off for church then screw it.
I wrote 7k words yesterday, and could have done a lot more if I wasn’t having brain problems. I’m not sure why my mind isn’t working right. I checked my meds and it’s not side effects. I think it’s part of PTSD over all the deaths in the family, including my mother’s. Right now I’m having trouble seeing the big picture, so I’m just writing and writing and hope I can pull it all together in the end, by cutting and slashing. Some people, me included, usually get the first draft pretty close to right. Some people’s first drafts are in scenes and outlines and bits and pieces all over the place. That’s what this one seems to be, but I’m determined not to panic. Once I have all the pieces then I can figure what works and what doesn’t.
So. It’s snowing and blowing, and I’m not allowing myself Christmas until after we have Thanksgiving dinner and after I finish the book. And I’m champing at the bit (chomping at the bit?) because lord knows I am the biggest Christmas slut in the world.
But bird by bird. I need to cook a meal and finish a book. then I can move ahead.
I got an unexpected check in the mail, and I’m putting it to one side. It’s not that big, but it’ll help, and I’m hoping I can use it for a modified Christmas. There’s only the immediate family and Mini-me, so it’ll be pretty easy. Except that I love to give gifts.
One day at a time. My son’s going mad from bug bites — there are fleas in his room (not in other parts of the house) and he’s always been terribly allergic to bites. Plus he’s still getting hives from the sulfa drug they gave him three weeks ago (and he promptly stopped taking).
Anyone know of a) a treatment for hives and b) a healthy way to get rid of fleas. We’ve dosed the cats, we have the magic clicky things in the outlets, which help with ants and stuff. His room gets very very hot, and I think that’s why he has the problem.
Ah, I know. We could take up the carpet (we put it down ourselves, we can take it up.

Any other ideas?

31 Responses to “Krissie: Oh God”

  1. Maine Betty November 25, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    In my experience, church is a good place and time to refresh by reflecting on and thanking the Big Picture.

    I’ve read some about using salt on carpets.shake it on, leave for a while, vacuum it off. Keep it up. It dehydrates the eggs. Check online. Yuck, what a hassle, and good luck!

  2. Lynn November 25, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Diatomaceous earth (food grade). Non-toxic to humans & cats, kills fleas, is cheap. It has to be used correctly to be effective, so your son could perhaps spend a little time on google to get assvice on how to apply it best in his situation.

  3. Tricia Halliday November 25, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    The best way to get fleas is put borax in the carpet and leave for awhile then vacum it up. Good Luck

    • Cathy M November 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      When we had a cat and dog and they brought in a flea or two, we used borax on the carpets. We used the good old Twenty Mule Team stuff in the laundry section at the grocery store. Good luck with the little pests.

  4. Gin November 25, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Benadryl for the hives. The pill kind. Plus topical if they’re itchy. Ice helps if they’re really bad — or send him outside in the cold! (My arthritic joints love the winter time — the whole world is a full-body ice pack!)

    If you’re giving the cats the prescription anti-flea stuff, that kills the flea eggs, as well as the fleas, so it takes a generation or two (which are really short, like a couple weeks), but it will eradicate all the fleas in the house if you dose the cats consistently, two or three months in a row, even without treating the carpets, etc.

    (I’m not a doc, but I had some weird hives outbreaks a couple years ago — never figured out the cause — and I’m not a vet, but I had a cat with severe allergies to flea bites, so I had to stay on top of the fleas, and the prescription flea med is the only thing that ever worked.)

  5. oneoftheotherjennifers November 25, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Take up the carpet. Wash all the bedding. Sweep, and seal whatever you’ve swept up in plastic bags to carry it to the trash. Scrub the floor. Put out those heat lamp flea traps every night until they come up empty for a few nights. Wash all the bedding again. Use the lamps a few more nights. These traps are just a light bulb warming a sheet of sticky paper. The fleas jump on it because it’s warm, then they’re stuck. No toxins at all.

    We rented a house in LA that had the worst flea infestation you could imagine when we moved in, and this worked.

  6. jinx November 25, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I’m a huge proponent of flea combs for cats. Get a good small squarish (British) flea comb, and settle the cats down for a slow, careful, loving combing a couple of times a day. You can use a container of warm soapy water to drop the fleas and flea dirt into as you comb, and the end result can just be dumped into a toilet, so you don’t have to fret about sealing it up in the trash.

    You have to be sensitive to what kinds and areas of combing your cats are comfortable with, though. And not do it in a way that brings the static electricity shocks. But if there are cats and/or dogs as well as fleas in the house, they will be part of the problem, and flea combing helps tremendously.

    That plus vacuuming/washing any textiles that can shelter the young fleas until they can bite somebody will get things under control.

    I’ve never heard of the sticky paper/lamplight traps, but those sound super as well. Good luck!

    • max xavier November 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      A tip a hairdresser gave me, before combing or brushing hair or fur, spray the comb/brush with hairspray. Stops static quite effectively.

    • Gin November 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Oh, yeah. Flea combs. One of my cats loves to be combed, and I use her as the canary in the coal mine to warn me if there are fleas. Getting rid of the fleas manually expedites the other treatments.

  7. Laura November 25, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Another vote for diatomaceous earth. First, get everything you can out of the room and wash and dry thoroughly on high heat. Then vacuum the heck out of the carpets. And then sprinkle diatomaceous earth liberally all over the carpet. It takes a few days (the eggs have to hatch and the current fleas come in contact with the DE), but eventually, they’ll all be gone, and you won’t have to use anything toxic around the kitties. Good luck!

  8. Robena Grant November 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Church will be good for you. All that loud singing and giving of thanks. Got nothing on the kitty-cat subject.

  9. Water Cherry November 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Make sure to throw away vacuum bags or empty bagless units after thorough vacuuming. It’s the worst if they just hatch out of the vacuum and re-infest the house. Plus all textiles should be washed in warm water and heat dried to kill the flea eggs. oatmeal baths soothe people with bites.
    Are you sure the bites are due to fleas? The cats probably roam everywhere in your house, so it’s weird to have fleas only in one room.

  10. Terri Osburn November 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    My parents had to do the flea bomb but they had a dozen cats and a dog. Taking up the carpet might be smart. Someone else already suggested Benedryl so I’ll second that one. Worked for me years ago when I had terrible hives.

    Church might be a good recharge and congrats on the 7K words. I’m good if I can do that many in a week!

  11. Diane November 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Have your son clean his room thoroughly and use diatomaceous earth. A friend with six cats who go outside and bring back fleas swears by it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth

  12. Maria Powers November 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    and here’s an article about using salt http://jillshomeremedies.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-naturally-get-rid-of-fleas-part_27.html

    Borax is another good one and it is strange that the only room in the house with fleas is your son’s. Fleas don’t normally work that way.

  13. Deborah Blake November 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Feeding spirit is important. Consider it part of the writing process :-)

    And it probably isn’t your issue, but I’ve found my writing brain (hell, my any brain) just doesn’t work as well since I hit menopause. I keep waiting for it to pass…

    I second the manual flea combing advice. Also, some flea treatments are more effective than others. If you used Frontline, you should know that the fleas are mostly immune to it now. I only use that one on my cat with the chronic renal failure, because it isn’t absorbed systemically. But it’s pretty useless. Revolution apparently works much better.

    Good luck!

  14. Deborah Blake November 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Oh, and if your son still has haves from a med he stopped taking 3 weeks ago (he has my sympathy, sulfa meds have that effect on me too), there may be something else going on. I had one time where hives that were brought on my shaving too closely lasted for *months* and drove me insane. Turns out that emotional issues can attach themselves to convenient physical issues–and hives are apparently a not-uncommon culprit.

    • inkgrrl November 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

      Second this – when I was in the midst of a lot of pain procedures I broke out in hives, which shouldn’t have been able to happen, given that all the procedures included a dose of cortisone.

      Also, borax works well sprinkled liberally over the carpet and especially along the baseboards, left overnight then vacuumed up. Cats can’t be in there while the borax is thick on the ground.

    • Pam P. November 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      I broke out in a rash from a medication allergy and the rash lasted 5 weeks. The dr said it can take a long time for the body to flush all the meds out of the system. That may be why the hives are persisting.

  15. pamb November 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Good suggestions.

    For “I can’t get to the store” help, put bowls of shallow water with a tiny blop of dishsoap in them on the floor, put lamps or lanterns next to them. Fleas are drawn to the light, then the water, drown in the water with soap in it to break the water tension & whatever flea coating keeps them buoyant.

    For the past 10 years, Advantage has kept us flea-free for the first time ever. It’s a hit to the bank account with all these pets, but I’m a flea magnet. Every time we’ve tried a different product, the fleas returned to whatever pets had that different product, so we stick with Advantage.

    I worked for a vet for 8 years, so we had lists of suggestions for all the flea calls. I’ve tried most of them myself prior to Advantage taking care of us.

    Ern & Kyle were/are chemical sensitive, so we couldn’t use the sprays & bombs unless we were desperate & spent 2 nights away from home. (Desperate enough to do that twice years ago.)

    Back then, I did use the diatamaetous earth (put it in a sifter, walked around turning the sifter crank) & it helped, but a serious warning came to light about it being dangerous to the lungs, so I stopped using that.

    Another hint is put a flea collar in the sweeper bag. I did that & it helped.

    But since we’ve used the Advantage, I don’t have to do anything else. Happy camper here. If I forget, pets start scratching & I find fleas, so it’s working for us.

    Blessings on the special baby & all its loved ones!

    I’m picturing you having a fantastic fam-i-lee dinner with much laughter. :)

    (Field of Dreams voice)
    You’re building the book–it will come…together. (g)

  16. KellyR November 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    I get hives all the time. Mainly triggered by anxiety. I use an anti-histamine pills(any kind) and topical anti-histamine cream. But if I am really going crazy sometimes I take a colloidal oatmeal bath. Very soothing. You can get it on the health/beauty aisle at the grocery store. There are also how to recipes online.

  17. KateGeorge November 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    My hands used to break out in horrible hives when I was stressed in high school. The itch was just awful. Oral antihistimines were helpful. Every so often I will get one or two hives on a finger just to remind me to take a step back!

  18. Louise November 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Hope you get the fleas under control. When Sam (our cat) was alive we had a similar problem one year. Conditions outside must have been perfect for the little blighters and our pets were infested. If I remember correctly, I put lavender oil on my fingertips and ran my gingers into their fur the wrong way, starting at their buts. Fleas swarmed out of their coats and died.

    http://www.joys-of-lavender.com/flea-control.html

    Good luck :-)

    • Cathy November 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

      For the hives — if benadryl is not working, try other anti-histamines in combination with H2 blockers. I suffered from chronic idiopathic urticaria (which just means “we don’t know what’s causing your hives”) for about a year, and it took a lot of experimenting to find the right combination of OTC meds that would work for me.

      For anti-histamines, try Claritin or Zyrtec and combine one of these with an H2 blocker such as Tagamet or Zantac. This combo was my doctor’s recommendation before going to prescription steroids, and it seems like adding the Zantac to Claritin made all the difference for me. Taking either one alone wasn’t enough, but together they kept the hives manageable until whatever was causing them resolved itself.

  19. Micki November 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Hives are just weird. And painful. My daughter used to get them from cold swimming pool water . . . we had to go to the dermatologist. I wonder if the “flea bites” are just another skin manifestation? But if you’ve seen the actual fleas, then it sounds like there are plenty of things that he can do to get rid of the infestation. In any case, it wouldn’t *hurt* to salt the carpet, wash the bedding, etc. etc.

    Maybe some church and meditation might help, too?

    Anyway, hope you have a good day, and that the holiday season is good to you.

  20. AKC November 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    An old Hippie suggested I use Brewer’s Yeast on my pet’s food to combat fleas. 1/2 teaspoon once a day in both my dogs’ food and they’ve never had a flea in 11 years…which is a miracle considering fleas are year round in the Southeast. You can also use it on cat food, just drop down the amount to 1/4 or 1/8 teaspoon.

  21. Jill November 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    I got nothin’ No pets, no hives (except to IV Cardizem).

    Krissie, how are the new meds working ?

  22. Rozasharn November 25, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    If you are sure it’s fleas and you have reason to believe they are independent of the outside (no fleas being brought in from the yard or anything), you can buy flea juvenile hormone and spray with that. You have to get all the flooring (so move stuff, spray, replace) and all the areas including the closets and stuff, but it is completely harmless to pets and humans. It just keeps newly-hatched fleas from maturing to the egg-laying stage, and eventually the old adults die off and no new eggs are laid, and your fleas are gone.

  23. Lola November 26, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    If you have a lot of fleas be careful of your cat getting flea anemia. Two of our cats almost died from it. And since my hubby and I didn’t have flea bites we didn’t realize the cats were getting sucked dry from them.

    The flea collar in the vacuum bag is a brilliant idea. I’m trying that next flea season.

    Krissie, church can be a wonderful stress reducer. Hope you enjoyed your Sunday.