Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I Bet Your Day Didn't Go Like This

Most people don't plan out their days by needing a painters breathing mask, rubber gloves and a cortizone shot.  I hadn't.

For the past week or two, I haven't been able to locate an odd smell.  It wasn't cat related as I had the box cleaned out and fresh litter put in several times.  I have carpet in my kitchen and wondered if my kids had spilled milk, half cleaned it up and left the rest to rot, or they hadn't run the disposal in days.  It wasn't bad enough to freak out but it was driving me nuts trying to figure out what it was.

Today I was determined to track down the smell as for the past 2 days it's gotten worse and I had company coming over.  I cleaned out the sink and the dish rack trays and didn't find the smell, but I did find some small spots of mold under them.  Great.  Mold.  Then it hit me.  It's a mold smell!  Not the traditional musky mold, but mold for sure.  The only place left is under the sink.  I must have a small leak in my pipes.

I open the doors and about fell over due to the fumes.  Coughing and trying not to throw up, I quickly slammed the door.  Great.  Now I have to get this cleaned up.  I take some old towels, go outside to get a deep breath race back in and grab the rusted pizza pan that the mold is sitting under.  I throw that in the trash and realize I need something stronger than going out for air every 5 seconds to clean out the mess.  I can't even describe the acrid smell of mold and metal mixing together in a soup mixture for at least 2 weeks or more.  Most of my pans are in a user friendly cabinet, not in this one, so I rarely open it.

I picked up one of those masks that painters use and a package of the industrial rubber gloves and started cleaning with a bleach mixture.  Thankfully; the mold was sitting on contact paper and I just had to scrape off the paper into a plastic bag and dump it into the outside trash.

Despite the mask I was still gagging and feeling sick after it was all done.  Doc said to come in and said I was having an allergic reaction.  He gave me cortizone shot and I went home.  My house smells better now but I can pick up faint smells of despite my kids not smelling anything.

Now I know why I've been feeling "off" for a couple of weeks and it explains my inablity to concentrate on working on this quilt.  I've been agitated and feeling sick.  I'd get started and hour or so later not be able to work.   My table is 3-4 feet away from the kitchen sink right it full view of it.  I've been inhaling mold while tracing and cutting out pieces.  It also explains why I'm sleeping much of the day.  I feel sick, go lay down and sleep for a couple of hours.  I go back to working on the quilt, feel sick and go back to bed for another couple of hours.

If you smell something funky, don't wait like I did.  Find it ASAP.

I was going crazy trying to figure out why this quilt was getting to be so hard to do.  I almost wanted to call it off out of embarassment that I can't even do flying geese blocks for the stars or stumble over tracing pug pieces.  I just felt..well..retarded.

If you are walking around like you are drunk (like I would know) confused, disorientated, agitated and are having memory issues, there's something serious going in your house.  I thought it was a medication issue since seizure meds do a number on memory and coordination skills, but this felt entirely different and I now I know why.

I'm grateful the lady at the hardware store insisted that I buy the mask for spray painting instead of the usual face masks for construction work.  There's no way I could have done it with one of those.  I kept tightening the straps until I couldn't smell anything or the smell weakend.

I'm also grateful for contact paper as the wood flooring underneath wasn't a moldy mess.  I just had to scrape 8+ year-old contact paper with a scraper to get it taken care of.