An Asthma Friendly Bedroom
It took me ten years but I think I’ve finally got the “asthma friendly” bedroom I was told I should have a decade ago. And repeatedly since then. Well, maybe—I have most of it, anyways!
Some changes are easier to make than others
For a long time, my room was pretty much the opposite of what was desired when I was asked about my sleeping space being asthma friendly.
I remember when I met certain doctors, they mentioned a dust-mite proof mattress encasement specifically, in addition to asking if my room was carpeted. These seem to be the “gold standard” benchmarks of how asthma-friendly your bedroom might be. And until I met Dr. Smartypants and she—yet again—asked me about the mattress cover, I finally started more seriously-ish looking for one, except they were all terrible-seeming or over $100. So by “more seriously-ish looking”, I mean that I finally got this item one day two or three years later when perusing the aisles at Shoppers Drug Mart, where I found a terrycloth-feeling allergy-proof mattress protector for $40. SOLD. (Especially because I bought it, I am pretty sure, with points.)
Flooring, of course, is a whole other story. You don’t just buy flooring on a whim at the local Shoppers and slap it down. While there’s some degree of argue-ability between whether carpet—if vacuumed regularly—traps the dust inside making it actually more ideal for people with asthma, or whether hard flooring harbours less dust and thus is the more ideal flooring choice. The reality is, I tried the whole vacuuming regularly bit and it just did not happen. So finally, this past October—yes, that would be 10.5+ years after developing asthma—I finally have hard flooring in my room, as my parents were replacing all the upstairs carpet.
Putting the effort in
The other part is the part about effort. Like dusting and sweeping or mopping or vacuuming regularly. Washing bedding regularly. Replacing pillows?! I’m less good at all those things. They’re sort of the same level of effort as “washing your spacer”, and fall into the category of “asthma chores” so they are even less desirable because they are chores you are supposed to do because of an incurable chronic disease that nobody likes, never mind wants to do greater amounts of chores because of.
With that said, I did replace my pillows recently, because thanks Hudson Bay Home for the Boxing Day sale. At one point I had “asthma & allergy friendly” certified bedding—well, comforter and one pillow—and honestly, while I’m still using the comforter, I’ve had a few other sets of pillows since then, I am unsure I have noticed a significant difference in my asthma. Your experience may vary. But your experience may vary if you actually wash things weekly or whatever like they say to, unlike me, because I am a bad role model in this department.
Anyways, at the very least my new flooring looks awesome, I have new pillows, and I am happy with the not-noisy mattress protector I finally found. Oh, and all the random stuffed animals and ridiculous cupcake pillow in my room are now stored high up away from my bed until the day where I move out and have a couch that can permanently have a cupcake pillow perched atop its back. The recommendation, is obviously, to not keep these things in the bedroom at all, but given I was diagnosed with asthma beyond stuffed-animal-age, I sort of am in flux as to what to do with these remaining pieces of my childhood (or, not childhood, like the giant Peeps bunny I bought in San Francisco as an adult, and the giant carrot I bought at IKEA, also when—I believe—I was an adult, and Francesco the Build a Bear Monkey who was, at the very least, purchased sometime after the movie Elf came out in 2003 since he was sort-of-incorrectly named after this scene.)
It appears while I've made progress, I still have work to do!
How asthma-friendly is your sleeping space, and what do you do to keep it that way?
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?