Monday, November 29, 2021

The One in Which Breathing Makes Me Nervous

 Do you want to get a glimpse inside a neurotic brain?


Well then settle back because you are in the right place.

Back when COVID started, the government was handing out money for companies to buy supplies and some of the hot ticket items were air purifiers.  As the Business Manager at my previous job, I bought a LOT of air purifiers and then submitted the receipt for reimbursement from one of the various relief grants.  Due to the high demand of these items, and the fact that the government was basically picking up the bill, the price on air purifiers went way up.

Personally, I wanted one for our home but knew it was not the right time to buy (Econ 101 taught me to buy when supply is high and demand is low and never the other way around).  So I waited and waited and breathed in disgusting potentially polluted COVID air all the while.

This past Columbus Day weekend, we went up to my brother’s house in New Hampshire, where the air is clean and mountain pure, but even he had an air purifier going 24/7.  My brother is an ER doctor and so I figured if he thought an air purifier was a good idea, I better follow suit.

But then life got busy and I forgot that I desperately wanted and needed an air purifier.  Sometimes this forgetfulness is a very good thing when it comes to my bank account.  

Fast forward to this past weekend when we pulled out all of the Christmas decor and started decorating and I immediately began sneezing and got itchy eyes and a tight throat.  For you see, I am allergic to dust and therefore don’t dust and therefore live in a dusty house.  I put on a mask and took an allergy pill and went to work cleaning and decorating, because not only am I allergic to dust but Declan (7) is as well and good mothers suffer for their children.  (Just call me Saint Colleen).

Amidst all of my sneezing and trying not to breathe, I remembered that I still needed that air purifier!  That night while laying in bed complaining of the swollen lymph nodes in my throat, Phil bought this air purifier on Amazon for me and said “Merry Christmas ya filthy animal.” Fine, he didn’t call me a filthy animal.  The air purifier came last night and Declan and Brendan (5) were stoked because it came in TWO HUGE TOYS BOXES.

We plugged it in, and wouldn’t you know it….our air quality was poor and registered in the 60th percentile.  I KNEW IT!!  I KNEW WE WERE LIVING IN FILTH AND PROBABLY KILLING OUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN SLOWLY!!  And then before my eyes, the air purifier number was rising and before long was registering us at 100%. 

Oh, well that was probably not worth the money then. Apparently our air was perfect.

(My fickle mind has fickle thoughts.)

We all gathered together and prayed the rosary while being distracted by the air purifier’s numbers ranging from 92-100%.  I was feeling pretty bad that our air was fine and my Christmas gift was dumb until I opened the door to my bedroom (on the first floor and right near the air purifier) to put on my pajamas, then came back out to see that our air quality was poor again (back in the sixties!)  What the heck?  Was the source of all our bad air coming from our bedroom? 

I brushed my teeth and took my vitamins and went back to bed, but guess who couldn’t fall asleep for hours because she was worried about the number on the air purifier and thinking she was sleeping in a toxic bedroom?  Yup, yours truly.  We normally sleep with the door closed (we run a humidifier in the winter) but I left it open last night when I went to bed.  Of course the teenage boys go to bed much later than my 9:30 bedtime and I could hear them walking around, making lunches in the kitchen, cutting nails in the bathroom at ten at night (why?!?!) so Phil shut the door so we could sleep.  That just led to me imagining I was suffocating in air particles for another hour or two and I eventually fell asleep (probably passed out from lack of oxygen in the dirty air).  

This morning, the air purifier read in the eighties with my bedroom door open, which is an improvement, and I hope since it is running all day, it will be perfect air when we get home today.  The number on that machine is now one of the main causes of my anxiety and Phil wishes we never bought the stupid thing.  Aren’t I fun to live with?


  1. Oh no!! I hope your anxiety has settled!

    1. Yes!! I realized that the humidifier from the bedroom seems to be making the air purifier work harder. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself :)


Talk to me...