It was health scare weekend at our house. Joe woke up at 5 a.m. unable to breathe, and we had to rush him to the ER. Turns out the blood pressure med he’s been on caused an allergic reaction, making his uvula (that thing that hangs down the back of your throat; not, as Joe wondered, a “female part”) swell. Scary, but after they put him on steroids and anti-inflammatories, he recovered.
Because he did, because he’s the world’s worst patient, and because “uvula” is a funny word, we felt justified in making fun of his medical emergency the rest of the weekend. “Hey, hey, relax—you don’t want to inflame your uvula.
The other, less-funny disease du jour is asbestosis. When we removed the suspected asbestos tile floors, we never sealed them, a big mistake because the glue can contain carcinogenic fibers. This fact came to light, horribly, because a friend of Joe’s dad recently died of mesothelioma just weeks after she was diagnosed.
I researched it and I don’t think our risk is too high because the initial job was done pretty cleanly and safely, and we haven’t done anything since then that would make the stuff friable (reduced to tiny dustlike particles that easily become airborne). But still, better late than never.
So while Joe rested his uvula, his dad and I strapped on respirators and sealed the floors. He scraped up any loose particles and I vacuumed them up, then he used a roller to paint on sealant. When it was dry, we covered the floors with old cloths until we’re ready to level them.
This house may be the death of me yet. But let’s hope not.