You know the old trick you learned when you were a kid, right? If something at the dinner table tastes nasty and you’re being forced to eat it, what do you do? Why, you plug your nose, of course! The olfactory receptors in the nose are connected to the tastebuds in the mouth. You can’t really have one without the other.
So what is a hypothyroid to do, when we TASTE the laundry soap on the paper plates at the church potluck? Or when a meal is totally spoiled by the sensation of chewing on an ashtray when someone in the restaurant lights up? What’s an innocent little hypothyroid to do when she wakes up in the middle of the night, realizes she’s been snoring again, and her whole mouth tastes like a toilet bowl?!? STOP THE THYROID MADNESS!!!
This was me, about two nights ago, dragging myself out of bed into the cold winter air, and then stomping into the adjoining master bathroom fuming that I had to deal with yet another incident of olfactory chemical sensitivity to which millions of others are oblivious. Yeah, I’d known the bathroom was overdue for a cleaning, but I’ve got a baby…
Song for a Fifth Child
By Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
and out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
but I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep
Well, tomorrow got tired of waiting. Silently, like the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, my comeuppins day arrived at my bedside at 3 AM smelling as if it had crawled through a sewer to get there. Of course, because of my condition, I can’t use regular cleaners – or regular soaps, for that matter, – and because our neck of the woods has hard water, things can get to be a real pain in the chakka without the help of your friendly neighborhood toxins! I swept the floor, then attacked the mirror with an organic window cleaner I’d picked up at Lowe’s… Then adding flame to the fire, a frowning, fuming Missus Grumpy got out the vinegar.
It’s funny, but I’d been reminded of the power of vinegar the day before by a video my daughter was watching. She’s been really into a fantastic homesteading DVD series, one of which teaches you how to make homemade soap. The instructors advised that you should always have a bottle of vinegar nearby, in case there is an accident, because vinegar removes soap. Seeing that I don’t use gobblety-gook soap, I shouldn’t have to use gobblety-gook cleaners, so I decided to give vinegar a whirl on my Dr. Bronner’s-caked bathroom sink and vanity. It worked! I then went back over the sink and vanity with Young Living Thieves Cleaner, to make double-sure all those stinky germs were dead… plunged the water out of the toilet and dumped a bit of Thieves Cleaner in it to soak… and then attacked the bathtub.
All I could think of was the idiom, Well, you’re just full of piss and vinegar! as I knelt by the still-yet-to-be-cleaned toilet and scrubbed the bathtub with all the vim and vigor of a vengeful hypothyroid!!! UCK!!! Yet it was amazing to see that vinegar do it’s job, and remove the gluey Dr. Bronner’s soap scum from my fiberglass shower-and-tub unit. What came up in little balls from the textured floor looked something like gray silly putty! Gross, yet fascinating!! It was working! I started to think about how much my husband would enjoy how clean things were the next time he took a shower. I began to imagine how happy and surprised the kids would be that Mom finally got a move on and was fulfilling the same expectation she had of them… (Do as I do, and not just do as I say?) The fact that I had two bathrooms, not just one… and even a tub to scrub. Slowly I realized that my grim mood was turning from the high irritation into something which became more and more like pleasure. Maybe even joy. How GLAD I was to have a natural cleaning product (vinegar + elbow grease) that could remove a natural cleaning product (Dr. Bronner’s soap)! How GLAD I was that it was the middle of the night, the ONLY time of day when my baby sleeps soundly… the ONLY time I have a ghost of a chance of slipping away from her unnoticed. How GLAD I was that I could fix my own problem – pee, poo, vinegar, and all!!!
The rest of the bathroom went off like a breeze… I cleaned the toilet, spray-mopped the floor with Thieves & paper towel, dumped the diaper bucket into the wash with my beloved SalSuds, took out the trash, and then walked back into the bathroom and smiled. With a light heart, I put the new towels on the rod and returned the soap and toothbrushes to their places. Ahh! Life is good!
The sun had not yet risen, but I was awake for the day. There was something special about greeting the dawn with a freshly cleaned bathroom. Maybe things weren’t so bad after all. Being a Mom is great, and if being hypothyroid finally gets the bathroom cleaned, well… then… thank God for being hypothyroid.
“When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.” – from Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter