Hiring a house cleaner-a justifiable healthcare cost?

Hiring a house cleaner-a justifiable healthcare cost?

Our bathroom is a mess.  I’ve had “clean the bathroom” on my to-do list for about, say, eight years.  I am only slightly exaggerating here, as the bathroom has needed a deep clean for quite awhile—most notably my sink.  Like most women with long hair, I have a sink that gets clogged with hair and then gets topped up with some loose powder makeup and toothpaste.  The sight is not a pretty one, and I hope I’m not alone in not having a perfect porcelain bowl that’s clean enough to eat from.

Our part of Georgia has been having historically high rainfall this summer.  Nearly every single day for weeks now we’ve had a significant downpour and/or storm (happily, we often see afternoon single or double rainbows, so that’s a good payoff, as are the equally historic low temperatures).  Unlike many of our neighbors, we count ourselves lucky:  we’ve no basement that has flooded, and our roof has held up (knock on wood). But the mold that ordinarily hides in the corner of our shower now and again has grown with a vengeance—the house never fully dehumidifies, so it’s humid both inside and outside, leading to crazy growth of mold on the outside of buildings and inside people’s bathrooms and kitchens.

Reader favoriteAll this is to say I need to clean my bathroom, and I don’t really want to.  Laziness is the main reason (I like to tidy, but I don’t like to clean), but the unavoidable back pain that will accompany the cleaning is what I really don’t want to face.  And even the mildly scented cleaning chemicals can trigger a migraine for me if I’ve been stacking triggers.

This has me thinking:  to what degree can hiring a house cleaner be considered a health cost?  If I avoid bending over to scrub a tub for twenty minutes, I can avoid a lot of pain and discomfort in my back.  If I avoid being around harsh chemicals and their bright smells, I can potentially avoid a migraine attack.  So hiring capable people to do this job could be seen as a type of preventive care, right?

Are there any home or work tasks you’ve delegated as a measure of self-preservation? Are there any parts of your budget dedicated to things that aren’t technically healthcare but are done so you can prevent migraine attacks? I’d love to hear from you!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (48)
  • paizley
    4 years ago

    Allergies and asthma make dusting and vacuuming miserable chores for me.Chemicals are a no-no. Sacroiliac arthritis means bending over the tub and vacuuming are quite painful not to mention that I have a failed 3-level cervical fusion that needs to be redone. So my neck hurts and I have radiculopathies. Arthritis in both STT joints of wrist doesn’t help matters since I can’t even pick up a gallon jug of milk. I’m not sure what my migraine triggers are. They just show up…like an hour ago after sneezing 3 times. Took fiorinal and Benadryl. Hope that helps. I need to go grocery shopping but instead feel like going back to bed. I live alone with cats. Yes, a housekeeper would be NICE!

  • irish lass
    4 years ago

    I feel the same way, on a good day I am playing catch up with laundry, cleaning, shopping, cooking, opening all the mail that never stops coming, paying the bills, etc. It never ends and then I am exhausted, in pain and hoping another migraine doesn’t hit too soon as I can’t afford to be down for another 3 or 4 days. I seem to get 2 migraines a week, each lasting 3 or 4 days, so there goes that week! My business has suffered as I can hardly participate in my own life. Follow through is difficult, deadlines come and go, keeping up with the bare minimum is the goal these days. Having a housecleaner would certainly help all round. But it is not in the cards, between the $$ and probably not be able to answer the door and let the person in, as I would probably be throwing up and or not able to move or communicate to give direction on what needs doing or where the cleaning stuff is etc. I love having a clean house, it actually makes me feel more sick when things are not up to my standards (even tho my standards have dropped in the past 15 years or so…). And yes having a housecleaner seems like it should be a justifiable healthcare expense.

  • denisemorris
    4 years ago

    I agree completely. I used to be able to keep my house clean and work a 40-50 hour week. And I’m a paraplegic. Then the stupid migraines became chronic. My house is a wreck. Hubby does what he can, but he has health problems too, so I can not afford for him to crash.
    Personally I think it should be easier to ‘qualify’ for house keeping help through Medicare and insurance companies. A girl can dream right?

  • whtesatin
    4 years ago

    I understand this. I like my house clean, but I haven’t been able to do it myself for almost 9 years. Yes my bathroom needs to be cleaned, but I can’t do it, the bending over and the toxic fumes associated with cleaning it are just too much for me. My husband and I have discussed getting a cleaner for the house, however it’s just not in the budget at the moment. So he does what he can, what with working, grocery shopping, etc. A house cleaner is definitely on my bucket list!

  • Heather Benton
    5 years ago

    I would so love to get a house cleaner, but mainly for my husband! HE us so amazing, he does everything most of the time…works full time, does all the housework, laundry, teacher interviews, cooks/bakes, does all the outside stuff(grass,trimming,snowblowing,etc) and coaches! Top it off he is a loving kind caring DAD and HUSBAND to all 3 of our children (24,19,13…only 13 left home) also always there for his FOLKS! But I haven’t worked in close to 9 years and needless to say money is tight, so getting a housekeeper is not even on our wish list. There certainly isn’t anything I am aware of in Canada that is FREE to those on LTD. But what a weight it would be for my husband…maybe he would stay awake when he came to be and we could talk for a few minute!

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    Even though you can’t get a maid, I’m sure your husband would appreciate knowing that you would like to hire one for him because of all the work he does!
    Maybe for Father’s Day your kids could help him out for a day?
    You’re very lucky to have him and he clearly adores you!
    -Katie

  • PaulaJan
    5 years ago

    I have suffered chronic migraine for a full 20 years now, had migraine and anxiety disorder since I was six years old. I worked as an accountant for many years but had to cut back more and more on hours to accommodate migraines and fibromyalgia. I’m 59 yrs old, disabled, nothing effective to take to break a migraine cycle. (Can’t tolerate triptans or NSAID’s). A housekeeper would be a true gift … but our budget won’t allow it. So, my husband of 31 years does what he can when he can. I do what I am able, but it isn’t much. The house is messy and not very clean. Housecleaning should definitely be considered a deductible medical expense on our tax returns, but I’m certain it is not.

  • Marikay62
    5 years ago

    I have chronic migraines, almost every day, depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia. I talked to my husband about hiring a housecleaning person his answer was a flat out no. I’m glad to see that there are volunteer services that will do it for free my husband still after all these years, still doesn’t get it

  • Heather Benton
    5 years ago

    Sorry to here your husband doesn’t get it! I also have Chronic Migraines for most of my adult life(migraines since I was a child), also have Fibro, and had a bout of depression…MY husband is so understanding and amazing he makes me want to get a house cleaner so he doesn’t have to do so much! I haven’t worked in close to 9 years(at that time we had 3 children still in school)
    We ONLY have our baby who is now 13 left home, our 19 year old is still close to home but living on his own, and a 24 year old who will be soon getting married. He is an amazing loving DAD on top of it all.
    Hope soon your husband will understand!

  • Katy White
    5 years ago

    I’m 38 & have had chronic migraines since kindergarten. My husband & son, both sweeties, don’t care how messy the house can get. I simply cannot clean. Everything with a synthetic fragrance or chemical smell hurts me. I’m now a SAHM; I had to resign from teaching due to uncontrollable environmental odors that would give me nausea, migraine, hives, mental fog, and even anaphylactic reactions requiring frequent Benadryl doses and the occasional epi-pen rescue.

    I benefit greatly from hiring a twice-monthly cleaning lady. How can I appropriately document this expense to turn in on my taxes along with healthcare expenses?

    I’d like to know more about a steam cleaner someone mentioned- a brand, price, where to buy… also, what do y’all use to dust with? Aerosol products kill me. How about dishwasher detergent? Will be anticipating some great advice. Thanks!

  • ALW1
    5 years ago

    I’m a chronic migraineur, with almost daily attacks. My husband does most of the shopping since the lights in the grocery store are a trigger for me. He also does the “heavy” cleaning since the scents trigger me too. A fan & vents help.

  • Fawn Hunkins-Beckford
    5 years ago

    I have migraines (in the middle of an attack so excuse typos), chronic pain, and hypermobility.
    These have only recently been identified and its taken a long time for my family (who i dont live with now) to realise there was something more than depression and laziness at pplay.

    Despite that my mom actually was the one who said she thinks Id benefit from hiring a cleaner. And that she hired a family member to do some mild house cleaning before, so it could help her health (she was dealing with sickness and pain) and it helps give the family member some good pay and somewhere nice to enjoy a cup of tea afterwards.

    It sounds nice and I am considering it when I move. Right now I’m sharing a house with the filthiest person I’ve known and I can confirm that cleaning when youre not well really does take its toll on you.
    The migraine, vertigo, fevers, auras and massive crashes/hang overs have been multiplied 8 fold just by being here and my skin is peeling from all the cleaning. My skin is my most healthy part of me!

    Definitely, when you’re unwell, anything that can reduce your load and help you take care of yourself is good. Even if it’s just having your hair washed, which is another thing I benefit from having done for me (or at least the drying ordeal).

    At the end of the day, with chronic, invisible illnesses, its a balancing act of avoiding triggers and maintaining your energy for the most important things before a random illness attack wipes all your reserve clean.

    If getting some housework, or even personal hygiene helps, then it’s totally worth it.

  • Julie Ryan
    5 years ago

    I have migraines and Fibromyalgia. I actually hired a house-keeeper before I was diagnosed with the Fibro, but I’ve had Migraines since I was a kid. I’ll admit I hired her initially out of laziness (and lack of time), however now I’m really glad I have her because so much of the time I’m just not up to the task of the basic cleaning jobs.

  • Cece Yuhas
    5 years ago

    Migraines since age 4, other chronic Pain issues include, Chronic Back and Neck pain since 1980, Bi-lateral Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in 1983, 1990 Bursitis in both Hips and Shoulders, 1993 all 18 points of Fibromyalgia, had surgery on both Shoulders in 2011 (one June, One Dec.). Have been on disability since 1989, wasn’t till December of 2011, I finally received a home health-aide (kept telling me I wasn’t eligible). I plan to start setting aside money every month to get a massage twice a month, and try to claim it as a medical expense when I file taxes, because I feel it would help with my pain issues, and maybe include my money I spend toward the Y.M.C.A. to also help keep me moving with pain issues, although I modify the exercises.

  • Laura Bascietto
    5 years ago

    What kind of insurance do you have? If you are allowed physical therapy, you could get most of it paid for …many PT’s are good at massage or manual hands on treatment. I really like craniosacral therapy. You can find a practitioner who is a PT (or a massage therapist) at the Upledger.com site.

    Good luck!

  • joypeters
    5 years ago

    I have delegated vacuuming. The noise bothers me. We also sweep with a broom the carpets – picks up the hair and surface dirt, making it longer between vacuuming.

  • Suki G.
    5 years ago

    Hi Folks, I am so glad to be a part of this online community. I wanted to comment specifically on the many many mentions of the smells of cleaning products as a trigger.

    I am so sensitive that my neurologist labels me an osmophobe. I live an entirely fragrance free or “Free and Clear” existence at home, because I am so sensitive to chemical volatile organic compounds. That means any cleaning (or cosmetic, body care, laundry) product that contains any sort of toxic chemicals or fragrance doesn’t come in my house. (period)

    There are plenty of fragrance free alternatives these days, for just about everything. Throw away all that other stuff- you don’t need it. And for heaven’s sake also throw out the scented deodorants, air fresheners, perfumes and so on. It’s probably making you sick.

    Try searching “fragrance free” on Pinterest or Twitter- there are many pages with suggestions. If a company doesn’t make a product as fragrance free- we can all write to them and demand that they produce it. Let me know!

  • Lucy
    5 years ago

    Also, if you can not really effort it, look in your area for volunteer services. I had a surgery and have been on disability so I called a volunteer place and they sent me a volunteer who is actually a nice person and a school teacher and she came once a week and helped me with cleaning, errands or cooking. Whatever I needed. If I needed her twice a week, she would come twice a week. She happens to live close to my house and she is a really nice person, so we have become good friends. This summer she had a nice dinner to introduce me to her family. Also, don’t forget you have friends. If you don’t have the money, you can tell them you need some help with cleaning and I’m sure some of them will help you once a month or so if you don’t do it always on the same person. So there’s hope even if you don’t have the money. Look around for resources.

  • Lucy
    5 years ago

    Six years ago I decided having life without pain and being able to rest was more important than money. I hired a housekkeeper and couldn’t have made a better decision. I don’t have to deals with the bending, the dust when vacuuming, the exercise implied that is no what the physical therapist recommended to me and what is more important, with the mess. It is nice to come once a month to a clean house because when I do it, I can not do everything in one day, so one Saturday I cleaned the bathroom, another Saturday I would vacuum and so on, so I never saw the house clean. It was expensive but I told a housekeeper I really liked her but couldn’t effort her. She told me to pay her what I could so I did. It worked really well. One thing is I sacrificed watching TV because I pay for the housekeeper instead of paying for cable and since I don’t have a flat screen TV, I don’t get any channels but it’s worth it. My home is my temple and it’s important to keep it nice, livable and healthy. If I let dust or mold accumulate I get headaches, so it is worth to have someone to come around once a month and do it for me. You should consider it or try it for two months only once a month and see how it works for you. You don’t have to do it for ever if it doesn’t work or if you find out you really can’t effort it. And about the hair in the cinc, go to Home Depot and get a long skinny plastic wire for a buck and insert it in and out the cinc several times. It will get the hair and junk out nicely. Also, don’t recommend using sponges but a cloth bec you get debri from the sponges that accumulate in the drain. Use a cloth or small towel instead. It will save you some work.

  • 100dollarheadache
    5 years ago

    i have had to delegate or hi\re others to do work for me that otherwise affect my health and bring on migraines. i have had to hire a landscaper to cut my grass. i live in a rural area on 2 1/2 acres and there is no way i could do it. over exerting myself is a trigger for migraine. being out in the heat and bright sun is also a problem. i have also had to hire a friend to do some yard cleaning as well, trimming trees, picking up brush etc…i also have a young lady that does some heavy house cleaning for me. all of these activities have caused me severe migraine, vomiting and dehydration. i have some pain issues form several surgeries that also inhibit me. i just can not function on a migraine. i become very ill for 6 hours up to 36 hours depending on the medication being administered on time. even avoiding these activities i suffer 4 to 7 migraines per month. there was a time i was getting 10 to 12 a month and i would lose two thirds of the month. at present i still am losing half the month to being ill from headaches. paying people to perform such duties has also taken a toll financially. recently i paid one hundred dollars for some one to clean up debris from
    a very bad noreaster winter storm that hit the east coast of new england this past winter. it has taken me 6 months or so to get this cleaned up. i had to save some funds to accomplish this. these costs are all justifiable because they can make me become ill. i can not function under the circumstances of a migraine. it is the worst pain i suffer from by far because i can not function. i can not go out or drive my car or even cook for my children. they help as much as they can. they realize how much i suffer and cooperate with me. add in medication and doctor care to these costs and i am spending 6 to 8 thousand dollars a year. i have begun to ask my neurologist for samples which has helped alleviate the burden, thankfully he gives them to me when he has them. i use a triptan inject-able needle which seems to work the quickest. i also use imitrex nasal and zoomig, a melt away tablet. these drugs can make the difference of me being very sick 4 hours or 3 days.

  • antamyers
    5 years ago

    I am so OCD about cleaning, but it is not possible for me to do some of the housework anymore. I have chronic migraines, severe depression and panic disorder. I am able to clean maybe one day a week and with the kids out of school my house looks as if a tornado has for through. I am lucky enough though to have wonderful friends and family members who will periodically come and clean me. The kids are usually pretty good also about helping me. I just wish the money was in the budget for someone to come in and clean at least once a week.

  • Cindy G
    5 years ago

    If only. I dream about hiring a housecleaner because there is just no room in my budget to actually hire one. I live alone so there is no one to delegate to. And you would think that living alone would be easy to clean up but when in the throws of a migraine everything gets piled up; mail, laundry, dishes, bathroom, floors. When I finally get a day where I’m feeling ok, I’m afraid to do any of the necessary cleaning/chores, afraid of bringing on another migraine. I just want to enjoy the free time. Thank you so much for posting this. It is the first time I’ve seen this issue brought up. It helps to know that I’m not the only one with a dirty sink. 🙂

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    5 years ago

    Hi Janet,

    This is my dream, to have someone clean my house on a regular basis 🙂

  • Aily
    5 years ago

    I ABSOLUTELY believe that hiring a house cleaner is a legit healthcare expense! Like so many other Migraineurs, one of my triggers is the strong fumes/scents from cleaning products. I also suffer from arthritis, which makes the scrubbing motions and pressure required to deep-clean very painful. The “professional” cleaning services I checked into were too expensive for my small Disability income, so I contacted the Student Employment office at a local college and advertised there. I interviewed several kids and selected a wonderful young lady who comes every other week to do the deep-cleaning in our bathrooms, all of the sweeping/mopping, and anything else too difficult for me to do. She does all of the heavy-duty cleaning, and then I’m able to just do light up-keep or spot-cleaning as needed in between her visits. We pay her $10/hour, and it is worth every penny. She said that she loves the flexibility of schedule and the fact that she’s not having to flip burgers somewhere for minimum wage. So if cost is a draw-back, don’t forget about the local Student Employment Office if there is a college nearby! In our experience, it has been an awesome cost-effective solution, and I gained a friend in the process, too.

  • Laura
    5 years ago

    How many hours does it take her every other week?

    One of the reasons I live in a dirty mess most all the time is because house cleaners are so expensive and I live alone – so there is no one to help with the cleaning or to help pay for the cleaning.

  • kateymac
    5 years ago

    Wow – great idea! Thanks!

  • kateymac
    5 years ago

    Typo: …first week OF this insanity.

  • kateymac
    5 years ago

    I moved into my apartment a year ago. It was not clean. My best friend drove three hours and spent three days making the place sparkle while I was in bed with migraine.

    That’s the last time my bathroom floor was cleaned, ditto for the kitchen floor. I have vacuumed perhaps twice, in open areas, meaning there is a year’s worth of dust behind every bookcase and piece of furniture.

    When I see a clump of dust, I wipe it up. Occasionally I run a paper towel along the edges of the bathroom floor where the dirt gathers. I sweep the kitchen when walking barefoot gets too annoying. Sometimes when food goes bad, I have to stick it in the freezer until I have the energy to take the garbage out.

    All of this is completely disgusting. My apartment is adorably decorated, as thrift store shopping is a big pain management technique for me. (endorphins?). But it’s dirty.

    Thanks so much for this post. I think it’s time I ask for help with this, whether I use my meager funds to hire someone once a month, or ask a family member now and then. It’s not laziness. Migraine, for me, is a true disability, as it is for just about anyone drawn to this website, I would guess. Yes, cleaning IS a trigger, due to exertion in my case. But the bigger problem for me is that I’m SICK EVERY DAY. I just CAN’T GET IT DONE. Nobody expects you to clean the house when you have the flu, but maybe if you had the flu for twelve years, people would start to say “you need to learn to COPE with it”… etc., regardless of the fact that you are just as ill as you were during the first week do this insanity, twelve years ago.

    So, YES – I see hiring a house cleaner as a justifiable healthcare cost.

  • Cindy G
    5 years ago

    Kate, try 5 years! I use the same shortcuts. It is not easy to ask family members for help. Mostly, they just don’t understand. I live in subsidized housing and for my last inspection I did have to break down and ask my son for help. Thankfully he did with no lectures. I tried to keep it up but that did not last very long. Thanks for sharing.

  • astrosdiva
    5 years ago

    Why did my comment listed from MY7A? I’m astrosdiva in TX.

  • astrosdiva
    5 years ago

    Kate: I feel exactly the same way. I couldn’t have written a more accurate statement. People THINK I’m lazy. Hah! With cancer, people understand “I’m sick every day.” With Migraine, few do. Cleaning (and grocery shopping, errands, etc.)is every bit as important as our medication. Maybe equal–we have to LIVE in that environment, and we’re trapped there due to sunlight or just plain pain.

  • BethBlue
    5 years ago

    I believe my remarks the other day were a bit harsh, so I’d like to clarify and expand them. First off, to Migraine Girl: I applaud you for having the guts to write your thoughts, because I’ve often felt the same way. In my case, I have a few very well-off relatives who are healthy and can afford to hire cleaning help — and hell, YES! I am jealous! Who wouldn’t be? I find myself burning inside and thinking, “It’s just not FAIR” so often that I begin to wish I could develop Sheldon Cooper-like death ray eyes to incinerate the ne’er-do-wells. And yes, the smell of Scrubbing Bubbles, while “fresh,” are enough to make me gag and turn as green as the cap on the can. So I am sorry if I came off as cutting and cold in my response. To everyone else, I want to add that I am just as frustrated and miserable as any other chronic migraine sufferer, but that I am grateful to have a husband who will pitch in to vacuum the stairs and change the kitty litter. (Hey, we have FIVE cats, so that’s a HUGE deal. The man cleans up vomit, hairballs, poop, pee, and even gives breakfast to our outdoor feral cat — he deserves a Medal of Valor!) I can certainly grin and bear it while I clean the toilets and the tub, and treat the stains in his underwear (let’s not go there). To Mary, I’d like to add that I too am tackling the decluttering and organizing tasks, as we are refinancing and have to undergo an appraisal (“Oh no, people have to come inside the house???”). The world is hard enough for migraine sufferers; my words weren’t intended to be cruel to any of you. [Addendum: A shout out to Lysol/Clorox/any generic brand wipes. They come in a plastic can; you can use them for quick clean-ups anywhere in your home, and they are lightly scented. KUDOS!]

  • Writermom
    5 years ago

    Dear Migraine Girl, Cleaning the bathroom is so difficult. I try to avoid it, but since I don’t have paid help and my husband rarely does it, the task usually falls to me. I often use the sanitizing wipes for in between chores and sometimes for big chores, too. I try to use products that have the least amount of smell to them, and ALWAYS have the window open and plenty of ventilation. I use a stool to sit on in the shower to help with the up and down motion of cleaning the tiles and grout. It really helps eliminate some of the bending. Sometimes, I use baking soda, which works very well for getting a lot of the build up on the tiles, especially on the floor of the shower.
    My other big problem is the vacuuming and dusting, which my husband does most often.
    I don’t know how the IRS views preventive cleaning expense, so I would check with your tax person. I plan to get someone to clean the bathrooms and do the vacuuming and dusting very soon. That will go miles toward making the house cleaner and I will feel better about it.
    As I said, baking soda works very well for a lot of things, and has no odor. White vinegar sanitizes, and most of us can handle its fragrance. Just don’t mix the two.
    I wish you well, whatever you decide to do.

  • Susan K.
    5 years ago

    The first thing that crossed my mind when I read this article was the possible relationship between mold and migraines. I know that molds are one of my triggers. Also, things like plain old apple cider vinegar make great cleaners, as does Bon Ami cleanser. It doesn’t have chlorine or anything else harsh in it. (Just don’t mix the vinegar and cleanser!) And I would definitely hire some help with the cleaning. Perhaps a local high school or college student would be willing to come in occasionally. That might be less expensive than hiring a professional, and you can choose the products used.

  • Janet
    5 years ago

    Read your article and fully understand. I can’t stand anybody’s perfumes..laundry soap, fabric softener..etc., …I have to be soooooo careful…it’s soooo frustrating.

    I read on to se that your live in Athens Georgia. We are new residents to Georgia and understand the record breaking rains. When we moved to Las Vegas 21 years ago we seemed to have brought record breaking rain there in 1992 ..what was called the HUNDRED YEAR RAIN…it was recorded in record books. So from Chicago to Las Vegas to Atlanta…we seem to bring rain where we go. The humidity is really hard for my head…really hard. After spending so much time outdoors in nevada…I’ve become pretty much a hermit here in Georgia as the weather here has contributed to many migraines. Too many.

    I’d love for a chance to meet a fellow migraine sufferer as I don’t know anyone like me…except my daughter.

    We could meet half way some time if you’re willing.

    In the meantime..I do enjoy your posts as well as all the other informational topics posted here in migraine.com.

    Blessings
    Janet Jones

  • Kasey
    5 years ago

    Absolutely! I used to wash and iron my husbands work shirts. I have 12-17 migraines each month, so they would pile up undone. I have him take his work shirts and slacks to the cleaners now and pick them up. It takes both the stress and the guilt off me for not being able to do that. It adds another $100.00 a month to our expense, but at least he has them. I wish I could afford someone to come in twice a month and clean the bathrooms, floors kitchen etc. in our home. It seems on my “well” days I am trying to catch up with housework, which as you say, triggers a migraine with the cleaning agents.

  • Bruno Godbout
    5 years ago

    Thank you for writing this Janet.

    My stance is usually to spend what is necessary on prevention. If you look at the big picture it makes more sense than spending all the money on treating the symptoms.

    If it will help prevent migraines, it’s worth getting the cleaning service. Also, between migraine episodes, your time would probably be better spent on other activities.

    Our family has recently opted for this and it has been worth it.

    You might have a tough time convincing your government or insurance company to pay for it though.

  • Haeley Derby-Nardone
    5 years ago

    I am thankful that my husband does all the “smelly” cleaning when I am at work and he is home. We have tried to balance chores according to our abilities, likes and dislikes and time available for each of us. It works out. But when I end up working full time and he has to take on other tasks we may have to pay someone else to do this for us. Time will tell but this is the solution that has worked for us as of now.

  • Tatiana Swanson
    5 years ago

    We hired a house cleaner a few months ago. She comes in every two weeks and cleans our bathrooms, vacumes the floors, dusts everything and generally cleans other stuff too. This has been the best thing we have ever done! It is the best feeling to come home to a clean house…and I don’t have to worry about triggering a migraine or my fibromyalgia when I have to clean my three bathrooms or vacume the stairways (I have three bathrooms and three stairways). I would highly recommend hiring someone just to clean the bathrooms if it helps…do it Janet…you’ll love it!

  • javiersotomayor
    5 years ago

    I think it’s a delicate balance situation. I feel very similar to you. Now, I read BethBlue’s post below and that’s how I feel sometimes too. So that’s why I say it’s a delicate balance situation. To a certain degree, try to avoid any migraine triggers, but be very aware of the normal human tendency to use some of these situations as excuses for ourselves. My wife and I have had the issue of cleaning chemicals for years, especially because she’s asthmatic and we’ve had to take turns doing the cleaning. However, if you can delegate some of the trigger-happy chores around the house to someone else, either paying for it as a professional service, or switching roles with someone else in the family – knock yourself out. I feel your pain.

  • mast610
    5 years ago

    Bathroom cleaners are the worst- especially the bleach! For quickie clean-ups I just use the wipes. But for deep cleaning,I use a steamer. No odors and it works on everything from tubs to floors. No hard scrubbing and no back or neck strain.

  • javiersotomayor
    5 years ago

    That’s a great idea with the steamer. I tried using one years ago, but maybe it was not one of the powerful ones, as I ended up doing a lot of work just to clean small areas of the bathroom. Which one do you use?

  • sheri2u2
    5 years ago

    I’ve often thought about a cleaning person. And why do I often feel guilty about that? I think is admitting that I can not longer do one other thing. I have, though, started to make all of my own cleaning products. I love that I’m saving tons of money and not adding any more harsh chemicals into my environment.

  • janenez
    5 years ago

    I don’t know what qualifies as a healthcare expense. I can tell you it is a lot more expensive to eat gluten free and that has made a difference in the number of migraine days for me. When I had two kids at home I had a monthly housekeeper – but that was more for my sanity than health reasons. Now that its just hubby and I, he does the heavy stuff and I do the rest as I can. If I didn’t have him though, I would have to hire someone. That kind of physical work is a trigger for me, just as an exercise induced migraine would be. I doubt it is laziness on your part – you don’t seem lazy to me! I think subconsciously you know it to be a trigger. If you can afford it – it is definitely worth it!

  • BethBlue
    5 years ago

    Sometimes we just have to suck it up and go forth, no matter how painful it is. Besides, you said it yourself: “Laziness is the main reason(.)” Do I even need to tell you that you will be accused of using this “justification” as an excuse? Trust me, as a longtime chronic migraine sufferer myself, I despise house-cleaning smells and tasks too, but you have to wake up and smell the triggered coffee. I would expect a cancer patient to be taken seriously about a complaint like this, but not a chronic migraine sufferer. Anyway, my husband and I solved the bathroom ventilation problem by putting a tall fan outside the bathroom in the hallway, aimed into the bathroom. When we open the door, we put it on the low setting, and let it air out the bathroom. It has worked for years! It also combats humidity, which we all know is another trigger. 😉

  • javiersotomayor
    5 years ago

    I mentioned you in a comment above. I feel like you sometimes.

  • Diana-Lee
    5 years ago

    We DESPERATELY need to work this into our budget once and for all.

    Between the severe physical limitations of my Chronic Migraines and occipital neuralgia and the hours Cliff works, we can’t keep up on a regular basis.

    If we’d even just work it in as a once a month priority things would improve immensely.

    The bending over thing is a HUGE issue for me, too. But I’ve found that using cleaning products without harsh smells and chemicals works much better for me. For example, I love Dr. Bronner’s for just about every cleaning task.

    As far as delegating other tasks, to me this is ultimately all about setting limits that meet your needs. Which is something I struggle with in a few settings and am working hard on. 🙂

    Ultimately, if you need to do this to set limits to meet your needs, it counts as a health-related expense, if that’s what you or anyone else need to hear to pull the trigger. If you can afford it, DO IT!

  • mary
    5 years ago

    I realize for some people being able to pay for help is something that their finances will allow, and for them yes having some help is worth every penny. Is it legitimate medical expense, yes!!! Otherwise there wouldn’t be home aides that get paid to help people with housecleaning.

    For someone who is fixed income and still struggling like myself may I share few things that have helped. Occasionally I have had help with deep cleaning from friends. However, I have found having friends and others help clean is great but stressful, and that helps come infrequently. So I am more interested in learning how to do for myself.

    My level of housework undone guilt has been helped immensely by FLYLADY, and the little sayings she has. She teaches you to do little everyday with routines. She helps with the perfectionism that keeps you from even trying. I don’t know about you guys but the adage “if you can’t do something right then don’t do it” is something I had to unlearn when I got sick. Thinking that you can’t do anything cause it won’t be done right, can be paralyzing when you don’t feel good and so you don’t try. FLYLADY is big on “You can do anything for 15 minutes”. Those are things that help me get pass depression and learn to live within spoon allotments of energy.

    I decided to use my time as a disabled homemaker because CFS/fibro and HMs to figure out the most effective way to do household chores. Why work hard when there is smarter ways to do stuff than what I was taught by my mother and grandmothers? I have spent a lot time learning about DIY cleaning supplies with the few chemicals I can stand and therefore make my own cleaners–carpet cleaner, detergent, and others. I have watched Hoarders, and “How Clean is Your House” to help realize that things aren’t hopeless and to give me ideas to accomplish things. I have learned a lot over the years by reading books on dejunking and organizing the stuff I do have. Nothing like rethinking your relationship to things to help you deal with them and realize how much some of them are energy drainers. There are lots DIY videos for how best to clean things, how to make your own cleaners, and so on. I consider figuring out how to care of my house and doing so part of my exercise routine–I have seen studies that housework done is exercise.

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