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He put rat poison in my bookshelves!!!  RSS feed

 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 166
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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I just have to vent about this.

So I live with my Dad, he's got medical problems, I take care of him, and he looooooves the toxic gick, he'd probably bathe in it if he could, and regularly dumps it on my plants to be "helpful" no matter how many times I ask him not to, plus he sprays and poisons the house constantly, and he smokes, and he puts fake cheese product and weird margarine crap in all the food, and dumps engine oil on my soil, and arggggh.

But today takes the cake.

I was going through my bookshelves upstairs today and smelled something weird, pulled out a few of my books, and there was a line of rat poison pellets piled up behind them. Apparently while I was gone, he took all my books out and lined the shelves with rat poison!!! These are my books, not his, he doesn't really read anymore. And so I had to spent the afternoon emptying all the shelves (I have a LOT of books) sucking up rat pellets with the dust buster and replacing all my books, which I'm now kind of averse to even touching (I like to read laying in bed with the book held up above me, and now I just imagine a constant sifting rain of poison dust on my face...)

And he wonders why I have constant headaches and sore throats and bronchial infections in this damn house! But when I mention that it might be all the cigarette smoke, or the poison, or the mold, and that I miraculously get well when I go to others houses that aren't freaking toxic dumps...no, it must be because I have a weak immune system, or because (I love this one! It's one of his favorites) I worry too much about eating healthy food and using natural products, which stresses me out so that I get sick!

Never mind that I was on migraine medication for years, and had bronchitis multiple times a year and pneumonia several times (even the doctors told him it was the cigarettes, but did he listen?) and felt like utter crap for my entire childhood until I finally left home when I was 16, and then spent a decade feeling great until I came back home and now I'm sick all the time again! But no, it can't have anything to do with him or this house.

Ugh, so pissed off.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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OMG!! I am soooo sorry Jen, I had know idea. The CAD will have to get a "bump up" in priority...you need your own space there on the ranch. Your Dad's health must suffer from this level of toxin exposure...

The Rat poison isn't as bad as the motor oil and insecticides, though I understand it being by your books...That would absolutely send me over the edge if someone messed with my books!!

So Sorry...Please hang in there!

j
 
Dave Burton
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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OMG! I cannot agree more Jennifer. Being a student and an avid reader of books, nobody touches my precious babies! I hate it so much when books get damaged or contaminated in any form- especially if they are my books!

I don't know. The best I can think of right now is to bring in some houseplants to try clean up the air quality in the home. They'll also calm the nerves, hopefully.
 
Ann Torrence
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Being a senior caretaker is heroic. Hang in there.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Location: Andalucía, Spain
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OMG! poor you! Is there any way you can make the housing seperated while still staying toghether so you can take care of him? I don't think I could live like that ((hugs))
 
Craig Dobbson
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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How is he getting a hold of the gick? Does he still drive to get it or is just leftover supplies laying around the house?
When I was kid my mom would hose down the firewood she brought in, with Raid to keep the bugs from getting loose in the house. If she ever saw some thing flying around the house, out came the Raid fogger and the whole house got hosed. I couldn't stand it so I just starting throwing out the Raid when she wasn't looking. Kinda like keeping booze from drunks; you just have to be persistent.

I know it's not the best option but you could try buying the "less nasty" gick in the hopes of at least making a small improvement in the over all situation. Then try slowly weening him off the stuff all together.

You didn't specify his medical issues but perhaps you could bring this up to his doctor in the hopes that they could perhaps intervene and let him know that it's not helping his current medical issues.

The trouble with parents is that they tend to think their kids are always their "kids" and they forget that we've grown up. Sometimes hearing it from an outside source would help change his mind.

And also... Hats off to you for being so caring as to help him out in his time of need. Best wishes
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 166
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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Thanks for the kind words and suggestions, everyone!

I will indeed put in some house plants--I found a list here from the NASA clean air study which helpfully charts which toxins various common house plants help filter out, which is pretty cool:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study

If nothing else, the greenery will make me feel better when I am stuck in the house and/or arguing with Dad (usually the two go hand-in-hand, haha).

I am also slowly replacing the really horrible gick with slightly less horrible and/or "natural" semi-gick when the opportunity arises, and Dad's not getting around very well (he's partially paralyzed) so his opportunities to poison things/buy more poison are not as numerous as they once were, at least.

He is actually quitting smoking, at least for a while, to hopefully help his nerves and spine to recover (which I never in a million years thought he'd do, so maybe I don't give him enough credit). He does try (well, sporadically, but still), he just has a hard time grasping what I'm asking of him sometimes (like, he thought I would be happy about him using Sevin dust because apparently pets can eat it "safely"...stuff like that).

And no worries, Jay--I know it will be my pace holding us back, not yours with the design!
 
mark andrews
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If it helps you enjoy your reading in bed in the days to come...the rat bait is probably not going to hurt you in the least.
Find out what kind it is and read about it, but many are anti-coagulants.
People take these sorts of things to keep from having strokes. (For example...coumadin or warfarin).
So, unless you plan on eating them all--you should be totally fine.

The risk from rat droppings is probably far greater than any risk from a small amount of transfer.

 
Dillon Nichols
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Wow. That's awful. As someone who suffers from migraines, I would be so very angry ifsomeone could fix the cause, and they refused. Not cool.

Jennifer Richardson wrote:I worry too much about eating healthy food and using natural products, which stresses me out so that I get sick!

I really can't wrap my head around someone honestly believing that. Just... what?? /facepalm

Elder care is not the easiest thing in the world even without this sort of... stuff. Hope he appreciates you!


Maybe you can scavenge empty Ick containers, fill them with something harmless, and stick them back in the Ick storage spot without telling him? But if he's going along with open replacement, that's obviously preferable.

Is it not illegal to dump motor oil? And free to dispose of it properly??

Closing off one room from the rest of the house as much as possible might help, especially if you can get some outside air exchange, and concentrate your plants there. Good luck!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Hmm... Ever notice that the only time you've had mice an cockroaches in the house is when you weren't living with your father?

I'm giggle-crying. I have this discussion with my family all the time. As far as I can tell, one of the primary rules of healthy living is "Don't poison yourself". To me that includes deodorants, and soaps, and foods, and cosmetics, and perfumes, and air fresheners, and pet dander, etc.... I have approximately zero control over whether or not my family poisons themselves, or the house, but I have absolute control over what I eat, and what I put onto myself. If an aerosol is going into the air, I'm leaving the house for an hour.
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 166
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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@ mark andrews

Apparently the active ingredient in ours in bromethalin, which sounds kind of nasty:

"Bromethalin is a rodenticide which poisons the central nervous system by uncoupling mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, which causes a decrease in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis. Decreased ATP ultimately results in increased intracranial pressure, which damages neuronal axons. This damage to the central nervous system can cause paralysis, convulsions, and death."

But then again Tylenol sounds like an instant death sentence if you read the packaging insert, so I will try not to be too overwrought. It's more the smell/dust that's all over the books now, which is pretty irritating, and the principle of it.

@ Dillon Nichols

Yeah, the migraine thing is a big one for me. I'm actually really pretty scared of the migraines coming back. They were really bad--not just the pain, but the visual disturbances, sensitivity to light/sound, nausea...I'd be stuck in a dark room for two or three days sometimes without being able to leave the house...ended up having to do a couple years of high school via correspondence because I was absent so much...and the meds made me sick...they went away when I was in my late teens, which coincided with a fairly militant attempt to go purely organic, natural cleansers, etc. to hopefully get rid of them...I don't know if it worked or if I just happened to grow out of them at that same time, but I'm really paranoid about them coming back, and I've been having tons of non-migraine headaches and other minor illnesses since living here, so I kind of take it personally that he won't cooperate.

Ha, switching his gick for harmless substances in the same container is actually a really good idea...I was just sneaking it away completely for a while and disposing of it, but it started causing fights with him and my uncle...Uncle Charles has Alzheimer's and tends to "misplace" everything (including himself, occasionally), and Dad thought he was the one carrying all the stuff off, and charged new gick to Uncle Charles's ticket at the feed store! So I had to quit that.

I really can't wrap my head around someone honestly believing that. Just... what?? /facepalm


Right? Thank you! And unfortunately (well, actually fortunately, but not in terms of me winning this argument) Dad does have a freakishly strong immune system when it comes to minor illnesses like colds/flus/intestinal bugs/etc. and never gets sick (except he has a multitude of chronic life-threatening diseases, but he views them as just bad luck/genetics). Whereas I am apparently pretty sensitive to bad environments and catch everything when I am eating badly and surrounded by smoke and pollutants, and have to live pretty clean in order to feel good. So in his mind he just "does what he wants" and is healthy and happy-go-lucky, and I am uptight and oversensitive and that's why I catch everything, which he views as sort of cosmic justice for trying too hard...so there's the added bonus that he views his non-cooperation with my no-gick policy as a sort of "don't worry, be happy" kind of thing, and so in his mind it's almost "for my own good," and so it's kind of a joke to him to deliberately mess with me about it...which of course I find enraging, which probably doesn't help convince him that I'm not uptight...sigh.
 
Rhys Firth
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Hmm... account at the feed store?

You should be able to see the manager there and basicly say "Dad is living with me, I do not want toxic gick on my land/in my house, Dad insists on buying them and ignoring me, so do not sell anything to him that I would not put on my land myself." and they should then refuse to sell him stuff you do not want on your land...

That works here, it wouldn't stop him going to Walmart and their impersonal checkout staff, but a store with an account? Here they can and do do that.
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 166
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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Joseph,

Hmm... Ever notice that the only time you've had mice an cockroaches in the house is when you weren't living with your father?


Yes! That's the other thing...it's so pointless...

I am trying to resign myself to just trying to control what I do/consume/put on myself, like you said, instead of trying to control what he does and pick fights about it. I am not very good at letting things go, though. Especially not after so many years of living alone, where I had absolute dominion over everything, which is my preferred state of being, heh.
 
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