Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Put Your Hands Up If You Feel Me (But Wash Them First)

It has happened. The world has come around to my way of thinking. It took an overblown media freak out over a possible pandemic....but hey! Whatever it takes! Germaphobia is the "in" thing.


Purell wipes by all the grocery carts. Hand sanitizing stations in the gym and at preschool. The preacher at church saying that people may not want to shake hands during the greeting time. People now know to sneeze and cough into their elbows and not their hands. Everyone washing their hands.


I have never been a big fan of germs (who is!?) But after Becca had some weird reactions to seemingly normal illnesses and ended up in various hospitals and ERs and an ambulance...I started my slow descent off the deep end. Then, I had to have a damn blood transfusion to my fetus because of catching a "harmless" toddler virus, and I got a little worse. When Becca was in the hospital with pneumonia for 4 days this spring I made the final plunge. Now I'm a full-scale germaphobe. I am dealing with it. I am still functioning in society. That is, if you count not wanting to leave the house as functioning. Which, I do. Because we do leave the house. I put my kids in the gym nursery and preschool, and occasionally church.

I may be crazy. But I am still rational.

Of course, I think about what virus they are going to pick up. I think about that more than I should. Maybe 100 times a day? Something like that. But I just take a deep breath, bust out more hand sanitizer and tell myself it is good for them to build up their immune systems. They will make it out alive. It will be okay. We won't be in the hospital for a week this time. Really. It is better for us all around to be out and about in the world.

So. We do our stuff. Andrew is in a mommy-and-me class while Becca's gymnastics class meets. He crawls all over the mats. He slides down the slide. He puts his face in the foam blocks. I cringe inwardly, but smile. I laugh. I joke about what he's going to pick up. I twitch a little. I listen with ears perked on high alert to the other mothers discussing their kids' H1N1 symptoms. I make a mental note of who's children to avoid. But I continue on...smiling....stomach in knots. Wondering who will spike a high fever and start barfing soonest. Every night when I go to bed, I wonder to myself if tonight is the night someone is going to get raging sick. Every night I think about that.

When going to the grocery store or Target, I do my best to make sure Andrew doesn't lick any unsanitized shopping cart. If I only need a couple things, I wear him in the baby carrier, or take the stroller in to avoid the whole shopping cart thing. I make Becca wash her hands when she comes back from anything--school, gymnastics, the gym.

I am actually anti-anti-bacterial products. They are harming the Chesapeake Bay. They are making germs more resistant. I try to buy soaps that are just SOAP. Not anti-bacterial. Try finding those these days. Almost impossible. But then.....the media started tossing around the word pandemic and I went into full-scale paralytic mode. We're all going to die! Who will have the first funeral!? And now we have hand sanitzier stashed all over our cars, bags, house.

At least the rest of the world has caught on. We can all be crazy together.


Jen said...

It IS really hard to find plain old soap! I try not to buy the anti-bac soap, but it's a challenge to find.

I HOPE the kids are healthy this winter. No hospitals! I cannot believe the craziness that you have had to go through with illnesses. I would be a WRECK.

Swistle said...

My compromise is non-antibacterial handsoap, but antibacterial stuff for shopping carts. (Because I would feel silly bringing the cart into the bathroom and giving it a bath in the sink.)

Angie said...

You ARE crazy, but pretty darn funny, too.

Bevo said...

And when John comes home from the airport??

Erin said...

As a nonchalant nongermaphobe, I don't blame you one bit for how you feel. You guys have been through THE RINGER on illness. If I'd experienced the same things, I'd be a card-carrying germaphobe too.