• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 164 (I Won’t Live in a Bubble)

    handwashing

    Monday, December 22, 2014

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today:  3.00 miles;  Running Total: 94.52 miles)

    Day 164 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    Yesterday I hung out with a friend.

    Her daughter had a little red spot on her upper lip. While we were at lunch, her daughter found a few more spots on her torso. As we were leaving the restaurant, I spotted some on her neck and shoulders.

    She was acting like a normal eight year old girl – bouncy and giggly and playing.

    I certainly didn’t think anything of it. My friend didn’t either, though she mentioned her daughter had a doctor’s appointment later that day.

    I said, “Maybe she ate something she’s having an allergic reaction to?”

    “I thought that, too, but she hasn’t eaten anything new.”

    “Has she had her chicken pox vaccine?”

    “Yep. Maybe eczema?”

    “Maybe. But they kind of look like hives.”

    My friend is considerate enough that wouldn’t expose me to anything if she was concerned. We both thought her daughter was having an allergic reaction to something.

    My friend texted me later and said, “Bad news. It’s strep throat.”

    I thought, Well shit.

    My friend apologized profusely. She felt terrible for exposing me, but I don’t blame her one bit.

    She didn’t know.

    I didn’t either.

    Over the weekend there were sick kids at the party. Sick adults, too.

    Someone made a comment to me, “With your immune system I’m surprised you’re out and about.”

    I’ve also heard, “I can’t believe you haven’t caught anything.”

    And others, “You just stay home. Let Justin go out.”

    Look, I appreciate the concern, guys. I do.

    But let’s face it. Justin has a full time job already. He does the best he can, but no one can do it all. If I feel well enough to run errands and help him, I’m going to do it.

    I will not live as though I’m made of glass that will break the second I lift a finger to help myself.

    I also will not just sit at home all day hiding from the world.

    It’s just that time of year. I try to avoid sick people the best I can and I wash my hands a lot.

    I mean, what’s my alternative?

    Justin goes to work. My kids go to school. Mortgage companies and the state school board system are less than sympathetic to bubble-living.

    I suppose I could move out of my house, live in a hotel until chemo is over. Avoid my family entirely.

    How would I eat?

    Bubble-living means no trips to the grocery store. God forbid I touch a cart handle or deal with a cashier suffering from a cold.

    Perhaps I could have someone deliver food to the hotel room.

    But first they’d have to be tested for every communicable disease or sickness known to man before I’d open the door.

    And as for the food itself, who’s to say the people who handled the boxes or the produce weren’t battling the flu?

    There could be a million germs on the food.

    I guess I could produce everything from scratch, grown from a garden outside my hotel door.

    But there’s bacteria in the soil.

    I could wear protective gear, but what if I have a cut somewhere not covered by gardening gloves. I should probably wear full body protection.

    A hazmat suit, perhaps.

    You see how this scenario gets ridiculous really fast.

    Where do you draw the line?

    I know where I drew it. At the beginning.

    I will not leave my home to live in seclusion. I will not avoid my friends and family.

    I would rather live my life, spending time with the people I love than gardening from a hotel room in a hazmat suit.

    I just try to use logic.

    I wash my hands a lot. When I can I avoid people who are actively sick.

    And I pray.

    What else is there?

    Yes it’s scary to think about getting sick while I’m on chemo. If I run a fever it’s an automatic trip to the emergency room because my body can’t fight off infection.

    Of course I worry about these things. I’d be lying to say that I don’t.

    But tell me, how do you avoid sickness entirely?

    The answer: You don’t.

    Please trust me to deal with these problems as they come up. It does me no good to worry about everything that could happen.

    Because, believe me, that way lies madness.

    Today’s silver lining:  Only one more chemo to get through.

    Come on, January 2nd… let’s get this show on the road.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share?  Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.

    xoxo,
    Meghan

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