Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why I'm a Germ-a-Phobe

People call me a Germ-a-Phobe. I will proudly admit my paranoia of all things germ-related. Some folks don't think much about getting sick. If it happens, it happens. No use in trying to prevent it, they say. I disagree. All illness is preventable in my book, and I'm too busy/sleep deprived to be sick. I would rather exert my efforts in the 'prevention' phase, rather than the 'cleaning up after sick kids' phase.

Here is a peek into my Germ-a-Phobe world...

I have one of those baby seat covers that MUST be used whenever we go to the store or eat at a restaurant, no matter how embarrassed my husband is. If for some reason the seat cover is unavailable (my husband has been known to sneak it out of the car and hide it in the garage) then I carry an extra stash of sanitizing wipes with which to wipe down the cart or the restaurant's high chair and table.

When we run errands, like any mother who wishes to keep her sanity, I come well-prepared with snacks. With that being said, I am well-known to withhold said snacks without a smidgen of guilt if the hungry party refuses to allow me to sanitize their hands (husband included). At 8 months old both my kids knew how to spread the foaming sanitizer on their hands in order to get a snack.

**Once we were at the park and I forgot my sanitizer. All the other kids were eating their snacks, and Abby was looking hungry. I felt bad for her and thought, "One time won't hurt," and allowed her to eat snacks without sanitizing. A few days later she got MRSA- a flesh eating bacteria that can be fatal and is resistant to antibiotics. We found out from the doctor that it is most commonly contracted orally (not washing your hands before eating) and had been rampant in the park we were at that day.**

When all else fails, my second line of defense is my trusty Zicam. This little orange box has saved me from more colds and flus than I can count. I haven't figured out how to give this to my kids yet (I wish they would come out with a gummy or something) but it has worked wonders for me. Zicam is actually the inspiration for this blog post.

And this is why I'm a Germ-a-Phobe...

The stomach flu has ruined my 'vacation' week. I was very excited about all the fun we would have this week. Tom was going to have the whole week off work, and I had a lot planned for us! Abby was going to spend time at Granny-K's on Monday, so while she was away we had planned to get our grocery shopping and errands done, AND my hubby was going to watch the little guy so I could go to Nordstrom Rack and use a Christmas gift certificate I was VERY excited about. This nasty flu had other plans for our little family.

It all started two weeks ago, when I ran out of foaming hand sanitizer. My attempts at withholding snacks lasted a while, but the troops were restless and mommy had Christmas shopping to get done, so we couldn't go home. I resorted to wiping their hands with baby wipes as I gave them snacks throughout the day.

Last Wednesday, it hit my little guy hard at about 1 in the morning. I ran upstairs after hearing strange gasps over the baby-monitor. After comforting him, cleaning him up and changing his bedding, I immediately took my dose of Zicam. I sat up with him all night as he was sick over and over again. By about 11 am the next day, he was better. Still weak and a little gray in color, but keeping water down. It took another two days before he could eat a full meal. I continued to take my Zicam every few hours, and warned everyone else to do the same. A few days later, since everyone seemed fine, I thought maybe it was just the dinner he ate that night.

Then, about mid-day on Monday, I suddenly felt super weak and dizzy. At one point I was holding Stryder while fixing him a bottle, and I became so weak that I almost dropped him! I spent the rest of the day resting on the couch with the chills and not really feeling like eating anything. That was it! Apart from being weak for a few days, I got a pretty mild version of it, thanks to my Zicam!

Later that night, I was awakened by Abby throwing up in our hallway on her way to our room. I spent the rest of the night sleeping in her bed with a trash can in hand. It hit her hard, taking her 12 hours to stop vomiting, and another day of me carrying her everywhere because her legs were 'too tired.'

Abby was feeling better today, but we stayed inside just in case she was still contagious. I thought Tom had escaped the bug, until about 3 am this morning. I am actually listening to him run to the bathroom upstairs as I type this. I am going to use this example next time he refuses to take Zicam.

So much for the 'Week of Family Fun.' I guess the moral of this story is run to your nearest Walmart and stock up on Zicam and hand sanitizer.

I'm off to bed. I have another long few days ahead of me.



There are new hand sanitizers that kill 3 times the germs, work up to 30 minutes, and they are safer for kids than the ones that contain alcohol. This one is my favorite:

Anonymous said...

With the H1N1 scare this year and all the vaccine hoopla I went a bit germaphobe and googled how to teach kids about germs at the start of the school year. Found a new program called Germ Smarts for kids and got it for home and for our child’s preschool. It was a bit pricey but has probably saved us hundreds as the kids have not been bringing home every germ on the planet from preschool and we are no longer playing the “pass the germ” game around the house! Simple program but huge difference in staying healthy for everyone.

The Gray Family said...

NO FUN! Hope everyone is feeling better soon!

Dustin and Melissa said...

Sorry to hear the flu ruined your week of fun and I hope everyone gets well soon!