A Change of Perspective

In the past two weeks, I’ve changed my mind about snuggling with sick kids.  I don’t want to be sick, so we don’t share silverware, we wash our hands frequently, and people sometimes remember to cover their mouths when they cough.  Despite the care I took to not catch my kids’ bug, I ended up with a miserable cold.  All my precautions were for naught.

That led me to re-think my stance.  Nobody wants to be nagged.  I want my home to be a pleasant place to live.  For the most part, I think it is – except for infection control – when I turn into a different person.  If I’m going to get sick regardless of what I do, the least I can do is make the circumstances as pleasant as possible.

As I’ve sat here coughing my lungs out, I realized that people don’t always recover.  The biologics have a warning on them stating explicitly that sometimes people die from infections contracted while taking these medications.  If, at some point, I don’t recover, I don’t want whichever kid gave me those germs to forever feel guilty about it.  That is what would happen with normal kids, and while I happen to be biased and think that my kids are extraordinary people, I recognize that they’re very normal people with normal feelings.  It would be awful for them to go the rest of their lives thinking that my getting sick and dying was their fault.

In my house, things will be different.  Infection control will now be taught when people are healthy, not sick, so that when the next round hits, everyone understands how to minimize the spread of germs.  One tool we’ll be using is the Henry The Hand website (thanks, Dr. S.), and I’ll come up with some other ideas, too.

And I’ll gladly enjoy every chance I have to hold my kids, regardless of whether they’re sick or healthy.

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5 thoughts on “A Change of Perspective

  1. My whole family has been sick. They have laid in my bed and snuggled with me. I haven’t been sick at all! I figure I can get sick as easily going to the grocery store as at home. Plus, I love the down time with everyone when sick. Everyone wants the momma when sick. There is nobody like us.

  2. Oh, I like this stance so much better, Socks. Infection control education (and actually doing it) is important, but I figure we’re surrounded by germs and viruses everywhere we go, and no amount of obsessive hand-washing, etc. is going to stop us from catching the occasional bug. And since that’s the case, making loved ones stay away when they’re not feeling well seems self-defeating, since they (and we) need touch, and love, even more when we’re sick.

    So, I’m sending a big ol’ virtual hug your way, a nice warm one. I hope you’re feeling better!

  3. WS, great post about family decision processes, shared values and shared germs. Henry the Hand is a great infection control site. I’m looking forward to the family prevention posts. Blog on!

  4. Feel better, Socks. Life, and as part of that, managing a chronic disease, is all about priorities and making choices. Sounds like you’ve made a warm, loving (and realistic), choice that will benefit everyone. All the best.

  5. Good thoughts, Socks. Someone once told me that Compassion and Competition (in this case, competition might be just staying alive!) are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Guess you’ve figured out a way to make them intersect. Which reminds me of some old friends of mine. Makes you wish we had a *safe* vaccine for every illness though – eh? :-)

    Hope you are recovering and that the beneficial effects of the meds don’t take a big hit because of it. And that’s another thing that makes me leary of starting biologics.

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