Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ignorance is NOT always bliss....

Surgical Masks

Our family lives life trying to maintain a balance between keeping calm and avoiding paranoia panic when it comes to safeguarding our home and family members from being unwell and passing along their germs to others.

We have to.

One viral bug not nipped in the bud will send my hubby to hospital within a 24 hour period, his very life hanging precariously in the wings due to weakness from his respiratory lung disease. That's what happened 18 months ago. I flew to the westcoast to meet our new grandbabe, got a call not even 48 hours later my hubby had pneumonia and couldn't move from bed.

Seriously speaking - he continues to hover with less than 30% lung capacity, but then that is still a statistic from two years ago, apparently worse now, so they said last month. Do we really WANT to know the exact amount? NO! Not yet....

As the protective wife and mother, it is my duty to ensure our home is continuously free from bacteria, thriving always for each member's optimal wellness.
Each new season brings along a new rigid health wellness regiment in our home, no exceptions.

When our children have grown and left our nest, they've just known not to come by until they are well. One Christmas was particularly painful when my husband was freshly discharged from hospital and our oldest daughter and her family were ill and couldn't come over to join the rest of us. We must be serious all the time, careful to ensure each member stays healthy. Watch out if mother hears a sniffle or cough! Bud nipping time ensues... smile

"Quarantine" has become a buzzword in our home, just watch out if someone has anything at all to be wary of, those deep bronchial coughs or fevers. Take one of sons for instance; when he was an older teen with a sudden unwell outlook and high fever, off he went to live in the rec room with door closed while mother here attempted to nurse him back to health. On day two, he complained about sore gums, and lightbulb glowing brightly, off to the dentist we went only to find out he required emergency wisdom teeth removal. Wiping our brows, it was still better safe than sorry, believe me. :)

We attempt to maintain a very serious balance of health protection because literally there are times when life hangs right there. Dangers are present around every corner, lurking by way of germs, ready to leap and attack when least expected.

With all this talk of the swine flu the public has literally gone mad! Opinions are plentiful!
The reality for us is *we are in defense mode all year round* and NOT just for one media hyped illness floating by.

Remember SARS
? Oh yeah, so do we? Wouldn't you if you had a deadly lung disease? ANY sniffle, cough, germy hand, sore throat, cold, bug, or flu is cause for deep concern here just for where or what it might lead to in the end with my hubby's situation.

Ignorance is not bliss for someone hovering on health safety when a person drifts too closely, or worse yet visits our home knowingly carrying a bug, placing another here in harms way. It happens all the time, ignorance that is, or would that be forgetfulness? There are days when I really have to wonder. Yes, for sure, there are days when I want to scream for the ignorance out there. Some people are just plain ole ignorant alright!

Worst offenders;
  • CHURCH! People who bring their children to church who are visibly very unwell! Ack, the times our family arrives early only to have to change pews, or worse yet, just leave during mass for all the hacking, sneezing and coughing over or around us. I'm not talking about a simple occasional cough, rather those deep SICK coughs that should warrant a child/adult being in bed and not at church. My goodness! Please, if you are reading this - keep yourself and/or your children at home folks in times such as this! Rest up, get better and recover well first before exposing others to your symptoms. Sheesh!
  • WORK! When my husband enters his office, it is clean and almost sterile from additional precautions we've rendered on his behalf. There have been times lately when fellow colleagues, superiors, waltz into his office hacking and obviously ill, blissfully ignorant of who is sitting before them until my husband grabs a surgical mask and covers his mouth and proceeds to open his window. Timidly and apologetically they retreat and realize they shouldn't even be at work, let alone visit my husband in his own office. Forgetful perhaps, definitely ignorant. Nothing bliss about this to me. THEY know better! Moral of the story here for work environments; stay home if you are sick, don a mask at the very least and be wary of your illness.
Second worst offender;
  • Family! Our family! Presently our daughter has had a cold/virus for several weeks now. There is nothing so scary as a deep chest cold for what it could pass along to my hubby, nothing! What a weak area to inflict such a thing to. This bug is almost gone, thank goodness! Surgical face masks though have been in place, offering only so much protection from sneezes and coughs. Quarantine time?

Because we can't afford to tolerate any type of ignorance,
FIVE stations like these are now located around our home.

Worse though, is when we all know what to do, and are so driven by the general routine, we forget to warn people before they visit, renewing the request from time to time to remain diligent on such a cause. It's not fun telling people they have to leave our home....but it's been necessary a few times.

Since people can read, and we prefer not to be placed in wellness police mode - new health check stations are currently in effect as the photos show above. They don't offer any aesthetic decor around here believe me, who cares though. They will however remain up year long now!

  • Our antibacterial hand cleaner supply required a refill. We prefer these small bottles of super antibacterial protection, keeping them in all the children's backpacks, every vehicle, my purse, my husband's office, the kitchen, every bathroom and beyond. We rely on these as a minute army defense system for precautionary sake. Common sense in all medical facilities = safeguard and kill those hand germs to prevent them from being passed along.

Other Offenders;
  • Surprisingly doctors and medical authorities! How many times do I accompany my husband to his appointments or hospital only to notice the staff NOT washing hands between patients. Yep, I'm not shy anymore here either. Everyone requires a spokesperson in these instances and I have remanded several medical staff to get to the sink and wash their hands before touching my loved ones. Who knows what they've touched along the way anyway. I saw one doctor put his finger onto someone's open wound without a glove and then come to examine one of my daughters in the emergency ward. Nope, he wasn't going to touch her until he washed his hands! Truly, I have had to overcome remaining quietly coy or shy with such things. It's necessary to hover, observe and take action in these types of facilities, a shame because it shouldn't be.
  • Children's teachers/tutors! I have grown tremendously in compassion and sensitivity which can be a blessing or a curse. Because I have to, I try to be diligent if I suspect someone in our presence to be ill, and try to approach anyone in our midst to query and confirm yes or no. It could be non-invasive issues for all we know, perhaps another with lung issues. But if we meet with a bit of distress for more ignorance with really ill folks around (several of the children's teachers; piano, tutor, music, horse riding, etc.. when ill, hover over our children with no thought or memory to the seriousness our family situation, (though they know well of it) all in the name of not missing a lesson ($$$), this is SO NOT good.
Without attempting to be embarrassed in any way, I might have to gently summon the children to distance themselves from such a person as prevention, apologizing but asking for understanding. No matter where we are, all year long, this is how we live! This is how we roll...

Seeking the balance as ignorance is NOT bliss here.

THIS my friend is how we live -

We have to
All of the time!