The cold truth

I work in a hospital, so you would think one of two things:  A) I am exposed to so many germs my immune system protects me.  or B)  I am sick all the time.   The reality is somewhere in the middle.   I catch colds but not from the hospital.   At the hospital we wash our hands and clean our surfaces on a constant basis, so unless I am in the waiting room getting sneezed on I am pretty safe.   My co-worker told me a frightening story of having a patient spue blood from his mouth all over him.   He got very sick with Hepatitis.    I don’t get near blood spuing patients (and neither does he any more).

So why do I have this damn cold today?   I think it was from visiting my parents.   My dad had a cold!   I should have stayed away.  My sister and nephew did, but I had a schedule to visit all these people and I was determined to follow it.  All this traveling from cold to warm probably didn’t help my immune system one bit.  Bottom line, people make you sick.

Here is what the Public Health department has to say on the subject:

It is called the “common cold” for good reason. There are over one billion colds in the United States each year. You and your children will probably have more colds than any other type of illness.

You can catch a cold if:

  • A person with a cold sneezes, coughs, or blows their nose near you
  • You touch your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched something contaminated by the virus, such as a toy or doorknob.

Five proven ways to help lower your chances of getting sick:

  • Always wash your hands.
  • Disinfect: Clean commonly touched surfaces.
  • Choose smaller daycare classes.  (Nothing I need to worry about!)
  • Use instant hand sanitizers. Got them in the car and at my desk.
  • Use paper towels instead of sharing cloth towels. I actually have put paper towels in both bathrooms.

Six ways to support the immune system:

  • Avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotics.
  • Breastfeed.  I don’t think I will be trying this one any time soon!
  • Drink water.
  • Eat yogurt. I have recently started eating yogurt, but I really don’t like it!
  • Get enough sleep. I think I get enough sleep, but it is not always of good quality.  And as previously mentioned “people make you sick”, so sleep alone, not with this guy.

    On second thought, I might actually risk it if I weren’t in a committed relationship already.


2 Responses to “The cold truth”

  1. Jeff,
    When I was 17 years old I had a hernia operation. I contact a staph infection which almost killed me. I was in and out of the hospital for six months and three operations before it was cleared up. Ever since then I’ve had a fear of hospitals and unnecessary procedures, which was probably the case with my hernia operation since I was born with that hernia and couldn’t get into the Army unless I had it operated on. Good post.


  2. washing your hands and getting enough sleep are the two I go for as much sensible and efficacious.

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