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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Don't even think about sitting next to me if you are sick

I'm not kidding. 

If you are sick (sneezing, wiping your nose and coughing), I will get up and move.

It doesn't matter if I am at work, church or the grocery store. I have changed seats in a movie theater and church, and swung my grocery cart around in the middle of the aisle to get away from someone who was coughing (and not covering their mouth of course!)

When my kids were little, their teachers would teach them to cough and sneeze into their shoulder or elbow and NOT THEIR HAND! Why? Because you cough or sneeze into your hand, then touch doorknobs, elevator buttons, the copy machine, etc. 

And then some unsuspecting person comes along and touches the doorknob, elevator button, copy machine and then innocently scratches their nose or touches their face. And BINGO! They are sick.

Am I over - reacting? Nope.

With asthma, you can have swelling in the lungs and not know it. You can't see it or know that it's there. So, a cold or flu on top of asthma can spell disaster. 

My 3 kids and I all have asthma. So, when they get "a little cold", it always turns into pneumonia - and that means another hospitalization. When they were younger, my kids were hospitalized 12 times - almost all of those were thanks to pneumonia.

When I get "a little cold", I also get pneumonia. That means I miss a week of work and am propped up on my couch with my nebulizer, giving myself breathing treatments.

Last time I had pneumonia, I was so weak that I could barely drive myself to the doctor. I knew I needed an antibiotic and course of oral steroids to get the swelling and infection out of my lungs.

It. Was . Scary.

And to top it all off, I coughed so hard I pulled a muscle in my ribs. Every cough was a new experience in pain! 

NOVA's Gross Science says that a sneeze and cough can travel all the way across a room and even be sucked up into the ventilation system!  

So, how do you keep healthy? Well, I will get up and move if I am around someone who is sick. 

If I see someone sneezing and coughing, I actually hold my breathe on my way out of the room. I'm not kidding.

I also carry a canister of pop up antiseptic wipes in my car. Any time I leave a store, work, etc, I pull out a wipe and clean my hands. Then, as soon as I get home, I wash my hands.

It's January and so far so good. I haven't had a cold yet, although PLENTY of people around me have been sick.

Now that I've said that, I'll get sick, right?!

What do you do to keep yourself healthy?


  1. I can't stand hot tamales!!! I saw them in your car

    I wear gloves and a mask in high risk areas such as planes and subways. I have seen a kid who was obviously going through chemo wear a mask and gloves in the grocery store during the summer.

    I also keep other people with CF at an arms length. We can spread our upper respiratory bacteria to each other easily because we may have completely different infections and immunities.

    And now it is as important as ever now that I'm diabetic and underweight. I wish I could trade the weight gain that comes with steroids with you.

    1. I hate Hot Tamales. I keep them there in case I feel drowsy while driving. I pop a handful of those in my mouth and it really wakes me up!!

    2. That's a great idea!! I'll have to start doing that

  2. But my psychiatrist is in on the quest to make me gain weight and now I'm on zyprexa instead of abilify for depression and zyprexa is notorious for causing weight gain. I hope it helps I can't believe I am wishing to gain weight, most people would want the opposite

    1. True! I know it's hard for people with CF to gain weight. I would gladly share some of mine with you!