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Mar 20 2014

Germs: Wash, Wash,…..

….wash your hands,
that’s what you should do.
Wash your hands all nice and clean,
so you don’t get the flu.

germs

So to be completely blunt, becoming a parent has turned me into a bit of a germaphobe. Also known as, Mysophobia, for those requiring the “scientific” name.

Before I had kids, I never really cared about germs. I mean I would wash my hands but I never cared about what happened afterwards. I did get a little more cautious after getting a very bad stomach bug from work that interrupted a golf outing, that has forever branded me “big bear” from the friends I was golfing with that day. But that’s a whole different story, that I may or may not share. 🙂

sanitizer

My slow change into being a germaphobe all started within three hours of my first son being born. I must have washed and sterilized my hands a thousand times during our four day hospital stay. That may sound extreme, probably is….a little, but do you know how many times a newborn pees and poops in the first month!?! Along with the diaper changes, I washed and sterilized (“w/s” from now on, I’m big on made up acronyms and a lazy typer at times)…after every hand shake, door handle grab, hot food lid to the food the hospital delivered to the room, pen held to sign hospital docs, and any other possible contaminated service I was in contact with. 🙂

The crazy thing….I never realized my drastic change until after my first son got his first stomach bug from daycare. I w/s my hands so much that the area between my fingers ended up being very very dry. I fortunately dodged a bullet that time, but then I modified my germaphobe behavior even more and started being more conscience of what I was touching at daycare when I went to pick my son up. I started opening the doors on the lower “less common” area of the door handle and only used  ring and pinky fingers to pull it open. I figured that my index, middle and thumb fingers are more common in rubbing an eye, ear, nose (no, not picking), etc.and “contaminating” me with whatever potential Ebola virus (I know, a little extreme again) I touched. There’s also a touchscreen for check in/out and I use my middle knuckle of my middle finger to toggle through the touch screen. I’m almost guaranteed not to “contaminate” and don’t have to worry about needing to w/s.

I thought I was pretty secure with my new crazy habits and then it happened, I got the stomach bug a couple years later!! It was a bad one and I think I stayed in bed for 24 hours. The crazy part is my wife completely avoided the bug and she was in the “splash zone” when our son, sitting in her lap, facing her, got sick all over her.

As much as I HATE getting the stomach bug, I’m glad my wife was able to avoid it because she was pregnant with our second son at the time. You would think I would practically put myself in a bubble after that last stomach bug but I actually did well and didn’t increase any crazy habits.

bubble

Despite everything I just discussed above, I still believe that it’s good to expose yourself and not be super sterile, because then our immune systems are able to be built up from fighting the small germ battles and then can be strong enough to handle larger germs/issues.

 I still HATE the stomach bug though and do, do (haha, I said do do. Sincerely, 5 year old iJ) extra sterile steps when it’s known to be at school or work. I’ve also started taking this probiotic….

Untitled

I don’t know if it helps 100% or not but there has been several stomach bug cases at school and work in the last 6 months and I have been able to avoid *knock on wood* getting sick. I am hoping with my germaphobe habits and the probiotic that I have created a good shield.

Are there other converted germaphobes out there? If so, what did it for you? If you have been one your whole life, what are things you do that others would consider to be “extreme”?

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