Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Public Appearances

Day +272

Chris and Dixie have been encouraging me to try going out in public again, but I have to admit that I've been a bit gun-shy. They've been suggesting outings that they think might entice me to venture out into the big scary world of germs and viruses, including a trip to the yarn store. I had no idea Baton Rouge actually had a store specializing in yarns and notions and have discovered that there are actually two such stores in town. Gotta love the internet. So, this weekend, we made plans to go into town and check one of them out. I know Chris must love me to actually volunteer to walk into a place that just baffles and bewilders him.

I'll admit that I started getting nervous about being out and about on Monday and when Chris gently asked me when I'd like to leave the house, I put him off. I started thinking about the flu and sore throats and how I'm still coughing as a result of my last bout of germy goodness. I lost my nerve and told him that I'd do it Tuesday. Then I started to feel like a weenie, so when he asked if we needed to run any errands, I suggested that we pick up cat food. Not just any cat food, friends. Squeeze is on prescription food, so we'd have to go into town and hit up the vet's inside the Petsmart. I figured that there wouldn't be a ton of people shopping for pet supplies in the middle of the day on a Monday and surprisingly, was right.

We managed to get the food without incident until it was time to pay up. I managed to get in line behind a curious baby being held by his grandmother. He must have smelled baby stem cells and honed in on me like a tiny laser. He kept staring at me and sticking his tongue out, which was hilarious considering he was less than a year old. I tensed up, waiting for him to projectile vomit at me and pass along whatever nefarious germs inhabit babies. Luck was on my side and nothing happened. We paid our bill and returned home none the worse for wear.

Tuesday reared it's ugly head and I really didn't feel like yarn shopping. However, I did believe that life would never return to normal for me if I kept hiding in my room trying to avoid the rest of the world. I put a shopping list together and persuaded Chris to go out for groceries. Chris decided on a store that he thought might not have a lot of traffic and we were off. He was right about his choice, since there were only a handful of people strolling the aisles. The only thing that brought me up short was that everyone seemed to have a baby or toddler in tow.

I know it sounds like I'm fixated on kids and in a strange way, I am. Since day one of being diagnosed, I've been warned to stay away from any kids under the age of 12. Even the clinics and hospital have protocols designed to protect patients from exposure to kids under 12. The only time there are exceptions are when the child happens to be a patient, in which case, we're on even footing immune system wise. It would seem that kids are a favorite haunt of germs and viruses and in so being are dangerous to me.

Seeing all of the kids being pushed around in shopping carts made me think of when I was a child and it occurred to me that I was always sick. My dad used to marvel at how I would get sick at the drop of a hat. It was true. I constantly had a cold or allergies. Runny noses and ear aches were an intimate companion. I'm surprised that I survived my childhood. I'm also bitter about my baby brother never getting sick and to boot he has perfect teeth. No cavities and the worst dental hygiene. I digress.

Chris tried to reassure me with the fact that all of the kids and I were essentially working with the same age immune system. I figured that if I survived it once, I could do it again. I managed not to cringe or hold my breath when a shopping cart containing a tiny human rolled by. I even managed to be in the same aisles with the little ankle biters, relaxing my guard and enjoying being out. Then one little cutie pie sneezed and broke my resolve. That's right, I was exposed to yet another sick person by accident. He was absolutely precious even with the runny nose and I could almost forgive him for being ill, but I'm holding out. I saw the evil glint in his big brown eyes just as he drew in a giant breath and let out a viral bomb in the form of an explosive sneeze. He was taking us all down with him--no prisoners, no mercy.

I managed not to crumble into a sniveling heap and finished picking things up with Chris at my side. Now it's several hours later and my throat is scratchy and I'm a bit phlemgy. I promise not to freak out because I'm thoroughly convinced that this could be psychosomatic. I could be willing myself to catch a cold and that won't do. Chris is keeping an eye on me and I'll probably start taking my temperature tomorrow if I start to feel a bit under the weather. Now I'm going to go to bed and try to sleep it off. Sweet dreams.


pj said...

Children should neither be seen or heard from - ever again.
W. C. Fields

Nancy said...

Well, you know what I'm going to say. Ask yourself, WWND? (What would Nancy do?) I'm still a big scaredy-cat and have heard so many stories about this mean flu going around. So, I'm not even going out unnecessarily.

Anyways, about being exposed to the big "sneeze." I don't think it would incubate that fast... ??

Okay, hang in there. Maybe not the time to be brave and venture out. Maybe next month....???
Take it easy and hope you feel better. love, n

Paige said...

Wow, you're such a great storyteller! lol It all sounded so dramatic and in slow-mo when the kid sneezed...

I guess it's just not a good time to go out because the weather just keeps changing so often and getting everyone sick. Or maybe we should just lock up all the children...

I'm sure some parents wouldn't mind.