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Child with coldI don’t mean they freak me out in general. They freak me out for very specific reasons.

Those reasons have to do with my husband, who had a Double Lung Transplant almost two years ago. (Lung Transplant, An Unexpected Journey!). The journey has been long, and we thought after the first year things would get much better…that was, sadly, not necessarily true. Randy, who is on anti-rejection drugs which lower his immune system, has caught several viruses this year, and has been hospitalized four times. Each time is frightening. Lung Transplants have the shortest survival rate of all transplants. Why? Because the lungs are constantly exposed to the air.

What does that have to do with children? Children carry germs. A lot of germs. A single sneeze can land bacteria and germs on doorknobs and countertops long enough to infect others. Covering of the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing can help tremendously, and so can washing your hands. Children, as we know, don’t cover their noses and mouths (especially when they are little) and don’t wash their hands unless they are told. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, children have an average of twelve colds per year. Twelve on average! Yikes!

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and I wore a mask, knowing that the OB-GYN office would be filled with babies and tots. Everyone asked me what was wrong, and I simply told them the truth. I cannot risk taking illnesses home to Randy. Of course, risk is inherent in every situation, but with Randy, precautions are the name of the game.

Germs are at their very worst in the kitchen. Did you know that washing a dish towel is not enough? Or washing a sponge? It has to go into the microwave for two minutes in order to be germ free.

We just have to be very, very careful. At this point in our lives, our children are busy getting married. Grandchildren will bring more risk…hopefully we have a few years until that time. When the babies come, we will just have to be ultra careful about washing items with antibacterial soap, microwaving sponges and towels, and using face masks. It worries me though. Of course we will want to be around our grandchildren as much as possible. We’ll have to take precautions.

Careful is our new byword.

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