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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it just me, or does anyone else go to exhausting lengths to avoid the stomach flu? I am obsessive about hand-washing and using anti-bacterial stuff .. my hands are already starting to crack this season!!
And for me, working with the population I work with ... it is disasterous ... because most of them live in group homes, they carry all sorts of lovely illnesses that they continually pass back and forth! :-/ Since starting my job, I am 1,000 times more obsessive about germs, I am a complete germaphobe!!
Tell me I'm not alone!!Anyone have any suggestions that seem to help in avoiding the stomach viruses (besides this damn obsessive hand-washing)? I know that a stomach virus would put me in the hospital for sure, and it's so tiring worrying about catching it 24/7. Already this last week 3 clients came in puking and we had to send them home. *sigh* Tis the season!------------------~If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna do it with style ... and you won't see me surrender~
 

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You're not alone in this fear.......I also go to great lengths to avoid anything that involves throwing up : ).......I have a 4 year old daughter and one of my worst fears is sending her to school next year and all those nasty viruses she'll bring home.....I can't stand dealing with vomit - my own or anyone elses.....People always told me when I had a child of my own it would be different, but it isn't......Thankfully she's been a healthy child and since she hasn't been in daycare I haven't had to deal with a lot of these viruses, but I know next year in shcool it will happen.....It really is a phobia with me and I wish I could do something to get it under control.....
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dear Ladienyte,I can sure relate!! I am a school nurse for 1400 Middle and High School kids. Not a day goes by that I don't have people ( including teachers) with the stomach virus. I live in dread of catching it. I use an antibacterialwaterless handwash, wipe my phone with alcohol after each student uses it and always, always do not eat anything unless I have washed my hands. I also do not take any acid reducers like Pepcid, Zantac etc. I read that the natural stomach acid helps to kill viruses and bacteria we may ingest. I think it may be true because when I had the food poisoning that reactivated my IBS, I had taken Pepcid AC that day. Maybe it was coincidence but I decided not to take any chances. I also change my clothes when I get home before fixing dinner. I guess I sound like a fanatic but in my line of work there are many opportunities to catch something. Of course, if you are sick too often it goes on your performance report. When a child is sick, I have to take care of them the best I can, and you can't do that from across the room. I hold heads, wipe faces and clean vomit. Oh well- I also pray I don't get sick. Hope these suggestions help.wpmom [This message has been edited by wpmom97_99 (edited 10-10-1999).]
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also work with children in a private school. This bout of ibs I am having now began at the end of the last school year after cleaning up a child who had a stomach virus. The diahhrea started 2 days later and has been off and on ever since. I use antibacterial wash all day long. But you can't avoid a child forgetting and sneezing in your face, etc.....
 

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oh, Lady.....you sound a little obsessive (no offense intended).....sorry to say that the airborne particles carry as much of a danger as your hand contamination, perhaps more. The airborn particles go right to your mucous membranes through inhaled air. Viruses on your hands would have to be transfered by you rubbing your nose or putting your fingers in your mouth, so your risk is actually greater with the airborne. So ease up on those dry, cracked hands!
 

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Ladienyte - yep, don't wanna get that, thats for sure! Although I don't worry about it, it runs through my mind occasionally. Like, every time one of my kids gets sick - in my job, I'm always exposed to one thing or another - one of the kids is always sick with something!! When I get the flu, it never causes vomiting for me, ALWAYS exits through the other end - not something I would EVER want - *L*!
 

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Ladienyte,Try being a microbiologist and not developing an obsessive-compulsive attitude! The fact is, you are doing the right thing in the regular hand-washing and use of anti-bacterial non-water hand washes. There have been some really good studies in the last few years indicating that this drastically reduces the incidence of viral infections in school kids. While the respiratory ones are mainly airborne, as Lefty said, the gastro-intestinal ones are usually spread by a fecal-oral route, so handwashing is a good thing. Try to find a mild lotion for your hands that counteracts the drying of your skin by all the soaps, etc., though.My poor kids, growing up in a household with two microbiologists, don't get the hugs they probably should when they're sick. We switch to disposable cups, plates, etc., and they're pretty confined to their rooms. But it's amazing how little we catch from each other.kate
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ladie,There is a jar of udder cream for cow's teats that you can buy at an animal health store. You can get a 1 lb. jar for about $5. We found it to be very good for chapped hands and heels. ------------------LET'S ALL PRAY FOR A CURE TO THIS IBS SOON!BETTIE
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ladie -- I am not obsessively afraid of catching the flu (though I'd really rather not right now). However, even when I was a youth, I'd be insistent on washing my hands a lot; I'd also be driving my mother crazy by asking her if she'd washed her hands!Bettie -- Cow udder cream...I'd never heard of that!
 

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Boy, does this sound familiar! I actually quit my job last May as a teacher's aide because I couldn't handle being sick anymore. I had worked there for 3 years and the last straw was getting Giardia (a parasite infection). My IBS flaired up the worst it ever has and it took me five months to get it under control. I do believe part of it was my fault though since I discovered to my horror that I licked my finger to turn pages!! And I did a lot of paper sorting! I'm sure that's how I got it.It bothered me enough though that I knew I couldn't be in that line of work. Now I'm a full time artist at home and love it!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I too am obsessive about getting the stomach flu. Vomitting and diarrhea usually send me to the ER since I just can't stop. I go to great lengths to avoid those who have the stomach flu or who have been exposed to it. My son just started preschool this year and I am so worried about what he will bring home. He takes echinacea to help build a strong immune system. I take acidiphilous which helps keep a healthy balance of good bacteria in the digestive system. I am hoping if I have more good bacteria it will be able to kill the bad virus before I am on my deathbed.Ann
 

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There's a new show on NBC starring Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser) as a germ-phobic guy who always carries hand sanitizer around with him. That's me! Don't leave home without it! I embarrass the heck out of my kids by squirting it on their hands before they eat. Before they came up with this stuff, I carried baby wipes in my purse. I don't consider this obsessive- compulsive, since it really does reduce transmission of colds, flu, hepatitis and parasites like pinworms. As for the stomach flu--it's the pits, but at least it usually lasts only 24 hours. Food poisoning is worse. I had salmonella once and it was 60 hours straight of vomiting. Pure hell.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Many, many years ago, my first year on the job, I rode the subway every day from Queens to Wall St. and I was constantly sick with whatever seemed to be going around. When purely for health reasons, I began driving my own car, which was a real financial stretch, My health and infrequency of viruses improved quite significantly almost immediately. I never answered the question as to whther it was an improvement of the environment or everything my body touched. I just kept driving my own car.------------------bobh
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am also terrified of catching the stomach flu. I rarely puke, but i hate it so much that it really is truly a phobia for me. When I do throw up, it makes me cry. The fear is so intense that as soon as I even hear that someone who I was near recently got sick, I get a wierd feeling in my chest and I sometimes get warm and panicky.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies!
Zig: I too had salmonella (yuck), which they believe brought on this damn IBS! So I've already "been there, done that"!
Blah!! And you're SO right .... ugh, horrible!!Lefty: Like Kate said, it's usually the upper-respiratory infections that are airborn, and I don't really worry about those. I can handle them, I have my annual bout with bronchial-pneumonia anyway.
The stomach flu is another story though. Again like Kate said, I have always known that to be spread fecal-oral, thus my obsessive handwashing! And believe me, I'm gonna continue doing it ... any little thing that helps!!
Bettie: Udder cream? Hmmmm, interesting! Thanks!
Well, I am glad to know I am not alone in this!! I am crossing my fingers for us all that we have a healthy season!!
My hands might get cracked from washing and sanitizing constantly, but the woman who does my nails said she can do free parafin treatments on them if it gets too terrible!! Hehehe!Hey, whatever it takes, right?
------------------~If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna do it with style ... and you won't see me surrender~
 
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