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Germs: The Unwanted Holiday Guests

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It is my seventh day of being sick with what my doctor calls, “a severe sinus infection.” It is my third day of taking an antibiotic and I have yet to experience the relief of the medicine. The days are exhausting as I try to keep up with my job of taking care of my three young boys. However, the nights seem to be worse because of inability to sleep.

The Vicks on the tip of my nose is icy cold and I pull a blanket closer to my chin. This is my second night that I have retreated to sleeping on the couch in the living room because my coughing wakes my husband in our bed. I am happy to leave him sleeping peacefully, hopeful that he will not get sick. The dry coughing keeps me from resting even as I curl up and rock from side to side. I have the chills and can’t get comfortable even as I rest my head on my familiar soft pillow. Miserable. I feel miserable.

They say it is the “cold and flu” season but I can’t help but wonder what else I could have done to prevent these germs from entering my body. I am the mom that always has anti-bacterial gel and wipes. I constantly wash my hands. I felt like I was being careful.
Do you know how many times you touch your face in a day? Your nose, your eyes, your mouth? Try to keep track sometime, just for fun. I did this exercise and found that I touched my face 17 times IN ONE HOUR. Think about every pen you sign with, every debit touch pad you use, everything that you touch when you are out. Do you think that the person that used it before you was sick? Do you think that the stores clean those items? The possibility of spreading germs is everywhere.
Still, it is impossible to stay away from all germs so how do you keep your body well enough to fight off the ones that you are exposed to? At a time of the year when people are out and over extending themselves maybe the only thing that I did wrong was to keep going without allowing myself the time to rest.
Even as I began to feel run down, I did not slow down. There are parties to prepare for, gifts to buy and packages to mail. It is the time of the year when you want things to be magical and perfect. But it shouldn’t come at a price.

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EmpowHER Guest

I love my neti pot and recommend nasal irrigation all the time! No, it's not exactly killer party conversation but good habits w/ the sinuses can go a long way toward good health.

I am a huge believer in natural cures, and in not jumping to meds or surgery too quickly. However I must say that if things get to the "chronic" stage don't mess around. See your doctor and then if you get a ct scan make sure you know all your options (it used to be that sinus surgery was the only option. but now there are less invasive choices like balloon sinuplasty).

That's my two cents. Take care everybody and keep those nasal passages clean!

--Erin G

December 14, 2009 - 4:29pm
HERWriter Guide

Thanks for this post, Susan.

We'll have lots of family staying with us from overseas, for nearly two weeks, so we'll have a very full house with lots of activities, and doubtless - plenty of germy dangers, especially from all those hours spent on a tightly packed airplane!

Lots of hand washing and keeping our hands away from our faces, but as you said - it's natural for us to constantly touch our faces! We just have to make sure our hands are as clean as possible. And rest...elusive rest.

Here's to a healthy holiday!

December 11, 2009 - 12:30pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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