For those of us that live with chronic pain and illnesses, there is no such thing as a simple cold. A so called simple cold will knock me down like the flu knocks down an average person. This is just one reason why I am such a freak about germs. When in a room full of people, I do not wish to touch or be touched. There are those who choose to make fun of me by pointing out that I am exposed to the germs of thousands of people every time I go to to Disneyland. Yes they are correct, but the difference is that I am not touching them and they are not touching me. I rarely touch the safety bars on the rides and I always carry hand sanitizer with me. I can honestly say that I have yet to catch a cold from a day at Disneyland. But it never fails whether it be a small or large group setting, if I shake hands or hug someone that has even the slightest illness then I am guaranteed to catch it.
So what is the big deal? I mean it is just a simple cold right? Wrong!! Because my body is already compromised a simple cold can feel like the flu. Others say, “just rest, and enjoy the downtime”. Obviously these people have no idea how much time I spend giving my body the rest it needs on a daily basis. This is where my frustration lies. I only function at approx 50% of an average person’s capability for a few days per month. I live from one flare to another. The last thing I want is to lose more days just because someone couldn’t keep their germs to themselves. Don’t risk the health of someone like me with a hug if you are showing signs of even the slightest sickness. I feel truly loved and cared about when people are upfront that they may have a cold. Even if you believe your symptoms are just from allergies, hold back the hug or handshake, I would rather not take a chance.
I know many feel that touching and hugging others is their way of showing love and affection. Just know that when it your hugs and handshakes come with a dose of sickly germs I begin to see you as my enemy more than my friend. Just to be clear, for me it is not that I can’t be around you, I just can’t touch you. Each cold that I have had in the past so many years can all be traced to touching someone who had what they thought was a simple cold.
So this flu and cold season remember that hugs are only nice when they are not accompanied with icky sicky germs!
Tagged: arthritis, chronic illness, cold, degenerative disc disease, Disneyland, fibro, fibromyalgia, flu, germs, handshakes, health, hugs, invisible disabilities, mental-health, MS, psoriatic arthritis, relationships, spoonie, wheelchair