Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The Young, The Old, and The Sickies!
A few weeks back, a patient in my transplant clinic came in (wearing a mask) with a woman sniffling and coughing like crazy, she however, was not wearing a mask. This bothered me... greatly. Never mind the huge signs next to a station of hand sanitizer and masks for your convenience that says "COVER YOUR COUGH" (which is actually in all hospitals and just common flippin' curtousy) But she had to have known how easy it is for us transplant patients not to get infections... her husband was wearing a mask for Gods sake. Still she sat down, with us transplant patients watching in terror. (hehehe) and me shaking my head in disgust. (I'm telling you... ROID-RAGE) however, I did nothing but continue to give her the evil eye every time she coughed. That is until she went to the bathroom while her husband went in to see the doctors... she came back and plopped herself right next to me. Her butt had not even hit the chair when I jumped up and grabbed a mask to put on. She at that point got the hint. (I'm guessing) because after at least a half of an hour of being there, and spreading her germs, she got up and got a mask for herself...(I would have loved it if all of us patients would have stood up and cheered) I know, I'm brutal -- and I have never been that way about these things until now.
Now, I know that most people are unaware of how bad certain infections can be to us transplant patients, or that like newborns and elderly our immune systems are so weak... They go around spreading their colds and flues like gumdrops and smiles (don't ask... I don't know where I come up with these things) ... they just don't think about it, know, or maybe even care. But for all my family and friends... (that read this) NOW YOU KNOW!! So remember, because right now, as I type this, it is 3:00 in the morning, and I have just been woken up for the umpteenth time... Why you ask? Because I am in the hospital again, away from my son, costing me money, and exposing me to even more infections. (And that I know because I had left 2 different waiting rooms while waiting for my room today (for 7 hours, but that's a whole other story) due to people coughing, sneezing, and just plain sick looking.) The reason for this hospital stay?? My AST/ALT levels have jumped up this time which could be due to A. rejection, or B. infection... but one of the first things my doctor asked me was. "Have you been around anyone sick" at which point I could have shot myself... or my in-laws. (Just kidding guys. I was very happy to see you, and had a lot of fun) Anywho, not placing any blame here... But they visited us over the holiday weekend from out of town, clearly infected with some bug... and I'm telling you now again... every single one of you... I love ya's all to pieces, but if you have so much as coughed in the last few weeks, stay away until you are completely better... and if you are at all offended by this... just plain stay away! Ahahahaa. No, really though, even if we don't become deathly ill (which is sadly possible) the slightest infections can cause a rise in our blood work, which sends our doctors and us into panic mode. Even now, knowing that I probably just caught a cold, I am nervous and thinking, what if it's not a cold? Or, what if it is that I am sick, but it is something dangerous for me like CMV or Pneumonia? What if I have to be in here for days or weeks? What do I tell my son?... he worries. And, how long before I get sick of USC's tacos? Which besides their chocolate pudding and apple pie, is the only thing I really like. teheheee. I know... so many things... It's making me sleepy again. (Finally)
Here are a few good pages to read on keeping us patients healthy after transplant... I suggest you read it if you know a transplant patient too (like me) so that you know the do's and don'ts. Some of it is just common sense -- at least for us, but some of it, I hadn't even thought of... Like for us patients that are also parents. Contact your kids school faculty and let them know that you need to be contacted if any communicable diseases are going around. That's a good one.
USC's - Avoiding infection after transplant &
DukeHealth - preventing infection (This one says after lung infection... but I liked it for the examples)
By the way... I googled getting sick after transplant and got over 3million hits... which leads me to believe that this is no laughing matter. Please respect us sickies, and don't take it personal. It's not that we despise you... just what you're carrying. :)
I'm thinking that my next investment is gonna be in one of these bad boys... with a shirt that says "I wear this for my protection... not yours!" ahahaaa.