Why Children Freak Me Out

12010294184_996ef564d0_nNow, I 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 year one 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 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.



**photo from Creative Commons.


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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (20)

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  1. Can you put a dry dishtowel in the micro?

  2. Tam Warner says:

    Yes. I’m not sure for how long though. You can also warm a towel for your bath.

  3. Hi Tam! Oh wow! I can see where you want to be especially careful around children. I think that is another one of those things that most of us tend to take for granted. If we are around kids or others who might have germs we just don’t think about it much–but in your case it’s taken on a whole new experience. As with most of your posts these days, this is another reason to get out there and travel while we can. ~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com recently posted…Releasing The Need To Control What IsMy Profile

    • Tam Warner says:

      So many things have taken on new meaning….dust, germs, air pollution (which is terrible in Dallas), and just the sight of kids at a restaurant makes my tummy clutch. There is no time like NOW…we all need a reminder once in a while, right?

  4. Since I saw Contagion years ago, I do think about germs more than I did before. And kids are definitely full of germs!

  5. I totally understand why children freak you out. I am not even sick and I notice how unsanitary life can be. Continue to be cautious and who cares what anyone thinks! Hopefully as time passes, Randy;s immune system will get stronger.

  6. Tam Warner says:

    His immune system will never be strong…the meds wipe it out. So precautions, precautions, precautions! We’ve hardly been out since I returned from Mexico. We have trips and our daughter’s wedding coming up, so we must be very careful!

  7. Carolann says:

    Oh yes indeed so true. Kids are like little germ machines! I’m always running the other way I see them lol. I don’t blame you for being so super cautious!

  8. Janie Emaus says:

    Hi hear what you’re saying. We have to be careful too, as my husband’s immune system is also very low. When one of our grandkids is sick, he refuses to let them come over.

  9. Estelle says:

    You are right. When I was pregnant I was so nervous around kids just for that reason. You will take precautions and do what is necessary.
    Estelle recently posted…On Scary Mommy: Game-Changing Advice from a Midlife MomMy Profile

  10. Although disposable paper towels are not as cost effective or environmentally friendly as a hand towel, in a case such as yours, they can be a safer alternative for drying hands in both the kitchen and the bathrooms. Wishing you both good health!

  11. donna says:

    I had no idea how careful you have to be after a transplant. The care is enormous, do good things for yourself so you can stay strong. I went to a holistic this morning and she taught me some Tai Chi, you keep repeating, I am healthy, I am strong.
    I will try anything

  12. Z says:

    When I first clicked on this post, I was anxious to see the perspective from which you were writing this from. I think this was a really good read. It’s always interesting to read things from different perspectives. Like Donna mentioned (back in August) in her comment, I didn’t realize the level of caution one needs after a transplant.

  13. OB-GYN’s are definitely packed with little kids. Thankfully a lot of them are really diligent about sanitizing hard surfaces and asking sick people to wear masks so pregnant women do not get sick! I remember when I was pregnant, a mom brought her sick child in and sat right next to me, her little guy sneezed on me, and a nurse immediately marched over and reminded her that her and her child needed to wear a mask, and she then commenced wiping down the chair she was sitting at with some Lysol disinfecting wipes! I’m so glad they take it seriously.

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