Sunday, November 11, 2012

Germs and me

While in chemo, I was supposed to avoid exposure to germs (public places, germy people, unwashed vegetables and fruit, etc) because my immune system was compromised and I might get a 'bad' ailment as a result. I was very good with that advice. I ate lots of fruits and vegetables and did whatever I wanted. I went shopping at the mall and went to work, went to parties (when I wasn't nauseous), and went to the beach.

Basically I ignored that part of the advice and did whatever I damned well pleased. I was in cancer treatment. I was special. I had to look after myself first and had enough to cope without worrying about the stupid little things.

Now with RA, I am on Methotrexate which (I need to learn how to spell and) has all sorts of 'lovely' side effects. I cant wait:
  • according to WebMD, it can cause temporary hair loss which will return after you stop taking Methotrexate. Now there is something I can't wait. I still have my wig. If that happened I would talk to my doctor about a different treatment option. It is a relatively rare side effect but after my chemo hair cut I am not allowing this to happen again.
  • according to the fine print from the pharmacy, it says (in all caps) that this medication may lower my resistance to infection. I should wash my hands regularly and avoid germs, blah, blah, blah. I can go to AARP and find out how to avoid germs in public places. They advise not touching restaurant menus, condiment bottles, doors in public places, soap dispensers in restrooms, and more. (I'm not old enough for advice from AARP. Well they think I am but since I am still 37, I'm not.)
  • It can also cause liver problems, bone marrow issues, blah, blah, blah.
Well, I will be a good patient here. I will learn to spell it. I will live my life as I want. I believe a little bit of germ exposure is good to keep you healthy. But I am not stupid and will not go visit people with the flu.

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