Pages - Menu

Monday, February 2, 2015

Yes, I'm A Germaphobe!

“Congrats, you are 67% germaphobic!” - This is what an online survey said about my cleanliness habits. According to the site, I am “not a full-blown germaphobe, but I am not dirty either and this is a good balance to have. I am aware of what is gross but I don't let it take over my life and I don’t let the little stuff bother me”.

Ok… agreed? Agreed!

Germaphobes are known to have an extreme fear of germs and an obsession with cleanliness. Because of their excessive cleaning, some have even said that they might also be suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. I am NOT this person! But, many have pointed out that I have gotten “worse” over the years; particularly people who are around me on a semi-regular basis.

And, you know what? I admit that I have but there is a very good reason for it… my health!

For countless years, especially in winter, I would spend week after week sick! I would get a sinus infection and that would turn into an ear/nose/throat infection followed by bronchitis. I would be better for a week or so and then it would all start again, each time needing stronger and stronger antibiotics to fight it off. And now, a year and a half after my last sinus infection, I have not had any cold or flu symptoms for longer than 48 hours; not once!

On the subway, I don’t hold on to anything with my hands whenever possible. As soon as I get wherever I am going, I wash my hands. I try to avoid handshakes and the dreaded kiss-kiss unless I actually know you. If I have to work in an area that I know is not as clean as my own office, I bring Lysol wipes with me. If DH or I are sick, we sleep separately and keep our distance. Someone else is sick? I have no problem rescheduling plans. Sharing food with others? Not so much! Taking a plane? Dreaded, but necessary, so a nice hot shower is mandatory even if it is 3am! Public bathrooms? Unfortunately unavoidable at times so I just do my best (and yes, I will go in and turn right around and find another if I need to)!

And, contrary to when I was always sick, I hardly use hand sanitizer! Surprised? I am convinced that by really killing ALL of the germs and bacteria on your hands you are doing more harm than good. A little bit of dirt won’t kill you, in fact it can do wonders for your immune system! I’m proof!

Yes, other lifestyle changes like getting the flu vaccine each year (don't get me started on anti-vaxxers), eating better, losing weight, being more active, quitting smoking, and bundling up in the cold have certainly helped as well, but I am sure that becoming a 67% germaphobe had a lot to do with this too… and that is fine by me!

Ps. I am bound to get sick now that I have written this… just wait…