Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Antibacterial Does More Harm?

A little friend of mine told me to “write something” while I'm sick in bed. So, here I am writing a post for today. I am grouchy because I am sick with the flu. I’ve had this miserable bug enjoying the destruction of my immune system. It doesn’t help that Madelene was the one who graciously gave me her gift of the germ, but I love her anyway.

I thought I was doing everything right. OCD helps with keeping my hands, counters, doorknobs clean as whistles. Are whistles even that clean? I don’t know why they made up that expression - it’s stupid. So, I figured I’d get myself to the doctor and load up on antibiotics, which I’m highly against if it’s before day 5.

Madelene and I walked into our family doctor’s office. We sat down next to this 54 inch plasma TV screen. See, our doctor’s office was newly renovated and now it’s a cinema/coffee shop/bookstore/florist/plaza full of x-ray and laboratories. I sat down next to a bouquet of a spring flower and tulip mix. Well, let me just tell you that Madelene and myself started sneezing nonstop until someone walked into the waiting room and relieved us by taking us into those small waiting rooms. We were separated and she got the real doctor and I got the pretty nurse practitioner. YES! There is a God!

As I’m sitting there waiting, I’m wondering why in the world that this office always had an electric chair. It’s not really an electric chair, but a peculiar chair. I took a photo of it with my phone cam because I wanted to see if anyone knew what this was. It was in the old building too, but I always stared at it wondering if they just needed to give a few shock treatments, which I’m all game for. There seems to be a contraption which hold's the patient's head in place...but for what?

Then I noticed the examination chair and took another photo. Notice that I’m not sitting on it because look at the paper. Look closely. The most crucial part of that chair is not covered. A long time ago, when I was in a chiropractor’s office, I remember seeing “face marks” from sweat. Ew. They never changed the paper. But even not covering the most crucial part of a seat is disheartening and disturbing.

The gorgeous blond nurse practitioner walked in and we went over medical history as well as what was wrong. She had given me antibiotics that you can drink and be done with. She also gave me cough syrup for children. Umm, hello??? I can understand if she was my pediatrician, but how old do I look? Then she stated because I have a hard time swallowing pills, that she thought it was best to take it in this form. She never really explained the baby cough medicine though.

As she’s poking and prodding at me with those ear scopes and tonsil ticklers, I said to her, “I don’t understand, I always use antibacterial solutions and wipe everything down, including the doorknobs and handles of everything in my home.”

She turns to me and says, “You’re making yourself sicker by doing that. You see, these antibacterial gels are the enemy, because it’s killing off the small bacteria, yet it makes more room for the big bug. The best thing to do is to wash everything down with a little bleach diluted in water. Put it in a spray bottle: one part bleach, ten parts water, and that’ll do the trick.” 


She had also stated that hand washing should be done with soap and hot water, even if the soap is antibacterial, because you are washing off the germs with liquid, whereas the antibacterial gels are only smearing the dead bugs and creating more room for the big guys.

Problem: I HATE the smell of bleach, it makes my gag reflex go crazy. If I smell someone doing a white wash, I gag. This is why I have to open all windows while doing the white wash.

I’m so screwed.  I'm still holding tightly to my Purell.  Old habits are hard to break.