To the best of my ability, I try my hardest to stay away from any doctor offices or hospitals from October to April because that's when I get sick the most. Let's face it - that's when most people get sick the most. Even with all my effort, it seems pointless because I also take my mom to doctor appointments as well. Her appointments don't require much "family care practice" - it's more rheumatologists, pediatrists, cardiologists and of course, ophthalmologists with bad cases of halitosis. "Why doesn't he pop a breath mint before examining his patients," Mom complains, as she stumbles out of his office, dizzy from holding in her breath the whole time. But that's not the point --- I am plagued with sick people in these "non-sick" (thought-to-be) places. Last night, I'm sitting in the waiting room while Mom was getting blood work done by her rheumatologist. She has gout, so she has to check her levels every so often. As I'm sitting there, I noticed a huge sign that reads, "DO NOT USE CELL PHONES IN THE OFFICE!" Fine. I grab a magazine, which I normally don't do in a doctor's office because I'm a germaphobe and start flipping through pages, pretending to read as I eavesdrop on everybody else. The office suddenly became crowded. I started to feel the warmth of "people" and even thought about waiting in the front lobby. Every single person sitting next to me was coughing up a lung. Even the receptionists behind the glass window were coughing and hacking away. One lady decided to sneeze ten rounds without holding her nose, face or making sure no one else caught her droplets. I clenched up and found the one thing that could possibly save me: an antibacterial gel dispenser.
I thought dinner and drinks may remedy the situation, so for the long wait at the doctor's office, I decided to bring Mom out for a while. As we're sitting at our table waiting for our drinks, I noticed the waitress shuffling over with a tray of our cocktails. After the waitress placed my wine glass on the table and filled it up with a small carafe, she wiped her runny nose with the palm of her hand. (Internal freak out!!!) I looked over at my mother who didn't notice this sinful offense and decided it was better off I didn't say a word. I slowly took a napkin and wiped off the stem of my glass and continued on having a meal with Mom. It wasn't too long until the restaurant started filling up with its bar patrons, which happened to be in our section. Not even five minutes after their arrival, they all started coughing, gagging, sneezing and wiping their noses with napkins. I felt the air getting less and less as I kept hearing the wails of flu-like symptoms. At this point, my conspiracy theorist in me started to beg me to get the flu vaccine, but nevertheless, my paranoia kept that thought in check. I then noticed Mom wiping her nose. "You okay?"
Backtrack two days ago, my sister and I went grocery shopping together. As soon as I grabbed my cart, I grabbed one of those antibacterial wipes that are left out near the door. I always wipe my sister's cart off because she'll never do it herself and I wipe my own off. This time, there were no wipes left. I panicked. I decided to use my sleeve to hold onto the handle and continued shopping. Shopping shouldn't be a scary task unless you're like me, OCD-ridden and neurotic. I quickly zoomed past the pharmacy section, because, well, for obvious reasons and headed toward the frozen aisle for safety. My sister follows me, checking every Paleo (and non-Paleo item) that I throw into my cart. We're both on an 80/20 Paleo routine, so it's fun to go shopping with someone who likes similar food. As I take my phone and rearview it back, I notice her grabbing bread and pies behind me. "Snap! Snap! Snap!" (Evidence.) When we were all set and ready to go and check out of this germfest, we got first place at the cash register. As I'm placing my items on the conveyer belt, I was pleased to see that the cashier had latex gloves on. Not sure why she would need them at this station, she wasn't preparing food -- but it made me happy…until…she wiped her runny nose ON. HER. GLOVE. She then proceeded to touch our items and bag them herself. So the next time you make fun of me (you know who you are) about getting Shoprite delivery services to my home, remember the reason for my madness.