November 4, 2013
I am sure when you read this week's title you thought, "WAIT!!! Thanksgiving is over 3 weeks away and Christmas is more than a month away." Well, you are right, because that is not the season I am talking about. Tis the season for the flu.
Today my oldest daughter came home early from school because she was not feeling well and running a fever. The good news is that Motrin seems to be keeping the fever down. Poor Taylor has been quarantined to her room. We have had a good run on health considering all the germs that get passed around at school.
This got me thinking about the flu season and how it can affect me. I am not going to debate the issue of whether or not you should get the flu shot or not. I have done my research and I do not get the flu shot, but Ann and the girls do. It is important to do your research and make the decision for yourself.
Now, what I have been noticing is that since my stem cell transplant is that I do not have very many hairs in my nose. It has been nice to not have to worry about trimming nose hairs, but I have lost a natural filter. The main purpose for nose hairs is to assist in filtering the air we breath in. If you have ever changed an air filter on a vehicle you get the idea. Here I am with a filter that is not working as it should and I am left vulnerable to all the impurities that my nose would have filtered. The lack of nasal hairs could lead to an increased incident of sinus infections and upper respiratory infections. This is just one of my theories. I wanted to share my ideas, but I am sure that someone out there with a higher IQ than me could dispute my theory.
The next observation stems from the cold Ohio weather. A couple of weeks ago I was at a football game. It was a clear night and there was quite a chill in the air. As I was sitting there watching the game I noticed that my nose was starting to run. Instinctively I began looking for something to wipe my face with. Luckily there were some napkins and hand sanitizer nearby. My nose continued to run the entire time. Wipe. Wash. Repeat.
I then began watching a group of elementary boys playing football behind one of the end zones. Kid after kid wiped his nose on his sleeve or with his hand. Then they were passing the football and I could literally envision the germs being transferred from one boy to the next. It was just kids being kids, but I have learned that most germs are past through contact.
As winter begins to close in on Ohio, I need to be a little more cautious. Even though I feel good, I have to remember that my body is still fragile. My immune system is still growing. I also realize that as hard as we try to develop better hygiene habits it is inevitable that someone in this house will get sick at some point. I need to realize that I can only control the things that I can control.
Finally, I wanted to share another side effect I have been experiencing after my stem cell transplant. For the past 2 months I have been experiencing it and I was not sure how to handle it. The side effect I am referring to is gratitude. I bet you thought it was going to be some flesh eating bacteria. Everyday I wake up I give thanks that I am alive and able to accomplish tasks that are typically taken for granted. The walls that I have built around me have been knocked down and I have never felt better.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This is a verse I pray on daily. It reminds me that no matter what I go through as long as I have hope I will have a future.