Is it the done thing that if you or your kids are sick, you keep them away from (Great-)Grandma and/or (Great-)Grandpa? Is it the right thing to do, a stupid thing to do? Should this be accepted wisdom, or is it unnecessary because... reasons? My parents and I have been running on the idea that if one of us is sick, we stay away from my grandmother. Is that overreacting? Are we doing it wrong?!

... siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

My cousin, Robyn,* and my Aunt Lysa (who is my mum's youngest sister) are very... they're just very, okay? Let's leave it at that. Grandma (my mum's mum) is in her late eighties (I think she's 88) and was diagnosed as having congestive heart failure last fall. She is not well. She's spent the last few years living with my mum's oldest sister, Catelyn.

Robyn has basically decided we're treating Grandma with kid gloves. We're coddling her. We're doing too much to protect her, and it means her 88(?)-year-old self just isn't building up natural immunities (the way cousin's constantly-sick unvaccinated kids are apparently building up lots and lots of ~*~natural immunties~*~ because they don't have toxins or some crap).

I got sick-as-fuck sick over Christmas, so skipped Christmas with the extended family to protect Grandma. But my aunt and my cousin will spend time with Grandma, and then once someone starts coughing will go "Oh, yeah, we're sick" and then roll their eyes at Aunt Catelyn when she reacts with frustration, because Grandma.

So they were over at Aunt Catelyn's with the kids recently. Pulled the "oh, yeah, we've all been very sick since we came back from our vacation." On Sunday, Grandma came down with a rotten cold that got dramatically worse overnight last night. Aunt Catelyn took her to the doctor today, and turns out Grandma has bronchitis. Oh, and I mentioned the congestive heart failure thing, right, that she is constantly getting poked and prodded and medicated to deal with, yeah? So. You know.

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But we're silly to not be around her when we're sick. SILLY. Because the elderly need to build their own immune systems by being exposed to all kids of illness! And, no, I'm not a doctor, so it's entirely possible that she didn't get bronchitis from catching someone's cold first, but... she's 88 goddamn years old! She's ALREADY very unwell! Shouldn't we give her some consideration? I thought we got vaccinated for shit because we're supposed to be protecting the very young and the very old, who just don't have the "natural immunities" the rest of us do? Someone please correct me on this if I'm wrong.

(Also, these people think that I caused my own bipolar disorder by diet (rather than it being fuckingin the genetics I got handed down from my dad's side of the family) and that if I went gluten-free and dairy-free and started going to a chiropractor and stopped taking my meds, I'd be cured. Deep breath, Ash. Deep. Breath.)

*yeah, yeah, name changes.