Let me start by saying that after having had a couple years getting mono and whooping cough, I am fairly germophobic. It does not help that the whooping cough screwed up my middle-aged lungs and now every cough/cold I get becomes bronchial pneumonia.

So here I am with the extended family, trapped in a house. One child has a terrible cold. My sister let her help make meatballs where the child kept wiping her nose and then making the meatballs. When I said I was completely disgusted, my sister told me to get over it. Note: I refused to eat the meatballs.

Another toddler has a horrible, horrible cough. Her mother also has a horrible cough. The toddler, being a toddler, doesn't cover her mouth when she coughs. And, being a toddler, is touching everything.

Also, people keep talking about the horrible H1N1 going around and how even people who have had the flu shot are getting it and dying. I have not had my flu shot yet as I had bronchial pneumonia through most of October and November.

I have washed my hands about a billionity times. And lysoled everything I own. Did I mention I have to drive 20 hours back home on Friday?

But seriously, my mind starts worrying about it and then I have panic attacks. I'm trying not to panic, but it's hard. I wish my family culture was one of compassion, where the angle was - - if you are sick, please stay home and take care of yourself and NOT "you'd better show up even if you're dying because otherwise you don't love your family."

Advertisement

Thank you for listening.