Freaking Out When Others Are Sick

When you have a compromised immune system, it's not unheard of for you to freak out every now and then ... especially when others around you are sick. Your spouse may catch a cold and bounce back a week later, while you're still begging for the good lord to clear your sinuses and make the coughing stop three weeks later. Your child starts vomiting and is perfectly fine the next day, while you're hospitalized for a few days because the nausea is so bad that you can't lift your head, much less drink.

That's what we're up against.

When I moved departments in my office, I warned my boss that when I get sick, I'm sick for 3 to 4 times LONGER than most people and my symptoms are usually worse. Plus I get symptomatic, so my dysautonomia symptoms kick into high gear and it's hard for me to function. I can work, but I need to work from home when that happens.

The worst part for me is working in an open office environment where germs are in abundance and I can't just hide in an office. I'm around people coughing and sneezing all day long. I freak out a little bit when when my coworker asks for Tums because I don't want the stomach flu. I have a full on anxiety attack when I learn of a coworker with the stomach flu and I start to analyze my contact with this person over the last few days.

Yes, it freaks me out. Yes, it causes me anxiety.

So, as a PSA, please stay home when you're ill. Don't go grocery shopping. Don't go to the gym. Please, for the love of g-d, DON'T go into the office. Keep your germs to yourself. Save me, and others like me, from a month-long illness that often leaves us debilitated and on more medication than we really want to be on.

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