17 March 2014

Germaphobic or what?

Jan Grape
by Jan Grape

I've never been germaphobic. In fact, I've always thought and even heard all my life that a little dirt is good for you. That you need to keep your antibodies built up and how some germs help that.  But I just spent eight days fighting what I self-diagnosed as norovirus. It's also called intestinal flu, where you erupt at both ends. I first got sick on Wed. March 5th. This episode lasted for about four hours. A friend came over to help me and brought some Pediasure which was a good thing because I was getting dehydrated and didn't realize it.

The next day I was better and even better by Saturday the 8th. Suddenly, the virus flared again. Lasted about an hour this time and wasn't as severe. In the meantime, I read up on my virus and discovered it was a very nasty virus. That the germ could live on a countertop or hard surfaces for weeks. A lot of people also have a high fever with the illness. I only had a low, about one degree to one and a half. I also had a sinus/allergy problem or a cold. None of it was fun.

This was just after my wonderful sixty-fifteenth birthday party which was super. All three of my grown children and spouses came, two of my grandchildren came, a niece and her son and his family came. My nephew's daughter is a great-great niece so that made it even more special to have family there. A large number of close friends also came. I think about 45 people came. The next morning the 2nd of March, my son and his family from Ft. Worth and my daughter from Nashville and I had a late breakfast before the FW group had to get on the road. So thinking again about germs, I was in two restaurants with a large number of other people inside so I could have picked up the germs in several ways.

After that Saturday I started feeling better again. Everything I read said you have to go three days without symptoms before you're germ free. I slowly felt good each day once again until Wednesday, the 12th, and the virus flared again. Each day as I was getting better I did have a vague uneasiness in my tummy. Not sick, but just not real good. I did talk to my doctor's nurse. I was doing everything that she suggested I do. Of course she asked who diagnosed norovirus. I said, I did. Might not have been but sure acted like it.

 I ate or drank a lot of soup. Drank a lot of Seven-Up and Pediasure. Ate bananas and rice and bland things. No sense in tempting the fates. The only good thing about this ordeal is I did lose seven pounds, it was just a horrid way to lose them. Now if I can just keep that number going down without being sick anymore I'll be a happy camper. I'm finally feeling almost normal, whatever "normal" is.

In thinking about the topic of my blog this week. I couldn't help wondering if anyone has written a story with a main character who is germaphobe or even if such a character is anywhere in a story. I don't know of any, but I'm fairly sure someone has written one. If you know of someone please comment about it. Actually the only famous people I've heard about who are germaphobic is Howard Hughes and Howie Mandell. And although I'm going to be a little more cautious, I'm going to be nutzo about it.

In the meantime, stay away from germs. Wash your hands with soap and water often and use one of those sanitary cleaners. I know that that's my plan.

Photo below taken on March 1st at my party which was held at a Mexican Food Restaurant and that's why I have on a huge sombrero. The staff brings it for you to wear when it's photo time. Prior to that I was wearing a tiara that a friend brought for me to wear.

Jan Grape


  1. Jan-

    Glad you are feeling better!

    Two years ago I went to a music weekend and on Saturday night/Sunday morning about half of the eighty people got hammered by a norovirus. I was one of them. Another twenty or so got it in the next few days.

    Next year at the camp a friend of mine set up an elaborate hand-washing station in front of each meal line. So far, so good.

    A little tip, friends. At a buffet table you may think you are doing fine if you keep your hands out of the potato chip bowl, etc. BUT THE GERMS ARE ON THE SERVING UTENSILS TOO.

  2. Jan, thanks for the photo which I immediately added to my SleuthSayers in hats collection for a future blog. I'm glad you've beaten the bug, but do be careful. I'm not familiar with a story about a germaphobe except Monk. You know me though, the question sends my mind in all kinds of directions such as story about a sleuth with a stomach bug while he solves a case.

  3. Jan, believe it or not, I'm in the middle of a mystery with a germaphobe protagonist: Susan M. Boyer's LOW COUNTRY BOMBSHELL, second in the series that started with the Agatha-winning LOW COUNTRY BOIL.

  4. Liz, I met Susan Boyer at a joint book-signing in Greenville, SC. She is a delightful lady and I'm thrilled at the success of her southern mysteries.

  5. Having worked as a deliveryman for a couple of decades, during which I have washed my hands A LOT during two score flu and cold seasons I hear where you're coming from. Just a little paranoia helps sometimes! So glad you are better, Jan!


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