Monday, September 6, 2010

The Dreaded Cold Virus!

Wow, it's been a while since we've been able to post. It's been a busy summer, both with the practice and for me at home. We did however manage to get time off this August, well Sara and I did, which gave us an opportunity to spend more time with our families, travel a bit, and regenerate for the coming fall which is going to be busy as we work with present clients and set up some of the plans we have for the practice.
Last week I recently returned home from my vacation which was a cruise of the Mediterranean including Turkey, Greece, Crete, Italy. It was a fantastic cruise. We got home on Tuesday night, loaded with memories, pictures, souvenirs, dirty laundry....and for me, a virus. Wonderful...thank you Air Canada for your parting gift! It was so totally unnecessary, the fact I got all of my luggage considering I had connecting flights was bonus enough.
Well, I shouldn't really rag on Air Canada, they do their best, and really the fact that I have this virus is probably my fault as well.
The most common way to catch a cold or virus is through touching a surface that was recently in contact with someone with the virus to share. Back in my working days at BC Children's Hospital, we had a very particular infection control nurse named Miss Bonner. I never ever called that woman anything but Miss Bonner, although she did ask me once to call her Mavis. She was English, and when I first starting working at Children's, she wore a nurses cap. She had short hair, no make up, no rings, short fingernails, dresses with duty shoes and hose, and she used to go ballistic when the nursing staff got cold on nights and would wear yellow isolation gowns. But I digress. The woman was wise in the ways of infection control. She used to tell us how much she hated the "dirty scissors" we carried in our pockets and was feral about handwashing. These were the days when we walked to work in 6 feet of snow with wait....sorry....channeling my mother......these were the days when we didn't have disposable gloves, antiseptic hand wash etc. We had strip your skin dry chlorhexidine and water. If you went home with your hands not obviously had not washed enough.
Probably the most important thing I ever learned from Miss Bonner, was to keep my hands out of my face, especially my eyes. Your eyes are direct portals into the body because of the mucous membranes. She said to me that your eyes were the first portal of entry, then your nose and then your mouth. Keep your hands clean and away from your face and you defeat one of the main portals a virus takes to infect you.
Wise wisdom I follow to this day. Handwashing is a must, regularly throughout the day and please please keep your hands away from your face.
The second method of transmission of a virus....sadly....the air. Sadly I think that may have been the method by which I was toast. Nothing like two plane loads of people, close proximity and recirculated air. Add in lack of sleep, lack of fluids, lack of decent food and have my right bronchus attempting to turn itself inside out.
So as this flu season begins, we will talk about the flu vaccine, but most importantly, keep your hands out of your face, wash those hands frequently, and keep the germy people who didn't follow these directions at a distance!