Paranoid When It Comes To Germs Who Me?
The reason I am asking this question, about a month ago, I had an eye doctor appointment. When I arrived for my appointment I was early, as always, hoping to get in and out quickly but that seldom happens. So I checked in with the receptionist and she said, the Doc would see me shortly. As I sat down I noticed there were no magazines on any of the tables, I even glanced down to see if any had fallen on the floor, not a one. So I went over and got the receptionist's eye and politely asked her where the magazines were. She tapped her pen on the glass to the left of me and sure enough there was a sign saying “Bring your own reading material”. Well, I said to her that she should alert patients to this issue before they come to their appointments, and, why may I ask, do they not supply reading material? She looked at me as if that was a stupid question to ask, and explained that reading materials carry germs. She went on to say that any patient could have colds, flu, and even a lethal disease and by touching the magazines they could transfer these germs onto the pages, and someone else would pick up the magazine and bingo! you got the germs. She also added it would be a good idea not to touch the arm rest on the chairs, or table tops.
I gingerly went over and sat down, keeping my hands in my lap. In a short time my mind had drifted off to some far off place and all of a sudden I noticed my hand was resting on the arm rest of the chair! I jumped up and made a sound like a yelp. Talk about paranoia! Geez, I could hardly gather my wits and than broke out in a cold sweat. By this time I was a basket case, so I went over and tapped gently on the glass to get the receptionist attention, she whirled around in her chair and said “Now what?" I asked her when it was my time to see the doctor would I have to handle the door knob to go into the next room? She said a nurse would come out and get me, and she would open and close the door. I went and sat back down, hands in my lap, and shortly I began to nod off but the next thing I knew my head was resting on the wall behind me. Again I freaked out, just thinking whose head might have touched the wall before I sat down and what kind of germs they were carrying.
Normally I am a laid back type of person, and try to distance myself from situations that would cause irritation in my life. Well, just setting here in the waiting area of the clinic was making me very uncomfortable. The next thing I realized was that I had to use the John, or restroom, or for the affluent, the toilette. So once more I walked over to the glass window and tap, tap and tap. Third times a charm, the receptionist whirled around and with a gasp says, yesssssssssss! Well I did not like the tone of her voice and looked her square in the eyes and said I gotta use the can, she replied with a smirk if your request is to use the restroom by all means go ahead, and she slapped a box of tissues on the counter and I quess that was for me to use to open the door, because from the looks of her she was not budging from her throne. Now generally this is not a big deal, happens all the time, seems like the older I get, it happens more frequently. I used the tissue to open and close the doors to the men's room, being very cautious not to expose myself to those hungry little germs. By the time I get in there I am practically doing a jig having to pee. Finally all's well and with great relief. I did not notice that one arm was extended and my hand was on the tile above the urinal! S**t, now I really freak out and almost pee on my foot. There is just no way I can do this juggling act with just one hand. Somehow I got everything put back together and grabbed a few paper towels and headed back to the waiting area. After returning to my home and grabbing a cold Bud Lite I flopped on the sofa and awaited my fate.
Needless to say, this paranoia stuck with me for sometime. But I have learned a lot on germ warfare since that time. Always carry some type of a handy wipe with some amount of alcohol in it. And of course carry a hand sanitizer and this comes in many different types and brands. I read recently somewhere on the net that hand sanitizers used on mice damaged their nervous systems. Can you believe it? Now, if that doesn't make you stop and think. I have noticed more people wearing those little masks that doctors wear. It looks odd, but hey, if it does the job, go for it. And Howard Hughes comes to mind but he was really neurotic, locking himself up in a room thinking he could distance himself from germs. On a serious note, I believe we all should be more careful - you just never know where these little germs may show up.