Friday, April 4, 2014

I Don't Want to Puke!

As a person living with OCD, one of my biggest struggles is illness and germs. Not being sick per se, but being around sick people. Knowing that there are people walking around with seasoned germs, ready to attack my immune system, really gets my OCD going. When someone around me (I know and love) is sick, this sounds crazy, but it completely doesn't bother me. I'm okay with it. I want them to feel better. I try to help them if I can. I don't dwell on the fact that they are ill and could potentially pass on their germs to me that could eventually turn into a flesh-eating bacteria that eats all the skin off the fronts of my legs, so I could never ever again wear a dress without being self-conscious. But we all know, that's my OCD taking that one a little too far. I just deal with it, no undue OCD drama, and move on.

Germs, Eeww!

But that's the truth about my brain. My brain, my crazy, OCD brain, takes illness to a whole new level. Getting a virus can turn into becoming septic in 10 seconds. Seriously--that's how quickly OCD works. That, I cannot control. My brain just goes there; it always has. It doesn't help either that my mom is a nurse. (I know too much about medical terms, conditions, and illnesses.) 

I am also a teacher. This does not bode well for my OCD and my germ issues. However, over the years, I really don't even notice it anymore. I do have my bad days. My first year teaching, I did have a student throw up all over my feet. That was a little intense, to say the least.

Most of the time, when students are sick, I still give them a hug if they ask me to (because it will make them feel better) and test their forehead to see if they're feverish. I just remember to wipe my desks down regularly to keep down the spread of germs. Most of the time, illness doesn't bother me anymore.

The one time it sinks its talons into my brain is when it happens in my own home. Yesterday and today I am using two personal days to hang out with my hubby on spring break. We are both teachers and rarely have the same spring break. I think out of all the years we've been teaching, we've shared one spring break together. After having a rough spring break of my own with an onslaught of migraines, I decided to take two days off to have fun with the hubs during his time off. 

I was so excited! We had some great plans. It was going to be a blast! We were going to hang out at the Cincinnati Art Museum (our wedding venue), go to the zoo (if the weather ever turned a corner), go out to eat one night, and see a movie. These plans all changed when my poor hubby got a horrible stomach bug Wednesday night.

I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to my hubby looking pale as a ghost and telling me that he threw up all night. Just to give you an idea of what my OCD mind was thinking, I'll share the thoughts in my head at the time:

Aaaaagggghhhhhhh! I don't want to get sick!!! He looks awful! I need to help him! Oh, but the germs!!!!

Of course my initial reaction was that of any person whose husband just told her that he was sick all night. It wasn't until a few minutes later that my mind started racing with OCD thoughts. Bjorn and I snuggled on the couch last night! What if his germs are alive and well on the couch having a good ole' time waiting to throw my stomach for a literal loop. I don't want to get sick. I hate throwing up. How can I disinfect the couch? Can I wipe it down with Clorox wipes? I need to disinfect this whole house! Oh my gosh! How I am I going to get all that done? I'm going to be cleaning all day!

After I let my brain runs it crazy thoughts across the finish line, I took a deep breath, got ready to go get my hair done (I had an appointment already schedule yesterday), checked to make sure Bjorn was okay, got my hair done, let him sleep for awhile while I went to the thrift store, and then came home to take care of him. 

I washed some sheets. I made him some soup. I got him some Popsicles and some Gatorade. I even sat next to him in bed and we talked and watched TV for a little while. I didn't obsessively wash my hands. I didn't disinfect the couch. I did worry about getting sick. I did keep wondering when it was going to hit me. As the day went on, I was able to stop my OCD thoughts and just tell myself, "If it happens, it happens. There's nothing I can do about it." So far, I haven't gotten sick (fingers crossed, knock on wood).

Before being able to handle my OCD, I may have Clorox-wiped the couch. Who knows. I'm just glad that it has gotten easier. It isn't always easy, but the easy choice to make was to take care of my hubby because I love him.

I hope you feel better soon, my love. 

Love and happiness <3 Holly

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! Comments are one thing on my happy list! Hearing from you makes me smile :)