WEGO Health Award!

Please Don't Shake My Hand!!

Part of my role in the nonprofit community is being out in the community, networking and engaging with various groups to raise awareness of our cause.  Read:  lots of handshakes and 60-second elevator speeches.   For over a decade, I have lamented the inevitable result of exposure to a compromised immune system - particularly during cold and flu season.


I know, I know, I was supposed to be writing about New Zealand the next couple of blogs.  But indulge me!

There was the year during our statewide conference for 500+ that I joked I should have a hand sanitizer strapped to my belt alongside my trusty walkie talkie.  Alas, I did not.  I got strep throat the next day.  And then this week, after attending a power networking event called speed dating for mentors (intriguing, right?  How could I resist?)  I woke up the next morning with the flu.  The Flu, folks.  What am I, 8 years old?  No, I'm a 34-year old woman living with an autoimmune disease.  Who used to take extra precautions like the OCD-germophobe I am.  But this week I got lax, so now I have the flu layered on top of that cold that's been with me since coming back from New Zealand.


Tips to Avoid my Luck (in other words, what I sarcastically keep telling myself like Monday-morning quarterback):

  • Get a flu shot. 
    I did not, with the bland excuse that many years ago when I did, I got the flu anyway.  After suffering the past week, I will now get a flu shot every year for the rest of my life! 
  • Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!
    Yes, I know all the research about how over time it makes our bodies less resistant.  But if you have an autoimmune disease, I still believe it's your best buddy during cold/flu season.  I use it when leaving a store, after shaking hands or opening a public door if I can't avoiding touching the handle. 
  • Get Your Zzzzz'sI was not sleeping the best, thanks to a prescription cough syrup for my cold that hyped me up.  And I can tell, several days into not sleeping, my immune system starts to weaken.  It's important for anyone with IBD to stay as well rested as possible.  And yes, I know how difficult that is sometimes! (or all the time!).  Check out my post on melatonin and sleep for more.                                     
In good health, Crohnies unite!


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