Wednesday, 12 March 2014

"You call this an open wound?": Confessions of a Germophile

OK, not to exaggerate here ... I don't really like germs. I just sometimes think I'm less germ-phobic than the average urban Canadian. Most dog people are, I'd venture to guess.

"Who you callin' germy?"

In the diabetes world, I'm in the camp that does not change lancets with every finger poke (and, indeed, can't remember the last time the lancet in their poker was changed — wow, that sounds way racier than it is!). Those of us in that group also tend to stanch a poked finger by sticking it in our mouth, to re-use needles (or stretch out the recommended lifespan of insulin pump paraphernalia), and to eschew alcohol swabs.


My immune system seems OK. In a certain sense, it's over-zealous: when I was 21, the damn thing reacted to a common cold by assaulting my perfectly innocent pancreas.

[Hey, it's the 30-day yoga challenge! I hereby vow not to do a single yoga session over the next 30 days. Now that's commitment.]

Bacon Soda? Why do germs get such a bad rap?

ANYWAY ... the germ focus of this post is connected to my return to the medical lab (new location, in my new 'hood) for overdue blood work (see this post on my recent hiatus in the Diabetes F*** It Zone). One of the standard procedures during such visits is the checking of my glucometer's accuracy. I'm supposed to check my blood sugar with my meter right before or after the vein draw; the result is recorded, then compared with the lab's measurement.


All-you-can-eat sushi: blood sugar embellisher par excellence

So I poked my finger, fed the little vampire its droplet, and stuck the finger in my mouth. The lab tech didn't say anything about my methods, but she offered me a large Bandaid. When I said I didn't need it, she answered, "This is a sterile environment; we can't have you moving through the premises with an open wound. It's also for your own safety." I glanced down at my fingers, most of their tips decorated with tiny little poke marks. Not sure if this is the one I used to test my glucometer, or, if it was, which of these dots was the "open wound."

I certainly didn't argue. I got her point, and I wrapped my wound in the Bandaid. While the tech went on to draw a couple of vials of blood from my vein, I stared at the wall (I once tried watching the procedure and woke up several minutes later on the floor) and thought about how unsanitary I am in my daily life. I also contemplated the wisdom of not having tried to bring Freddie into that sterile environment.

"But experts say my kisses help boost your immune system!"

Another Bandaid for the vein. See the scar to the left and above? My brother and I once raced each other to (and through) a glass door. Open wounds? Yes! Much blood and screeching. Gifted children.

On a completely different topic ... those items that were stripped from my bike when my dog trailer was stolen? I missed one. Rather an important one, I discovered, as I left home to ride to the lab and found myself without brakes. Good thing I wasn't heading down Arbutus. Bastards.

Sophie's Cosmic Café gearing up for patio season ...

May all your germs be friendly!


  1. Wow, stole the brakes too huh. For some reason I can't get over that "table of diabetes" with bacon soda. Cookie dough soda. Coffee soda. Well, I might be able to get behind that last one, had I not quit the carbonated stuff.

    Lovely photo of Freddie.

    I've probably relaxed on germ phobia after inviting dogs into my life! Well... maybe a little. But I do get sick less, possibly thanks to increased exposure to who-knows-what!

    1. Yeah, that candy shop is quite something. The visuals are fun, but it doesn't give me an appetite! I liked seeing the Pez dispenser, as that's what I felt like in one dog training class I took! Click, treat ... click, treat ... click, treat ... click, treat ....

    2. Ha! I think I've heard that term used before with the relationship-based trainers! "Don't become a pez dispenser" -- always loved it :)

  2. I love all the photos; they're quite good!

    Something interesting: When I worked at a pediatric clinic, I got sick at least once a month. When I worked at a humane society, I barely got sick once a year. Compared to little humans, dogs are clean as a whistle!

    1. Thanks, Chelsea! And how interesting, the kiddie clinic vs. the humane society. I wonder if any studies have been done ...


What say you?