Winter is officially upon us. I have always dreaded the snow and the ice. The freezing winds aren’t my favorite either. But since Maggie’s diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, my distaste for winter has grown into a fear – of all the germs and illness it usually brings. Maggie has had her flu and pneumonia shots, but there is still that darn cold virus that no one seems to be able to cure.
In a few days, we will be seeing Maggie’s four cousins for Thanksgiving. Three of them are in school and so obviously, they get the occasional cold. I’m hoping they don’t get it the day before we see them, but if they do, there are two options for us. We can still spend the holiday with them and keep Maggie at safe (three foot rule) distance – yeah, right – while we constantly wash hands and sanitize door knobs and toys. Or we can stay home. Staying home would be easier, but who wants to do that?
The truth is that during winter, the germs that can hurt Maggie and land her in the hospital are everywhere. We have to be extra diligent about washing her hands and keeping toys out of her mouth. If someone else coughs or sneezes on toys, we have to be ready to sanitize that toy. But we also want her to spend time with family and have fun, so it’s worth it to us.
Luckily, our CF doctor agrees. He feels strongly that kids with CF shouldn’t be left out of the festivities or kept away from their families. As long as we are willing and able to put in the work, he wants us to treat her as normally as possible. And so far, he has been right. Maggie has been around her cousins and grandparents when they have gotten sick, and has managed to avoid getting sick herself. She’s had one cold in her almost two years of life (knock on wood). And really, no matter what we do, even with hard work, she will get a second cold. It’s all a matter of time.
So with nervous hearts, we welcome the winter and prepare to let our germ-a-phobic flags fly proudly. You may want to consider buying stock in Lysol and Purell because we will be buying out the stores.