A myeloma sufferer nearing their transplant date has many things to worry about. I can say this with the greatest authority, for I am a myeloma sufferer nearing her transplant date.
My greatest worry at the moment is not the 2% mortality rate, the high probability of mouth ulcers and lava like shit or the weight loss. Oh no, my greatest worry is how the hell I am going to remember to wash my hands in my new immune system-less body.
I have been told that I need to wash my hands after I have been out in public or handled money, before I prepare food, before I eat food and apparently after I have gone to the potty. Okay, I knew the last one already, and almost always did it.
In my adult life, I have strongly believed that one should expose themselves to some germs. I thought it made me strong. Sure, I washed my hands after I disposed of my waste or handled raw chicken, but that was my limit. Anticipating a world where I have to wash my hands after I shake somebody else’s does not sound like a fun one.
I am a thumb sucker. I love the comfort I get from it, but it’s not going to taste very nice covered in antibacterial hand wash is it?
Am I going to have to start opening doors with my elbows? Should I wear a mask in public? How much does hand wash cost? Is there a cancer benefit for people who are medically required to wash their hands more? How dry will they get from all this washing? Will I need a bigger handbag to accommodate the hand wash and moisturiser I’ll have to cart about with me? And what if I wanted to taste somebody else’s lollipop? Will I have to buy my own?
I have never licked a door handle, but knowing that I can now never lick a door handle seems unfair. I feel like I have missed out.
It’s a can of dirty worms.
Fortunately, I am pragmatic. If I need to wash my hands like an obsessive, then I will. I have enrolled myself on an intensive hand washing course. Apparently, every time you wash your hands you have to wash between the fingers and the wrist with soap for at least 10 seconds. I will find out whether I passed in June.
Wish me luck. I’m reaching for a First.
*PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT*
Antibacterial hand wash is not a sufficient substitute for soap and water. Medically Trained People are advised to use it twice before washing. True story.