Sunday, April 11, 2010


My friend J and I, who just relapsed after his first transplant, made a pact to try our hardest not to die (which is unfortunately a lot harder than you might think). I majorly failed at that pact this weekend!

First was my niece's first birthday party. I love little children, children are adorable, but they are dirty little germ vectors. They are always sick and always passing bugs between them. During my 100 days I didn't touch her or go near her because she's in day care during the day and has picked up all sorts of bugs there, including whatever terrible respiratory virus she has right now. She was coughing and wheezing all day yesterday, but did that stop me from holding her? No, of course not! Although when I could feel something rattling in her chest when I held her I did try to pass her off to my uncle, but she starting screaming and grabbed my arm, so I was stuck with her. It will be a miracle if I don't get sick with whatever she has. And in case you were wondering, the worst kind of infection to get when you're immunosuppressed is a respiratory infection!!

Then Saturday night I went out to dinner with the French conversation group.... to a fondue restaurant. Yes, a restaurant where everyone sticks the same utensil that has just been in their mouth back into the shared pot o'cheese. At first I was ladling cheese into a separate bowl just for me, but it kept congealing and it's not so fun to put congealed melted cheese on a piece of bread with a knife, and I eventually just gave up and stuck my fork in the pot like everyone else. More than 600 different types of bacteria live in your mouth!!! Again, if I don't get sick with something, it will be a miracle.

Major, major FAIL. But I had a really good time.


Leesa said...

Hey Mir...

I know that you have to be sooo extremely careful now.. and with what you just described... I know you are more at risk of getting sick - Please stay well!!!
I know when I am around 1 GERM - I'm done...
Take care and stay well!!!!

Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed you don't get sick!!

I got sick last week (cold) and I blame it on a girl at the Lycée... but I chuckled (in an evil way) when I got to uni this morning to find my evil supervisor was home sick with the flu/cold.

Zhu said...

I hope you will be fine. You certainly deserve to be - after all, the body is smart and yours must acknowledge you are a tough one by now! ;-)

We all do stuffs that we are not supposed to.

I love your first sentence by the way... I know it's dark but it's beautiful.

getyourselfconnected said...

Kids and daycares are hot zones for bugs. I hope you are feeling ok, maybe dodged one!

What did you think of Lake Vostok? Makes me think of the Jupiter moon Europa with all that water below the ice. Who knows what's there?

Crazy science side note:
The lake waters in Vostok are super-saturated with oxygen. Any life that exists will have developed amazing anti-oxidant enzymes and biochemical pathways. This could serve as a new area to focus studies on oxidative damage to cells and ways to help that. Sorry, OT.

au soleil levant said...

Leesa - I know, I know, I'm going to make a more concerted effort to stay away from germs!

Kim - HA! Too bad for your evil supervisor!

Zhu - thanks and thanks. Actually it sounds like my doctor thinks my immune system is working pretty decently, my big warning is just to stay away from sick people

GYC - I know kids are just infections waiting to happen, but they're so cute!

Lake Vostok is very cool. I am constantly amazed by how tough and adaptable microorganisms are to such extreme conditions.