Friday, October 17, 2014

When you live with the Boogyman, Ebola doesn't scare you.

Yes, it took another rant to get me to dust off the blog.

Ebola in Africa

Ebola in America

Same road, different journeys... a woman advising us all to be cautious of "new" people (Meaning the refugees and immigrants in our area who may or may not even come from the affected regions of Africa...) to protect our families is the lucky winner who set me off today.


I can't even stand it when my daughter who lives in another state has a cold. I can't imagine what people whose families have been hit by or are threatened by Ebola must feel. Yes, let's just shun our neighbors in case their fear and grief are contagious, shall we?

I've also been asked if I'm terrified of ebola, since Steven has some medically complex things going on. My answer?

It's not even on my short list.

Here are a few Boogymen who live in our home, on the bus and tail us while we're out and about.

1. Strep . Yes, those of you who send your kids to school with a sore throat orgo to work when you feel like crap (by necessity or by choice) are putting him in danger because people with shunts, ports and other medical devices can become gravely ill or worse from your cooties.

2. Staph. Common bacteria that can do the same or worse than #1. That doesn't even include the risk of resistant strains resulting from people misusing antibiotics.

3. Shunt failure. Any time, any place, it can fail and send him from giggles to an unresponsive state within hours.

4. Seizures. Just when we got used to the normal pattern of things, they changed and knocked him flat.

5. People who don't vaccinate their children against serious illnesses because Jenny McCarthy said it was bad. Seriously, you people scare the shit out of me.

And so on...

When you live with the Boogyman, it just takes a lot to make the list. I probably have a different triage system for my life than people who have the good fortune to be so secure in their safety that they can project their fears out that many degrees of separation.

Frankly, I get jealous of it from time to time. I envy parents who can truthfully tell their children there's no monster under their bed.

I try to be understanding of people who ARE afraid, since I get that we fear the unknown, and I may be the jaded one in the scenario. It's not because I'm sticking my head in the sand or in any kind of denial about a serious illness, though. It's because I know, for as many threats as my son faces, there's a cancer patient or someone living with AIDS out there reading this thinking "Quit being such a baby, Barb! You think THAT'S bad?"

Different journeys, indeed.

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