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I think we are lacking common consideration in this country. Just having the thought to think about what you are doing and how it impacts other people.

A month ago, I went to get my infusion at the hospital. My doctor has put me on Orencia for my arthritis and it is helping tremendously. My inflammation levels have gone down, my joints are less swollen and I am feeling better.

By the way, arthritis is not just about having swollen joints or having pain in the joints. Arthritis makes your whole body feel bad. Run down, tired all the time, just generally fatigued. What the Orencia does (and other medications I am on) is to suppress the immune system so that my immune system won’t attack my joints which is what causes rheumatoid arthritis.

Anyway, I went for my infusion (IV) at the hospital last month and after that I went to work. I saw one of the assistant managers walking around the store and she looked down. I asked her if she was ok and she said, standing not a foot and a half from me “I don’t feel good. I have a cold”. Well, thank you! Now I have it! And I did. Three days later I came down with that cold. Had to go to the doctor immediately because with my suppressed immune system, a cold should develop into pneumonia and I could end up in the hospital or dead. Just because my assistant manager didn’t want to stay home with her cold.

If we had basic consideration, people would realize that when they are sick, they shouldn’t spread their germs around. There are many people with compromised immune systems, such as myself, who can’t be exposed to germs.

One thing I noticed on Downton Abbey, which takes place in the early 20th century, is that when someone doesn’t feel well, they go right to bed. They don’t expose others to their germs. They don’t try to be strong and not give in to a cold. They give their body what is needed, which is rest, and don’t expose others to their germs.

Why am I writing about this a month later? Well, I went for my infusion again today. I get it once a month.  After the IV finished running, the nurse came over to take it out. She was a different nurse than the one who had started the IV and I hadn’t had this particular nurse before.

As she came over, she opened up the band-aid to put on hand and I noticed she was holding the open band-aid with her thumb on the bandage part of the band-aid! Her thumb that was not wearing a glove! THEN she took said band-aid, put it on my leg along with the gauze she was going to use on top of the open vein. ON MY JEANS!! She had no idea where my jeans had been. She had no idea if I had a dog or cat that had been crawling on them. And I had no idea where her thumb had been so I have no idea what kind of germs she had deposited on my band-aid.

So she put a contaminated gauze pad and band-aid on my open vein when I had just had medicine pumped into me to suppress my immune system!! See??? No consideration!

As I am writing this, I am getting more and more upset by the idea that, once again, I may have been exposed to germs right after my Orencia infusion. So I just called the OR manager at the hospital and told her what happened. I was very nice about it but I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. She assured me she would follow up with the nurse who did it and would come see me next month when I am in for my infusion. She, the manager, also said to let her know if I developed any infections or problems because of this. And I will.

I feel better having called her but I really wish people would just practice a little common consideration. Look out for how their behavior affects other people. No one lives in a bubble in this world and how people act impacts everyone around them.

PS I did change the band-aid as soon as I could and wiped the area with an alcohol wipe to clean it off. Just wanted to mention that.

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