By Rod Moser, PA, PhD
We all have our bad days (or weeks), where nothing seems to go right. The proverbial dark cloud hovers with mindless abandon as you navigate life’s extra challenges. Sometimes, you just stare into the sky and ask, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this?”
I case you are new to my blogs, I have recently returned to my busy medical practice after a four-month hiatus while healing from a rotator cuff tear. I was going stir-crazy at home so I insisted on being released back to the chaos of the clinic, even though I only have partial use of my left arm. It was like I had never left.
The winter and spring months are extra fun because of a spike in our usual array of respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, combined with the season rise in allergy-related disorders. My 12-hour days have become 14-hour days, hampered by being one-armed. A busy clinic aside, I also have other responsibilities.
My two youngest grandchildren live about 500 miles away and I miss them desperately. Children grow in the blink of an eye, so unless you have frequent visits, you tend to miss important landmarks, like seeing them walk for the first time or hear them say, “Grandpa!” Grandparents live for those precious moments, so inconvenience or not, you try to attend birthday parties.
Recently, my daughter and I attended a gala party for my one-year old granddaughter. She was dressed in a pink tutu with matching butterfly wings. She had just learned to walk three days before, and was honing her new skill. She is so cute and loves pulling on my beard.
My three-year old grandson wore clothes at the party, but this was the first time I saw him when he wasn’t naked. For some reason, he prefers to be buck-naked. When I was visiting three weeks prior, both kids were vomiting and had diarrhea. Diarrhea is a disease that is best managed clothed. That visit, he was putting his bare butt on just about everything, from the chairs to the floor, and on to various adult laps.
The day after the party, we drove home. My daughter was getting sick and so were a few other family members and guests. Soon, several were vomiting and had diarrhea. Then, it hit me: Could it be possible that my little grandson was innocently spreading E. coli and other intestinal germs all over the place? The more I thought about, the more it made biological sense.
Last night, I vomited, dry-heaved, and felt tired. Am I becoming another victim?
Today, I felt well enough to return to work for another two days of 13-hours shifts. My first two patients of the day had vomiting and diarrhea, as well as two or three in the afternoon. Something is “going around,” but at least I know it wasn’t necessarily a gift from my naked grandson.