I'm Not Contagious (You Are)

Tomorrow we fly home to Florida (Boo!) I wonder how many 'looks' I'll get when I wear my face mask on the airplane? I'm more than 6 months post-transplant, but I ain't takin' any risks in a germ-infected airspace and a lower than average WBC count.

Hey, I'm not contagious, YOU are.

This trip to Arizona has been my first flying experience since my transplant. I wore my face mask on the way here, but only on the plane. Most people ignored me (good) but I got a few confused expressions from a handful of other passengers. Maybe they thought I'm a person with OCD and afraid of germs? Heh, well I guess I am one, of sorts.

The flight attendants annoyed me (more than usual) because they seemed phobic about my face mask. Not one asked why I was wearing it, they just maintained a safe less than 4-foot distance. Although, admittedly, I was prepared for a fight (with anyone) about the mask, so I could've misinterpreted their actions.

With all the reports of 'sick people' with TB and other contagious diseases on airplanes I wouldn't blame someone for wondering if I were the contagious one. And, in all honesty, I wouldn't be offended if someone asked 'why are you wearing that thing?' so long as they weren't whispering and pointing at me, instead. I happily answer questions, but I mock ignorant behavior.

In the meantime I'm pondering the design of a t-shirt to read - "You're the one with the germs". Ha, that'd get them.

--- Update on 07-Jan-08 ---

Take a look at the pictures of my decorated face mask!

When I was going through a rough round of chemo, I stayed away from public places for similar reasons. Little kids are like petri dishes, and I didn't need to catch whatever they were incubating.

Face masks are very common in Japan, though I never figured out if it was sick people wearing them, or people that didn't want to catch anything.

Have you thought of maybe writing something on the mask? Even putting a big smile face could be enough of an ice breaker to have someone ask about the mask versus assuming it's purpose.

Good luck, stay healthy, and always let other people turn door handles for you ;)

Rebecca -

Little kids are like petri dishes

Ha ha! No kidding! ESPECIALLY when you've got one who lives with ya :)

Have you thought of maybe writing something on the mask? Even putting a big smile face could be enough of an ice breaker to have someone ask

I actually hadn't thought of that, but its a great idea. Maybe I'll look around to find a Sharpie...

Krissi

If you ever make one, I'd order one.

I found you through BlogHer. I am a long-term cancer patient and chemo also commits an assault on those white blood cells. One time when I had to go to emergency (due to an allergic reaction to a drug), I wore the mask (it was during the height of flu season). People certainly kept their distance and that suited me just fine.

I haven't worn the mask on an airplane yet, although I probably should....

And "optimistic realist" - I like that term very much and I may borrow it in the future....;-)

Laurie -

I found you through BlogHer.

Hello!! :)

People certainly kept their distance and that suited me just fine.

Come to think of it, it suits me just fine when people stay away from me, too.

And "optimistic realist" - I like that term very much and I may borrow it in the future....

Oh, I'm sure I'm not the only one who probably uses that term (or maybe I am?) but if it describes you, then go right ahead - I think it's perfectly fine to always be optimistic while also keeping yourself grounded in reality.

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