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The Sky is Falling---or is It?

Posted Jan 14 2009 7:45pm

I’m beginning to feel a bit like Chicken Little—and, on top of that, more than a little confused. I had breakfast with my oncology nurse friend, Rita, a few days ago and told her of my impending surgery and my concern about C. diff. She didn’t laugh at me outright, but she certainly had to rein in a chuckle.

Rita thinks I’m over-reacting. Big time. She pointed out that C. diff is everywhere (yes, that’s why I’m concerned) and it’s obvious that the C. diff bug is old hat to her. She works with patients who have immune systems that are compromised and there have been no C. diff infections in her unit’s population. Because I have a healthy immune system, she believes that chances are miniscule that I’ll fall victim to the little gut buster that is C. diff.

It’s good to know the odds are in my favor but I seem to have a penchant for ending up on the unfavorable end of the odds scale. It has happened to me several times. If the chances of something bad happening are one in a hundred and I am that one—well, there’s no consolation in having started out with favorable odds.

So, tell me what you think. Am I running around squawking that the sky is falling when it’s not, or do I have a legitimate worry? I know I’m not supposed to believe everything I read, but I’ve been reading plenty about C. diff and the articles I’ve read are in agreement that C. diff poses more than a casual threat. Not every case study I’ve read has involved the elderly, infirm or immunologically compromised—so, that means I’m vulnerable, doesn’t it?

Do I need to pack those bleach-infused wipes, subject everyone who comes near me to the third degree about whether they’ve washed their hands properly and autoclave the clothing I bring home from the hospital, or not?

Help me sort this out, will you?

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