I’m writing this blog in an effort to purge myself of several irrational thoughts. My husband says I need to work on “taking thoughts captive”, but since I lack the technology to such a thing, I’m gonna blog my thought and release it on the rest of you. Some of you may share my phobia by the end of the post, others will be slightly more likely to wash your hands, some of you have already clicked onto another post and are ignoring me.
Something that is eradicated in the United States is turning my house into a petri dish. Or at least it is in my head. Part of deploying means getting vaccines. This includes diseases that we no longer have in the United States. Small pox is an example. This is also the vaccine that has left me with several phobias over the past week.
You see this particular vaccine is a live virus vaccine. Basically, my husband is contaminated with smallpox. This is the ONLY vaccine for smallpox and it’s effective rate is 95%. It’s been in use for decades here in the States and the treatment/vaccine was established nearly two hundred years ago, when Edward Jenner (1796) acted upon his observation that milkmaids who had contracted the cowpox virus did not subsequently catch smallpox.
“Currently, the United States Air Force has made it mandatory that any Airman deploying to the Middle East must receive the smallpox vaccination before leaving stateside. The same is true of the U.S. Army, and any US Marine being deployed outside the contiguous United States (OCONUS), as well as any Marine or US Navy sailor being deployed ship side. It is also an option for all Department of Defense employees and contractors traveling to the United States Central Command’s Area of Responsibility (CENTCOM AOR).”-Wikipedia
Of course, all this makes sense given that certain nations did not participate in the program, via WHO (World Health Organization), to bring about a global eradication of smallpox. (Which is of particular interest to those in the field of Bio-terrorism.)Unfortunately, for people like me and my “Worst possible option is the only outcome” mentality, I have created a problem in my own home. You see, there is a risk to myself, our children, our pets, and anyone who comes in contact with any of us. Smallpox, being a LIVE vaccine, means that there is a teeny tiny risk of it spreading if not kept covered properly, if a vaccinated person fails to wash their hands often enough, through contact with something that has touched the vaccine sites (ie. lines, towels, clothing, etc.) or if someone comes in contact with the vaccine site or bandages used to cover the site. This made me crazy. I’m convinced, I lost my mind for several hours. And in that time, I seriously hurt my husband’s feelings and slept for less than two, non-consecutive hours in two days.
I did not mean to offend my husband. I had no intention of making him feel “infected”. I’m just bad at handling things like this. To be honest, I am much more articulate in writing. What I meant to say was something like, “I’m scared of this thing. Could you please make sure you are taking every precaution to keep it from spreading through our home?” … Unfortunately, it came out closer to, “Oh my gosh, you’re diseased, get away from me!”
(NO! I did not actually say it that way, but that was the way it made my husband feel. I told you, I don’t handle these things well and I’m only great with social interactions when my mouth is closed.)
We have since “kissed and made up”, but that isn’t changing my brain. I’ve been itchy, washing my hands more often and have refreshed the towels in both bathrooms three times in as many days. I know I’m paranoid, I know none of this is rational, and I hope that by posting it to all of you, I’ll get over it, or at least advice on how to get over it.
I’m not afraid on my husband, I’m afraid of his left arm LOL
(**Author’s Note: I have a rather extensive set of phobias. Ranging from spiders to drive interstates, from being alone to being attacked. If I were to list them all, we all would be in trouble! My reactions range from irrational thoughts to itching to panic attacks and avoidance. I really should work on some of these issues, but I’m also afraid of new things (Neophobia) and prefer to stay where it’s safe… Hiding from my phobias.
Also, the United States Army is not handing out phobias, so my “courtesy of” comment was made in jest. It just feels like they are handing them out free at the Commissary on the first of every month hehe)