Mama Vicky Says Occasionally Even I Make Mistakes

I am rarely ever wrong, really! Ask my children. They will tell you. (Maybe you had better not.) I do have to correct myself as to the numbers I gave in one of my last posts. I had written that 1 million germs lived in a gram of feces. This number is way too low. How’s this for stunning and disgusting? The actual number is 1 billion. Yes, 1 billion. I thought a million was impressive. One billion is out of this world. The size of the gram full of yuck is the size of this ‘o’.

When I was taking my prerequisites for nursing school one of the courses was microbiology. It was absolutely fascinating. (I thought the same thing about physiology, but that’s for another time.) One of our first lab assignments was to go the appropriate sex bathroom and take a swab and a petri dish and swab the toilet, the door handle, the sinks, oh, and the water fountain (which was not located in the bathroom) and smear the invisible stuff onto the petri dish. Then we waited a couple of days until our next lab and took a look at the growth. Gray, lumpy, yellowish, disgusting. Please be advised that much of this was germs that would not cause infection. It just looked bad. During this particular activity, I clearly remember the instructor telling us that we should not use our hands to flush the toilet. Rather we should flush it with our feet. This was before the fancy toilets that can tell that your bottom is off the seat and flushes itself. I still use my foot when fancy toilets aren’t around. I have also taught this to my children. I also keep a paper towel in my hand after I have washed my hands with which to open the door to the bathroom. Why get re-germed? Now in many bathrooms you will find a trash can by the door as the establishments have gotten wise and know that people prefer to exit using a paper towel on the door handle. Not every person and facility has caught on yet. I have received my share of looks from other patrons for using a paper towel on the door handle. They should visit a nursing convention and see the number of nurses who do the same thing.

Be advised, though. You can’t catch gonorrhea or chlamydia from the toilet seat at the theater, or for that matter, any other toilet seat. But if I have witnessed that someone has been coughing into his/her hands and then tries to give me a handshake, I likely will not shake that hand. Not trying to be rude, but that’s just gross. I am not a germophobe, but I am not going to be reckless, either. And what’s wrong with liking things clean? Or staying health for that matter? I’ve got to go. I think I have a toilet that needs cleaning.

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