My sister keeps coming down with colds and fevers, and as a germaphobe, I hate it!

Our elder has some comforting words for a letter writer who is fed up of being surrounded by dirty tissues.

Dear EWC

In my family, my sister gets sick with a cold a lot, and my parents never seem to mind. My father goes about his own business while my mother does the same. I, on the other hand, am a huge germaphobe, but only in terms of colds and sickness (I do not mind dirt and worms, etc.). My sister, since cold season is now here, is getting very sick with colds over and over again. I keep avoiding her because of the fact that she doesn’t seem to care that she’s sick — she’s always coughing everywhere, leaving tissues around, and she’s fifteen, which makes me very frustrated. I don’t want to get sick, and I don’t want my mother or father to get sick, either, because then I’ll have nobody to run to. I know, living under one roof, that many people say, “you can’t avoid germs if you’re all living together,” but as my sister gets sick with fevers and colds, I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve been taking my vitamins and been washing my hands, but bigger and scarier fevers keep hitting the household. What do I do?

Ketchman replies

I can only imagine how it must feel to live in close proximity to someone who’s constantly coughing, sneezing, and, grossly, leaving soiled tissues all over the place. It’s certainly not the best of situations. I’ve got no medical qualifications whatsoever and can’t offer any professional advice; still, from everything that I’ve heard and read, you’re doing everything that can be done. Washing your hands, avoiding touching your face after contacting unwashed surfaces, and keeping yourself well nourished and hydrated seem to be what most medical authorities are telling us. If you’ve got a school nurse it would be a good idea to check in with him or her and get some other ideas to help protect yourself.

You might take some comfort in the thought that being exposed to all that coughing and sneezing might be helping your body to build up an immunity against whatever bug is causing those symptoms. If that’s happening you’ll be much more resistant to catching that illness in the future. If your sister’s symptoms get much much worse your parents will, likely, have a doctor take a look at her and, if that comes to pass, they or you could ask the doctor what else could be done to keep you safe and healthy.

Getting sick every now and then is, unfortunately, one of the facts of life that can’t be avoided and most of us eventually recover and go on with our lives with no more harm than a little inconvenience. I hope, and expect, that’s how it will be for you.

You’ve got my best wishes for a happy and healthy future. We’d like to help you achieve that so, please, call on us again whenever you’d like a bit of advice or another opinion on whatever might come up. We’ll always do our best for you. Thank you for giving me a chance to help. I hope I have.

Letter #: 436084
Category: Family

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