This topic contains 9 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Brittany Foster 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #21396
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    We have touched on the subject of exposure to germs and viruses in the hospital and ER, but what about when you have to go in for lab work? Many patients have monthly scheduled blood work and spend a lot of time in a waiting rooms because of it. Do you worry about exposure to germs and viruses when you are waiting to be called for lab work? How do you protect yourself.

    My son gets stressed when he goes to the lab which shares a waiting room with Urgent Care. He always wears his mask when there and will often remain standing so that he can move away from patients who appear ill.

    This article addresses some of the basic ways to try to protect yourself when at a doctor’s office. I thought the suggestion about not touching the magazines is sound advice. I’ve always felt the same way about pediatric offices that have toys available in their waiting rooms.

    https://www.qualityhealth.com/colds-infections-articles/avoid-getting-germs-your-doctors-office

  • #21448
     Brittany Foster 
    Keymaster

    Colleen,
    Thank you for the link to the article ! I know that I have been having to get more lab work recently because they are checking for re-feeding syndrome since I am starting to get some nutrition again. So this is definitely something that I have been thinking about. I am probably going to just make sure that I have my hands washed before and after. People often neglect proper hand washing techniques and my mom is always one to remind me “scrub to your elbows!” after I am in a public place lol. But this is important because the forearms need to be washed and sanitized too!

    • #21479
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      Great article and topic, Colleen.

      Because I have labs every 2 weeks, I frequent Quest and my doctor’s office, too. I always try and stay far from most others, if possible. I also try not touching anything, which is tough with them using an IPad to sign-in now. They do offer hand sanitizer, plus I carry some in my bag.

      Does your son do OK with the mask? I just commented on the Bronchitis link and asked about masks.

      Brittany, handwashing is so important. So many people neglect to wash for long enough and include the forearms as you mention. I’m glad to hear that your Mom reminds you of this. Great reminders. I often feel like I need to shower after returning some days, do y’all ever feel that way?

      • #21490
         Colleen Steele 
        Keymaster

        Jen, my son and Kathleen wear Vogmask’s. https://www.vogmask.com/
        They are also available through Amazon.
        He has no problem wearing them and he couldn’t care less about the looks he gets from some people.

      • #21498
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        I have heard about these masks ! They are re-usable too. How do you keep them clean? Do you just wash them in the laundry or are they more of a hand washed item? After my surgery I was supposed to get one of these because they didn’t want me going into public places without a mask for the first 2 months post open heart. But, I of course didn’t follow directions. Sometime I am non compliant and not a good patient.

      • #21504
         Colleen Steele 
        Keymaster

        Brittany,
        The N99 Vogmasks are great! They come in many different colors, designs and sizes. They are easy to keep clean. Hand washing would probably be best but admittedly I usually put my son’s in the washer machine and dryer. The only problem is that they tend to shrink a little. Every 3 months or so he buys new ones so he knows what he is using is still protecting him and healthy to use.

        There are times when he still wears the more restrictive, heavy P100 mask. When the smoke from CA fires reach WA he wears this when out and when he spends a lot of time in the hospital.

        It has never bothered him when people stare because all he cares about is staying well, but I’ve known, women especially, who have felt very self-conscious when wearing them.

        Have you read @kathleen-sheffer column, “It’s Not a Costume: Wearing Masks After Transplant”? She does a great job of explaining the challenges of wearing a mask in public.

        It’s Not a Costume: Wearing Masks After Transplant

      • #21506
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        I remember when she wrote that column. When I’ve worn masks plus my oxygen therapy at the same time, I definitely received tons of unwanted stares and glances. I know people are just curious, but to be looked at as if we have the plague is just a whole other level of ignorance. I am guilty of not using the mask as I was told to because of this reason and right after my surgery I just wanted to feel as “normal” as possible.

      • #21518
         Jen Cueva 
        Participant

        Hi Colleen, thanks for sharing that link. I had heard from a few others about these masks, too. They do offer cute designs too and look like they may offer more protection.

        As I mentioned, I have yet to order one. Have these been pretty durable for y’all?

  • #21520
     Jen Cueva 
    Participant

    Hey Colleen,
    Sorry, I replied before I saw this, LOL

    Thanks for sharing, great information for us all to consider. I, like Brittany, behave been guilty of not wearing masks. I think I will try to wear one, at least to appointments, etc.. I think mostly during the flu and cold seasons, as well as during the change of seasons when I tend to develop bronchitis and pneumonia.

    I was talking to my hubby yesterday about not wanting to wear it because I get started already, but I also know it could help me.

    • #21531
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Jen,
      I know it is hard to get past those stares and looks that we get with just wearing our oxygen. I always try to remind myself that you never know who you are helping feel confident in their own disability. Everyone has something but some people just keep it hidden. There could be someone like me in that store that you walk in that is inspired to put my oxygen on because of the confidence you are projecting (even if it’s forced confidence). There could be others that don’t want to use assisted devices due to embarrassment but then when they see you they’re like “screw it, I NEED IT!”

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