Stay Healthy and Germ-Free: A Personal Experience of Mysophobia

Some people seem to think that mysophobes like myself would never get a chance to become ill. After all, mysophobes take extra precautions when it comes to keeping clean and healthy. In my case, I never eat food from questionable sources, drink filtered or distilled water only, wash my hands, constantly, and have a regular supply of sanitary wipes with me at all times. So, it came as a complete shock to everyone, most specially myself when I fell almost deathly ill in the not too distant past.

I remember that it all started when I hosted a birthday party for my mom at our home. We decided that in order to save time and clean up, we would order most of the food that would be shared at the party. We had a huge Japanese platter composed of Sushi and California Maki, as well as some fried chicken and other foodstuff that could be easily delivered to our home within the day. Of all the food on the menu, the only food that I had not seen prepared, nor was I familiar with the restaurant that prepared it, was the Japanese food platter. As expected, the party was a huge success and everyone enjoyed the food that was served. The guests raved about the Japanese food most of all. I too enjoyed the platter immensely and probably ate more of that food than anything else at the party. Something that would turn out to be a huge mistake on my part later on.

2 weeks after the party, I began to have a constant nagging pain in my knees. Pain that was so bad that I could not get up from my chair without any pain. I thought that I had overdone it at the gym and told my mom that “I need to talk to my trainer about lightening my routine.” Something that she did not approve of because I really needed to get into shape and lose a few pounds. So I continued my routine at the gym until one day during that week when my shoulders began to hurt as well. At this point, I decided that it was time to take a break from working out and just chill out for a few weeks till my pains subsided. I discovered that full body massages seemed to help ease the now increasing body pain that I was feeling.

The following week, I started to feel really funky. I suspected I was coming down with either a cold or the flu because my head was really beginning to throb and my stomach was really beginning to develop a severe case of spasms that I tried to alleviate by burping and taking antacids. By this time, I was starting to suspect that maybe I was not a simple case of the flu. But since I was running a temperature and looked like hell, my mom ordered me to rest in bed overnight. Both of us hoping that I would feel much better the next day.

The next day started out better indeed. I took a shower and went about my daily business even though I still did not feel like my usual self. I knew things took a turn for the worst for me when, in the middle of an errand I was running, I began to vomit what looked like blood to me, accompanied by the most crippling stomach spasm I have ever felt in my life. Worried, my mom called the family doctor and she asked her a simple yet nerve wracking question, “Any chance our patient has had Hepatitis before?” The simple answer my mom gave was , “No. Do you suspect that?” To which the doctor replied, “Get her to the ER as soon as possible for testing.”

My mom thought the doctor was mistaken and thought he was exaggerating so she decided to keep me at home for 2 more days. Upon which, I went from worse to worst. The vomiting became more constant and I could not even keep water down anymore. She tried to give me the best over the counter medicines she could think of, hoping to avoid a hefty hospital bill. But when it became evident that 2 days of vomiting, lack of food, and sleep were taking its toll on my body, she finally relented and took me to the emergency room.

I was immediately hooked up to an IV, Nexium was their medicine of choice to help ease my stomach pains. Blood tests and urine tests were taken without a second thought. My doctor was obviously very concerned that all the time that passed between his order to have me admitted and my actual admission could have caused some severe health repercussions for me. He even order an Upper GI Ultrasound just to make sure that he had all the bases covered healthwise.

The blood tests came back with a severely high SGPT count, in the thousands. Then there was another result that I can’t remember right now but the outcome was clear. “You have hepatitis A.” he announced to me that afternoon after I was admitted. He told me that we had caught it just in time. I was in the advanced stages of the illness and my liver was badly damaged, but the situation was still reversible. Placing me on hepatic medicine, we began to cure my illness. The pain of Hepatitis A is a pain that you would wish only your worst enemy to suffer. I am not really a religious person but in this instance, I found myself talking to God and begging the angels in heaven to help me survive, because I actually felt like death was my only option at that point.

On the 3rd day of my confinement, feeling much better, I asked him how I could get that ill in so short a span of time. He said I must have ingested it. Thinking back, I narrowed down the culprit to the Japanese food. It could have only been that because it was the only food I did not see being prepared. He told me that my Hepa profiling showed that I had no antibodies for Hepatitis A but still had 45% protection against Type B. Something that I would have to boost in the future. After I get really well. On the 4th day, I was finally allowed to go home to recuperate at home, in more familiar surroundings. Now, that is a story I will save for another day.

But what did I take and learn from this experience? I now realize that mysophobes need some germs in our body system if we want to really stay healthy and germ free.