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Posted on 12. November 2010

Actions Versus Intentions

By Tammie Allegro

Recently, my youngest daughter got a pretty bad cough and cold. She was really bummed because it meant the sleepover she had been planning for weeks with her cousins wasn’t going to happen. I felt so bad that she was missing out on the fun of the sleepover that I decided against making her skip the skating birthday party she was also planning on attending. On the way to the party, we stopped to buy a gift, and the whole time we were at the store, I kept reminding her to cover her mouth when she coughed. I even bought extra hand sanitizer for the party.

About two weeks later, our daughter had a friend come over to play. I noticed right away that the little girl was sick. I was appalled that this child was in my home while she was sick. Why would any mother send their sick child to play at my house? I continued to brood over the sick child that was infecting my family for about an hour before I realized something: I am a hypocrite.

I have always thought of myself as a very considerate parent. I keep my kids home when they are sick with a fever. I usually don’t send them to people’s houses when they are sick, nor do I have kids over to our house when they are under the weather. I have friends who are immunocompromised, and I would never take a sick child to their homes. So while I considered myself pretty considerate, deeper reflection reveals I am not as considerate as I thought. I take my kids to the store all the time when they are sick. I take them to dinner at restaurants. Occasionally, as I mentioned earlier, I let them go to a birthday party for fear they will miss out.

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes I heard as a teen: “We judge others by their actions, but we want to be judged by our intentions.” This is so true. I always have the best intentions, but it may not change my actions.

In the moment when I realized my hypocrisy, I thought about the community that I have the privilege of getting to know through this blog and through Facebook. I thought about the many times I have read comments about parents who bring sick kids to places where they then get you or your children sick. I realized in a split second how easy it is to do this and not think about the repercussions it will have for someone else.

I have learned a lot from this realization. I learned that we all do something one day that we judge someone else for doing the next. Another lesson learned is that it is OK for my kids to miss out on things in life. There will be many more parties, dinners or shopping trips that they can attend. And last, I won’t be so quick to judge someone. Instead, I am going to ask myself why they might use poor judgment and, possibly, I might realize they just might not know any better - yet.

Think about the ways in which it is so easy to be hypocritical in life. For instance, have you ever gotten mad at someone who was tailgating you and then days later been in a hurry to get to an appointment and ended up tailgating a slowpoke in front of you? When have you caught yourself being a hypocrite?

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Comments (2) -

kim
6:25 PM on Friday, November 12, 2010

i can under stand where u are coming from. and proubley back when i have done that too. but i really don't take my kids out when they are sick. and i try to keep them a way from other who are sick. when u have kids that have inmmue proublems. u think about this. if mine where just a normal kid. then i proubley would not care.but when u vist the dr more then u see your husband u try to do any thing possible to keep you kids well...

Lee Pfeiffer
11:46 AM on Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm immune defecient from B cell lymphoma and Rituxin, part of the treatment of this type of lymphoma.  I worked the front desk one day in our chiropractic orthopedic office and during that time three people coughed in my face.  I grabbed my mask and provided each scheduled patient with a mask, and the doctor wore a mask.  Their response was, "its only a tiny cough (with laryngitis)"  "It's just starting,"  and no acceptance of having a communicable disease process even though he was in the office for treatment of sinus infection.  Within the same week, a bank tell had a very red nose, the kind that emerges from wiping it frequently and "its almost gone."  I ended up with a severe sinus infection, the kind that tells me my immunoglobulin counts are low.  

We feel we've educated our patients in controlling infectious diseases, but educating never stops, this is a new year.  In the meantime, I'm quarentined to my office in the back of the doctor's office, where I'll be free from nearly constant bombardment of coughing, sneezing, and excuses, undergoe antibiotic treatment and IVIG treatment at three weeks rather than four weeks as was scheduled.  

We must rely upon our own defenses to educate because we look healthy, but, inside, our immunoglobulin counts cry safety.

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