You, Me, and That Stuff Dripping From Your Nose That I Hope is Just Sweat - Uncover Ostomy
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You, Me, and That Stuff Dripping From Your Nose That I Hope is Just Sweat

For the past few years, I’ve gone to the gym every single day. 

If I’ve ever missed a day, it’s because I am so deathly ill that I cannot stand up even though that doesn’t always stop me from still trying to get at least 10 minutes in on the treadmill. (It’s happened…)

It took a little bit a lot of self-motivation to make this a habit, but they say if you do something every day for 30 days, it’ll stick. So now, if I don’t get a morning workout in, my whole day feels ruined. (Ask my husband – he knows how grumpy I get.)

Lately, my exercise of choice has been spin class, not-so-wonderfully scheduled at 6am Monday’s, Tuesday’s, and Thursday’s. I don’t know what it is about it, but I am HOOKED.

It’s just me, my bike, the movement, and the music, and nothing else is on my mind but pushing those legs in constant circles.

The best thing about spin class is that I’m on my own bike, in my own bubble, and doing what I need to do to get my heart pumping and my glands sweating. I like being in my own space because, well, I just don’t like (being too close to) other people.

Crohn’s Disease has not only ruined my intestines to the point of, you know, being removed, but it’s also destroyed my immune system. I can get sick from someone down the hall coughing into their arm. I am a germ magnet.

That’s why I like to work out in my own space with no one around me.

Lately, however, I’m not the only one hooked on the drug called spin cycle.

There are about double the amount of people in my Tuesday class now than there were in May. So many more people that there were no bikes left for a straggler who came in 2 minutes before this week’s class started. The instructor volunteered his bike to this belated bicycler, so it had to be shoved in between my bike and the bike to my left.

Fine, I can share space – I’ll just focus in on my spin. 

Lights go off, the music turns up, and we start warming up.

whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, go the sounds of the pedals to the beat of the music.

Hands to the ends, out of saddle yells the instructor.

COUGH SNIFF HORK SNEEZE goes the person next to me.

FYI, this is not the person.
FMOYI, this is me in no makeup lol
And yeah, that’s a scar on my face

I look over to see what the heck is happening, and my eyes zoom in on this big collection of what I can only hope is sweat, on the end of this person’s nose.

It’s sweat, right? I mean, we’re biking, we’re pushing, we’re exercising, it’s sweat.




It’s not sweat. 

For the entire class, I listen to the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing coming out of this person’s face while I’m continually holding my breath until I can turn my head to the right to breath, which obviously is not going to help avoid the germs that are floating within the circulated air.

This is how I get sick.

I pick up anything just from the simplest whiff of a germ nearby. I get sick when the seasons change. I get sick when our condo is too cold. I even get sick when one of my husband’s coworkers’ kid’s friends is sick because it gets passed through everyone and then, somehow, eventually, to me.

Why do you think I like staying home? Why do you think I work from home? Why do you think, even though my team works with me here, they know not to come into work even if they feel the slightest bit off?

Because it only takes one wrong look at a germ for me to be down for the count. 

The entire class, I fought the urge to tell this person to leave the entire class.

I kept thinking to myself, should I ask the instructor to bring over the class Kleenex box, only to then passive aggressively point him to the germ generator?

I kept wondering how much longer I could go by only breathing every few seconds without getting whiplash.

The biggest question I kept asking myself, and something I’ve been wondering for a while was;

Who’s the one in the right and who’s the one in the wrong here?

Is it my right to tell this sicko that they shouldn’t be here because they could get me sick?

Or is it their right to tell me to move somewhere else/leave so that I don’t get sick?

Am I able to ask someone who could harm me to leave, or is it on me to leave so they don’t harm me?

On one hand, it’s in everyone’s best interest for the sick person to stay home, but do I have the authority to say something? The instructor, as the leader of the class, could certainly mention it, but then he should probably also tell people to wear deodorant...(I’ve actually asked him to do that and he has not, so…)

On the flip side, is it my job to keep myself safe by wiping everything down, using crazy amounts of Purel, and covering my face with a mask? I already do this, but you can only kill so many germs.

UO community – what have you done? Have you been in a similar situation? Have you been the one to say something? Have you left a situation out of fear of getting sick? Who do you think is in the right?

I don’t really know what the answer to this philosophical dilemma is, and I don’t know if I’ll ever know, but, in the meantime, I honestly haven’t felt so great since that class, so I think I’m going to lie down…


To be clear, when I say I still go to the gym when I’m sick is mostly due my disease, which is not contagious…haha!

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Jessica Grossman
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