YOUNG CHILDREN are continuing to be placed at risk, as the rise in Shiggellosis cases are soaring in the metro area. As the temperatures start to rise, and the thick humidity fills the air in the Midwest states, public swimming pools become the “place to be”, for many families trying to cool down and entertain their children.
Public pools, waterparks, lakes, and rivers…..All bodies of water containing a multitude of bacteria, for each of us to innocently swallow, just prior to getting a plague that leaves us vomitting, cramping, sitting on toilets for endless hours, and finally leading to the feelilng that we are on deaths doorstep…. Yet, we continue to go back, because the fun ALWAYS outweighs the Shiggellosis.
The newscasts and heath advisers constantly urge us all to stay home if we have shigellosis, but I think that sometimes we arent aware that we are carrying it. This leads to us accidentally leaking these digestive juices, with each swim stroke we take, causing us to spread this disease, the minute one person giggles, and inhales the very contaminated water, that just escaped our unknowingly weak sphincters.
As parents, we all have a story that we keep to ourselves, because we know we have helped contribute to the spread of this disease….at least as accomplices. We have all had an episode in which our toddler has had visible stool coming out the tops and sides of their swimming diaper, at a theme park or local public pool. However, even if it appears to be Shigellosis on first glance, our pride keeps us from telling a soul. Instead, we try to cover them up with our bodies and towels, praying to GOD that no one else noticed, and we just let the Shigellosis slowly make its way to the next childs mouth, esophagus, and then contaminate the rest of their digestive systems, leading to the same epidemic, that we are all gasping about right now!! We never even look back….we simply block it from our minds.
I for one, have never been a lover of the public pool, and not just because of Shigellosis. Since I have had kids, other than an occasional water/theme park, we have never gone to a public pool. This is due mainly in part to having our own pool, and secondly because the thought of those pools scare the Shigellosis out of me. However, sometimes I can be swayed.
Recently, my children started to beg me to go to a particular city pool. They had heard about it before, and were completely lured in by the desire to ride that giant water slide, that was advertised with the park. Finally, I gave in. However, upon going, I immediately remembered why I loathe these pools so much!!
As we made our way in, my childrens eyes were as big as saucers with excitement, and I outwardly moaned in disgust. There were no chairs to be had, because it was based on a first come first serve basis. So, I nestled myself on a towel in the middle of the ant infested park grass. My kids could have cared less, as they quickly unloaded their things beside me, and made their way to that slide, with a quick “See ya mama”!
I rarely saw them again, even though I was looking for them. Lucky for me, the pool was filled to capacity, and there was a line to get in…There was no way for me to locate my child, without having to get in there myself…which was NEVER happening. Instead, I layed there on my towel taking in my view. My view just happened to consist of a hugely obese man, who was sitting directly in front of me. So much of his crack was showing that I felt certain I could see a part of his ball sack….but there was so much hair that I wasnt sure.
After I looked at it long enough that I felt sure I had set a Guiness World Record, I finally dozed off. I figured that at least one of my four lost children would alert me if there was a problem…..
I awoke to excitement, and chatter amongst me. All four of my kids were smiling and talking over me to get their story out. I finally looked up to see the source of their amusement. The channel 13 news team was here, at the very pool we were visiting!! I smirked as I asked if they got on the news….
They laughed and pointed at each other, telling me what dorky thing each of them had done to make their way on the news. Then, my son became antsy, saying we had to go home and watch the news NOW!! I laughed, and assured him we would find his “claim to fame” piece.
Out of curiosity, as we were leaving, I asked them what the news story was about. Excitedly, my son told me it was about diarrhea and the spread of disease in public pools!!…..He was the one who was smiling and waving to the camera as it was being filmed.
I should have been nice, but its not in my nature. I have not stopped razzing them since. Today, I looked that video up, and wondered if my son had fecal matter in his teeth as he waved to the camera. He was worried at this point, as I pushed the play button. However, other than a tiny dot in the background (that one of them swears is them), my children did not make the news feed.
Im not sure, after all my verbal torture, whether they were happy or sad about not making the news. However, two things are for sure…. I would have been proud of them no matter what (Even if they get shegellosis)…..AND….they will never talk me into this madness again!!!!