Germ Killer

One of the bothersome aspects about having MM or SM or even MGUS is that we are more exposed to illness than healthy people with fully functioning immune systems. What happens is that our abnormal plasma cells, or myeloma cells, produce too much of one completely useless kind of antibody, called an M-protein, which doesn’t help kill bacteria and germs, leaving us susceptible to infections. My main problem seems to be my lungs. If I get a cold, it usually goes into my chest, and even my daily intake of curcumin has not made me invincible. I sometimes have to take antibiotics. No big deal, of course, compared what most MMers go through. However, since I refuse to become a hermit or live under a glass dome like an antique teddy bear, my most recent minor complaint has given me the incentive to look up things we can do to prevent colds and the flu. I will skip the more obvious ones, such as: eat well, sleep enough, drink plenty of water, get some exercise, fresh air, laugh, avoid stress, don’t smoke and don’t drink alcohol. I will list only the suggestions that particularly struck me.

1. Common sense tells us to wash our hands whenever we come into contact with potentially contaminated objects. Germs can live on staplers, doorknobs and computer keyboards for hours, and in some cases, I have read, even weeks. Years ago I watched an Oprah show on germs. Tests were performed in various public areas, and I will never forget that flesh-eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis, were found on the handlebars of shopping carts. Yikes. So, while shopping in a supermarket, wear disposable gloves.

2. Flu and cold germs can enter our bodies through the mouth, nose and eyes. Did you know about the eyes? I didn’t.

3. Don’t sneeze or cough into your hand. Cough or sneeze into the open air (if nobody is within a mile of you), into a tissue or into your sleeve. Otherwise, you risk spreading germs to anything you touch.

4. My father-in-law told me about an Italian folk remedy that I haven’t tried it personally (yet). Before you leave home on an errand that will put you in contact with a germ-filled crowd (supermarket, bus etc.), stick a couple of garlic cloves up your nose and leave them there for a few minutes or several hours (just kidding!). Hey, this is no laughing matter. However, do remember to fish them out of your nose before you leave the house. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This simple act will apparently enhance your immune system and protect you from outside germs. After all, fresh garlic protects us from many types of fungi and bacteria, including the infamous Heliobacter pylori. And we all know that fresh garlic and onions are good for us when we get sick, so why NOT put some garlic up our nose? Besides, another possible effect is that germy people would be less likely to crowd around you if you smell heavily of garlic. Let’s not underestimate the many powers of garlic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

5. Last but not least are turmeric and curcumin. Ayurvedic medicine prescribes turmeric for the treatment of common colds, coughs, sore throats, and upper respiratory disorders. Curcumin has antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and is also a mild expectorant. And finally, I read that turmeric is known as kringhna in Sanskrit, which means germ killer. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Hi Margaret ๐Ÿ™‚

    People who have muscular dystrophy, like me, quickly loses respiratory muscles that help us to cough. So avoiding respiratory infections like fly and pneumonia is vital.

    Even though you don’t have any difficulties in coughting, taking an anti-flu annual shot, and each 4 years an anti-pneumonia one, seem to be a good idea.

    The vaccines are made of fragments of inactivated viruses, selected from all over the world. So its impossible to get a real infection from it. Nevertheless, because viruses are quickly changing, you still can be infected. But I assure you, it is rare, and you will heal quickly also ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Ops…

    Please, just a small correction”:

    “People who have muscular dystrophy, like me, quickly loses respiratory muscles that help us to cough. So avoiding respiratory infections like FLU and pneumonia is vital. ”

    Sorry… :)))


  3. I have MGUS. I am also a retired optometrist, so I had to learn to wash hands between every patient. Conjunctivitis is so contagious that I also had to learn not to rub my eyes. Although I am now retired I have continued the practice of not rubbing my eyes or touching my mouth or nose. If I simply MUST, I go wash my hands first. As a result, I have not had a cold for years, despite having MGUS. This leads me to the conclusion that most colds and flu are contracted by rubbing the eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have germs on them.

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