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Hi guys, it has been awhile....

Well, my OCD germaphobe habits are starting to tick badly again. I think it is the result of my actually going over to another person's place. OMG, right? I've been a couple of times and try to be polite, but I can't wait to leave and clean myself like crazy!!! This was before they got a pet. And this is the kicker...the last time I was over their pet made a mess on the floor, and they picked up the mess BUT DID NOT CLEAN THE FLOOR. For a moment I was literally paralyzed because I had to cross over that area to get to another spot. I pretended to shake it off, but for the rest of the visit I kept thinking about all the germs that could be on that carpet from now and before. It was horrible. I wanted to trash all my clothes. Now I am reluctant to visit again, but I can't really ignore this person. 

So this is the problem. I told them at a previous visit (before the whole mess thing) that I was "a bit of a germaphobe." They were a little incredulous, but now I need to seriously tell them that this is a problem for me, but I'm not sure how. I have offered time and again to give them a pet carpet cleaner, but they decline. And I really don't want to go over there again because in my mind everything is contaminated. It wasn't so bad before the pet (well it was bad) but now....

Any ideas? I'd be glad to hear them. Until then I'll be alienating "dirty" clothes, showering, washing my hands, lysol spraying the doorknobs, and glaring at people who sneeze in public. ;)

Poem

Edited by Poem
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@Poem, having both OCD and 2 pets now ( 1 cat and 1 dog), I agree with jt07.....My OCD is mainly the "Checker" or "Counter" type, with really no strong germaphobe tendencies.

Of course, if I do have to clean a pet accident off the floor, I always wash my hands afterwards, which is probably considered pretty normal.

If the dog is up to date on his vaccinations and parasite free, in other words, has regular vet check-ups, you are at virtually zero chance of getting anything harmful from the dog, especially if you are only visiting them.

In contrast, according to the 2011 NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International Household Germ Study, E. coli bacteria was found on......... 75% of dish rags or sponges, 45% of kitchen sinks, 32% of kitchen counter tops, 18% of kitchen cutting boards, 27% of toothbrush holders, and 9% of bathroom faucet handles......Coffee reservoirs were also in the top 10% germiest items  found in the home.........

http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/studies-articles/germ-studies/germiest-items-home

(BTW, if you read the whole article you will see that pet items were also included in the study, but none made the top of the list at all).

This is just anecdotal, but in my previous professional career as a pet groomer, I bathed dogs and cats, gave them haircuts, cleaned up any accidents, on almost a daily basis for 20 plus years, and never got sick from doing those things.......I was devastated when I had to give up that career due to my disabling MI conditions.

So, you are probably more likely to encounter bacteria in the kitchen or the bathroom, than from a healthy, vaccinated dog being in a house you are visiting.........In fact the kitchen was found to be the germiest room in a typical household, according to the study.....All this time, I thought the bathroom was the germiest place..

Oh well, live and learn.....**SIGH**

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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7 hours ago, CrazyRedhead said:

@Poem, having both OCD and 2 pets now ( 1 cat and 1 dog), I agree with jt07.....My OCD is mainly the "Checker" or "Counter" type, with really no strong germaphobe tendencies.

Of course, if I do have to clean a pet accident off the floor, I always wash my hands afterwards, which is probably considered pretty normal.

If the dog is up to date on his vaccinations and parasite free, in other words, has regular vet check-ups, you are at virtually zero chance of getting anything harmful from the dog, especially if you are only visiting them.

In contrast, according to the 2011 NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International Household Germ Study, E. coli bacteria was found on......... 75% of dish rags or sponges, 45% of kitchen sinks, 32% of kitchen counter tops, 18% of kitchen cutting boards, 27% of toothbrush holders, and 9% of bathroom faucet handles......Coffee reservoirs were also in the top 10% germiest items  found in the home.........

http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/studies-articles/germ-studies/germiest-items-home

(BTW, if you read the whole article you will see that pet items were also included in the study, but none made the top of the list at all).

This is just anecdotal, but in my previous professional career as a pet groomer, I bathed dogs and cats, gave them haircuts, cleaned up any accidents, on almost a daily basis for 20 plus years, and never got sick from doing those things.......I was devastated when I had to give up that career due to my disabling MI conditions.

So, you are probably more likely to encounter bacteria in the kitchen or the bathroom, than from a healthy, vaccinated dog being in a house you are visiting.........In fact the kitchen was found to be the germiest room in a typical household, according to the study.....All this time, I thought the bathroom was the germiest place..

Oh well, live and learn.....**SIGH**

OMG. Are you trying to freak me out even more? *grabs bleach* :lol:

I still think it is gross and unsanitary. I've had multiple pets and have always used cleaners to sanitize their environment and mine. I worked at a Veterinary Clinic and even there we used high strength cleaners when dealing with messes. But then again, most of the animals were sick.

IDK. Having OCD sucks. For me it fluctuates. Some days are better than others...I am a checker, a germaphobe, and a Pure O. But though many of the other things can reduce to tolerable levels, I am always thinking about outside germs. I always take off my clothes the moment I step inside my doorway. Then I wash my hands and change into clean clothes. Always. If I am forced into a situation where someone comes over and I can't change right away, I freak out inside until they leave. Then I shower, change, and clean any surface that possibly came in contact with that person/my dirty clothes.

Ok, off topic...

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Are you getting therapy for this? It must be hell on Earth to have to live in constant fear of germs. Unless it is a lab or something, there are no germ-free environments, not even your home as CRH pointed out. What helped me break out of the cycle of OCD compulsions was using logic as in CBT. For example, can you name one person who got sick from a dog who was in decent health? When you think about all the dogs and owners out there the odds are rather small. But you really need effective meds in addition to therapy to be able to overcome the compulsions. The meds weaken the compulsions and the therapy teaches you how to use logic and anti-anxiety tools to say no to the compulsions.

Incidentally, the reason you used strong cleaners in the veterinary clinic was probably to keep the pets from infecting one another more so than protecting humans just like hospitals use strong cleaners to keep down staff infections among humans.

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Don't let it keep you from seeing them, especially if they are nice. Maybe the dog will get better with accidents if he's a new pet.

I don't want to perpetuate unhealthy behaviors, but I do all the stuff you mentioned too if my germ alarm goes off. I don't understand why they don't clean their floor :(

 Is there one person in the house who might be more receptive?

Some ideas, don't bring much with you. Have shoes or clothes you only wear there. That helps me. I still have to clean them but it helps for some reason. I have clothes I always wear to a friend's with a cute but questionable pooch. Sometimes I change shoes in the car right before I get there and right when I leave. ( He must think I only own one outfit!) 

 

 

 

 

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@jt07 I was originally being medicated for OCD/depression with Prozac, but I got manic and the Pdoc concluded I was Bipolar. So they took me off of that and focused on BP. I never really received any CBT, just a few anti-anxiety exercises (I also have GAD + a history of agoraphobia/panic attacks....sheesh). Under the shuffle, it seems everyone has forgotten that I have OCD. I think I will talk to my current Pdoc about that when I see them this week. Everything tends to get tagged under the BP label. It is sometimes frustrating. I know that there is no perfectly sterile living space, but I can irrationally accept my environment because it is under my control. I don't know about other people's places, or restaurants, etc...

@paintedsky They are a nice person and live alone, as do I, so I visit off and on depending on our schedules. I am afraid of having to reciprocate and have them over sometime, though. They recently got this pet. It is a mature animal and has never been properly potty trained...the odds are not in the owner's favor I am afraid.

I never thought of that. I could have a visiting outfit. Usually I do have a set of two outfits that have been "contaminated" and I recycle them for going outside until it is time for laundry. They live in a cardboard box in my storage room, right by my entry. Lol, I was thinking the same thing..."only one outfit." Well, in truth I have a very limited wardrobe anyway. I have to thrift shop (horrors!) to keep myself clothed. I just tell myself that the clothes will be thoroughly washed and everything will be fine. Truth is I never feel comfortable in them until I wash them several times.

Blah...I'm so jittery, I am planning on cleaning my place top to bottom tomorrow. Deep clean to calm my nerves. Chances are I'll tire out half-way through. ;) 

Thanks for the replies.

Poem

 

 

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@Poem That's too bad. If I were you, I'd look into getting some therapy and even insist on it. Really, it is majorly interfering with your life and that is the gold standard by which doctors use to determine whether treatment is necessary. You deserve to live your life free of these fears and compulsions. And OCD is treatable. I am proof of that.

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Just got back from talking to my Pdoc. They are going to start me on haloperidol to hopefully help with symptoms. I am also to increase my lamotrigine.

Well, we'll see what happens. Besides MI stuff, my health has been poor for over a month now, and my Pdoc says this may have been the root of a flare up now. I've also just lost the best therapist I ever had. :(

Anyone have experience with haloperidol? I will only be taking 1-2mg a day for now.

Poem

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I take Haldol if I'm having mania I cannot get under control. They give me injections or 5mg tablets so that is a lot. It greatly reduces my agitation and helps me to come out of psychotic thinking. I would like to take it regularly but my doctors have never thought it was a good idea because it gives me leg cramps. I bet you will like it.

I have been having such a difficult time with a friend this week who has a smelly cat. I really don't have many friends so I have been pushing myself to visit anyway. The poor kitty smells terrible because of an ear infection and she climbs all over me. Usually I love to pet her. It has been a huge challenge for me to spend any time at this house because of the bad smell and I worry it will make my own cat sick. I wish they would take their kitty to the vet, but I understand it is a financial hardship and they are they are dealing with it the best they can. Sorry to hijack your thread.

I would be really interested to know how you like the haldol at that dosage and if it helps with ocd.

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@paintedsky

So far too soon to say about the Haldol, but I do seem to wash my hands a little less. But I make up for it in hand sanitizer and hand wipes.

I'm sorry about the kitty (especially with its poor ear). I have a soft spot for felines, but I even I would have a hard time with that too. Good for you for pushing yourself though! I still haven't been able to bring myself to visit anyone on my end.

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17 hours ago, paintedsky said:

I have been having such a difficult time with a friend this week who has a smelly cat. I really don't have many friends so I have been pushing myself to visit anyway. The poor kitty smells terrible because of an ear infection and she climbs all over me. Usually I love to pet her. It has been a huge challenge for me to spend any time at this house because of the bad smell and I worry it will make my own cat sick. I wish they would take their kitty to the vet, but I understand it is a financial hardship and they are they are dealing with it the best they can. Sorry to hijack your thread.

The cat probably has a yeast infection in her ear(s), if it smells that bad.

They really should take her to the vet for this, but I have used organic apple cider vinegar to clean out ears with my dog and cat, and they never get ear infections......I would never recommend  trying a home treatment unless I have tried it myself......

If you would like to suggest this to them , tell them to use apple cider vinegar (organic is best, but they can use regular if unable to afford the organic)........Swab the cats ear(s) out with the vinegar on a cotton ball,  and then pour a little directly into the ear so it can get down in there......Only thing they need to be careful about, is not to get vinegar in her eyes.......They should do this for at least 10 days to 2 weeks.

This might work, and at least worth a try, but if the infection is still there after doing the home vinegar treatment, she really needs veterinary attention....Ear infections can cause deafness if left untreated, and are often very painful for the animal......Poor kitty....

I'm not going to hijack this thread either, so this will be my last suggestion here for the smelly cat.....

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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Well, I got them to take the pet cleaner I have been offering, so maybe they will use it! I also got permission to wear clean sneakers at their place. Bonus! I feel much better about things now.

Also, I think the Haloperidol has been helping a bit with some OCD behavior. I still have "dirty clothes syndrome" but I am washing my hands less. Instead I am cleaning my apartment so much, I am getting bored because I have nothing to clean anymore! :lol:

@paintedsky Also, about the kitty...I would try the vinegar, but I don't think pouring it in the ear directly is a good idea. May cause more problems. Just my two cents. Not meant to offend. Definitely see a Vet if you can, they can give you some other things to try out if the vinegar fails. Or at least call them and find out your options, and get a quote for the visit. That always helps. Also ask if they accept payment plans. Some places do.

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Ear problems are best taken to the vet, unfortunately. My dog has pseudemona in his and I have to do twice-daily cleans. It's been almost a year and I still have to do it.

Returning to OCD, I'm glad you are washing your hands less poem. OCD is all about those small victories. To be honest, the dog actually helped my OCD. I'd have all sorts of germ anxiety about dog drool and that, but he's so cute and I haven't gotten sick from him! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update on kitty: Thank you everyone for being so kind and concerned for the kitty. I visited and they have decided they will take her to the vet in just a few days. I'm really glad. (And of course when I got home I had to shower and wash everything including purse. Sacred for my own cat. My shoes are still in my trunk in indefinite quarantine.)

Poem, It's good you are feeling less anxious. that's the important part to feel calm and not worry as much. 

Edited by paintedsky
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Thanks everyone.

Still in avid cleaner mode of late. I stay mostly at my place, which is my castle. You have to fight through me to get in. Lol. But I am seriously freaking out because of mandatory apartment inspections in a month. This is a very stressful time of year for me because of the the series of inspections they have here. Eep. It means even more avid cleaning.

Oh well. At least my hands got a break.

P.S.  Glad the kitty situation is being taken care of! :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yeah, tomorrow. Sometime between 10am and 2pm. That really makes me anxious because I don't know for sure when they will arrive! So I end up sitting on pins and needles watching the clock. Lol. Luckily my neighbor downstairs has a dog and it usually starts barking when the inspectors come by, so I get a little head notice that they arrived!

But yeah, my apartment looks great...I just keep thinking, what if I forgot something. But they give us a checklist of what they are looking for and I had everything checked off. I just need to take a deep breath. I feel like hyperventilating. 

Edited by Poem
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