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  #1  
Old Oct 8, '11, 4:38 am
GoneAstray GoneAstray is offline
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Default Going to Church When Sick

I was at Mass a couple weeks ago and a woman down the pew from me had a really bad cold. To the point, she was using an entire box of kleenex and coughing continuously.

I made a really big deal about this even posting a rant on our pastor's blog.

So sure enough, I get a cold. I stayed home last Sunday although I think I was past the contagious stage because I still had symptoms.

The symptoms got worse and I went back to the doctor who said I may have adult whooping cough (pertussis) because I am having coughing fits that last for several minutes. I googled pertussis and it is contagious until symptoms are gone.

I would really like to go to Mass this weekend but there are a lot of elderly people. Not that I want to make anyone sick but I sure don't want to kill someone. But I have no faith in doctors and I'm not sure this isn't just bronchitis brought on by the cold. If it was, I wouldn't be contagious at this point. I probably could even not cough for an hour or so.

Should I stay home or not?
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  #2  
Old Oct 8, '11, 5:00 am
Cat Cat is online now
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneAstray View Post
I was at Mass a couple weeks ago and a woman down the pew from me had a really bad cold. To the point, she was using an entire box of kleenex and coughing continuously.

I made a really big deal about this even posting a rant on our pastor's blog.

So sure enough, I get a cold. I stayed home last Sunday although I think I was past the contagious stage because I still had symptoms.

The symptoms got worse and I went back to the doctor who said I may have adult whooping cough (pertussis) because I am having coughing fits that last for several minutes. I googled pertussis and it is contagious until symptoms are gone.

I would really like to go to Mass this weekend but there are a lot of elderly people. Not that I want to make anyone sick but I sure don't want to kill someone. But I have no faith in doctors and I'm not sure this isn't just bronchitis brought on by the cold. If it was, I wouldn't be contagious at this point. I probably could even not cough for an hour or so.

Should I stay home or not?
Did your doctor do any lab testing for pertussis? Ask if a Pertussis PCR was performed--this test is the current "best test."

Chances are good that your doctor diagnosed you on the basis of your cough. There is a distinctive cough that pertussis patients have, hence the name "whooping" cough. Your doctor is smart to consider this diagnosis and not just assume that you have seasonal allergies or a "cold."

Stay home from Mass. Don't take any chances. Pertussis is a very serious illness and can be fatal if contracted by infants, children, and the elderly.

As you know, it has become more common for parents to refuse vaccinations for their babies and children, due to fears about autism and continued rumors that the vaccines are made from ground-up fetuses.

This means that there are infants and children who are immunologically unprotected against pertussis, and if exposed, WILL contract the illness and be at risk of dying.

As for the elderly, many of them (as well as those of us in middle age) were vaccinated, but over the years, the protection given by the vaccine fades, and we are at risk, too.

So please, for the sake of those who have no immunological protection, stay home and pray.

As for the woman who was sick, it is possible that she didn't have something contagious. She may have been suffering from seasonal allergies (really bad in the autumn season), or she may have a really severe "smoker's cough," which can literally sound like the person is hacking up a lung. GIve her the benefit of the doubt, although I agree with you that anyone who is coughing that hard and that often should stay home from Mass, or at least leave the nave and go outside if they are siezed with a coughing spasm during Mass. But perhaps if she is a smoker, or has allergies, she has gotten accustomed to coughing as a permanent lifestyle and truly has no idea how awful she sounds to everyone else.
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  #3  
Old Oct 8, '11, 5:01 am
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MissRose73 MissRose73 is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

Its best to stay home until the symptoms are cleared up. No sense in getting others ill especially if there are many elderly people at the Mass you go to. I would hope no priest would give you a hassle about you not being there due to illness but its best to let him know once you are recovered that you had an illness that was contagious.
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  #4  
Old Oct 8, '11, 5:30 am
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Saintlucy Saintlucy is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

You have nothing to feel guilty about. If you're not well don't go. Even our Lord said, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak".

I suffer with autoimmune polyarthritis and I felt fine last Saturday and decided to go to Mass on Sunday. I woke up to find that my left foot was so swollen and painful that I had trouble walking, let alone driving. It's not my fault so it's not a sin.

I hope you're feeling better soon.
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  #5  
Old Oct 8, '11, 5:43 am
Kielbasi Kielbasi is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

If you are feeling sick and/or coughing your lungs out, you should stay home.

Even if your condition is not contagious, the others in church have no way of knowing that and this can be really distracting to others.
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  #6  
Old Oct 8, '11, 6:01 am
jrdvdsj jrdvdsj is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

No one is obligated to go to Mass when seriously ill, and modern medicine, which is a great gift from God, even helps us to understand that it might not be a bad thing to stay home. And you can certainly join the Church in her prayer via television. If you wish, you can also ask that someone visit with Communion...that would be wonderful. And if none of those are possible (you might not even feel well enough!), take some time and pray a little bit as you can. And be at peace about this!

But I am struck by the irony of your situation, which is that you had such a strong reaction to the person who was ill and who came to Mass. It is so easy for the well, the strong, the good, to judge others, and we all do it far too often.

Make sure you say a prayer for that woman. Like you, she loves her God enough to give Him an hour of her time. Like you, she went to praise Him for His goodness and to offer her own prayers and needs and the prayers and needs of those she loves. And who but God knows what those prayers were?

Say a prayer for her, that God will bless her for her commitment, even as you hope that He will bless you for yours.
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  #7  
Old Oct 8, '11, 9:37 am
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Sarabande Sarabande is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

For the sake of those around you at mass, I would recommend staying home. As you know the elderly are susceptible, including babies who are not old enough to be vaccinated for certain diseases, or children whose parents chose not to vaccinate. If it truly is pertussis (which I think you should be tested for if the doctor hasn't done that yet), you do not want to be exposing that to babies or children.

Also, some people can't afford to take off from work if they are sick. For me, my entire income literally relies on my voice. If I get a cold that will affect my vocal chords (sometimes you can sing through a cold), that means a loss of income for me, and a difference of being able to pay my mortgage and bills, since there is no such thing as sick time with pay, etc. for musicians. I am always very appreciative of those who do think of others when they are sick like that. Of course, though, if a person sat next to me coughing his/her brains off, I wouldn't ask him/her to move. I'd move myself. Although I appreciate people thinking of others, it's still not their job to be cognizant of it, especially to cold-paranoid singers. (Winter is one of the worst times of the year for us, and you can always tell a singer from a normal person walking down the street - at least in the area where I am where singers seem to be everywhere, ha! ha!)

So, rest and stay home. It will help you get better sooner, too.
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  #8  
Old Oct 8, '11, 10:05 am
PatriceA PatriceA is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneAstray View Post
I was at Mass a couple weeks ago and a woman down the pew from me had a really bad cold. To the point, she was using an entire box of kleenex and coughing continuously.

I made a really big deal about this even posting a rant on our pastor's blog.

So sure enough, I get a cold. I stayed home last Sunday although I think I was past the contagious stage because I still had symptoms.

The symptoms got worse and I went back to the doctor who said I may have adult whooping cough (pertussis) because I am having coughing fits that last for several minutes. I googled pertussis and it is contagious until symptoms are gone.

I would really like to go to Mass this weekend but there are a lot of elderly people. Not that I want to make anyone sick but I sure don't want to kill someone. But I have no faith in doctors and I'm not sure this isn't just bronchitis brought on by the cold. If it was, I wouldn't be contagious at this point. I probably could even not cough for an hour or so.

Should I stay home or not?
STAY AT HOME.

I would also rethink posting a rant on your pastor's blog the next time the same situation takes place. You are seriously thinking about going to mass, possibly infecting other parishoners, the exact action you were upset about with the sick woman the previous week and had to to post a rant about.
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  #9  
Old Oct 8, '11, 10:14 am
BraveNewFamily BraveNewFamily is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

Stay home. Being sick is one of the valid reasons to miss mass. If possible, maybe you could get your priest to bring communion to your house.
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  #10  
Old Oct 8, '11, 11:35 am
GoneAstray GoneAstray is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatriceA View Post
STAY AT HOME.

I would also rethink posting a rant on your pastor's blog the next time the same situation takes place. You are seriously thinking about going to mass, possibly infecting other parishoners, the exact action you were upset about with the sick woman the previous week and had to to post a rant about.
Thanks for the replies everyone. I really wanted to go since I missed last week which was when I became symptomatic. I really knew I shouldn't.

Yes, my immediate thought when I got sick was "instant karma." My pastor thought the post was funny, actually. The woman did not have allergies, does not smoke and was contagiously ill. I think I said something about do people think Jesus gives us invisible Hazmat suits so we can attend Mass when people there are sick.I worked in health care for many years so it is kind of a sensitive issue for me. I had to miss work and not get paid. I'm not saying this woman gave it to me because I don't know that and it apparently an epidemic here right now so I could have gotten it anywhere. But if sick people did stay home then it wouldn't become an epidemic. And yes, I know that isn't always possible but if people at least limited their contact with others, it would help stop the spread.
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  #11  
Old Oct 8, '11, 12:32 pm
CatholicCajun CatholicCajun is offline
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Default Re: Going to Church When Sick

Stay home! This is one of the reasons I do not hold hands for the Our Father and do not drink from the Chalice at Communion! And if possible sit where no one is around you and if they cough and sneeze MOVE to another section of the church. Oh, and hope you feel better!
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