Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gardening for Transplant Dummies

My brother and his girlfriend tended to my gardens last spring and fall because I could not. They live some 4 hours away though, so this is not a service they can easily or regularly perform. Yesterday I decided it was time to prune some of the bushes in front of my house. First, I had to prepare myself.

The outside world in some ways poses fewer problems to transplantees than the inside world. Human germs are few, and unless you're working in close proximity to a heavy-breathing infected person, you don't have to worry about human-borne viruses and bacteria. But there are other things to worry about, such as the sun. Sun is bad for transplantees because it's a trigger for graft versus host disease which can be nasty and linger for days, months, years. So before I ventured out into the garden, I slathered myself with sunscreen. Fungal spores are also a concern. For this reason, I decided only to prune, not rake or otherwise fulminate flying fungus. I consciously chose not to wear a mask, because well, I didn't want to. Bueno.

There were two other hazards I hadn't given much thought to, lightning and mosquitos. Sure enough, after 20 minutes or so of snipping, a fat black cloud rolled over and sat on me. Ouch. Then the thunder showed up. Then the rain. It was still mostly sunny, so I had the worst of all weather hazards at once. It didn't take long for the mosquitos to show up. That made me think about deer ticks and Lyme disease. Just what I need. I rushed to finish what I'd started, hoping I wasn't kicking up a mushroom cloud.

Later that evening, the second guessing started. My throat felt a little scratchy. Should I have worn a mask? Could it be the pollen? Look out, fearometer rising.

Happily, I feel absolutely fine today. It looks gorgeous outside, and I'm thinking about once again entering the fungal fray. Pick up all those sticks (low to moderate risk). Fire up the chainsaw to cut thick branches (moderate to high risk). Admire the daffodils and hyacinths (ultra low risk and doctor approved). No raking. I promise.

1 comment:

Ann said...

I've been itching to do a bit of gardening, but I'm being wait-listed by my doctor. I'll have to wait until after innoculations and then it's still no guarantee that I'll be allowed to dip my triple gloved hands into the fertile soil. Glad to hear that you're doing so well. Try not to let the small stuff scare you.