Emetophobia? Say What?

I think I’ve mentioned here a couple thousand times or two that I’m a germaphobe. If you know me personally, you would most definitely say that hand sanitizer is the one item I’d choose to take to a desert island. 

It’s true.

I always try to play it cool, like I’m not afraid germs will jump right off surfaces straight into my mouth. 

When I first started at my school, I tried not to be the token germaphobe teacher. I thought I was doing well until our old (as in, not-at-our-school-anymore-old) counselor made some joke about me almost certainly having a black light app on my phone (We were in a really shady bus. I’d explain why we needed a black light, but I think you know). 

I remember thinking, “How did she know?” 

After some self-reflection, I realized she knew, along with everyone else who’s come into contact with me, because I put on hand sanitizer precisely 537 times a day. 

I really thought I was stealth about my hand sanitizer use.

Also, I’m that person sending death glares to adult you-should-know-better creeps who don’t cover their mouths. 


1. I have to be minutes from death before you see me in an ER.

2. If someone close to me looks like they’ll be sick, I’ll run for the hills/call for an adultier adult/point to somewhere far away from me, indicating that’s where I’d like them to be.

3. I use my shirt to open doors with questionable handles. 

4. I ask my boyfriend if he washed with soap after he uses the bathroom. 

5. I’ve been known to put hand sanitizer in my nose if forced to breath in someone’s sneeze or hot death fart. 

In all seriousness, I have problems.

I’ve always had a fear of vomiting-hearing it, seeing it, smelling it, doing it. Nope times ten million. 

Also, I hate having someone see or know I’m sick. Just leave me alone. Better yet, let me hide in the hole I’ve just dug until I’m human again. 

Shit got real about 10 years ago when I worked at a daycare during college. There was a huge norovirus outbreak, and it fucked with my mind in a major way. Like I mentioned before, I’ve never been a fan of puking, but when we went so far as to bleach crayons and books to prevent the spread of a virus, something clicked in me. 

This is bad shit. Literally. I don’t want to puke and poop, involuntarily and simultaneously. How long does this illness from Hell last? Will I have to go to the ER with a puke bucket? OMG. No. We’re all gonna die. HELP. We’re.All.Gonna.Die. 

So, during the great Norovirus Outbreak Freak Out of 2006, I would go to serious OCD extremes to “protect” myself from getting sick. Really, these were just compulsions that made me feel safe. 

When I got home after being stuck in the hot box of germs all day, I’d strip at the door. Before scalding myself in the shower, I’d wipe my purse, keys, and phone down with Clorox wipes. 

This was an everyday thing and I didn’t feel *OK* until my routine was done. 

So, yeah. 


Whenever an illness starts making its rounds, I try to play it cool. Even after I hear of the 58th person I know to bite the dust, I try to act like I’m not about the worrying life, but then I find myself spraying my face down with spray hand sanitizer whenever someone’s breath comes a little too close to my face holes.
As much as being sick sucks, I realize that vomiting is not the end of the world (I mean, if you are vomiting due to Ebola, that might mean the end of the world. But, that was so 2014). 

I’m not as OCD about getting sick anymore, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend two days on my bathroom floor.

So that I’m not the only freak in the room, tell me what you’re phobic about. Any fellow emetophobics? If so, how do you calm yer tits when shit gets real? Let me know in the comments! 

Remember this from my But Don’t Do That post? Even this is a lie. If you’re puking in my house, I’m packing and heading for Mexico. NOPE.

Author: fattymccupcakes

Just a thirty-something girl trying to love herself the way she is: fat, rolls, cellulite, and fabulousness.

68 thoughts on “Emetophobia? Say What?”

  1. I related with this SO MUCH! Like, this is 200% me. So emetophobic… I can’t even see it on TV. When we watched House and someone was sick onscreen, I’d close my eyes and cover my hears and ask the BF to tell me when it was done. Needless to say, I never even consider working in an hospital/being a teacher. I think it started when my grandmother died when I was 17 and I visited her in the hopsital the night before… I caught THE WORSE stomach bug ever and was sick for over a week. My parents (both working in healthcare) quarantined me in my room… Since then, NOPE. Anyway… Glad to know I’m not alone. Maybe we should start a support group?!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mmm….
    What happens when all those little kiddies you take care of get sick? I do cover my hand when I need to open oublic toilet doors. And totally hover over strange toilets….No skin contact at all!
    Now please tell me about the black light! Because I don’t know😩

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You do know, don’t you, that being overly conscientious with cleanliness and sanitising, is actually a really bad thing to do? Seriously! Your immune system needs some bugs to be able to do its job of killing off those other bugs. Where can it get a hold of bugs to build immunity if you zap them all ?! And another thing, all that alcohol based sanitation will dry your skin so bad. A friend of mine has cracks in her hands because of that. Which means her first line of defence – her skin – is compromised ! Ripe for the enemy troops of deadly bugs to enter and invade. Here endeth the lesson πŸ™‚ Sorry – I know OCD and phobias are really hard to live with….ade. Here endeth the lesson πŸ™‚ Sorry – I know OCD and phobias are really hard to live with….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My sister used to be like that with the hand sanitizer. Then she went to nursing school. When they talked about germs and cleanliness they got to test germs they’d cultured in hand sanitizer. BLEW.HER.MIND. It does nothing. The germs grew exponentially! She doesn’t use hand sanitizer anymore.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I know. That’s so weird when they know it isn’t doing anything. I did notice one day when we were in a big box store that she walked over and used the hand sanitizer. I immediately thought, “You probably just picked up more germs from that pump that everyone else has used than you’re going to kill with that stuff.” But I didn’t say anything. If it makes her feel better. ..

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh, I know all of that. For the most part, since I write satire, this is largely exaggerated. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping your hands clean, however. As a teacher, I am coughed and sneezed on on a daily basis. My immune system is being worked well enough!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t believe that I am phobic about anything (which is probably a sign that I am indeed phobic about everything), but I do not believe you can wash your hands too many times. Nope. No way. IMMMpossible. So you keep that sanitizer bottle handy regardless of what anybody says. Those of us out here with our own bottles thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Too funny. My wife could be classified as a germaphobe. She loves her hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. So I get this. While not a germaphobe, I do wash my hands with soap because I know she’s going to ask me if I did.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. One of my kidlets is starting to show signs of this. She won’t even do her homework at the YMCA because she doesn’t like the possibility of what might be on the tables in the front lounge area. I take anti-bacterial wipes with me to clean the table so she will sit down at it and eat a snack. I’ve also started carrying hand sanitizer for their hands but when 3rd sneezes and coughs on everything it’s more for me not getting sick than anything else haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that you need to let your immune system do its job. It’s why I’ve never gotten the flu shot. Also why I’ve never had the flu *knocks on wood*. Most people who don’t understand the need (whether it’s a viable need or not) for hand sanitizer don’t work with children or the sick!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Does it help with all the little’uns sickness? I mean do you still catch colds/flu every year, or does all the sanitizing save you from it?

    I’m not a germaphobe (I think I even ate chicken poo when I was little! I don’t remember but my big sisters do!) BUT I cannot deal with vomit. urgh. Just hearing or seeing someone else ralph makes me need to puke too.

    Urgh. Last year I went on a trip to Iceland and we hired a cabin out in the snow that has a hot-tub. There were 5 of us, and we basically drank way too much because you can’t really tell how drunk you are when you’re chilling in a hot tub.

    One bloke (I’ll call him Jake) was soooo drunk that he went inside to sober up. Then my bestie came outside to ask for my help. Basically, Jake had thrown up all over himself and the sofa. My friend had attempted to clean it up, but it grossed her out so much that she threw up too.

    So I tried to help him next, and it made me ralph too! My other friend was already in the bathroom, so I had to use the sink. It was gross, and hilarious all at the same time! Then, we had to get Jake into the shower because he was too drunk to see how drunk he was! He had sick all matted into his beard! We did a pretty good job of cleaning it up, so the other men didn’t even notice all the commotion while they were outside in the tub.

    That trip *was* amazing, but I have honestly never seen so much sick in one night! We were all sooo dead the following morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really hate being sick and even worse, having to clean it up! You are better of washing your hands with good old soap and water as hand gel is ineffective against the diarrhoea and vomiting bug. (I think someone already mentioned this).

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Love this. I used to catch hell when I’d use my shirt or a napkin to open doors. I’ve chilled a little in recent years, but still, ugh. And how often do you think menus and salt shakers are cleaned?! Both of my kids are always chewing on their nails, and it kills me, because hello virus city.😷

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I am absolutely disgusting. I ate a chocolate covered raisin I found at the bottom of my purse as I was reading this. And when I say “bottom of my purse” I mean smashed to the outside because I set it down on a movie theatre floor last night and took home accidental floor yummies.
    Dude, I actually heard you cringe lol
    I am phobic of deep dark waters and large sea creatures. I can’t watch them on TV, I can’t hear about them…..oh,God, I can hardly even type about them. (Shudders)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. If I open a new jar of food and I don’t hear the vacuum seal “pop” sound, or if I open a container of yogurt and it’s too easy to pull the top off, I throw it away because I’m afraid someone put poison in the food. I’m also claustrophobic–so I avoid tunnels, planes, elevators, MRIs, etc. I hope you won’t mind that I”m sending you a link to the most recent post to my blog. It’s a short allegory about a claustrophobic caterpillar who can’t get herself to go in her cocoon. I thought you might enjoy it. Here goes: overthehillontheyellowbrickroad.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hand sanitizer in your nose?! Doesn’t that shit burn?! Ouch. I am a very serious arachnophobe. (Why is it saying this isn’t a word– is it?!) I hate spiders no matter the size, and run away immediately. My husband hates this trait, but he married me anyway, so sucks to be him! Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Love this!! I have a phobia of sharks, I can’t Google the correct term for that because I’m too scared a picture of one shows up! It’s not even like I’m ever in contact with them so it’s really bizarre!
    Hand sanitizer in your nose, ouch!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I currently work in a daycare. We have one boy that when he sneezes he has projectile snot. I’ve trained him to stay in one spot and I will bring the tissues to him. (Because who wants to clean up snot from the WHOLE room.) I use essential oils to stay healthy. I’ve recently learned he hates the smell of peppermint oil. I slather it all over me to keep that little germ box at a distance.

    Liked by 2 people

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