Post # 77
I have to say this 1st, because I think you said something about keeping your hands constantly clean and that’s why you don’t get sick. I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you, but over-washing can be dangerous, because it can greatly weaken and eventually kill your immune system. My brother had OCD about cleanliness when he was younger, but my parents had to get him help because the doctor told them he was killing his system. If there’s no sickness or harmful toxins for your body to fight off every now and then, then it eventually loses its ability to.
OK, on to the message. I agree with some of the previous posters. I think you might be a little self-concious about your phobia, and are so worried about getting negative feedback that you’re reading too much into every response that has an opposite opinion from yours and are choosing to see them as personal attacks. As an objective 3rd party, I didn’t see anything snarky or disrespectful, they’re just giving their opinion, which is what you asked for. If you’re going to ask a question, you should be prepared for an honest answer either way, and discuss it, not just shoot it down. Others were just trying to say that if it’s as difficult as you’re saying to overcome this fear, then it has obviously become debilitating for you and is stopping you from living your life. Getting help about something that stops you from doing so is not a bad thing at all, it’s actually a very healthy solution. I can understand dealing with fears because I’ve suffered from anxiety since I was 6, not about cleanliness but about other irrational things. You learn to deal with and overcome your fears so you can move on, you don’t change your life to accomodate them.
That being said, you should consider the fact that any ring you’d exchange in the store would be dirtier than a ring that’s been fished out of clean toilet water. You don’t know who all has tried that ring on before you, and what they were doing before they tried it on. You’d be surprised how many people don’t wash their hands; it’s a habit that took my Fiance a yr 1/2 to develop. Getting it professionally cleaned is your best bet.
Post # 78
That happened to me with a ring from a prior engagement. I washed it with soap very well and carried on. It will be fine, but I do appreciate your concern! The toilet, if flushed at the time, was cleaner than most things, like others said.
Post # 79
@shellsphoto: Hi, I think I can relate to your feelings. Anyone can say “use alcohol, etc.” but that doesn’t help with your phobia. I think what you have is a true phobia if alcohol isn’t enough to make you feel better. The truth is, any germs that are in the toilet are already on your hands and ring regardless but I suffer from emetophobia and have had it for 27 years! I went to therapy and it helped, but if anyone ever threw up on my ring I may have to return it. I would advise seeking conseling to deal with your phobia. Phobias have a VERY GOOD success rate. Hypnosis is something that worked wonders. I’m probably 60-70% cured now. Maybe you should use alcohol, and put the ring away until you deal with this phobia in therapy. Usually a few sessions is all a person needs. PM me if you want! Trust me, I know what you are going through!
Post # 80
I would say that you should figure out a washing system that makes you comfortable because I’m sure over the life of your rings you are going to encounter some gross situations. I nanny and work in child care and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to wash poo off my rings
Post # 81
I have a fear of needles. It was so bad, I almost died from refusing medical treatment. So maybe when I say this you can appriciate it: if you don’t get help now, it will get worse.
My needle phobia only effected little things for a long while, I had to stop a certain medicine when they said they need to check my liver enzymes or I didn’t get a full blood panel at gyno appointment. Then I almost died because they couldn’t give me an IV and that forced me to find a way to cope with my illness.
I think you need to get over it now when it is just a ring, because one day it could be your child who puts their hand in the toilet and then touches their face, or a beloved pet who jumps in the bowl…then what? I can tell you, the extremeness of the reaction will not be good. Get into therapy and take care of yourself.
It is not your fault you have a phobia, you did nothing to cause it, but only YOU can treat it.
EDIT: Also, phobias are to fears what migraines are to headaches. Unless someone has actually experienced the difference, they don’t get how truly terrifying and painful the former is to the latter.
Post # 82
I am not even gonna write what I think, you know what its gonna be 🙂 I really hope you get better soon 🙂 Let us know how things go sweety ! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas (that you get to wear your ring for ! hehe)
Post # 83
1) I am surprised that I haven’t read this yet, but can we see pics of your ring?
2) I know how it is to have a phobia and not be able to get over it. No matter how hard you try, the thoughts just won’t leave your head. I have a spider phobia. People tell me to kill them, but I think about every horrible thing that can happen, but probably will never happen. I really hope you can try to get past it after washing it and stuff! I know that I would try to get over it. I know it would be hard to give up my ring.
Post # 84
@FutureBaker: I have them posted in teh gallery, and my ring is also my profile pic,, but here are the pics of my ring. 🙂
Post # 85
@shellsphoto: Wow, its beautiful!
Post # 86
I really hope this doesn’t sound mean, or snarky, or anything else…but I sincerely hope you keep your ring!! First, it’s beautiful and special, and second because it CAN be cleaned. I know that toilets in particular are tough for you to get over, but I’m sure your toilet bowl is cleaner than most because you think it’s so disgusting, and after it’s been cleaned the germs will be gone. I’m concerned about what would happen in the future, after the return period is up on this ring (or a new one if you absolutely can’t get over this) and something else happens…your ring is going to come into contact with MILLIONS of germs everyday. Shopping carts, strangers who shake hands, strangers who work in jewelry stores who will handle your ring after it has been cleaned, people sneezing (germs from a sneeze can travel up to 30 feet in every direction) and even flushing toilets, since germs from that can also travel farther than you would think and chances are your ring has already been in contact with those types of germs. There is a very real possibility that a similar situation is going to happen again in your life…maybe not directly IN a toilet but still. If you can manage to clean this one enough to wear it again, next time you might not be so worried and sickened by it. I believe your ‘fears’ (for lack of a better word) are rational, you have a phobia which others might not understand but you do. If you take this ring back for a new one, next time you’ll be in a worse position. I hope this didn’t seem snarky and that it helped!
@Rubies: DITTO this!
Post # 87
Coming from somebody who has/had a phobia of needles, and has dealt with it, I know what you are feeling. You probably want to run away from the ring, and it probably makes your heart race and you freak out if it comes near you. I get it.
I received a minor degree in microbiology and I can tell you these things:
– The microbes in your toilet (barring any left over ‘deposits’, ahem) are really no worse than the ones you encounter every day in the world.
– There are microbes on your skin, and thus, on your ring. THESE ARE GOOD. It’s called normal flora, and what they do is hang out on your skin, not causing any disease, and take up space and nutrients. If you didn’t have your normal, harmless bacteria on your skin to compete for space and food with the bad, disease-causing microbes, you would have a serious problem. So, LOVE your microbes, they keep you healthy!
– Going with the above, keep in mind that VERY FEW MICROBES ACTUALLY CAUSE DISEASE IN HEALTHY PEOPLE!!! The vast majority of microbes are COMPLETELY HARMLESS. Plus, most diseases caused by microbes (“germs”) occur in immuno-compromised people, such as HIV/AIDS patients because their immune system cannot deal with them. To a person with a normal immune system, they do NOT cause disease.
I hope this helps a little bit. I know it can be hard to consider rational facts in the face of an irrational fear, but it’s really the only thing you CAN do. Good luck 🙂
Post # 88
I haven’t read many of the previous posts but I did see you were considering bleaching the ring….chlorine bleach damages gold (maybe someone already said that, but just in case…).
I recommend soaking your ring in 70% alcohol (ethanol if you can find it, I’ve seen it in some drug stores next to the isopropanol), taking it out and letting it air dry. We use this in my lab to sterilize tools in a pinch and if works to prevent contamination of neurons in an incubator, it’ll clean your ring and remove toilet bacteria (promise!). Soaking it in a solution of antibacterial soap in boiling water should also do the trick and won’t damage the ring either. As the PP said, I know this is more about your phobia but I thought giving you some more facts from my experience might help a little.
Post # 89
@shellsphoto: well, what happened? did you decide to keep the ring or get a new one? just curious.
Post # 90
If you do decide to trade it in, I really hope the jeweler/store does not end up losing money because of your mistake and phobia. That would seem awfully unfair.
Post # 91
@futuremrskgt: no, the jeweler wouldd.t lose $$ because it was within the periode to return or exchange it regardless,,,, and it was an exact even exchange anyway. they would just polish it, clean it and place it back into the case. which is what she did.