Normal people sickness on top of chronic illness sickness. Why is this a thing?! Kick a girl while she’s down, why don’t ya!
For years my mom and I have suspected that I have an underlying autoimmune thing going on, we just don’t have a definitive diagnosis yet. We’re exploring the possibility of Mast Cell with my hematologist in PA, but that’s a whole different post for another time. If you don’t know what an autoimmune disorder means for my body, to put it very simply, I’m at an increased risk to catch whatever someone else has or recently had.
For example, my brother caught a respiratory infection from friends and I’ve been stuck in bed for four days filling up garbage bins with used tissues and empty Breakfast Essentials bottles. It ain’t pretty.
I have my first iron infusion since August on Thursday (yesterday, when you’re reading this) and I’m worried I won’t be well enough to go. Though I am feeling the tiniest bit better with every day that passes, I will be in a communal chemo/infusion room with other patients at greater risk of sickness like me and I don’t want to give them what I have. Also, with my immune system being attacked as it is right now trying to fight against the grossness going on with my body, I could catch something else and I’d really like to prevent that at all costs, ya know?
So what is it like to feel all of my usual symptoms plus normal people sickness? Short version? It’s hell. Long version? The second day of being able to do nothing but lay in bed (reclined, but not horizontal because otherwise I started choking), I felt so absolutely horrible that I did something I only do in desperate situations… I prayed. I’m typically not a super religious person, though I respect anyone who is, it’s simply not who I am. But I felt awful and I was desperate, so I prayed for the strength to endure what I was going through. Who knows if anyone was listening or if I was just talking to the Eli Manning poster on my wall, but I’m digressing.
So what specifically was I feeling that day? I had not really slept the night before because I had to blow my nose and/or cough every few minutes, which didn’t leave me much room to get comfy and fall asleep. I was too exhausted to move, my entire body was stiff and in pain, I had the cold sweats, my head felt like it was going to burst into flames, my throat lesions made another unwelcome appearance (they’ve since healed), I had a migraine, I couldn’t even think about food or I’d get nauseous, all of my chronic illnesses were in full “F U” mode, and the list goes on and on. Needless to say, it was not a good day. This was Sunday.
It’s Tuesday as I’m typing this and I feel so much better than last weekend. Still not 100%, but let’s be real. My 100% isn’t even 100%… I still sound muffled and nasal when I speak, but I can actually breathe out of my nose and my throat isn’t in pain anymore, so clearly I’m ready to take on the world again. I’m crossing my fingers and toes so that this mess will be cleared up by the time infusion day comes along, but I fear that it’s unlikely and I’ll have to reschedule. I desperately need the IV saline because if I wasn’t dehydrated before this cold (I was), I definitely am now.
This week has been awful, but I have hope that next week will be better.