Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh Immune System, How I Miss Thee.

Does anyone else miss their immune system? Scientifically I understand why , as an IBD sufferer, I have to take immune suppressants. If I don’t, my body will continue to attack itself in the form of an inflamed colon causing blood and diarrhea and all that lovely stuff. However, sometimes I am not sure it’s the world’s best tradeoff. I get general control of flare-ups in exchange for a lifetime of weird and wacky viruses, bacteria, bugs and nearly eradicated diseases. (Okay, the last one is an exaggeration). Seriously though, my life as an immune suppressed individual hasn’t been too swell.

I think it all started when I got strep throat for the first time. I got this terribly, painful sore throat in a matter of hours. I popped Tylenol and Ricola like it was going out of style, but my throat did not get any better. Finally I went to my doctor who prescribed me some antibiotics and I was all better in no time. Goodbye strep, easy as pie.

My next somewhat lengthy and very icky experience: sinus infections. As I had gotten a few in my childhood, I wasn’t worried about these, however, getting 6 in one year was not the greatest experience. Anyway, those were the minor bumps in my communicable infections area. Soon things started to go downhill quickly.

One day I found an itchy, painful spot on my stomach that I thought to be a bite of some sort. However, one became 2 which became 5 and soon I had this line of so called bites. Finally one day I showed my mother who happens to be a nurse who said “Errrr, Lesley, I think you have shingles.” I had to google that. But I went to the doctor who confirmed my mother’s diagnosis. Things were getting interesting. Between some more strep and sinus infections I would get shingles again. I was 23 and I had had shingles twice, and had to be hospitalized because of it. My doctor literally used me as a subject to speak on at a conference. I was a medical wonder.

Miraculously I managed to avoid contracting H1N1 ( but I can honestly say my hands have never been so raw from washing and I also avoided most people like the plague). However, not be disappoint my body, I’ve made up for that absence with an array of other interesting things. I’ve had fungus infections on my head. I get reoccurring bouts of thrush in my throat. I’ve had bacterial infections in my nose. I have even had mulluscum contagiousum (which kinda sounds like a Harry Potter spell one could cast).

All in all, in my 6 years of being immuno suppressed, I’ve contracted some interesting, and somewhat gross, infections. Needless to say, when I get an especially bad strep throat, or sinus infection, or odd infection I’ve never heard of before, I really miss my immune system. Who knows, maybe the next time I’ll say “ENOUGH WITH NO IMMUNE SYSTEM”. But until then, I will continue on my weird little way, contracting whatever comes around. However, please know immune system that wherever you are, I miss you.


1 comment:

  1. Hi from a fellow Newfoundlander, although it's been a long time since I've been home.
    Having had Crohn's for 5 1/2 years, and been with the CCFC (and Jennie) for 4 years or so, I must say I hadn't really thought my way through "immune suppressed". I've never had the pleasure of the immune suppressed so haven't had to deal with it. I know Jennie did the drugs, and we feared H1N1 and it's ilk, I never imagined the "other fun stuff out there" Thanks for the insight.