Wikipedia suggests that…
A person who has an immunodeficiency of any kind is said to be immunocompromised.
But… what exactly does that mean?
When you have RA (or any of a family of autoimmune ‘diseases’) your immune system has totally weirded out and is wreaking havoc on your body instead of on disease. To limit the havoc on your body, often times drugs are employed to dumb down or turn off your immune system. It means that there is less damage on your body from the autoimmune disease, but it also means that your immune system isn’t going to attack buggies like the flu or meningitis or staph or strep or… well, you get the idea.
It is one of the adventures you undertake when you start to fight your own fight against your autoimmune disease.
It means you have to think about everything you touch. You have to understand that, if you touch something that LOTS of other people touch, you are touching everything they touched. Even things like a cup of coffee or plates when you eat out… where has someone touched since they were washed? When they made the coffee, did they touch the inside of the cup or just the outside? It really is enough to drive you crazy if you let it.
Elevator buttons, door knobs, and bathroom sinks are scary. Pop cans, tables in restaurants, keyboards on public computers are scary. Lots of things are scary.
But it doesn’t mean that you have to stop living life. It doesn’t mean that you can cop out on living, either. You might buy bleach wipes or antibacterial wipes by the truck load. It might mean that you carry an industrial sized bottle of hand sanitizer as a fashion accessory. It can’t mean that you don’t get on with life.
It isn’t an excuse for not doing something just because you don’t feel like doing something.
It isn’t an excuse for being rude or hateful to other people.
It is just something that you need to remember and keep in mind and do what you need to do to mitigate what might happen if one of the bad things that you can imagine happens to be true.