Tag Archives: sick

Infusion Week Flu

It’s been a long and interesting week.

Sunday I started the Santa Hustle Half Marathon at Cedar Point.  I didn’t finish (and I’m even more glad now than I didn’t than I was before) but I started, and I made it half way.

Monday I made it to work.

Tuesday I had before and after hours work to do (and I HURT from the race) so I worked from home.

Wednesday was infusion day.  Was feeling pretty decent by Wednesday.  Afternoon was my infusion.  They did a blood draw before the infusion (my quarterly blood tests) and then my infusion.  I had cookies and Gatorade.

A couple hours later we went to Walmart and I started to feel horrible.  Stomach ache and exhausted became EVERYWHERE aches and freezing and exhausted.  EVERY joint screamed.  I hurt from the end of my toes to the most horrible not-migraine headache I can ever remember having.

Bad enough I called off work Thursday morning and went to the doctor.  I vaguely remember being there. I had a low grade fever.  I vaguely remember walking to the car after my appointment.  I vaguely remember getting home.  Sleep, I learned, is definitely your friend with the flu.

$40 worth of Tamaflu at the ONLY pharmacy in town known to have it (the pharmacy at Cleveland Clinic) and that’s all I remember of Thursday.

Yesterday my rheumy called.  Turns out my blood work came out with an elevated white blood count (go figure) and I’m off my methotrexate until the Sunday a week after I start to feel human again (so… I’m guessing January).

I was instructed to NOT go to work until at least Monday so I can keep from infecting my co-workers. So I worked from home Friday.  It’s the holiday and my team is growing thinner and thinner and I need to be Johnny On The Spot through after New Years.  It’s going to be a long holiday season.

Yes.  I got my Flu Shot.  I got my flu shot before the doctors ever even thought of trying to get me to take my flu shot.  September, about 2 weeks after the flu shot signs started to appear at the local pharmacies I got my flu shot.

Funny… Rheumy told me what everyone else (well… all the medical kind of people anyway) has told me.  The flu shot doesn’t prevent the flu.  It makes the flu you get (if you get it) less horrible and helps prevent one or two or a handful of types of the flu.

According to the CDC the strain of the flu that is rampant right now isn’t actually included in the flu shot.  This year’s flu shot is primarily H1N1 and a couple strains of influenza B.

Please don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that you have gotten the flu shot.  If you feel sick, go be seen as soon as you start to feel awful.  Tamaflu doesn’t make you better but it makes you feel less crappy.  TAKE ALL THE PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN to avoid the flu germs especially for those of us that are immuno-suppressed.  If I wasn’t on MTX and Orencia would I have gotten the flu or gotten it as badly as I have it?  I don’t know.  It’s immaterial    I have it…

I know that hand sanitizer (handsitizer) isn’t all the answer and bleach wipes and Lysol isn’t all the answer and that I’m going to go a little nutsy over trying to make sure I don’t get it again and I don’t get another strain this season because I’m going to use everything I can to prevent it.

This year, I drew the short straw.



I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m stressed (Merry Christmas… ho ho ho). I’m aching…

Needless to say I’m not taking life in general overly well right at the moment.

Add to this the fact that I have this really cool new feature (dark tan pigmented spots that don’t itch, that don’t hurt, that aren’t raised, that really probably are nothing but which I’m totally not happy being told I should ignore because this… like the knuckle bumps and the fact that for a few weeks I could barely bear weight on my toes six months before I was diagnosed… is probably just me being silly and over-reactive) .

So, I’m venting.  It’s my party and I will bitch if I want to.

People who downplay a compromised immune system have started to totally irritate me.  I’m sick of hearing how someone with a compromised immune system is getting sick for some convoluted reasoning.  When you have deliberately (or by the misfortune of your condition) destroyed your immune system in an effort to save your own life, you get sick.  Granted some of us aren’t allowed to get sick and if we do we are obviously not as sick as other people, but that is more a genetic defect of being female rather than any other situation.

I know that if I walk passed a germ, bacteria, virus, fungus, whatever… it is going to jump out and get me.  This is less my being histrionic, more being realistic.  I don’t think I have malaria because I feel crappy a couple days after forgetting to use hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes after I take the pager from the guy who has three kids at home all of whom have been to the doctor for upper respiratory infections.  But if I start to cough and sniffle after a couple days, I smack my forehead with my hand for being an idiot.

I’ve been lucky.  I haven’t been hospitalized yet for it.  It will happen eventually. I’m a little scattered sometimes.  I forget I’m not a normal person who can push elevator buttons all willy nilly and not have to hurry to the bathroom and immediately upon getting off the elevator and disinfect my hands.  I try to remember I’m a freak.  Sometimes I forget.

If you don’t have to worry about stuff like this, be grateful and go on.  Don’t dump because some of us can’t.

I can’t just not look at dishes and assume they are clean.  I can’t shrug off egg or chocolate or ketchup or whatever on a plate or glass or spoon.   I would love to be able to.  I can’t.

I also can’t spend all my time thinking about all the years that I have spent waiting tables and knowing that people pick glasses and cups up with bare hands by the rims.  These people aren’t as careful (paranoid) about washing their hands as I am.  Silverware ends up on the floor and put back in the bin.  Silverware is picked up by the part that touches food.  The silverware bin gets cleaned once a month.  People don’t use the scoopy thing when they put ice in a cup… they scoop the ice with the cup which means their hands end up in the ice.  Tables don’t get washed off as well as they should.  The “check” ends up in the waitress/waiter’s mouth before it gets put on the table.  Even when silverware comes all wrapped in the cute little napkins, the silverware didn’t wrap itself, it was washed (if it is metal) and came out of the nice hot dishwasher and someone wraps it.  They touched the napkins.  They touched the silverware.

I can’t spend all my time on it.  But there are times when I remember and I dwell on it.

They I FIDO (Forget It Drive On).

But I know it is there.

I know that no matter how careful I am.  No matter how careful my sisters and brothers in the “I’m destroying my immune system in an effort to stay alive” club… you can’t avoid being human.

It would be great if germs were so grossed out by us that they ran in fear when we walk past.  They don’t.

Don’t dump on us because we get sick.  Don’t dump on us because we are a little on the cautious side.  Maybe there is a reason.

Okay, I’ll climb down off of my soapbox now.  I think I will leave it sitting where it is though… I don’t know where my feet have been and I was standing on it… I will probably need to use it again later any way.