A rather unfortunate dilemma I’ve had to learn to accept and deal with since having rheumatoid arthritis is that when I get a cold, it comes with a vengeance. Since my immune system is already weakened because it is attacking itself, I feel much worse off than a “healthy” person with an immune system that is not in “overdrive” when experiencing a cold. I blame the ever-so-moody weather changes for this cold.
I found an article on http://www.qualityhealth.com/arthritis-articles/rheumatoid-arthritis-immunity that gives an accurate description of what a person with RA deals with, concerning their immune system.
“In people without rheumatoid arthritis, healthy immune cells called macrophages fight off infection and then die themselves. But in people with rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system is basically always “on,” not shutting down after fighting infection. The macrophages stay alive and produce noxious materials that build up in the joints, bones and cartilage.”
Sunday night I noticed that I hadn’t reacted very well to the medications I took during dinner. It began as I was sitting in church, listening to the Pastor speak, but was bothered by an upset stomach and headache. Ever have that feeling where you just KNOW something isn’t right and you can sense a cold is approaching? Yeah, me too, unfortunately. Monday morning rolled in and my headache intensified, along with swollen lymph nodes around my neck. I feel fortunate because it has been quite some time since I’ve had a cold, so I guess I was due. This morning I woke up with a very sore and sensitive left eye. It honestly felt like it was bulging, so I wasn’t surprised when I looked in the mirror and saw that it was blood-shot due from all of the pressure I have been feeling in my head. I will spare you the rest of the details about my eye and just tell you that it’s a “wear your glasses” kind of day for me. (So, I was writing this post earlier and now that I have time to write again, I am now bogged down with a double eye infection….i’m thinking it’s pinkeye…EWW!)
I guess the best possible decision for me to make is: REST & stay away from everyone- QUARANTINE TIME
Having a cold isn’t all that bad, right? Pro’s include:
- laying around watching “The Sandlot” or “Dumb and Dumber”
- consuming large amounts of freezer pops
- family members cater to your needs
- taking lots of naps
- wearing pj’s all day
The least I can do is stay positive and happy despite feeling miserable.
Until next time, keep fighting off those colds!