I’ve had a head cold for the last week and that’s been making me think about medical emergencies and the things I need to remember to tell doctors.
That sounds melodramatic, I know, but it’s not. When you’re taking medication that suppresses your immune system you have to be careful about colds.
Colds can turn into chest infections and chest infections can turn into pneumonia far more quickly than anyone would like. And as someone who used to get chest infections at least once a year up until a couple years ago, I want to avoid ever getting one again. When my scratchy throat showed up last week I wanted to kick everything on earth. I didn’t though. I just started drinking all the fluids and taking hot baths and blowing my nose every 5 seconds. And washing my hands every 3 seconds.
I’m very serious about clean hands these days.
This was my first cold since starting either methotrexate or Humira. If it had turned into a proper infection it would have stopped me from taking both of these medications until 14 days after my last antibiotic. At this point that would have meant starting over from scratch. I’m not really interested in doing that right now.
Luckily (knock wood), It looks like I’ve avoided that.
You might find yourself thinking, Carolyn, these drugs sound like more hassle than they’re worth what with the exhaustion and the nausea and the itchy scalp and the dangerous head colds. Is it really worth it?
To which I would say to you, yes. Absolutely. The exhaustion, nausea and itchy scalp should all fade as my body gets used to this new regime, hopefully within the next 10 weeks or so. In the meantime, do you know what I did today? I walked a half mile across the park to the bus stop rather than taking one bus 4 measly stops to get to another bus.
This might not sound like much so let me reframe it.
For the first time in over a year I was able to walk a half mile. I did not have to stop or grit my teeth. My
feet did not swell to twice their normal size. I just walked across the park. There was still some pain, but it was tolerable, almost negligible, compared to even 8 weeks ago.
That’s amazing. That’s worth having to order a medical alert bracelet and wash my hands like Howard Hughes.
I’m walking a fine line between nervy fear and this weird aggressive optimism lately. Its a strange mental place to inhabit but it’s worth it if I can keep walking across the park.