...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy immunosupressed holiday!

In late June I started my current Crohn's disease treatment.  I am on Humira, which is fun little drug that I inject into my belly every other week.  I am pretty much in love with this piece of medicine as it has tangled up my disease in a sticky string of mostly-remission so that it's nastiness only breaks through on occasion instead of almost all the time. 

Well, on top of the Humira injections I also take a daily dose of an oral medication called imuran (or azathioprine).  These pills are immunosupressants which in essence weaken my immune system (did you know about 70% of your immune system functions in your intestines?) so that my gut stops attacking itself.  This medicine does have some side effects, but nothing too horrible on a daily basis.

The problem with having a suppressed immune system is that your immune system in suppressed (duh!).  That means that it is not as capable of warding off bacterial and viral invaders as it used to be.  That means that whenever people present me with germs my body has more of a "Heeey, come on in and lets get to know each other...whoa, wait, you guys don't seem very nice, I think we're going to ask you to leave" response instead of "Go away or we'll torture and kill you you nasty fiends!" sort of response.

So, it seems that whenever someone brings home an illness I am very likely to get it.  Thus far I don't seem to get the full blown, entire thing, but I get bits and pieces of symptoms and feel really tired and achy and it takes a few days for my body to take charge and start to get rid of the unwelcome guests.

This was particularly apparent when our family went to get flu shots the day before Thanksgiving (what the heck, who is crazy enough to schedule flu shots for their family the day before Thanksgiving...oh wait, I did that).

Love my kids, but this is still pretty
true (even though they are super
sweet and do often ask if I am ok and stuff).
I am telling you, the day after that shot I was in rotten shape.  I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  I am incredibly grateful that I had Josh with me that day because nothing would have been done if he hadn't been there.  He prepped the dishes we needed to take to family dinner and made sure the children were semi-presentable (let's face it, he isn't the mother, he doesn't worry about those things as much as I do). 

Well, the point is, I think this winter will be an interesting one.  I've already had more "colds" than I think I've had the previous five years put together.  I am super grateful that I started out with a pretty rockin' immune system so when it was suddenly and unceremoniously suppressed it is still not too shabby.  Let's say most people have 40 of immune system points well, I think before all of this I was probably at like 50 or 55 of immune system points so now with a 20-25 point depletion I am still in pretty good shape (maybe this would make an awesome video game..."Battle in the Bowels" or "ImmunoWars"). 

I'm grateful that even on a bad day I seem to be ok enough to be the mom and get through the day without too many troubles. 

Life is definitely interesting...no matter your situation.  But it is always a wonderful adventure.

1 comment:

jess said...

I think you are onto something with those video games. :-)

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