Getting sick, while being sick…

Two weeks ago, I started with a dry cough.  After my bout with pneumonia, I watched it closely.  By the middle of the week, I felt wrecked.  Body aches, stuffy nose, sore throat, ear ache, etc. I called my doctor but they had no appointments until the following day.  My goal was to return to work, so I went to Urgent Care (at my doctor’s office recommendation). Unknown-1I was told I had an Upper Respiratory Infection, pharyngitis, and bronchitis and was given an antibiotic.  The doctor advised me to take another day off along with the weekend to recuperate.  I did.  I returned to work and struggled with speaking.  I’m a speech language pathologist.  My job IS to talk and help others to communicate clearly.  As an SLP, I know what vocal abuse is and I was abusing my poor vocal cords non-stop.  Tuesday was an inservice day, so no students, and decreased need to talk, but still a tough day.  By Wednesday, I was really sick.  I canceled my evening clients and went home to sleep.  The following day, I called my doctor and miracle of miracles, they fit me in.  My infection had progressed to include a full blown sinus infection and a throat infection that included blisters all down the back of my throat.  All I knew is that I felt like I had razors in my throat.  Apparently, antibiotic #1 didn’t work.  My doctor recommended another antibiotic along with a short burst of high dose steroids, and magic mouthwash.  Disgusting, but helped a lot.  This new care plan helped me much more than the previous one.  I was hopeful I’d be up and around quickly, but sadly, I had to take two more days off of work.

Three days later and I am still wiped out, but my voice is finally back.  Not my normal voice, yet, but I can eat and drink with only minor irritation.  I had to miss a college reunion luncheon and a friend’s 50th birthday party, which makes me extra grumpy.

Getting sick, while being sick is simply the worst.  My brain fog intensifies, body aches intensify from fevers, and I just feel like sleeping all the time.  My new drug is known to lower my immune system and sore throats/ infections are a side effect.  It makes me so very nervous.  If this continues to happen, I will have to try something else.  I do think this biologic drug is working for me.  Let’s hope I get to continue to stay on it.  For right now, I’ll probably be skipping my next dose until I am completely recovered.  This has been a really rough patch and I want to be healthy before starting back.

I hope every one is doing well! Wash those hands and take care of yourselves!


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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

6 thoughts on “Getting sick, while being sick…

  1. I hope you recovered quickly. I can so relate to this. Trying to explain to my employers that because I am chronically ill, I am more likely to get ill due to the treatment but it’s the greater good etc. is a nightmare. I often feel like a fraud just trying to explain it to somebody new. Keep smiling.


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