I am an impatient patient…

The past few weeks, I’ve been documenting my battle with an upper respiratory virus/sinus infection/laryngitis, etc.

cold winter tablet hot
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Three weeks in, and I’m still not well.  I feel like I may have turned a corner because my voice is a tad bit better.  I’m still on antibiotics, but off of prednisone.  Thankfully, sleep is a bit easier and I took full advantage it on a Saturday morning….and into the afternoon!  I got up and  2pm and tried to be human and run some errands. I did it, and then crashed for the rest of the day and evening.

The amazing thing, is that my autoimmune arthritis appears to be (hold on for a minute, as I knock on wood), under control.  I don’t feel the need for anti-inflammatory meds or pain meds for that matter.  I still take my regular meds in the morning because the morning stiffness is killer, but overall, I’m not doing too badly.  I think I finally found a med that actually works for me.  Amazing right???

Well, maybe….

Since January of 2019, I’ve been on higher tier biologic drugs and I’ve felt pretty good at least 60% of the time (seriously, 60% is a good thing for me).  The negative isn’t the 40% of the time that I am flaring, instead, it’s the major bouts with illness that I have had this past year.  In January, I had bronchitis that took me out of work for 7 days.Unknown-1  Because I am me, I tried to go back in after taking a whole week off (with a doctor’s note) and made it one day before missing another two.  In June, I had three weeks of vacation.  I thought I had a flare, but it ended up being pneumonia.  I literally spent 3 weeks flat on my back.  October rolled around and I got an upper respiratory infection with an attitude.  It’s been going around, so I wasn’t shocked that I got sick.  What is shocking me is that it progressively got worse leading to a sinus infection and a nasty throat infection in which my throat was filled with blisters that made eating and drinking akin to swallowing razors.  Again, I missed 5 days of work (3 one week, and 2 the other).  I kept trying to go back to work only to get worse.  So I end up staying home and I stress that I am not getting my work done.  None of which is good for my health.   My first round of antibiotics did nothing.  Could it have been due to it being a virus and not a bacterial infection?  Maybe, but I did get progressively worse, so I’m not sure. Could it be that I have developed an immunity to azithromycin? Maybe.  Could it be my biologic drugs lower my resistance to fighting infections and it is going to continue to take me longer and longer to get better?????  Maybe.  In all honestly, I have no idea why I just can’t get better, but my gut tells me it’s my meds.  They make me stronger in some ways, and weaker in others.

So now I have to wonder….

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Is being on a medication that helps me feel so much better, but makes me so susceptible to infection worth it?  I truly am not sure.  I work with kids.  Kids get sick.  I get sick because I am around them.  Do I consider changing my job?  I don’t want to.  Do I risk running out of sick time??  Yes.  I am scared?  Always.  My health is such a big part of my life.  I get advice from so many people about diet, exercise, doctors, fads, etc.  Everyone else knows what I need to do to get better, but my doctor’s and I are perplexed.

So what is next?  I’m going to focus on resting and healing.  I’m keeping a log for my rheumatologist to have a long and possibly uncomfortable conversation.  I’m also binge watching a gazillion shows/movies on Disney Plus.  Things are getting better very slowly and patience is not my virtue, at least Disney is taking the edge off for now.

I hope you are all having a happy and healthy fall season.  Here is my best girl modeling her latest fashion. 73404075_506854976838690_6100395857306189824_o.jpg

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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.

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