Friday, April 19, 2013

Sick Upon Sick

It sucks to be acutely ill on top of having a chronic illness.

But it is also in some ways liberating in that, you are, in some ways, in the same position as someone who isn’t chronically ill.  You get a cold or a cough or a sore throat (or all of the above) and you go to the doctor.  You can easily point out what’s wrong.  And usually doctors can usually pretty quickly figure out what’s going on. 

It can be very complicated, and yet, it can be so uncomplicated. 

Diagnosing the cold, flu, sinus infection, strep throat, and many other acute conditions, is so much easier than diagnosing illnesses like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

You leave the doctor with a plan, usually a rather simple one, and you feel better in a few days.

None of this try this awful treatment and it may or may not work.  Or it might pose a risk to your future children, but that’s just pennies in the grand scheme of things.

I am sick of being complicated. 

Sick of being sick.

Sick upon sick of being sick.

I wish every doctor’s appointment was in and out just like that.  But those are the exceptions rather than the rule. 

And obviously, being chronically ill and acutely ill could mean that you are in danger of getting really sick from something that would only be a blip on the radar of a healthy person. 

And in reality, what would take a “normal”, healthy person two days to get over, took me over a week.

A cold is just a cold, but you have to be super-vigilant to make sure that it doesn’t morph into something worse.

It’s annoying when your system just can’t seem to shake something off.  It lingers.  It’s like enough already. 

You just want it to be gone, but then, even when you’ve been restored to your previous state of health, you aren’t healthy.  It’s great that you can be “cured” of acute ailments, but many ailments remain.  So unlike “normal”, healthy people, you continue to go to the doctor even once you are “well”, or at least, not acutely ill. 
And I do worry that when I go to student health for things like this, that they don’t understand how important it is to consider the whole picture.  It might work for healthy people to look at each acute health issue as being in isolation of everything else.  But for those of us who are chronically ill, it’s important that our usual health issues are considered when treating something acute.


  1. Everytime I go in for a "regular" illness, I have to remind whoever is seeing me: "I have RA, I take medicines that supress my immune system." Then do the list.

    I hate that.
    It's like admitting weakness or something.

    And several times, the Dr. I've seen said, "Oh, my wife has that. But she doesn't take those dangerous medicines and she does fine!"
    Not helpful, thanks!
    Makes me doubt they know much about RA, or treating me.

    Hope you are better!

  2. I can so relate...Just once I would love to get a regular sniffles or sinus infection but with lupus in our lives we always have drama. I try so hard not to be around anyone who is sick but you can't hide forever. It usually takes three weeks for me to feel better while others rest for several days and are pretty much back to their regular lives.

    I sure hope you feel better very soon.
    I would love it if you would stop by my blog