I am not a pleasant person when I am sick.
I tend to be whiny, irritable, and combative. Since I value my relationship and don’t wish to pick fights with my boyfriend, I can usually be found lobbing snarky comments at my TV.
Such is the life of a hermit, there’s no one else with whom to pick a fight.
As you can imagine, the TV doesn’t fight back. It also annoys my boyfriend after a time. He’s patient with me, but everyone has a limit.
All this being said, you can probably guess that I’ve been sick. This time, I was even more irritable.
Since my diagnosis in February of this year, I have been lucky. My life as a hermit limits my contact with germs. Even though I do go out with my boyfriend, I’m diligent with use of hand sanitizer and usually limit my interactions with other people.
I’m far from a germa-phobe. I MUST be careful of germs and illnesses. One of my main medications for RA is a immuno-blocker. By definition, RA is an auto-immune disorder, my immune system is in overdrive. The immuno-blocker helps to control this overreaction by my immune system. The downside is that it also opens up my susceptibility to illness.
Anyone in my daily life is aware of this. I don’t hide my condition, it’s quite hard given I’m a 30 year old woman who walks with a cane. It’s also a matter of self-preservation. If those around me are aware of what’s going on with me, they can help me to take care of myself.
Or so I thought.
A few weeks back, friends invited us to their home, knowing their daughter was ill. What followed was nearly two weeks of pain and illness for me. I contracted her cold, the first bug I’ve had since starting my medications, and it landed me in hell.
I was, and still am, bitter. Am I wrong in thinking they were slack as friends in not warning me ahead of time of their daughter’s illness? Or is it an indication of their regard? I’ve known for awhile that they don’t take my condition as serious as it is. They often tell me I need to exercise or lose weight and I’ll feel better. When I have a flare, they tell me to “get over it” or “push through it,” not understanding that it isn’t a case of mind over matter.
A call from my nurse this week has angered me even more.
Because of this little cold, I’m high risk for pneumonia and infection. I am limited in what over the counter treatments I can use to minimize the cold symptoms, amplifying my misery. And the coup de grace? I must miss my next dose of the immuno-blocker because it will further complicate the sickness and I could wind up hospitalized. I must be free of all cold symptoms for seven days before resuming my medications. Which means I’ll likely trigger another painful flare.
Am I wrong for being angry that my friends would not think to warn me before inviting me over? Or is it my responsibility to question everyone before accepting invitations?
I’m starting to feel more like myself finally, after nearly two weeks. Unfortunately, I’m still congested which means I will miss my next dose, which was scheduled for this coming Tuesday. I’m trying to remain positive and hope that I don’t have to endure another flare. Even as I hope, though, I am planning ahead.
Yesterday I cleaned my kitchen. This weekend I’ll get caught up on other household chores. Should I wind up in misery next week, at least I won’t be living in a pig sty or relying on my boyfriend to come home from work only to clean house.