Gimme My Shot!

If you would have asked me two years ago, I would have told you that there is nothing in this world that would make me excited to get a shot.

How wrong I would have been.

Many of us who battle Rheumatoid Arthritis do so with a multitude of medication, the main component being either an infusion or an injection. Because I’m still uninsured and broke, I can’t get infusions. (They run into the tens of thousands of dollars each round.) I believe I’ve mentioned before about the self-injections I take each month.

Well, I take them most months.

The flip-side of RA medication is that it makes you super susceptible to pretty much EVERYTHING. An auto-immune disease like RA by definition is your immune system attacking healthy cells within your body’s various systems. So to fix that, our medication fights our immune systems, shutting down their responses. Which means that when your rude neighbor sneezes in your general direction, you’re almost bound to be sick within minutes. (Probably not that quickly, but it sure feels like it.)

When you catch a virus or get an infection, you have to miss your RA medications so that your immune system can attempt to fight off the bug. The downside being that your auto-immune disease usually flares up.

Last fall I had to go off my shots for almost three months while I battled the cold from Hell that digressed into pneumonia. Again this spring, I was forced to miss a shot when a cold settled in my chest and became bronchitis. I had high hopes for this fall that I could maintain my daily health and not have to miss any medications.

Alas, it did not happen.

My recent medical struggles included a nasty infection and an extra long round of antibiotics. Which means that I’m now a month late for my shot. However, last week my regular doctor cleared me of any lingering germs and pronounced that I can resume my medications.

And so here I am, looking forward to this evening’s shot.

Oh RA, how I dislike the changes you’ve caused within me.

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