Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Learning auto immune diseases
An auto-immune disease is a condition where your immune system starts to attack your organs or nervous system in various ways. Like with Autism, there is a wide spectrum of these conditions and they can be very hard to pin down and diagnose. This causes a lot of stress between doctors and patients. Some patients complain that doctors think it's all imagination.
Thanks to two MRI's we know this isn't my imagination, but that's the only comfort we have. Blood tests and a lumbar puncture haven't proven helpful. My research has shown me that it can take years for them to show up there depending on which one I'm dealing with.
I recently learned that some people with auto-immune disorders have to watch out for the common cold. I had thought this was only a problem for immune-suppressed conditions, but I've learned differently.
First, when your immune system is attacking all your organs, it compromises itself and ability to handle real threats. Now, this isn't a problem for me in that way. Instead I learned something else. A cold can still take me out.
I have a very strong and over-reacting immune system. Imagine someone driving a nail with a wrecking ball. Sure, nail goes but so does the building. That's my immune system. Imagine how much energy that drains out of you. Recently our household was down with the flu. Both wife and child had their upchuck moments but not me. I barely have a cough, but I lost all energy and couldn't get anything done. I was down for a whole day.
So, having a super strong immune system can work against you. I'm still trying to learn what all I can do to keep myself going. Looks like more trial and error.