One of the side concerns of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis is the immune-suppressing nature of the medications used to treat it. Last Christmas I caught a cold that was as hard to shake as the bronchitis I remember from 1991. Thankfully, it never progressed beyond the rotten cold and cough phase. But it seems to be the case that every cold virus that approaches me will become a cough as well, and a cough exhausts and makes recovering that much harder.
A couple of years ago, I caught the flu. I ran a fever, and I had body aches and chills and as Dr. Sherry pointed out, you could tell it was flu because I knew when the train hit me.
What I have now is a cold. Definitely. I woke up Saturday morning with a slightly sore throat, and I felt a little worse all day, and by Sunday morning I had a cough and a voice like Suzanne Pleshette's, and by Monday morning a voice like Teller's and a cough and a very runny nose. When I called the office,The Best Administrator in the World could not understand most of what I was saying. Even today, on my third day of rest, it would be accurate to describe my voice as "faint."
This is the same cold virus that LP had last week. She felt miserable for one day.
So, as I spent another morning napping, and on either end of that nap watching MSNBC, I could not help thinking about H1N1. There's a lot of excitement out there about swine flu. You've probably noticed. People are freaking out about the virus itself and even moreso about the vaccine. I won't repeat the conspiracy theories because I don't want to give them airtime.
Our family doctor does not consider the H1N1 virus to be necessary for our family members in good health. She leaves the call on that for me up to the rheumatologist. Last year at his office I had my first flu shot ever, with no reaction and, I might add, no flu last winter.
If a cold is this hard to shake, I hate to think of having the flu now, any kind of flu. Given that I'm at greater risk for pneumonia than the average bird, I hate to hear that what's killing some people with H1N1 is the pneumonia they've developed alongside.
What are you doing about the vaccine? Should I be laying in Gatorade?
I must be feeling better if I'm trying to start a conversation.