Sunday, July 15, 2007

That thing we call The Immune System

The body is a pretty amazing thing when you think about it.
We cut our finger, we break a bone, we get a cold...and our body fights the infection/injury/whatever and heals us. Its pretty incredible.
So what happens when your body can't tell the difference between the "good guys" and the "bad guys"? What do you do when instead of fighting the bacteria that crept in uninvited, your body is fighting your perfectly healthy brain?
Things become complicated to say the least.

This is the whole premise of an Autoimmune disease. Your body knows there is a war going on, but it gets confused about which side it is on.
So here is what happened last week:

Chris and I babysat for our 10-month old twin niece&nephew last Sat night. My sister Erin and brother-in-law Mark just celebrated their 10 year anniversary and for a present, Mark's sister Kerry took Ella & Emory (ages 7 & 4) and we took Van & Ava and gave the happy couple a night all to themselves at the Ritz. We actually had a blast - they are Really good babies and so roly-poly and fun. But what's the saying "no good deed goes unpunished?" Well poor Van & Ava had recently fought a stomach bug and of course guess who got it Sunday night? That would be me. While Chris remained perfectly unscathed!

Fast forward to Wednesday: My mouth feels really funny, scaly, bumpy. So I got out a flashlight and sure enough my entire mouth is covered with a white, bumpy rash commonly known as thrush. Oral thrush is something that babies and people with compromised immune systems get. So wait? I have a Compromised Immune System?!?!?

I call Shepherd and sure enough my white blood cell count is too low = indicative that my immune system is weakened. Most likely this is due to the Wonder-Drug that is slowing the progression of my disease. Its a double edged sword isn't it? The medicine that will hopefully slow down the damage to your brain is also going to weaken your ability to fight off disease.

I have never been much of a Germophobe, but I am having to force myself to become one. Washing my hands alot, not touching my hands to my mouth or eyes when out in public, upping my vitamins, etc.

Shepherd still hasn't gotten an answer from Aetna about the IVIG. Guess they aren't too keen to cough up $25,000. haha! Shepherd assures me no one needing IVIG has been denied yet, but still...I am getting impatient.
My birthday is on Thursday - Perhaps I will call Aetna myself and remind them of that. I can think of no better birthday present that a medicine that will finally get me seeing straight! "Happy Birthday to me....Happy Birthday to me..."
If only they could figure out a way to give it to me that didn't involve a 20-hour long IV.
Ah, well. We can't win 'em all. :-)

1 comment:

smarkle said...

Happy Birthday Caroline!!! We're looking forward to dinner tomorrow!!!