When my sister was here from New Mexico for Christmas, she brought the Cold From Hell with her. A week or so after she went home, my aunt came down with it, and a couple of days after that, my Mom caught it. She’s basically been laid up since last Thursday, though she’s feeling much better today.
Now, I haven’t caught a bad cold in—literally—years. I’ve had the occasional 24-hour stomach bug, but even when everyone around me was dropping like flies from the annual everybody-gets-it crud, I powered on. It’s been at least since 2003. I’ve thought for a long time that if there’s an upside to having a supercharged autoimmune system—one so hyped up it attacks the body it’s supposed to protect—it’s this. Your garden-variety rhinovirus simply hasn’t got a chance against my autoimmune superpowers.
I thought that when I started taking DMARDs for my rheumatoid arthritis, I might start catching colds again. After all, DMARDs do suppress the immune system, which is how they work against RA. But since I started them in 2009, still no colds.
So. Even though I seem to be immune, since mom came down with the Cold From Hell last week, I’ve been guzzling down Airborne. Just in case. And for the last three days, I’ve awakened in the morning with had that odd, thick, swollen feeling at the top of my throat that heralds an oncoming bad cold. But it hasn’t progressed. Instead, that swollen feeling lessened as each day went on. My sinuses have been sort of clogged, too, but I have a grass allergy that pretty much stays active year-‘round, so I’m telling myself the congestion is from that, not the Cold From Hell. I feel like the Cold is trying to break down my defenses, but each time it manages to breach the wall, my brave, muskle-bound immune system fights it off and rebuilds the wall.
I’m not writing this to brag. In fact, I have a feeling that I will, finally, catch the Cold From Hell this time. It’s a doozy. I know from reading your blogs that many of you catch colds with frightening ease, thanks to the DMARDs and biologics (especially those) you take for RA. I feel for you, believe me. But is there anyone else out there like me? Whose immune system thinks it’s the Terminator?
Okay. I’ve got to run—my uncle has appointments today with the eye doctor and Blind Services at the VA hospital. Here’s wishing all of you a terrific day and an even terrific-er (!) weekend.