Infections have plagued my body this last week. Of what sort? All of them, I guess, as you are about to find out. Now, we all know that infections are not generally pleasant for any one. The role of infections in the body of someone with Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or any of the other types) is a bit garbled. Some of you may be like me in mistakenly thinking that I am more immune to infections as my body has a hyper-active immune system. This year I have been finding out the hard way how wrong I am. The extra effort that my body puts into the immune system makes my body more susceptible to invading foreign cells, such as viruses. You may have realised this. I had not.
Infections Cause my Body to Get Sick
Last year I had experienced a minor infection. In the middle of 2017, I had worn myself out to the point of earning an infection. This was in the middle of the year and the result of a fair few events snowballing. I had been struggling with university and life events leading me down a dark tunnel of depression. A trip down to Lake Grace and Albany cascaded into gingivitis and a general cold. It became clear that the cold arose because of my body being out of sorts with the mouth infection. This wasn’t the first time I had been made aware of the need to take care of myself and not incur extra physical torments. It was, however, a clear indication that one thing will bring on another. But I had thought that it only went this one way.
Can my Sick Body be the Cause of an Infection?
Wow, what a loaded question! Obviously, no a cold cannot cause an infection. Not in the general sense. It is not like I am definitely going to contract measles, mumps, the flu or worms, for example, every time I get a cold. But, having a cold can weaken my body’s immune system to a point where it cannot fight off infections. This may seem obvious to you, but it was not to me. I knew to watch out, take care, look after my body and ‘not overdo it’ but only in a second-hand, blasé and tokenistic manner. In other words, I knew what to do, I just didn’t do it.
How Did I Realise This?
Would you be surprised to know I have had an infection lately? Not one, but three. Amongst these, I’ve bounced between mouth infections and almost cutting my thumb off. From this I have found the infections affect not only my SLE Lupus, but also my Lupus Cerebritis too. The impact of infections on my Cerebritis are far more life-effecting, life-altering and dangerous than I can express in words. In the past few weeks I have had to start to build Functional Health Plans simply for what to do in case I get another cold, infection or wound before the next time I can see doctors and other specialist medical and health professionals.
I had hoped that by delaying my post for a day, I would be able to come to you with something substantial. Maybe a positive direction for me to understand why I am getting infections and how these are impacting my Lupus. Unfortunately, your guess and my guess is as good as the doctors and other specialist medical and health professionals. The only thing we can all agree on at this point is that my current quality of life, with danger being the direct result of my contracting an infection, is not looking that good.