Thursday, May 2, 2013

Something Not Autoimmune: It's A Cold

Just What the Doctor Ordered
I have come down with a cold. It is something that happens to everyone.  But in in a way it is weird to be what I will call "regular sick".  There is something nice about knowing that a cold usually gets better over a period of a week or two and that it will pass.  That resting and drinking lots of fluid are all that I can do.

What is odd is that while i have gotten colds and viruses my whole life, I am now more accustomed to the unpredictable rhythms of autoimmune disease living.  The new symptoms that appear out of nowhere that often require last minute doctors visits.  The experimenting with different treatments and therapies and the unknown of how much better they will make you.  The crucial question as to whether the doctors can come up with a strategy that will reign in an unbridled and out of whack immune system.

Now I know that getting sick is more risky for those of us with autoimmune disease.  Having a cold or the flu does activate the immune system and has the potential to cause an autoimmune disease flare.  There are also the added complications of not not being able to fight a virus or bacteria if you are on immunosuppressants, as many of us are with autoimmune disease.

But at the moment, there is really no benefit to worrying about all of this.  I am putting that "flare" word out of my head and am just taking it very easy -- watching movies, reading, and drinking homemade hot ginger tea seem quite appropriate. Yes, I might still be annoying and complain to my husband and family about my sore throat, cough, and runny nose.  But a cold is something that I think I can handle and in a way it is nice to feel kind of normal or as normal as I will ever be. 

I've included a the homemade ginger tea recipe below courtesy of a tweet from Pauline Miller (@PaulineMHealth).  She sent it to me when I was looking for something to help my autoimmune digestion problems.  It is also quite soothing for colds and sore throats. 

Ginger Tea Recipe
Pauline Miller

1) Boil Water
2) Peal 2 inches of Fresh Ginger and Cut into Pieces
3) Simmer Ginger in Water for 15 minutes
4) Strain into cup 

I like to add honey for some additional sweetness.  

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