Infection Survival Guide for the Chronically Ill (and “Normal” People, too)

Respiratory infections, sinus infections, ear infections – oh my!
Gastrointestinal infections, viral infections, bacterial infections – oh, die…

Currently, I’m extremely ill. I have some sort of awful infection in my head and GI system. I’ll spare you all of the TMI details, but let’s just say I’m a giant ball of disgusting. Lots of phlegm is involved, nausea, and too many trips to the restroom. There’s also severe full body aches and bone crushing fatigue. It’s not pretty.

It got me thinking, what are some must-haves for surviving a nasty infection like this? Here are my product recommendations (and why I recommend them) for surviving an infection while dealing with chronic illnesses. Continue reading

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A Rough Start to the Year

Hello everyone!

I’m currently working on a different post that will be a little more fun, but it’s taking quite some time. I’ve been having an extremely rough start to this year, and it’s showing in literally everything I try to do. I’ve even started to appear sick, which is worrisome because normally I don’t look sick or tired (except facial expressions) on a regular basis – but now there are dark circles forming under my eyes, and my eyelids are always a little too pink and puffy.

It’s easiest to post on Instagram regularly, since I don’t need a computer and computers can cause me migraines. I would recommend following me on Instagram to get updates the fastest: findinglifessilversun on Instagram.

Continue reading

The Case of the Missing Lizz

This last month has been such a blur for me. My health decided to skydive, without a parachute, and it hit the ground hard. I haven’t gotten quite this sick in a long time, and it’s just as miserable as I remember.

So, what exactly happened? Well, I do kind of mention it in these posts: Being “Normal” SickThe New Diet So FarMy Virus Has Returned, and I mention a little in my LEAP/MRT Diet: Phase 1/2, Week 2 post.

In summary: Right before starting the new diet, I got sick. Continue reading

My Virus Has Returned… With Enthusiasm

Being sick while chronically ill is hard. Like, really hard! Normal colds already last longer for us than the average person, thanks to our overworked immune systems… But I got to come down with an even better virus (please tell me you could taste the sarcasm there)! (This post will probably contain a lot of sarcasm, FYI.)

germ-158107_1280

It looks like this cold plans to stick around for the 4 weeks. Minimum.

Luckily, my sinus infection seems to have cleared up, almost entirely! Though pollen season is starting, meaning my sinuses are clogged again. I don’t think my sinuses are very swollen, however, due to a lack of sinus headaches!

A few days ago, through Thursday, I thought I was finally starting to feel better! Friday, however, was awful! My doctor did warn me that this virus tends to be a roller coaster: cruddy, better, cruddy, better, rinse & repeat. I was really hoping that I would just slowly get better.

Then, I woke up coughing. I had a little tickle Thursday, but I summed it up to allergies. Friday, I woke up and immediately started hacking. Hacking like I haven’t hacked in years. Wonderful, just wonderful. They weren’t dry coughs, but I wouldn’t call them very productive. I took cough syrup, and went about my day.

As the day wore on, however, things got worse. By 10pm, not even cough syrup could slow the constant coughing. I managed to cough enough from 9pm until midnight to lose my voice (almost completely). My throat feels as though it’s bleeding, and I keep gasping for air.

Poor Dan didn’t get to sleep until way last his bedtime because I kept needing things from him: medicine, the humidifier being set up, more medicine, and a cough drop. Yes, a cough drop. No, it’s very much not approved on my LEAP/MRT diet… But Dan reminded me that sleep is one of the most important things when sick, so if it will help it’s necessary. It did manage to slow the coughing somewhat, so, totally worth it! (I’m still coughing a lot, but now I can catch my breath before my next cough.)

I’m writing this post at 2am Saturday morning because I’m still massively struggling. My throat hurts horribly (I’m going to use some chloraseptic spray soon; you don’t swallow it, so it should be okay), I’m coughing a lot, my ribs and abs are sore from coughing and I’m just hoping I don’t bruise a rib (it’s happened before), my neck/shoulders/upper back are tense and sore from the coughing fits, I have horrendous hip/pelvis nerve pain, and my head throbs when I cough. I’m also getting random dizzy spells, which may be due to hyperventilating, and my low fever is back. Overall, this is awful!

Thumb Infection Handout and Thumb

(Handout from urgent care)  Pic is from my Insta story

I did start antibiotics today, though not for my cold… I managed to get my thumb horribly infected. All of my hangnails get infected when they tear (same thing happens if the skin splits around my nails). Usually, I can get the infection to clear up in a few days… Not this time. I finally went to urgent care when it wasn’t even mildly improved after a week! Apparently, I was doing pretty much everything right, I just needed some oral antibiotics to finish it off! I’m hoping they’ll also help boost my immune system enough to finally get over this virus. (I do realize antibiotics won’t help a virus directly. I’m thinking there may be a small bacterial component, which is drawing from my immune system, that the antibiotics can wipe out.)

I really hope I’m not still coughing like this in the morning… And I hope I can get some good sleep tonight!

Being “Normal” Sick While Chronically Ill

First of all, it’s extremely difficult to determine if you’re actually sick, because colds, the flu, and infections tend to mimic the symptoms of the chronic illnesses… differentiating between a cold and a flare can be extremely difficult. (I go more in depth about this problem here.)

cold-156666_1280I realized I was sick this time because I suddenly felt like I was swimming through cement. I also was having a lot more gastrointestinal distress than comes from eating the wrong thing, and it stuck around for a few days. My digestive system decided to switch from my normal IBS-C to suddenly having IBS-D type behavior. (It’s calmed down a little now, but I’m still having some problems.) Then, I started getting off and on fevers in the evening. My fever spiked to 100° F (my normal is 97.6° instead of the average 98.6°) before I decided I should really take some Tylenol for it.

Then, after a week of most definitely being sick, and still having to carry on with life… it got worse! I woke up with a start because both nostrils had swollen shut and I could barely breathe. Then, when I sat up (far faster than I should have – thanks dysautonomia) to be able to breathe better, I realized it felt like I’d been hit in the face with a sledgehammer. Every time I would bend over during the day, I got severe pre-syncope symptoms. Same would happen while I was standing/walking. So I called my doctor and managed to get an appointment for the next day. Continue reading

Another Cold

I somehow caught a cold again. For several days I’ve been sleeping forever (like, until 1pm). My GI pulled me cold turkey off the Amitiza, though, so I thought I was just having weird withdrawals. That was, until yesterday today.

Yesterday, I woke up and Dan bright me some cereal so could shower. In the shower suddenly it felt like my body was full of cement. Then attack of the phlegm. Then I realized I was feverish. It never improved. And I realized my throat felt odd. Eventually I noticed my tonsils were bright red and puffy.

Today, all the same but worse. Definitely sick. And I’m very explosive. And my throat actually hurts now and I have a cough. Not happy. Ugh.

Hopefully I’ll feel better soon.

Stomach Bug?

Apparently, I’m feeling awful because I have gastroenteritis. Or at least, that’s what my GI thinks. Gastroenteritis = the stomach flu. Stupid stomach bug. I don’t have a fever that we’ve noticed, but I’ve been downing pain meds like crazy so it might be suppressed I suppose.

He told me to hold off on my Amitiza for three days, then restart it on the next higher dose (since before the bug I didn’t think it doing anything). If my symptoms don’t come back, then it was just a bug. We shall see. Here’s hoping I survive.

Stress Cruds

My body reacts poorly to stress. The emotional stress of the last two weeks and the physical stress of all of the traveling seems to have knocked me out. I have some sort of infection thing going on somewhere… Sinus or something. I have no idea what is going on, but I feel horrid. I also had to come off of my meds for my second round of allergy testing, so that definitely isn’t helping. Hopefully this crud will be short lived and some rest as I get back to my routine will let it clear up.

Today is Not a Good Day

I had class today. My alarm goes off at 6a because I need to leave by 7a to get to school. My classes start at 8am, but traffic gets bad about 7:30am, so I need to beat traffic to my school. Anyway. My alarm went off, and I was REALLY out of it, so I hit snooze. I think I hit it three or four times, so I didn’t get out of bed until about 6:15-6:20a. I stumbled to the restroom, and nothing would move properly. I couldn’t coordinate my limbs very well because I was completely stiff. I tried to take some deep breaths, and I realized that my ribs were in a lot of pain. I was really disoriented, foggy, and in a lot of pain. My throat hurt and I was spitting out (not coughing up) little blood clots (I think they were in my post-nasal drip, meaning I got a small nosebleed last night). Pretty much, I was miserable. While I want to be responsible and go to class, I just couldn’t shake these feelings. I ended up going back to sleep and slept until 11a. I do feel a little better now, but I’m still not doing fantastic. Since I still feel horrible, I’m glad I decided to stay home.

I’m completely drained, and I’m in a lot of pain. I don’t know if the evening Pilates class I did last night pushed me over an edge, or if I am catching Dan’s cold. Dan has been sick this week, with a sore throat and cough and fatigue. I don’t really have my typical symptoms of getting sick, however, so I don’t think I’m getting sick… but then again, it’s almost impossible to tell. I just really want to sleep and I really want to stop hurting. I did take Aleve this morning, but I guess I’m going to have to take a Tramadol again because my eyes are watering just sitting on the couch. I just have to remember it’ll pass. Either I’ll get used to it and it won’t hurt me as much, or it will go away. Either way, it’ll pass.


Remember, I do not post these posts for sympathy or pity. I post these so that I am accurately portraying life with Chronics. Life with Chronics is unpredictable and sometimes sucks; sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s awful. These negative posts are to remind people they aren’t alone, and that sometimes the bad days just knock you down hard. But remember, it is possible to get back up.

 

I Had a Great Day, and Then…

… It was gone.

Now I’m writhing around in bed trying desperately to find a position for some relief while also trying to move agonizingly slowly because I don’t want to shake my stomach up and vomit. Don’t know what happened, but suddenly the urge to vomit appeared and it won’t go away, even with Zofran. Dan thinks I ate too many allergens. I don’t think that’s the whole picture, but all I do know is I feel awful.

I don’t want to vomit because last time I started I needed to go to the ER to stop… But I also kind of want to so I might feel better. What would be really nice would be the ability to remove my stomach until it calmed down. Oh, and sleep would be fantastic.