I think that most of us with CIs respond to things differently than so-called “healthy” people do. It’s only natural.
Yes, I still worry about the trivial things in life, but not like I used to. And I was disappointed recently when my bloodwork came back normal – I really wanted them to find a problem so that we might have a course of treatment. I’m guessing that a non-CI person would have been very happy to get “normal” results.
I think that getting a cold is the same thing. Of course, physically some of us respond differently. Back before my autoimmune issues were full-blown, a cold was just a cold. Now, a cold can knock me completely off my feet for a week. No matter what germs I get, usually at some point it turns into a chest cold and a head cold, and I have a fever too. But it’s more than just the physical.
When non-CI folks get sick, many (of course not all) of them get so upset that it’s disrupting their life. Yes, getting sick is inconvenient, but my CIs disrupt my life much more often than any cold does. And I see a lot of non-CIs try to power through colds and such, acting as if they don’t have them. First, I find this incredibly irritating because they are going to work and running errands and riding the train…. and sharing their germs with the rest of us! I hate that. I am more than happy to acknowledge my body’s current weakness. When I have a job I power through lesser pain and fatigue specifically so that when I’m sick and germy I can stay home and rest. I don’t have enough sick time at work for everything, and I know to pick and choose my battles carefully. Many non-CI folks have dozens of sick days built up, but still come to work, as if they are indispensable. Get over yourself, we can get through the day without you. Just like you can survive without me.
And then there are meds. I know people who take pills for everything (where’s the moderation?) and those who think they shouldn’t need any meds at all. I think there can be something in between, but I also know to be careful. I am taking all of my prescriptions because I have to, even when I feel queasy. If I don’t, the consequences would be… well, I don’t like to think about it. But when I felt feverish yesterday and found myself sobbing on the bed for absolutely no reason, I took Tylenol. It would be stupid not to. But I called the pharmacist first to be sure there wouldn’t be problems taking it with my new med. I see far too many people forget to do that. Today I’ve been sniffling and sneezing since I woke up. It’s not fun, but I’d rather let my body work out what it needs to than to load up on drugs. That said, I’ll be taking Nyquil tonight, since I know that sleep is an important part of recovery (and I wouldn’t get any sleep at all the way I am.) I guess what it comes down to is, the CIs have taught me how to listen to my body, and how to respond to it without overdoing anything.
Yeah, being sick sucks. I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t. I’m on day three and it’s lousy. I’m sick of watching the same few tv shows over and over (I only have basic cable) and my eyes are too watery to try and read. I feel germy and lousy and am ready for it to be over. But I won’t stress out over it, or worry about the things I’m missing, or try to push myself to do more than I’m ready to do. This still isn’t as bad as a CI flare. And I know that, unlike my CIs, it will go away. And that is the best part of all.