The title of this post can have so many meanings, and I definitely want to talk about a few of them. To start though, I want to talk about the bout of streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) I had last week. Actually at this point I am still on antibiotics and don’t feel 100% yet. Kinda holding strong around the 85% mark. It ruined my Pride weekend plans (though I still managed to make it out for a little bit) and kept me bed ridden for 3 1/2 days straight, other than my short venture to the doctor for a diagnosis and prescription.
My friend and I were joking about how I was a zombie on the weekend, so I became one.
What’s it like battling strep throat while having an autoimmune disease? Pretty much like torture. Strep is bad enough. For those who are lucky enough to not have had it, basically, it’s like having an extremely bad sore throat with a fever and chills, and the most horrid taste in your mouth that won’t go away and basically poisons the taste of whatever you are trying to eat… oh yeah, because you still get hungry. Top it off with horrible night sweats and an on-and-off again headache, and you basically will never want to experience it again. So now add in crazy shooting pains up and down your body. Granted mine were typically in areas that I normally get pain (my hands, left hip, and back), but the pain was much more intense than normal. Part of it is definitely because I lied in bed for days, but part was probably my crazy immune system not understanding what was happening, as usual.
Spike was my nurse all week.
So I mentioned that the title of this post has multiple meanings. Another one is comorbidity, which is the occurrence of two chronic illnesses in one person. This could be two physical illnesses (heart disease and cancer, for example) or two mental illnesses (e.g., depression and anxiety) or a physical illness and a mental illness (e.g., autoimmune disease and depression). This is actually quite common, and can make the battle more difficult for anyone. The key is to always try to treat both. I see a million different health care professionals for my physical ailments, but because I was having a lot of anxiety I also started seeing a psychotherapist and a naturopath (side note: I have never been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and likely don’t have one. I attribute this to both my generally positive affect, and also taking the initiative to see a counsellor before things got worse). Take care of both before they get out of control. Your body and mind are incredibly connected. If you are struggling, there is always help out there.