Monday, April 20, 2015

Health Fads

I don't know if it's the same where you are living, but in my area there is this big health fad right now that's called "Thrive". It's a supplement system that is along the lines of Herba Life and what not. Most of my friends are doing it right now and are raving about how much it has done for their health and energy and yadda yadda yadda.

This meant that when I went to a friend's house recently for a girl's night I got the whole sales pitch and it was so unexpected that I didn't even get to bring out a Chronic Illness Bingo Card!

By Carolyn Thomas @ HeartSisters
This situation would have been a mark on the "My friend was cured by-" "Have you tried....?" and the "You should try this diet" spaces.

I was told to check out the website and see all the people that have Lupus that are using this and how they are doing so much better now, etc, etc.

Well, that may be, but the problem is that out of the first three ingredients two of them make claims to boost the immune system. Further down there were more immune boosting supplements in the ingredients.

Now, for those that haven't been keeping track: Autoimmune disorder = Immune System Too Over Active So It Tries To Take Out Everything. This is why those of us with autoimmune disorders take immunosuppressants. The goal of treatment is to make the immune system not be some overactive mess and boosting the immune system would work counter to those goals.

My rheumatologist, and other rheumatologists, have all said that unless you have an active infection I and other people like me should not be taking anything that will boost our immune systems. This makes sense to me as a more active immune system increases the likelihood of flaring which is also the same principle behind us flaring when we get sick.

For my friends that are "Thrivinig" more power to you, for those Lupus patients that are "Thriving" I hope you've discussed it with your rheumatologists. For me, I will choose to keep on with what I am doing and not increasing my risk of flaring.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nose Cameras

The other day I tried to make an appointment with my old ENT, the one that I've been seeing since before vasculitis was even on the radar and I was a more innocent creature, only to be informed that they no longer accept my insurance. I hadn't even gotten a note from them! Because I am a nerdy character in a movie made sometime in the 40's or 50's my response to this was to say "Well that's a fine how do you do!"

Thankfully, I did not say this out loud in the phone and instead asked if their office could recommend someone else to me so that I could be seen.

This led me to a new ENT and my first experience with the nose/throat camera thingy that's old hat to every other person with WG but was a wholly new experience for me.

In keeping with my old timey movie character, my old ENT tended to do things the old fashioned way. Like making me hold a tiny, lit light bulb in my mouth with the lights off. No, it wasn't something weird, it was to see my sinuses!

Anyway, this new ENT was training someone the day that I came in so she sat in while he shoved a little, flexible, and remote controlled camera up my nose.

Let me tell you, I've never had the experience of being embarrassed of what the inside of my body looks like but seeing my nasty looking, crusty inside of my nose on a tv in high definition while other people looked on certainly caused that.

It was a weird feeling, having the camera in my nose pushed back far enough that it had come out the back so we could see the inside of my trachea.

I wasn't nearly as embarrassed by my trachea. It wasn't as gross, just some swelling and irritation.

After the camera experience the doctor said he wanted me to have a CT of my sinuses as I hadn't had one of those in a while. While a CT wasn't in my plans for the day, I went down to the clinic basement and got it done. At least they were showing Pirates of the Caribbean while I was in the waiting room.

The appointment took over two hours and just about the time I was beginning to think that I was going to have to accept the fact that the clinic was my new home I was informed me that I have swelling in my trachea around my vocal chords and a sinus infection and sent home with a prescription. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

That'll show ya

I think it's funny that at my last rhuemy appointment we were talking about various things and got on the topic of jobs. I said that I don't think it would be a good idea for me to go back to teaching like I had been because of the general germiness of children and my rhuemy said something to the effect of "I don't think you're that fragile".
Well, flash forward to now where I just took a short trip with my parents that involved a 1 hour and 30 minute airplane flight where I came into contact with all of one person that had a cold over the entire trip  and who came home sick? Me. So much for not being that fragile! I didn't even have direct contact with the sick person!

It was an interesting trip, though.