The Flu

My wife has been traveling a lot. She had to go to a few conferences with eight hundred people in a room for five hours a day. Neither of us thought beforehand about how many germs and diseases would be in that room. We just never spoke about it, because she is relatively healthy.

We didn't think about the flu in advcance

She had the shakes, and then the sweats. She was achy and very tired. Before her not feeling good, we didn’t think about it until the last day of the conference when I spoke with her. She didn’t’ sound good and I knew that something was wrong. We had both gotten our flu shots, so I was really hoping that she wasn’t getting the flu.

When she came home, she felt a little better and went to work the next day. Her boss, however, was out for the week. Her boss had the flu, and was called out of work for the entire week! Listen to this... Her boss did not get her flu shot. Long story short, my wife and I were very happy that we both got the shots because even though she got sick, she really didn’t have bad symptoms and they were relatively short.

I have a better chance than others of getting sick

Then it had me thinking. I got a Flu shot and I still have a better chance of getting really sick. This is all because of the injection that I take. I inject this biological drug into my body once a week. This medication, along with a few pills that I take to help with Crohn’s, lower my body’s defense from infections and other diseases. 

A compromised immune system makes infections likely

I haven’t had a break from infections since I started with immune-compromising drugs. Back in 2007, I was on heavy doses of steroids which shut down my defense system. I got Listeria from a piece of bad lunch meat. Most of the time, women who are pregnant have to stay away from lunch meat because they are more likely to get Listeria. I was the first male in my area (geographically), that got Listeria as a single case.

Then in 2015, I got streptococcus group B. Again, PICC line and a hospital stay. How did I get it? I got it because of the pills I was taking for my Crohn’s. So why do our researchers and creators of medications for IBD make them break down your immune system? Is there something in the upcoming years that will maybe boost up our immune system? Only time will tell, right?

We have to be extra cautious with IBD

Getting sick is something that nobody likes. I hate that I have a better chance of getting sick than most people, but it does come with the territory. With IBD, we always have to be cautious when we get the flu. We have to make sure that we stay hydrated even more than people who are healthy. We have to make sure that we stop our meds,  and make sure that we call our doctor to inform him/her. We also have to take measures into our own hands and let people know our symptoms so that they can be aware.

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