No Immune System
When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I was told that there were many medications out there that would help me manage. Regardless what the severity of the disease is, if you take medication to help regulate it, it might lower your immune system.
Weakened immune system on a biologic medication
I take a biological injectable medication once a week. Since being prescribed this medication, my body has had trouble fighting off infections.
Sure it is noted in the side-effects, but I never really believed it until I had to deal with it. Being immunocompromised affects what I do every single day.
Trouble fighting the flu with Crohn's
For example, I have to be careful around people who have the stomach flu. I have a very good chance of getting the stomach flu because my body has trouble fighting it off.
Also, since I have Crohn’s, my stomach flu will be magnified! Two years ago, the stomach bug was going around my household. My mom, dad, and brother all came down with it. When it finally hit me, my body could not fight it off with the basic rest, and fluids.
I went to the emergency room, and was released with nausea medicines. I was told that if I could not keep up with the excessive output, then I should come back.
I should have just stayed in the hospital because the next day I fainted in my living room. I was severely dehydrated, from the flu. If I was not on medication that suppressed my immune system, I don’t believe the flu would have been as severe.
Heightened risk of infections without an immune system
A few weeks after my bout with the flu, I was sitting at my parent's dinner table, enjoying the evening. I began to feel cold. I got the chills so bad, that my teeth were chattering.
Apparently, it had started on my skin, but since my body has trouble fighting off infections, in manifested into my bloodstream. I had to spend Memorial Day Weekend in the hospital. I was sent home once again with a PICC line so I could give myself IV antibiotics.
Extra precautions when immunocompromised
Being immunocompromised is very frustrating. It is frustrating because even the most common cold could cause an issue. I also work in a school, where there are tons of germs!
I have to be extra careful! I take time out of my day to do some precautionary things, so I can stay safe. I make sure that I wash my hands more than usual. I also use hand sanitizer as needed.
Medicine for Crohn’s disease is a double edged sword. On one end, if it works, it really can change your life. My medications allow me to hold a great job and have a social life.
On the other hand, I have to be careful of constant infections. Is it hard to deal with? Sure is! Do I live in fear sometimes? You better believe it! I just pray each day, that today will be a great one!
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