CATCH UP! The effects of a common cold when suffering from a chronic illness.

Since I didn’t post at all last week I am going to be writing two post a day this week to cover everything I had planned on writing for last week. You’ll see the posts that were meant for last week have CATCH UP! at the beginning of them. 

Getting ill is pretty rubbish. The constant nose which is blocked up so you cannot breathe properly and makes you talk funny, yet it is always running and causing you to sniffle on. Then there is the way that it just makes your whole body feel week and completely drained of energy. It’s all just no good and not enjoyable for anyone at all! However, I find now that my chronic illnesses have developed, getting a cold seems to take more of a toll on my body compared to what it used to, great.. 

It’s hard to put into words how I feel when I suffer from a cold now that I have arthritis. I didn’t think anything would be different at all but it is, strangely. I’ll describe it the to the best of my ability so try to bear with me.

We all know what our bodies feel like when we get ill: the aching, tired, heavy feeling that seems to linger on us for days at a time, constantly tired and go through phases of feeling sleeping all day long, to having that same feeling but not being able to sleep at all. You feel as though your cold/flu is almost bipolar the way in which it changes how your body feels. But there is one thing I can definitely say when I have a cold is that I am not in any pain at all – yea okay, I have a headache and my chest is sore from coughing, but I am not really in any physical pain. 

This is where my chronic illness has made a change. 

It’s still the same, having a cold with arthritis. I still suffer from all of the above symptoms except now, now everything hurts. Before where my body was all achy and heavy, it now feel likes I’ve been kicked around like a ball on a football pitch! My body is heavy from the aches and pains but it’s not a deep throb, but a sharp, shooting pain around different parts of my body. As for sleeping, because of this it seems to be more difficult to drift away to la-la-land and when I do I have many disturbances throughout the night and find myself to be extremely restless. This making me even more tired that I previously was.
In turn, this then extends into my appetite. I mean, when you’re ill you don’t really have much of one but by this stage, I’m too sore and tired to even realise that my stomach’s full orchestra is playing me a wonderful symphony of groans and gurgles. 

But even then, I did not find this to be the hardest part. No, the hardest part is once the cold has finished and now what I am left with is a tired, deflated body that is in immense pain both because of that and as a post-cold side effect. I’m starving and dying for a drink but I physically cannot be bothered to do this. I end up basically passing out from exhaustion which is no doubt for the best, but upon waking up it feels like a race against the clock to get a decent meal into me as well as fluids and my meds. before I end up passing out from exhaustion again. 

It seems bizarre that something as little as a cold would have such an effect on me because of my arthritis but it’s the truth. I didn’t expect anything to really change because of my arthritis, well not like that anyway. But I’m glad I had the experience anyway, it means I can learn from it for next time and maybe adapt it in a way that will make me suffer less, a nice bit of trial and error to see if I can make the experience a little less dramatic!

Thanks for reading and let me know if you suffer similarly to me or if you have any other stories to share, please do so! 

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