You’re in the army now

My immune system is currently like a crack SAS unit.  Not content with being a private in the army and taking a week to fight off the enemy with a bayonet it wants all intruders dead immediately, if not sooner, even if it puts itself at risk in the process.

I went to bed on Saturday night perfectly normal.  Not a hint that there was anything amiss.  Woke up Sunday morning and before I’d even opened my eyes I was sneezing.  I often sneeze first thing in a morning so didn’t think much about it, but 2 hours later when I’d gone through four man-size hankies and produced enough mucus to fill a bucket I did wonder if something was up.  By 2pm that afternoon my nose was like a tap and my eyes were “full of cold” (is that just a northern saying?!).  Come tea-time it was official – I had the lergie and felt absolutely rubbish.  I could barely keep my eyes open, was chilly and headachy, and so tired I was spark out by 9pm.

I slept through the night and woke Monday morning completely back to normal.  Not a sniffle, not a drop of snot, nor any sign of a virus.  Brilliant, but obviously flippin nuts.  I mean, who develops a streaming cold and gets rid of it in less than 24 hours?!

It hasn’t always been this way though.  When I was first developing M.E. I had the classic one-virus-after-another situation for months until I finally contracted gastroenteritis which was the beginning of the end.  I also remember about 5 years ago having no less than seven cold viruses in one winter, and even had three different cold strains at the same time!  But this year while everyone around me has dropped like flies with everything from the winter vomiting bug to Aussie Flu I’ve remained virus free.   Quite what leads my immune system to be either stupendously lazy or ridiculously over-zealous is a mystery.  I just wish it would settle for the rank of Officer, commanding the troops with knowledgeable efficiency from behind the front line, rather than being either cannon fodder in the trenches or a heroic lone sniper both of which are likely to get it killed.

It’s the Holy Grail isn’t it?  Finding a way of returning our immune system back to normal so that it’s neither over, nor under, reactive.  So that it treats the world with healthy suspicion rather than a complete loony toons attacking everything in sight, or a total coward hiding under the duvet.  I pray the cure arrives soon because my poor immune system is exhausted from its game of Jekyll & Hyde and I’m plain fed up of dealing with its schizophrenic behaviour!



4 thoughts on “You’re in the army now

  1. Ellie

    That is very bizarre! I havent had a cold or flu for years, not so much as a sniffle, the Drs think its a medical marvel, what they dont realise is the loony toon immune is merrily annihilating Everything, including its host. I can be around all sorts of snotty sniffling pukey people with the total confidence that Im not going to get any of it. Eat something wrong, inhale someones perfume, vapes, or mould or god knows what else & then I’m under fire.
    Im just waiting an appointment with Dr Seneviratne, this madness needs an official name.
    Thanks again for your blog Jaks, & happy new year (hopefully!)


  2. Karen, The Walking Allergy

    Catching up on your blog. I SWEAR, I didn’t read your post before I wrote this one… This can’t be a mere coincidence…nope. If only the Allergists would remember that they’re also supposed to be immunologists, they might get somewhere.

    It’s not just you… I, and several others have the identical pattern- a condensed version of the virus, gone in about 12 hours, but we used to get sick all the time… There’s no way that this is random. If we can figure out what is going on, it could help mast cell patients, but can you imagine if it leads to better treatment for viruses? Makes my head spin to consider it. I think that timeline could be vital to sorting this out. Our ‘parallel lives’ friend Liz and I both got sick(er) in November 2011. I know you’ve been this sick for a long time, but did you have a flare around that time? When was the last time you recall getting sick from a virus?

    I wondered how we are all figuring it out at the same time, but I think I have a reasonable explanation for that. The flu has hit hard here this year- everybody around us are dropping like flies. It’s not that we aren’t getting the viruses (which would make way more sense- I wear a mask in public, and am very aware of what I’m touching). If 3/4 family members have the flu, and the sickest person in the house doesn’t get it, we notice. And then we think back… I’m getting the viruses, but they aren’t making me sick.



  3. Jak Post author

    I did your survey Karen. *So* interesting about your theory that we are getting viruses just not getting sick from them! I know I was born with MCAD but it has been slowly progressive over the decades. When it was only mild I used to get every bug going – even rare things as a kid like scarlet fever that no-one else in the entire school got. Persistent tonsilitis, tummy bugs, mono – you name it as a kid I got it.

    Leading up to getting ME it was one virus after another, plus chest infections and constant thrush (I blame the contraceptive pill for the thrush though – since I came off it I’ve never had thrush!). BUT, when my MCAD started in earnest (albeit slowly) 15 years ago I got less and less bugs and now my MCAD is moderately severe I hardly get any bugs! Having said all that, I live alone and rarely see anyone so I’m not in contact with bugs either which has to be born in mind.

    Be interesting to read your survey results x



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