I went to bed on Monday night feeling like maybe I was getting sick but was really trying to wish it away. I was hoping I was just tired. But nope, Tuesday morning came around and my throat was sore, runny nose, low fever, official sickness. Last October I got very sick and was on and off sick until the end of February. It was not fun. For those that may not know, I got sick over the Thanksgiving weekend when I was in London visiting the parents. I had a crazy high fever which landed me in ER, but the doctor could not find anything more serious than a flu or a common cold so he sent me home with Tylenol for the fever and nothing else. Later that week things got much worse when I started developing a super intense pain in my right side, just around my lower ribs. It was so bad I specifically remember one night when I could not sit up in bed because it was so excruciating and had to basically barrel roll onto the floor just so I could get to the bathroom. As soon as I stated this symptom to my family doctor she was positive I had developed pneumonia, which X-rays later confirmed. Actually, they confirmed it so much that when I saw my doctor again she actually said something along the lines of “Yep, it’s pneumonia. But HOLY PNEUMONIA!” It was bad, the whole lower half of my right lung was crazy inflamed. She had initially received just the written diagnosis from the lab, but apparently didn’t believe it was actually that bad and asked for them to send over the X-ray image itself just to make sure!
And although I started taking some crazy strong meds right away my immune system (which is already somewhat compromised because of the RA) was really out of whack pretty much until the spring. I think during that stretch of time I did three or four rounds of antibiotics, was diagnosed with strep throat twice, and just generally felt like crap.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I also wasn’t being all that healthy and kind to myself in terms of getting enough rest, not going out, eating well and all that good stuff that probably would have curbed this problem much sooner.
Needless to say once the temperature started to dip lower last week and the first signs of fall started showing up, I started to get a little freaked out. Started to think about all of the things I should be doing right now to avoid the same fate as last year. I am more at risk now, as for the most part, once you have had pneumonia once, it is far more likely that you will contract it again. Luckily, it seems that over the past month or so I have naturally been gravitating towards a more healthy lifestyle. I have been eating pretty well, have really gotten back into yoga, generally have been sleeping and resting enough (which is essential for me to avoid RA-related flare ups), and most recently getting back into the meditation groove to help with any emotional stress that crops up.
So why I got sick this week is kind of a mystery but I suppose these things just happen. If nothing else, it gives me a good excuse to lay around at home, drink tea, read books, and make soups! That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
I think I will start with my Thai coconut curry soup…here is the before and after of when I last made it. Yum!