The Trouble with Immunosupressants

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by Kristiana Page |

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Immunosupressants are simultaneously the very best and worst things for my health. These magic medications have played a large part in making sure lupus has been so unsuccessful in its mission to take hold of my kidneys. But they also caused me to be sick for a record five times this year, so far.

I’ve never been as sick as many times as I have in the past nine months. But that’s the risk I knowingly and willing took when I chose the long-term health of my kidneys over being attacked by cold and flu in the present.

It’s October, and I’m averaging catching some kind of illness roughly once every two months. At this point, I’m feeling pretty tempted to start buying shares in the makers of Kleenex and bisolvon decongestant, because I might as well be getting something out of this.

The hardest part of being sick intermittently is accepting there’s really not much I can do about it. It can be as simple as the seasons changing from autumn to winter, or sharing the overall vicinity as someone who’s at the tail end of a minor illness at college, and bam! Sick again. And not only do I catch illness so much more easily than the average person, but also it’s that much harder for me to get better.

It’s kind of like living in a castle and knocking down all the walls of defense, knowing full well that your enemies are lying in wait to attack and loot the place at any given moment of their choosing. You’re without much choice but to let them come in and ransack your beloved home, hoping that the outside aid you’ve desperately called upon in time of need can help before the situation gets too bad.

Essentially, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve stripped my beautiful body of its first line of defense, and now we’ve got to suffer through the consequences.

Sitting down to take a combination of immunosuppressants and cold and flu tablets, I can’t help but shake  my head at the sheer irony. Two of the tablets in my hand are fighting to suppress my immune system, and the other two are effectively rolling the dice for me and hoping I can stem the fallout from the first set of tablets.

I know there’s a big picture goal, but I can’t tell you how tired I am of being sick so often. I’m exhausted from having to apologize to my poor body for choosing to expose it to whatever nasty germs and illness out there. I’m frustrated by having to spend so much of my year tired, coughing, spluttering and blowing my nose. I’m sick of having to remind myself of the long-term benefits that’ll come from pushing on through this sea of cold and flu.

But even more than that, I’m not the only person being affected by my being sick all the time. I expose four other people in my family to a seemingly never-ending stream of sickness, and it’s just so unfair.

With every bout of cold I’m reminded again how I’m just never going to be like everyone else. I’m condemned to a life of chronic illness that will affect me in more ways than I could have imagined. It’s all about weighing up the benefits of the present versus the future, and unfortunately there never are any good or easy decisions.


Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.