Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune.

When I was a freshman in high school, I contracted mononucleosis. Having mono, I thought, was just a part of being in high school.Everyone made jokes at you because you had “the kissing disease”. Which somehow made you feel like you were fitting in.

I slept every second, at night, in class, after class at home until it was time to go to cheer practice, and after cheer practice. I was banned from practicing cheerleading since my spleen was enlarged, my doctors considered it dangerous in case of rupture, but I still went to watch so I didn’t fall behind in the routines. Little did I know, I’d be dealing with mononucleosis for the rest of my life.

When you contract a virus like mono, it will forever stay dormant in your body. You wont show symptoms, because your body builds up your immune system to over come the virus. Some studies have shown, that as an adult, your mono may flare up again, but you will not show symptoms of it because your immune system is strong enough to negate it

When I contracted mono as a teenager, I never knew I’d have so many flare ups. I was miserable my first go round with the disease. Counting my first symptom as a teenager, now marks, 4 flare ups of mono WITH symptoms.

As an autoimmune patient, my body attacks itself. My body sees its own self as an invader and spends its time attacking itself. When something like mononucleosis, or anything else for the matter, starts to flare up again, my body is busy attacking what it considers an “invader” and misses the true invasion. So I become very sick.

When I worked a regular job, it was a constant frustration for my bosses that I would have to take so many sick days. They felt I was sick all the time, they felt I must be faking it. In their eyes, no one could be sick so often, as I was. Along with that was the frequent doctor’s appointments I would have to attend so often.

“When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”-Robert D. Hales

They would be correct. If my immune system didn’t have the severe impairment of attacking it’s self, I wouldn’t be sick as often and I also wouldn’t have to attend doctor’s appointments to check up on my impairments.

I come down with things that my immune system should have built up guards against. I come down with things that I shouldn’t, that toddlers fall ill with and adults do not.

“Yes, hello, I’d like a refund on my body. It’s kinda defective and really expensive.”

My experience with mono this time has been nothing short of miserable. Thankfully, I do not have the full time job as a stressor to worry about, and thankfully I have such a support system to help me if I were to need it.

I’ve been suffering with severe exhaustion, nausea, headache, throat pain, swollen glands, fever, and swollen and tender spleen, along with the fibromyalgia flare I’ve been going through as well. My body feels like a bruised, broken, and battered version of myself.

This is not permanent however, tomorrow will be better. And if not, then maybe tomorrow’s tomorrow will be better.

“Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly ‘You got this, keep going.'”

and:

“Sometimes it’s ok if all you do today is breathe.”

 

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