Winter Illness Season

Yay! It’s the time of year where bugs are floating around everywhere and people are coughing and spluttering or being sick. Lovely. I’ve had my flu jab, so chances of me getting serious flu are minimal *touch wood*, but I can’t protect myself against stomach bugs.

Quick recap, illness is complicated with Adrenal Insufficiency. Your body needs to make more cortisol to help fight the illness, and I can’t, which means I have to replace it with my Hydrocortisone tablets. But when you start to feel ill, you don’t know how ill you’re going to be, so it’s like playing pin the tail on the donkey- I might get it right, but I’m pretty likely to get it wrong the first couple of times.

I’m really scared about being sick. I haven’t been sick since I was diagnosed. If you’re going to die from something, being sick is pretty high up the list for Adrenal Insufficiency patients. The act of vomiting is a massive stress on the body, psychologically it stresses most people out, you also can’t keep down your oral medications which are supposed to help and you lose fluids or stop taking them on board which also increases chances of Adrenal Crisis. Add in a temperature and/or diarrhoea  and it’s pretty much a guaranteed trip to the local A&E department, most likely with blue lights to get there.

I’m also one of those people who really, really can’t cope with being sick. Yes, it’s pathetic, but I deal with a lot every other day of the week, so I think being freaked out about something is allowed! My friend got a stomach bug a few hours after we’d seen him recently, which prompted my husband and I to make sure that he knew how to work my emergency injection and what oral doses he should insist on me taking. I didn’t catch it thankfully, but I did feel unsettled for a few days. Rationally I know I can’t help catch a bug if I’m going to get it, but when you’ve got an illness that can kill you pretty easily, it would be easy to start treating everyone who sneezes as potential carriers of the plague.

Unfortunately for me, I feel sick and have stomach ache a lot of the time anyway, which means I wouldn’t get a lot of ‘warning’ beforehand because feeling queasy is my normal. I randomly woke up the other night twice convinced I was going to be sick and then wasn’t. It happened a few more times but I started to ignore it, apparently that was just what was happening that night with my ‘normal’ condition. But it did make me paranoid. Having worked in schools, I’m more practical than that. If I’m going to get ill, I’m going to get ill. But being sick is one of those ones illnesses that kind of makes me feel a bit cold inside when I think about it!

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