Don’t call out; raise your hands. Yes, a cold stops when the flu hits. Also correct, it could enter the chest and become something else. True, if a fever presents itself, that’s a problem. Okay, sit down in the peanut gallery and I’ll explain.
A simple head cold can be a nuisance, but it won’t kill you. You feel crummy, but after a week, you’re back to normal. That is, unless you have MS – then it involves other issues. I, for one, rarely get sick, and this is the first cold I’ve had in quite a while. Other than the MS, I’m really healthy, and I always was. Now, I try desperately to avoid people and situations where I could contract whatever they have. I know it sounds snobby, but I have to self-protect or I’ll have problems.
For me, a cold comes on with the first day being a little sneezing and blowing. Sometime during the night, it gains power, and I wake up congested and miserable. I’ll eat soup, drink liquids, take meds in an effort to cure it quickly, but in the back of my mind, I know that dang thing will stay for a while. However, I never have to wait a whole week for recovery – somewhere around the fifth day, I just feel better. Before MS that wasn’t the case, though. This rapid improvement just demonstrates how active my immune system is. Unfortunately, once those sleeping giants awake, they’re never satisfied with just one target, in this case, the cold. No, they begin to seek other battlefields and are drawn by the siren call of my myelin sheaths. What a repast they feel they’ve earned as they greedily eat away at this delight. After they retreat to their hibernation once more, I’m left with more MS symptoms.
This time, the cold hit on Wednesday, and I was sick on Thursday and Friday. Today, I’m coming out of it, and by tomorrow, I’ll be back to my normal routine. Then I’ll wait to see what effect it had on me – will my walking be worse, or will my hands lose more functioning? Will I be overly fatigued, or will my eyesight suffer? The waiting and the stress it causes will have me tense for a while. I have noticed a few things already, though.
First, something has happened to my sense of taste. This is a new one, and I don’t like it! If I eat something sweet, I can’t taste the sugar. My cookies (to me) now taste like cardboard. (I know they were fine a few days ago, so it isn’t real.) Orange juice tastes like thickened water, and the sweetener in my coffee has no taste. On the other hand, salty foods totally lack any flavor BUT the salt! My soup last night had no taste of the chicken or vegetables – just salt in water. It’s yucky! My girlfriend lost her sense of taste a few years ago after a bad fall, but hers never returned. I’m wondering if that’ll be my fate!
Also, I’m somewhat weaker than before. This could just be the cold, but I find myself looking for underlying reasons. On Thursday, I just had no strength at all. I could barely walk on my walker, and by bedtime, I couldn’t do the steps. I ended up “sleeping” in an upright position on the loveseat, surrounded by pillows and covered with blankets. By the morning I was exhausted from lack of sleep, but I could manage the stairs so I could shower and dress. I did nothing and went nowhere, and by last night, I could do the stairs slowly. Today, I’ll again take it easy, and hopefully by tomorrow, I’ll be better.
Does this happen to any other MSers? Do you find that simple illnesses ramp up your symptoms? Do the new ones remain, or do they vanish with the overt sickness? I’m just wondering if my routine is experienced by anyone else.