Do You Get Ill a lot?

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DaveOB
DaveOB Member Posts: 39
edited 7. Mar 2014, 16:05 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all

Personally I am fed up with getting colds, throat infections etc. I am sure I have more time off because of these things that PA! Having said that I assume its cause of the meds I take and PA would be a lot worse if it wasn't for those.

I just don't seem able to fight things off like I used to, and I think work find it hard to link it to my illness as it is often something different.

I wonderd if this is common?

Cheers

Dave

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Our meds are not called immuno-suppresants for nothing, Dave. They work by suppressing the immune system so leaving us prone to catching more infections than others and getting them worse than others.

    The trick is to try not to catch them in the first place - easier said than done when you are mixing with a lot of people every day. I just make it clear that I am anti-social around people with colds etc. I don't admire them for heroically carrying on: I just wish they'd stay away for a couple of days until they're no longer going to pass it on. I also wash my hands a lot more than I used to and use an antibacterial gel whenever I've been in a public place. As for children - little germ factories :lol:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, no, I don't get ill that often but when I do (with a cough or a sore throat) I stop my meth and humira until the infection has cleared. The meds we take suppress our immune systems thus leaving us wide open to infection. I am assiduous hand washer, have hand gel in my bag, anti-bac wipes too for when I am out and about (for wiping knives and forks in restaurants, handrails, lavatory flushes etc) because humans are filthy things. :wink: DD

    PS I stop the meds because that is what my hospital told me to do - opinions vary but, logically, if you keep taking the immune-suppressants then of course bugs won't clear.
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have to say I never get ill. I have not even had a cold since Septemer 2012.
    My therory is that even though I take Leflunomide, my white cell count is often too high because of inflammation. (I have psa) Its the white cells that attack virus's and infections. So I reckon they are protecting me :)
    However, I did run this therory by my rheumatologist who poo poo'd all over it haha :lol:
    So my second therory is that I suffer enough with the psa so I dont deserve coughs and colds as well. :D
  • DaveOB
    DaveOB Member Posts: 39
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I do have kids which I think is my main germ supply! Last time I went to the docs as my cold was getting nasty I explained my treatment (leflunomide and enbrel) and said I had to be careful. I asked if I should come off my drugs and he basically said why on earth would you do that, made me feel quite silly :|
  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I too very rarely get ill. I think I've had two colds in the last six years. When I do get them, they are terrible, and long lived.
    I always assumed that I don't get ill because my RA isn't well controlled, and my immune system is working over time, in spite of the drugs. I guess I'm wrong :? Anyhow, I'm pleased I don't get ill, RA and OA are quite enough for me :lol:
    Numpty
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    When you say you 'went to the docs' do you mean your GPs surgery? GPs know very little about our drugs and their effects - if you have a rheumatology helpline then ring them asking their advice. I think you were on the right track with asking if you should stop the meds but general practitioners are just that; they know a little about a lot rather than a lot about a little. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • DaveOB
    DaveOB Member Posts: 39
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Yes sorry I meant gp. My nurse helpline is an answer phone service where they aim to get back in 48hrs so not always that useful for this sort of thing.
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I get dreadfully ill with common viruses. Handwashing helps a lot but I have to say since I stopped working (my co-workers were mostly mums with kids at school), I have hardly picked up any bugs even with being on immuno-suppressants.

    Sorry to blame kids but....
  • beckie89
    beckie89 Member Posts: 46
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I haven't got ill as of yet, but then again I've only started taking the meds recently (I also have PsA)

    Might have to contemplate my career in a Children's Hospital then judging by other people's comments! :lol:

    Bex x
    <3 *Beckie* <3
  • DaveOB
    DaveOB Member Posts: 39
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Glad I'm not the only one! Just worried my sickness record at work is pretty bad. Last year I was off for about 25 days!

    I think the kids are my biggest source, they are only 5 and 2.

    I think I will invest in hand gel for work and wipes, never really taken all that stuff seriously before.

    Bex, you may be fine. Affects everyone differently and I find the meds vary the affect. Mtx was worst for me.
  • Kittkat
    Kittkat Member Posts: 309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Dave
    I am always getting ill.Ikeep cancelling on my friend and he is like your ill again? I have missed quite a bit of college too. :( But I don't think it is just the meds. It is my unhealthy lifestyle aswell I measure( junk food/late nights/stress etc. ).
    How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Immunosuppression plus young children = lots of bugs and viruses, unfortunately. I used to work in a nursery, I was constantly ill with one thing or the other. Hand gel is a good idea, also ensuring you get enough dietary nutrients and vitamins helps a bit.
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Dave,
    I was constantly ill when working as an early years teacher- since taking early retirement last year I have only had 1 short lived virus- though I did stop my immune suppressants for a week to give my immune system a chance. My rheumy/nurse certainly suggests leaving off the drugs when unwell- so maybe it's worth a general guidance call to them- in principle should you......? Small children are for sure germ factories- but when they are yours rather difficult to avoid! :shock: Maybe the hand gels etc are your best hope till they develop better immune systems of their own.

    Deb x
  • DaveOB
    DaveOB Member Posts: 39
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for the replies, nice to know I am not the only one! I always suspected the children so nice to confirm my thoughts. Have to say it's not much fun this arthritis business.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello DaveOB
    Sorry I missed this, but the other have given you some info..I have always said that children's germs are extra strong..I hope you feel better soon..its rotten when you have to work with all this...
    Love
    Barbara
  • DaveOB
    DaveOB Member Posts: 39
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks, can I ask those of you who work, do you have time off when you are sick or do you try and struggle though? I used to fight it, but found in the end I would be worse than if I just rested for a day or two earlier on.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    When I was working I was self-employed so always stopped in order to preserve what little I have in terms of strength etc. (My boss was very understanding. :wink: ) Employers can (and often do) get shirty at repeated times off for sick leave but sometimes it cannot be helped. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • beckie89
    beckie89 Member Posts: 46
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Mine aren't really that brilliant, I'm currently on a 'level 2' warning, so anymore absence in 6 months and they'll hall me to a meeting with HR and my managers :roll:

    But if I can't physically walk then I don't see what I'm meant to do!
    <3 *Beckie* <3