Autoimmune Arthritis Problems: ‘Normal Person’ Sick

Autoimmune Arthritis Problems: ‘Normal Person’ Sick

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You may have noticed I’ve been pretty absent for the last 2 weeks….

I’ve been wondering when I was going to experience getting ‘normal person’ sick while being on humira. Last year I spent most of my time secluded and not around a lot of germs soooooo I was able to stay ‘healthy’.

UntitledI started having stomach issues a week before I even was hit completely with the flu. Thinking it was due to some goat cheese I had eaten, I thought I was having a bad reaction to dairy. Over that week I definitely lost a lot of electrolytes. I was trying to stay hydrated and I thought I was doing a good enough job.

Having spent the day running around to several appointments, I came home and was really exhausted. Since that was a normal reaction I went to bed happy with what I accomplished, but bummed that I was still getting fatigued doing simple errands. The next day I knew I had a lot on my to-do list, but at least they were things I could do in my jammies.

I awoke suddenly to my Dad yelling my name, asking me what I was doing. It took me a second to figure out what was going on. I was sleeping? – was the obvious answer. He then asked me if I had been up yet, which I had not. Looking at my phone I realized it was 3… in the afternoon! I’m pretty sure I’ve never slept in that late, sober.

Coconut water is great to replenish electrolytes and to hydrate!!
Coconut water is great to replenish electrolytes and to hydrate!

All I wanted to do was go back to sleep. My body felt like it weighed a million pounds and I had absolutely no energy at all. I honestly thought it was because I had done a lot the day before and my body was just beating me up for it. I’d experienced that enough over the past year, so it really wasn’t out of the ordinary. My Dad was super concerned, but I kept blowing it off. Nothing had changed to my routine except that I now started taking humira on a weekly basis – instead of every other week. I hadn’t even added anything back into my diet because I thought my system was still rejecting the dairy (even though I never had a reaction that lasted a week long!). I figured I’d spend the day feeling like sh*t and wake up the next day feeling better.

Next day I felt WORSE! My head felt like it was in a vice, my stomach was really nauseous, I didn’t want to move a centimeter and all I wanted to do was keep my eyes closed. It truly hurt to have my eyes open. Now my Mom was worried and made me call all my doctors to see what they thought. Everyone agreed I probably had the flu, told me to rest and drink plenty of fluids and to not take my humira. As the day went on I continued getting dizzier and dizzier and started experiencing strong electrical ‘zaps’ throughout my whole body. I received these zaps every 20-30 seconds and it was quite annoying. I couldn’t watch tv, I didn’t want to talk, I couldn’t look at my computer or my phone – so I turned my iPad on, loaded up my schoolwork and listened to my lectures with my eyes closed. I knew I wasn’t fully retaining the knowledge, but I figured it was better than NOT doing my school work! (Once I felt better I went back and re-listened to some key parts that I knew I wanted to take notes on) Even through sleeping on and off all day I had absolutely no problem falling asleep that night.

Having an autoimmune disease AND avascular necrosis makes sleeping impossible sometimes. I can’t tell you how many countless nights I’ve had laying awake because my body’s too tired to go to sleep, because it just doesn’t want to go to sleep and/or because I’m in so much pain. (love the coined hashtag #painsomnia – if you’re ever up in the middle of the night search that hashtag and you’ll find you’re in good company )

Friday the electrical zaps continued, but the vice let my head out and it was feeling a lot better. My energy level was completely depleted and my body wasn’t keeping nutrients at all. I tried to continue to drink water, but I could just tell my body was not happy. I struggled through the day PRAYING that this was the last day I’d feel like this. It had been over a week for my stomach/digestion being completely messed up and had been 3 days completely in bed. My Mom came home from work and threatened that if I didn’t start feeling better she was taking me to the ER to get an IV. She forced me to drink a Gatorade. I haven’t had sugar, let alone anything like gatorade, for 5 months. I drank it, it tasted disgusting to me and I decided there was no way I was drinking another one. Emailing my health coach I hoped he’d back me up on my decision to not drink another gatorade. He suggested coconut water – which I had never thought of.

IMG_0384Saturday I woke up and felt a bit better, but was so completely frustrated with these electric zaps I was getting I was starting to lose patience. Eyes open or closed – it didn’t matter. Sometime they were so strong that my whole body would jolt. My health coach also suggested I drink a juice of cucumber, carrots and celery. I like juiced cucumber and carrot, but celery juice is so gross to me. I had my mom juice me up a glass and made myself drink it. Between that and the coconut water I felt like I was really starting to feel a bit better. The whole time I had been trying to eat whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc.), veggies and broth. I thought I was eating all the right things, and I was, but the addition of these two things really seemed to help me. I mentally prepared myself throughout the day to make the two flight trek up to the bath tub to take a detox bath. Thinking that maybe epsom salts, baking soda and some essential oils could help pull out all the toxins. Soaking in the tub was the most relaxed I had been all week. It was amazing just to lay there for 40 minutes, listening to music, and naturally pulling toxins out of my body. I highly, highly recommend it. I feel like everyone should do them once a week or even just one a month! Anything helps!

8b10e906fd860fb0c4b5c5a9eda3b911After that I was feeling better and I just continued to get better and better! I’m not sure which remedy helped the most, but hey, whatever! It worked! It took me another 3 days to feel completely back to normal. Man, most people have the flu for a few days… I had it for almost 2 weeks! Ugh! It makes me not want to leave my house now. :p

Now that I’m taking humira weekly I knew my immune system would be suppressed more, but I guess I’m going to need to be more careful. To help prevent sickness I’ve been using doTerra’s On Guard+ pills daily. It’s doTerra’s On Guard Essential Oil blend PLUS added oils that help fight sickness.

onguardplusdoTerra has said that “This distinctive blend contains essential oils known for their positive effects on the immune system and their ability to protect against environmental threats. On Guard+ should be taken on an occasional basis, when healthy immune function may be compromised.”

• On Guard Proprietary Essential Oil Blend: supports healthy immune function

• Black Pepper: supports healthy circulation and respiratory function

• Oregano: helps build and maintain a healthy immune system

• Melissa: protects the body against seasonal threats

I know that their directions say take on occasional use, but my immune system is always compromised. My thought has been that taking this supplement is a small way I can help my body. Well, now that I’ve experienced how debilitating the flu can be to my body I’ll be adding some more oregano or onguard oil to my daily regiment. I truly believe that it helps prevent illness for me. Hey, believing is half the battle right? Mind over medicine! I need to write a post about how On Guard works- it’s really awesome stuff.

Well, to all my autoimmune warriors out there – I hope you didn’t have or get the flu this ‘flu season’. Yesterday was the beginning of spring, so hopefully it’s over! #AutoimmuneArthritisProblems

Wishing You A Pain Free (and SICK FREE) Day!

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  • Jaime

    So glad you’re feeling better! My son is on Humira weekly and I’m on Cimzia. We get skin infections, especially near our noses, more often, but thankfully, we’ve never been really sick on these biologics. I need to find some wood for knocking!

    • You know, I can’t complain at all. I haven’t gotten really sick (other than this time) while I was on biologics! I actually ended up having my first cold in like 2 -3 years AFTER stopping my humira! haha