My immune system is stoned.

Let’s start with an anecdote! You’re going to love this one. A nurse on the phone last week asked me to confirm my age at the end of our conversation. I didn’t expect her to be surprised when I answered, but she was. She exclaimed, “Wow! You don’t sound 51 at all! I never would’ve guessed!” Haha PLOT TWIST, guys: You can “sound your age,” or not. I thought, well that’s a new one. Callaghan thought it was amusing, too.

Anyway, the current state of affairs on my end is that I still have the plague, but it’s a different plague now. I caught Callaghan’s cold at the end of December, right, then thought it was over, then seemed to relapse. My symptoms worsened and branched out over the weekend (I started coughing up bloody mucus, lost my appetite, got headachy, got the chills, got out of breath walking down the hallway). Long story short, I was diagnosed with pneumonia today. Now my ass is on bed-rest for 10 days.

I’m grateful that I was properly and quickly diagnosed (thanks to my amazing medical team at the V.A.). I’m just looking forward to going to the gym for the first time in 2020.  I’ve been told to avoid even cleaning the house, because the antibiotic I’m now taking – “the strongest one you can take without being in the hospital” – makes you prone to pulling a tendon, of all the weird side effects! Lifting weights is on the short-list of things you should not do to any degree during the 10-day antibiotic course. Not only that, but I’m contagious.

This brings me to today’s PSA: My fellow chemically immunocompromised friends, please take extra good care to avoid catching a virus. Plaquenil is effective in suppressing the immune system so it won’t attack you, and the drug continues to be effective for three months after you stop taking it. I just learned this today.

I stopped taking my Plaquenil a week before my gum-grafting surgery, but I needed to stop it three months ahead of the surgery. Sure enough, healing was slower than the doctor expected, and I needed an extra week before the stitches could be removed.

That was in November, and my immune system is still operating under the influence. My immune system is stoned. My immune system has been hanging out on a tropical beach all this time, and it wasn’t interested in fighting off the pneumonia that saw its opportunity to complicate my cold. Be SO careful, I mean, if you even think someone has a cold, do not touch them. Air hugs!

We had a cloudy day today that cast our home interior a beautiful, soft greenish-gray. Still, here’s the clearest of this morning’s badly lit, hazy selfies I took in front of the kitchen window. I think I look and feel less sick than I am, and that’s because I’m wearing makeup. I dislike putting it on, I dislike taking it off even more, but I have to admit that it’s good at tricking your mind into thinking you feel better than you do.


[16 January 2020]


Take care, everyone!!



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