Pat Killingsworth Pat Killingsworth

Medical Update: I want my old immune system back!

I have been traveling/flying every ten days or so lately–and it’s taking a toll on my day to day health.

Friends and family often say things like this to me:  “I don’t know how you should travel in your condition!”  Or “Should you be traveling so much?”

Up to this point, I have mainly gotten away with it.  Sure, travel with achy bones, sore ribs, a compromised immune system–and a chemotherapy hangover–can be challenging.

But in my mind, the end justifies the means.  To meet and help my fellow patients makes it all worth while, no matter how difficult travel can be.

But recently, the challenges have become more difficult and daunting.

The last two times I have flown–once after wearing a mas while on the airplane and once not–I have developed a cold within a day or two after returning home.

But the trip to Charlotte last week (I forgot to bring a mask for the flight) really set me back.

Until last week, the colds had been mild; a bit of a scratchy throat, a few mouth sores and a mild cough which only lasted a day or two.

In a way, these inconvenient “mini-colds” have been reassuring.  At least I know my immune system is working.

So I wasn’t too concerned when I forgot to bring a mask along last week.  “Heck” I thought, “I’m getting sick when I wear the mask anyway.” I reasoned.  “And after all, it has been a full six months since my transplant…”

Oops!  Give me credit for admitting when I’ve made a mistake!

The result?  I get hammered with my worst cold in a decade within a day after returning home!

Chest congestion always concerns me.  But I had already experienced that twice in the last six weeks and my body responded just fine.  But this time my cough and the congestion were deeper.

I wasn’t too congested, but my eyes!  First my right eye and then my left.  Red and runny.  I mean really runny.  My right eye was literally dripping on the floor as I bent over to tie my shoe Friday.

YUCK!

And when I woke-up in the morning, one or both eyes would be crusted-over and stuck shut!  I had never had anything like that happen before…

Fortunately, I never had a fever.  But I felt pretty bad…

That all started one week ago.  Today is Tuesday.  I’m writing this as I am flying to speak to another myeloma support group in Augusta, Georgia.

I stubbornly refused to cancel my trip.  It takes a lot of effort to plan these events and the associated travel.  I was gambling on a recovery in time to fly again.

Thank goodness, my gamble paid off.

Yes, my eyes are still red.  But they aren’t “dripping” and they are improving by the hour.

My chest congestion and cough are almost gone.  I have been sleeping like a baby–the result of a mix of one half dose Nyquil, one half dose cough syrup and one half Ativan for nausea.

And speaking of nausea, that has been improving.  Halfway through recovering from my cold, I noticed that my body was adjusting to the handful of supplements and meds I have been swallowing down.  I think the ginger is helping, too.

Got to take the good with the bad, right?

Which reminds me.  Tomorrow I am going to share some tips about staying positive in the face of adversity.  I think it is safe to say I’ve become an expert at that!

I often hear supportive comments like this from my readers:  “I admire the way you stay so positive!”

Thank you for that!  Guess it’s time to give-up some of my secrets…

Well, we are approaching Atlanta and the landing gear is down.  I’m getting a dirty look from one of the overworked flight attendants on another “far from glamorous” flight.  Time to turn-off my laptop and prepare to race to the tram to catch my connecting flight.

I hate chasing-down connecting flights in Atlanta!

Are we having fun yet?

Yep!  No worries!  My cold is breaking and my energy level is almost back to “new normal” levels.

Guess it’s time to say “Feel good and keep smiling!”  Thanks for reading- Pat