Saturday, January 4, 2014

The 2013 Roller Coaster and Hope for 2014

Last year (2013) was a bit of a roller coaster.  It started and ended a bit rocky but had a fantastic middle.  The year began with my divorce.  I then enjoyed the healthiest several months of my entire adult life.  My strength and endurance improved so much that I was able to start exercising (in a limited fashion) again.  I was happy and healthy.  I could easily do things I hadn't done much of in years -- I went out with friends.  I took long walks.  I traveled.  I went dancing.  The most amazing part is that I did all these things without a major crash. 

Unfortunately, my good health decided to take a sabbatical around October.  It started with strep throat and a round of antibiotics.  Then I caught a nasty cold with a cough so bad it required codeine cough medicine (not as fun as you might think) just so I could sleep through the night.  I got another strep infection -- this time it was much worse with a higher fever and more swelling, pain, and puss on the tonsils (yum!) -- and went on another round of antibiotics.

At some point I managed to catch a case of bacterial pinkeye (which required antibiotic drops) and another strep infection (and more antibiotics), though I suspect it was the same strep infection all along that was not getting fully cured with the antibiotics.  Finally, I ended 2013 with not one but TWO urinary tract infections, each of which required a round of antibiotics.  To make these last few months even more enjoyable, I suffered from multiple cases of diarrhea and yeast infections due to all the antibiotics (despite taking high doses of probiotics).  Fun times.  

Whew! In case you weren't counting, I was on six different antibiotics from October through December. 

On the bright side, I have not lost too much of my strength and have still been able to keep active.  On the down side, I'm concerned about the toll the antibiotics have taken on my body, and I'm worried about my immune system and why it decided to fail me so much at the end of the year.  Was I just unlucky?  Was I doing too much and pushing my body too hard?  Or is there something else going on that I need to be concerned about?

I'll be making an appointment with my rheumatologist soon.

Looking back at 2013, I have to say that the great improvement in my health and quality of life thanks in large part to the CoQ10 and Plaquenil made it a good year overall.  The rocky patches were undoubtedly rough and extremely unpleasant, but I've come through relatively unscathed. 

I finished my last round of antibiotics a few days ago.  As of this moment, as far as I know, I don't have any infections (bacterial, yeast, or otherwise) and feel generally fine other than a headache.  I'll consider this a good start to 2014.  It's the little things, right?

I've got hope that 2014 will be a good year for me.  I hope it's a good one for you, too!