Reduce The Chance Of Infections
For me infections (colds, flu …) are one of the major triggers for flares. Every year I used to get a couple of colds and a couple of sore throats and Tonsillitis which combined would result in 5-6 weeks of pretty bad flares, essentially turning these mild infections into the Flu. Then I would spend many more weeks trying to rebuild my strength and wean myself off the pain killers that helped me survive the flares. It was pretty grim. But I was also lucky, because whilst the flares were bad the sysmptoms of the cold, cough etc were extremely mild. I only ever got the sniffles or a slightly sore throat or a few spots on my tonsils, but my immune system went wild and knocked me for six. I put all of these infections down to Methotrexate and it was one of the main reasons that I decided to lower my dose, but at the same time I didn’t want to go back to the full force of a normal infection a few times a year.
I decided that as I lowered my dose I would need to do a whole load of other things to try and reduce my chances of infections, these are the main things:
- I dramatically improved my diet, eating much more nutritious foods getting way more than the RDAs for vitamins and minerals and pretty much all from food.
- I spent more time in the fresh air
- I stopped flying and generally avoided places where there were lots of people, especially children. For example I stopped going shopping
- When I went to cafes, I made sure to sit in quiet corners
- I carried a anti-bacterial gel in the car to use when I went into motorway service stations and the like and I paid more attention to carefully washing my hands all the time
- I focussed on getting at least 8 hours of sleep
- I started to do Yoga Nidra every day
I’m not sure which combination of these things worked, or maybe I’ve just been lucky, but this last year I’ve had only one mild bout of Tonsillitis and not a single cold. As a result most of these bad infection triggered flares have gone from my life. Unfortunately they’ve been replaced by other milder flares, and I have less pain free days.
Given the option though I think it’s a good trade. I’d rather skip the high pain days where I’m fit for nothing but lying on the sofa feeling sorry for myself, than have a few euphoric pain free days that remind me of what I’m missing and all to quickly get cruelly taken away.
I’m sitting in Caffe Nero today, I’ve hobbled here very slowly to write this post, get myself out of the house and enjoy a walk along the sea front in the fresh air. I’m struggling today because I had the Flu jab yesterday and that always triggers a nasty short flare, but then I think, if I flare like this after that jab, what would the Flu do to me!! The photo is of the beach I enjoyed this morning.