One of the drawbacks of injecting immune-suppressors every week is that they suppress your immune system. I never used to get colds at all, but since I began injecting these disease modifying drugs (designed to slow down the progression of my multiple sclerosis) they seem to hit me harder every year.
The sniffles I can manage, but I now seem to usually get a secondary infection in my lungs that lasts for ages as my body lacks the tools to fight it off - it took months to finally shake it off last year. The current infection is about 3-4 weeks in and has completely stopped me running (well, apart from two predictably difficult half marathons and a couple of parkruns that I stubbornly insisted on running).
I've had one course of antibiotics already and just started the next one; I'm using a brown inhaler twice a day and I'm supposed to be using a blue one 4 times a day; I'm also now having a chest x-ray. Good times. The doctor today saw me chafing at the bit to get out running (I've got two half marathons, two 20 mile races and a marathon in the diary to train for, you know!) and warned me to be nice to myself.
That's the hard part.
They say you should never run if a cold descends into your chest, but I'd be interested to hear the views of the people who say this on running when you can't feel your feet and have widespread numbness throughout the muscles of your thighs; or when you've lost 15% of the muscle mass on your left side and a good deal of the flexibility in one ankle.
Let's be honest: if I listened to my body, I'd probably never run at all.
Not that I'm planning on going out for a run.
Before Saturday, anyway.
*** I feel I should say that this post isn't supposed to be a pity party. I sometimes get accused of being overly rosy about MS and presenting a view that applies to very few people. I can, after all, run a marathon. I suppose this means I feel a bit of responsibility to show the other side too. MS can be an invisible condition, and for every time I'm shown as #inspiration, smiling as I finish a marathon or something, I feel I need to be honest about the rest of it too. I know that I'm still relatively very lucky with my MS. I'm not really looking for sympathy because the only thing this infection is stopping me doing is running, and I'm still doing a bit of that. It's frustrating, especially after my 4 week layoff in September, but it's hardly the end of the world.
Incidentally, I also know that my loss of sensation and muscle are nothing at all like running with a chest infection. I'm just blowing off steam. Probably best to ignore me, really.
Finding the glimmers
2 days ago