I posted recently 3/16, (in my support group) about the respiratory virus I caught from my 3 year old. This is my second respiratory virus since becoming Adrenal Insufficient. You might remember the first one I had over Christmas/New Years hit me hard and I had to visit the ER twice. One of those visits I had to be admitted.
I really want to share with you all what I’ve learned from these two very different experiences, and the data I’ve collected from them. Many of you already know respiratory infections are deadly serious for us, can get nasty very quickly, and stay around for a very long time. I hope some of this data will help someone else weather their next illness.
First, I’ve noticed a pattern. Both viruses had what appears to be a 2 day incubation period. Pic #1 is my journal from the first virus in December. Dec 19th I felt fantastic, the 20th and 21st I recorded a signigicant increase in fatigue and sleep, BUT DID NOT STRESS DOSE (mistake #1) and KEPT PUSHING MYSELF (mistake #2) The third day, Dec 22, symptoms began, and it would appear after re-reading this entry I also caught this one from my 3 year old (lol!) Even with symptoms present, I DID NOT STRESS DOSE. 😱 Dec 23, I could not breathe and spent the night in the ER waiting room. The 24th and 25th were also spent in the hospital, even while hospitalized, other than the initial IV steroid they gave me, I STILL DID NOT STRESS DOSE! (You can see this in my resting HR graph (Pic#2.) The climb and spike in resting HR is me getting sicker and sicker.)
For anyone else scared to stress dose because of the MG’s…guess what I was prescribed for the lung inflammation? PREDNISONE! 40mg daily! IN ADDITION to stress dosing and albuterol, a bronchial dilator. I thought 40mgs in addition to stress doing was crazy and DID NOT FOLLOW TREATMENT (mistake #3) and thought triple dosing alone would work. As a result I continued to get worse, and wound up back in the ER. The virus, inflammation, resulting infection made this illness hang around for nearly 2 months.
WHAT I’VE DONE DIFFERENTLY THIS TIME:
This time around, at the first sign of unexplained fatigue, I DOSED ACCORDINGLY👍 (pic #3.) Also, this time I RESTED!👍 When symptoms presented the third day 3/16, I SHOWED THEM NO MERCY!! 👊I hit this virus HARD with everything I had, decongestant, tons of fluids, nsaid, albuterol, as much rest as possible, and most importantly- a BIG HONKIN’ STRESS DOSE!👏 My dose is still way up, and I still have some congestion, but check out my resting HR graph (pic #4) That is waaay better than last time! Instead of a long drawn out severe illness, I can already feel myself rebounding as my appetite returns.
So what about the horrible steroid side effects? Stress dosing for illness HAS NOT caused any weight gain, bloating, or mood symptoms. When I get the cortisol I need, I do not experience any mood symptoms such as “roid rage” or anxiety. Its also worth noting stress dosing does not seem to raise my BP like inadequate dosing DOES.
Maybe I just got lucky this time, but I really contribute it more to learning the hard way lol! Viruses don’t seem to follow cookie cutter rules, and they don’t give a crap about your MG’s. Moral of the story? HEALTH NOT MILLIGRAMS!