Debilitating! The one word that describes how autoimmune diesases affects our bodies. Have you ever had a cold so severe you were exhausted and weak, so weak that you could hardly move, barley get out of bed? Weakness that lingered in your legs and arms that let you know that the amount of physical activity you just used was far too much….and you only walked to the bathroom? As a healthy individual you were able to deal for the couple of days maybe a week that it lasted then bounce back to your normal self.
Autoimmune diseases affect the body in a much more severe way that no one can understand unless you have experienced it. We don’t bounce back, we endure with the fatigue, weakness and exhaustion for months on end and it is by far much more extreme than what healthy people experience with the cold or flu. Healthy people bounce back after a nap or a good night sleep. Individuals with chronic illness do not bounce back. If we have a good day and over do it than we suffer even more the next day. We are more depleted the next day and this could go on for days even weeks, not being able to recharge fully.
Once we work at finding remission we still have to recover. The recovery period is different but just as debilitating in that we have to work up to normal again. Doctors were unable to help me and I suffered with anemia from October 2011 to mid 2015. Do you realize what that does to the body? My muscles were wasted to the point that I couldn’t make a full muscle and when I did it would fall limp and I was unable to make that muscle again for a long period of time.
Not only was my anemia reeking havoc on my body so was Crohns and Colitis which are autoimmune diseases that are fighting against the body. In explaining how autoimmune disease attack the body shows how hard we have to work to regain our health after a flare. I also suffer with Graves Disease and Fibromyalgia, that’s 4 autoimmune diseases in 1 body. Another thing to realize is that the human body heals itself but it takes as long to heal as it took to get the body as sick as it was.
All through these healing stages we are dealing with debilitating fatigue, weakness and exhaustion which makes it impossible to function most days. There is so much more to autoimmune diseases than what you find on webMD, mayo clinic and other google searches. Healing requires an exorbitant amount of sleep which is when your body is repairing itself. Understanding and patience is all I need from family and friends, I hope my fellow spoonies find these two qualities in the ones closest to them.
hope, peace & love ~Andrea