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Mildly stricken; blue
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you determine whether you're coming down with something or have a mild virus/bacterial infection, vs feeling bad like usual?

All of the symptoms that used to let me know I was getting sick...they're ongoing and ever present now.

I'm especially concerned about this because of flu season and the novel H1N1. I'd like to avoid babies, pregnant women, and anyone with chronic health problems if there's any chance that I'm sick, but I don't know what to do because I always feel like I'm coming down with something, even though that's rarely the case.

I isolate too much as it is, so I'd rather not do more of that.

Have you learned clues or tools to determine whether you're really getting sick, as opposed to the usual body beating itself up?

Dunno if this is significant as far as knowing how to tell, but I don't take steroids or immunosupressive meds. I do take tons of ibuprofen, as well as plaquenil.
 

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Hello there :)

You've asked a very good question there and the answer is that it's not always very easy to tell. You simply learn with time to know yourself well enough. I would say that if feeling mildly fluish is your "norm" for the moment then I wouldn't worry unduly about it unless that worsened and if it did then it's always better to be safe and see the doc.

You are right that we already suffer from a degree of isolation and I think it is important for mental health (which can affect the rest) to keep active in society (even if not physically active :lol:).

You are right though that immunosuppressants and pred can make a difference for some people. On the one hand they can lower immunity and on the other, pred can mask the "symptoms" associated with an infection and you might not actually notice them early enough. That's why "if in doubt, go to see the doc."

As you are not on immunosuppressants or pred you shouldn't be at more risk of picking up infection and you just need to be careful of not ignoring things and always blaming lupus.

I know that doesn't really answer your question but really the answer is so individual that it's a question of learning ones reaction.

One thing though. If you are truly feeling terrible all the time and not seeing an improvement in disease activity, you might want to discuss other med options with your rheumy (depending on how long you have been on plaquenil etc.).

You should also (according to all guidelines) be getting vaccinated against both seasonal flu and swine flu.

Katharine
 

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Hi, I suppose if you feel fluey all the time with your lupus, it can be hard to tell the difference. Usually if I am sick the symptoms intensify and I know then it is something other than lupus. Hope this helps.

Deb
 

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I most always feel some shade of fluish too... but I know that I am really coming down with something when any of the following happens (1) vomiting (2) fever over 100.5. or (3) a dry/scratchy/sore throat. My circumstances are a little different in that I've been raising a young child and have had a lot of bugs the last 4+ years now so I've been sick a lot.

I guess the good thing is I know when I'm catching something at least. Only with the first two symptoms on my list will I definitely avoid other people as cold viruses are fairly easy for an adult to prevent transmission...

Hope this helps.
 

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Mildly stricken; blue
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100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
o yes, thanks! I'm still figuring out what's "normal" for my kind of mild lupus, too, so I will check in with my docs about feeling better!

But high fever, vomiting...good clues! Seems simple, but this can be so confusing, especially with depression and a brain that is on the fritz half the time. So, thanks again for your feedback - very helpful. The throat thing...hadn't thought of that but now that I do, it's really quite accurate, and stands out from any of my usual stuff.
 

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Hi

Like you I feel fairly fluey much of the time. I guess it is simply a question of noticing what is different for you - an itchy sore throat is a normal lupus/sjorgren's/allergy indicating symptom for me.

Merle
 
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