Why Getting Sick While You Have a Chronic Condition Is a Big Deal

Yeah, maybe it’s “just a cold” or “just a sinus infection,” but to us it feels like a terrible flu. No, this is not comparable to a “man cold,” these are the symptoms we already have every day mixed with the new symptoms of whatever we have.

Take my fibromyalgia for instance. Every day I feel like I have been carrying around 20 pounds on each arm the whole day, my head swims and I am often confused, my joints hurt every time I move (even more so if there’s bad weather), and some days I have so much pain I can barely get out of bed. My body itches, my joints grind, my muscles are tight and won’t loosen up, and I have problems seeing straight sometimes.

Now let’s add symptoms of a common cold, shall we? More muscle pain (yes, it gets worse), nasal congestion, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, chills, fatigue, fever, watery and itchy eyes, sinus pressure, headaches, chest pressure and discomfort, sore throats and mucus buildup.

Perfectly healthy people only get the cold symptoms; people with chronic conditions get all the cold symptoms plus everything else they get every day. Try to imagine having to deal with that. Imagine dealing with fibromyalgia symptoms every single day, then add on the cold symptoms for a couple weeks. It can turn a small cold into something very big. Yes, it might pass, but it still can put us in bed as if we had the flu or pneumonia.

If you have a loved one who has a chronic condition like me, please understand that they can’t just bounce back like you might from a cold. They can’t go to work with a “little cold” and they can’t ignore it.

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