Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Uncommon Cold

There is nothing common about having a cold with myasthenia gravis and diabetes. I've been dealing with a cold for just under a week. Colds make everyone feel weak. Add MG into the mix and I have been limp as a rag doll.

I find a stuffy nose intolerable. It makes me short of breath and I feel just frantic when I can't breathe through my nose. Of course, being short of breath freaks out my breathing muscles, which makes them even weaker. The spiral effect has put me in the hospital before. Infection can trigger a myasthenic crisis. I haven't had a crisis since 2005 and I would like to keep it that way. Since there is no such thing as a common cold for me, I act quickly when I get sick.

Before I was diagnosed with diabetes I would take over the counter decongestants to keep my nose halfway functional. Anything I can do to stop MG from spiraling out of control is a good thing. Except... except now I have diabetes. All the cold medicines warn not to take them if you have diabetes. Once again I found myself unable to balance diabetes care with MG care. Or, more accurately, I found myself at the crossroads of Screwed Avenue and F***ed Boulevard.

If I take cold medicine my blood sugar will go crazy.
If I don't take cold medicine MG will go crazy.

Which wins?

MG wins. 

Breathing trumps any other concern. If my blood sugar spikes, I can add a temp basal and manage it. But, if I stop breathing I proceed directly to dead. Sometimes at the corner of Screwed Avenue and F***ed Boulevard there are no good choices. Fortunately, Afrin had little noticeable impact on my blood sugar. It did the job and helped my breathing even out. Thank goodness for that. My trick for preventing nasal spray addiction is gradually diluting it with saline so I avoid rebound congestion. I only use Afrin for three days, too. It's not a perfect solution but it works for me.

I'm still coughing. Still weak. But, I'm doing a little better every day and that *Achoo!* matters.


  1. You're such a freaking trooper, M.

    Hope you get back to feeling 100% real soon. Thinking of you and sending positive vibes!

  2. I didn't realise something as simple as decongestants could impact blood sugar. It's a real balancing game!

    Hope you're feeling better soon.

  3. Thanks Scott. I'm on my way back up. It takes a lot more than a cold to knock this trooper down. :)



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