Monday, April 12, 2010

Crash or Flu? Or both?

Yesterday I had my third fever since I started Dr. Cheney's protocol, and my fourth one in the last year. This after about four years of never even getting a cold. Is this good or bad?

Reasons to think it was a crash:
I exerted myself Thursday by going to that lecture. Then, because I didn't feel too bad, I went out again on Saturday. Sunday I woke up with that poisoned feeling. I figured this was my crash, I'd done too much. But it was more than that, I had a fever and chills. My thermometer isn't great, but my temperature fluctuated between 99 and 101.9.

Reasons to think it was a flu:
My outing Saturday was to a children's birthday party. None of them seemed sick, but still, kids and getting sick just go together. Also, My crashes don't come with fevers.

Today I feel better though. The fever is gone. And I'm going to spend the rest of the week resting.

This is when I wish I knew more about CFS and the immune system theories. All I can remember right now is what doctors told me. At my first meeting with Dr. Enlander in November 2008, he asked me if I got colds or flus and I said I used to all the time but hadn't in the last couple of years. He said he found his patients didn't get colds and flus. I started his antiviral treatment, hepapressin (also known as Nexavir) and when I saw him again six months later, I got the flu the next day.

When I first met with Dr. Cheney, he also asked about colds and flus and I told him that I'd been cold and flu free for years, except for bad flu right after I saw Dr. Enlander. He said that could be a good sign, it could mean the hepapressin helped my immune system.

So if it could be a good sign I had one flu, could it still be a good sign I've had three more?

Again, this is where I really wish I knew more about CFS and the immune system, and the innate vs. the adaptive immune system, and all the different kinds of white cells. I never got to discuss it with him, but from the looks of my flow cytometry report ordered by Cheney, 13 out of 15 things checked were in the normal range. Even my "% Natural Killer cells in blood was normal, 8.37 when the range is from 6-20. I'm pretty sure if you have CFS you're supposed to be low on Natural Killer cells. But the % of specific NK cell lysis ("the amount of specific target cell lysis resulting from NK cell action) was a little high, 21.1 when the range is 6-20. The other abnormal result was %T cells in blood (CD3+) 80.65 when the range is 45-76. Not sure what this all means.

There's one other way to view my fever, from a holistic viewpoint. On Friday night, I had a long craniosacral session. My therapist told me that since my lymph had been stimulated I should go home and take an epsom salt bath or dry brush my skin. (I opted for the bath.) I did notice a swollen lymph node feeling on the left side of my throat that night, but it was gone the next day, which was a pretty good day, I went out to that birthday party. Sunday I had the fever. No congestion, no nausea or other flu like symptoms except for a headache. Mostly extra fatigue, chills, and fever. I wonder if it could be some kind of detox, my body fighting off an old infection.

Now that I've written this I'm done thinking about it for now. I'm going to resist the temptation to read everything about t cells and nk cells on wikipedia and just take a nap.


  1. I'm in the same boat. I've had a couple of apparent infections, with none of the usual immune response symptoms -- pain, but no mucus. I wish I knew more about the immune response, too. Sue! Where are you when we need information? ;)

  2. Ugh, I know the constant feelings of infection and swollen lymph nodes! I'm sorry you aren't feeling well Alison!

    I wish I knew how it all worked too. My blood tests come back wayyyyyy too normal for the amount of pain going through my body.


    I'm willing it to go away for both of us :)

  3. I've been getting cold after cold this year, and through most of my CFS years, never got colds. But I did get them frequently when I was stressed out before I got sick. So I'm seeing it as evidence that the immune system is mounting a response to the buggers. It's not strong enough to knock them out instantly, but at least it's not letting them co-exist inside my cells without resisting. :)

  4. That's a good way to see it, Janis.

  5. I've just started Dr. Enlander's hepapressin cocktail. I would love to compare notes to anyone on it, or whose tried it? I never get colds or flu but I get bronchitis three times a year. If someone near me has a cold, it goes into my chest... Started the shots a few weeks ago and lately I'm so exhausted midday I can't move off the couch and have a sore throat...