Catching a cold normally would not bother me much, but since my spinal cord injury it causes all kinds of issues. I can deal with the sore throat, runny nose, and congestion, but the extra pain and spasms it causes are unbearable at times, sending my pain soring to an 8+ at times. The overall skin sensitivity is also elevated making it difficult to get dressed and move around.
Most people when they catch a cold are still able to somewhat function and don’t have to worry about loosing bladder function. Unfortunately for me, getting a cold means stronger more severe muscle spams in my back which then trigger my bladder to want to empty. Even if I have just gone it will still trigger the response and I have to make a mad dash for the nearest restroom. Just another fun issue associated with living with a spinal cord injury.
Having a cold also reeks on my spasticity. It increases the muscle stiffness and the rate at which my muscle tire. Most people tend to tire more easily when they have a cold, but they can continue to do things like go to work or pick up a bit around the house. For me, it makes just getting out of bed a massive task. The stiffness in my legs is intense and makes them feel like they weigh 100 lbs a piece. Walking becomes more difficult because my legs feel like they are dragging through heavy cement and my balance is reduced even more than normal.
Being sick with a common cold suck for everyone, but it has much more of an impact on those of us with impaired bodies. From increased pain and exacerbation spasticity it is not just a simple cold. The only way to stop it is prevention. I do my part by washing my hands frequently, staying away from those who appear to be ill, take my supplements drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. Now all we need is for others to do their part-Stay home when you are sick and do not share your germs.
People often wonder who should get the flu vaccine. It is recommended that anyone who is 6 months of age and older. It may be more crucial for some due to other health issue. Those who have the following conditions should not wait but instead be vaccinated as soon as possible:
Anyone who is considered a high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu like:
Those that have medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, fibromyalgia and chronic lung disease.
Woman that are pregnant
The elder population (65 years and older).
Everyone who care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications (This includes people who live in the same household, caregivers of those that have medical conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, and diabetes).
When should I get vaccinated?
CDC recommends that people receive their vaccination as soon as it is available in their community. Flu seasons vary from year to year but can start as early as October.
It takes approximately two weeks after you receive the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.
Doctors and nurses are encouraged to begin vaccinating their patients as soon as flu vaccine is available to them.
Do I need a flu vaccine every year?
Yes, a Flu vaccine is needed every year due to the fact that the flu viruses are constantly changing. It’s not uncommon for new flu viruses to appear each year. The influenza vaccine is prepared each year to sustain the changing flu viruses.
Getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout flu season.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
Influenza vaccines are offered by various locations which include doctor’s offices, public health departments, and pharmacies. Some college health centers, employers, and schools may also offer the vaccine.
People who do not have a regular doctor can receive the vaccine by going to places such as the local public health clinic, a pharmacy, an urgent care clinic, and your college health center, or work.
The good news is that are medications that can be given to treat the flu. They are called antiviral drugs. These medications can shorten the length of the illness and reduce your symptoms. The medications can also prevent serious flu-related illnesses such as pneumonia