“Autoimmune diseases affect approximately 8% of the population, 78% of whom are women” (US Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Among the autoimmune diseases I’ve heard of are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, celiac disease, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and more. No one is really sure what causes them. I have a genetic marker that is often linked with the type of disease that I have. Some people believe the diseases have links to GMOs. The CDC suggests that they may be linked to previous infection.
Whatever the case, autoimmune diseases are a malfunction of the little soldiers in our bodies that fight disease. They are a bit trigger happy, you might say. They attack when there is nothing to attack. They are always running around fighting something in our bodies, even when there is nothing to fight. In my body, they gather around my joints, in my skin, and in my eyes. They gather, they shout, they fire, they fight!
You may have noticed when you are sick, and these little soldiers are fighting their hardest, you have to go to bed and rest. They wear you out! You feel achey all over, you have a fever, a sore throat, you feel blah. That is what autoimmune disease feels like most days.
One way to treat an autoimmune disease is to take immunosuppressants — Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, etc. These drugs tell the little fighting soldiers in your body to “be ‘at ease’, the infection you are imagining is not really an infection. It’s a hallucination, so calm down.” That is all well and good until there is an actual infection. The fighting soldiers are ‘at ease’ according to their orders, so little enemies can infiltrate the system virtually undetected.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have been infiltrated. Last week, my dear husband had a minor cold — a little sniffle here, a little sneezing there. I felt great. I washed the sheets. I washed my hands. I kept my distance. But, some of those little enemies abandoned him and scurried over to me. They hid for a couple of days, scoping out the opposition. But they could see that my soldiers were inside their tents, under orders to “be at ease”. They decided it was safe to ‘be fruitful and multiply’.
So, I feel a little like I’ve been hit by a truck.
Not to worry. Those enemies underestimated the host body. I am not one to be messed with. I dragged myself out of bed this morning, took some Emergen-C, some Dayquil, drank a kale-hemp-berry-almond-flax-chia smoothie, made some strong black tea, and looked those little buggers in the eyes. “Come at me.”
I immediately felt a scurrying and fleeing. These little infiltrators now realize that I have had serious disease fighting training in the school of motherhood and the advanced training of teaching in a high school (with juniors — ew). Besides, I have God on my side. I am assured a victory. I am not going to lie down and be beaten. I have taken out my earrings, pulled my hair back, and I am ready.
I bet even you can hear them fleeing.
Though an army besiege me, I will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.