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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Professor

Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center

Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
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Multiple Sclerosis Institute
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Weill Medical College of Cornell University

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New York-Presbyterian Hospital
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Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center

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‘Man Flu’ Plus MS Have Me at Death’s Door

By Trevis Gleason

Illness and infection worsen MS sympotms.My current bout with a recurring sinus infection is making me feel like a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troglodyte.

It’s a simple and relatively insignificant infection; a “healthy” person would just pack a few extra tissues and get on with his day. I, on the other hand, feel like I’m a walking (well, stumbling), talking poster child for Man Flu.

Men Really Get Sicker. Really!
For those who haven’t heard of Man Flu, it’s a term for the severity with which my gender suffers from the most insignificant of bugs. A bit of a virus and we men are down and out, looking to be taken care of 24/7, moaning and groaning at little aches and pains while bemoaning that we’re surely on death’s door and have somehow contracted a new strain of the plague.

While this idea is mainly played for laughs, the possibility that estrogen (which women have in greater amounts than men) may reduce the severity of influenza has actually been the subject of laboratory research.

MS and Infection: One Thing Leads to Another
For those of us living with multiple sclerosis (MS) — both men and women — the slight elevation of body temperature from a fever can sap our energy and make living with a simple ailment much more difficult. No laughs here.

My sleep is interrupted because I can’t breathe, so my MS fatigue is greater the next day. Fatigue makes my cog-fog worse, so I spend my waking hours behind reality’s veil. I shuffle my feet but still trip on the smallest things. Thinking about food (let alone the task of cooking) is more than I can handle, so I eat like crap and suffer the consequences.

My eyes shake in their sockets, so reading (and often writing) is out. The general apathy and malaise make picking out a film to occupy my time a joyless endeavor. And a bright, sunny day seems only to add insult to the injury of the occasion.

Now throw into that the way that my stressing over all of these little things can impact my MS and its symptoms, and we’ve one big mess of a day — or week.

It’s Absurd, but It’s Real
Like Joe Blow with a mild case of the sniffles, yet having visions of the pearly gates, I know that I’m being one of the biggest babies in the county. I apologize to Caryn over and over. I really do recognize the absurdity of the whole thing … but the fact is I am affected more by these little things.

It’s the end of the first of what the farmers hope will be three cuttings of hay this summer. I guess I should prepare for another couple of rounds with this hay fever-induced Man Flu. Until then, I seem to be coming out from under that blanket for long enough to get a blog off for posting … even if it is only one this week, and on the last day of it.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EVERYDAYHEALTH
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length


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