When my immunologist first told me I had an immune deficiency my first reaction was one of enormous relief. I had no idea why I took so very long to get over any infection, in particular chest and sinus infections. I’d accepted chronically infected sinuses as my lot in life. For years I’d been pestered by well-meaning friends telling me my diet was deficient. My problem was that I was on antibiotics so much of the time, hence weakening my immune system. At their urging, I’d reluctantly tried a multitude of vitamins and things like colloidal silver, only to be told, when they failed to work, that they didn’t work because I didn’t believe in them! To be told there might be a real reason for all this was a huge relief. I also had an auto-immune disorder called myasthenia gravis which causes extreme muscle weakness after even very moderate use. I’d had to leave teaching as my mouth muscles just couldn’t last a whole day and my leg muscles weren’t up to running up and down a soccer field or a netball court. I hated this disability, it’s a right pain.
When I was told I could have a treatment which involved a regular IV infusion for the rest of my life, I hesitated. I knew it was extremely expensive and, already in my early sixties, I felt the tax payers’ money was better spent on someone younger. So, I refused. But a talk with a field officer some months later changed my mind, and when I heard there was a chance the myasthenia might improve, I was sold on the idea. Another strange thing was that I’d had endless dental problems. For instance, every root filling and crown I’d had had become infected, and after spending many thousands of dollars I’d lost all the teeth that were root filled due to abscesses. When I told my dentist I was immune deficient he said it explained much that had puzzled him about my dental problems. Who knew your immune system affected your teeth?
Once I began infusions I waited for the myasthenia to improve. It didn’t at first and I was dreadfully disappointed. But, after about five or six months there was a marked improvement, and since then I’ve had one long remission and although the disorder returned it has never been as bad as it was originally. A miracle! And I’ve not had one attack of either bronchitis or a respiratory infection since I began the infusions. No longer are my sinuses chronically infected. I do get infections but not like I used to. The infusions changed my life. I do take much longer to get over other infections than is usual but I’m getting older and heh, nothing’s perfect. The small inconvenience of regular infusions is worth it a hundred times over. And the staff at immunology are such wonderful people they make the visits a pleasure – almost.