In 2005 I acquired ear infections whilst surfing. The infections were painful and persistent. And worse, within a month, they appeared to trigger the worst relapse of arthritis that I have had thus far. I was reduced to steroids, far too much ibuprofen and crutches. The relapse arrived more or less overnight. (I’ve had even swifter relapses before, one took place literally over the space of a couple of hours while I was watching TV – I sat down, veged out, and then almost couldn’t get back up again).
This is all in the past of course, except that now I have another ear infection. Just one ear thus far and nowhere near as severe, but persistent.
Now I don’t know for certain that it was the ear infections that triggered my last relapse. The bacteria involved was not one of the classic ReA triggers but the timing of the relapse is highly suggestive.
And there’s every good reason to be hopeful that this infection – not as severe, treated sooner, possibly different bacteria – won’t have the same impact.
But it’s hard not to worry: if I get that sick again, I’ll loose many of the activities I’ve learnt to enjoy living with again; I’ll struggle to keep my job. And it could all happen overnight. So I worry.
Saturday, July 21, 2007