Navigating Cold and Flu Season After LEMTRADA By Rachel, Wife, Mother, Domestic Engineer • January 21, 2019
Guess what time it is: it’s cold and flu season—that time of year when everywhere you turn, people are sniffling, sneezing, wheezing, and coughing. What’s a germaphobe to do?
Living in the northeast, where we have those beautiful yet abrupt changes of season, there’s a variety of different “bugs” that we experience. Being vigilant without being paranoid can be a fine line to walk. It’s all about doing your best to avoid unwanted, unnecessary exposure to germs and viruses. Nobody wants to be sick; especially when you’re already dealing with the challenges of being a superhero, like those of us living with a chronic condition like relapsing multiple sclerosis do—am I right?
I do my best to make handwashing a habit. Just by doing this you can prevent a lot of potential illnesses. My kids know the rule: always wash your hands with soap and warm water as soon as you get home. To make sure they are being thorough, I tell them to sing their ABCs song two times while washing.
Putting this small practice into effect can make a world of difference for your health. Just think about all the viruses that are out there in the world. Wash them away if you can! Of course, there’s no guaranteed way to avoid getting sick, but you can reduce your risk.
Another important part of navigating through the cold and flu season for me is to keep an open line of communication with my healthcare providers. I’m thankful to have a great team who has my best interests at heart. I talk to my doctor about possible actions I can take in order to go into the season prepared and as healthy as possible.
With all of that being said, let’s talk about LEMTRADA. The month that I had my infusions was smack in the middle of cold and flu season. I wasn’t nervous about it at all—kidding! I was totally nervous about the infusions, even before thinking about all the yuck and sickness of cold and flu season.
The decision to start my treatment with LEMTRADA wasn’t something that my husband and I came to lightly. It was a lot of educating ourselves, talking with my doctor and team of healthcare providers, and self-advocating that brought me to my decision. My nurses made sure I was educated and well prepared. I had everything I needed—that included my cute little bag I took to and from the infusion center each day, which contained reading material as well as baby wipes to clean my hands.
After I completed my infusion course, I continued to try to avoid sick people and “germ vectors”—in other words, elementary school students. I enjoy volunteering at my kids’ schools, but I thought it would be best to avoid that while I recovered from the infusions. I made good use of my handwashing methods and was pleasantly surprised that I did not catch a cold or get the flu after my infusions. Soon after I recovered from the infusions, I was able to comfortably volunteer at the school again.
I know that if you’re reading this blog, you are probably curious about LEMTRADA and want to know how others have handled the cold and flu season during and after treatment. Everyone’s experience is different, which is why it’s so important to be your own advocate and work with your healthcare provider to find a treatment that works for you. I am so thankful that I was able to do that.
I encourage you to find a live event near you, or watch an online event and learn more about LEMTRADA. You’ll hear from an Ambassador—hey, maybe it will even be me! I hope you can give me some tips that you have for facing the cold and flu season.
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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Attend a live event or watch one online to learn more about LEMTRADA.
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