Sick, Sick, Sick: Is This the New Norm?

ARGH! This morning, Samantha has a fever and a honking cough! And I just met with her English teacher about make-up work & told her our goal is NO MORE MISSED SCHOOL DAYS! What is going on? I am so frustrated! Last week, she was in the clinical trial for Defend-2. Should have nothing to do with it. Yes, we were in a germ factory known as a hospital, but this is a full week later. Prior to the trial, she had the flu, even though she got a flu shot in October. Nobody else in the family got the flu. My question is: does Type 1 compromise the immune system in some way? When is this going to stop? She is picking up everything that goes around, on top of dealing with diabetes & hypothyroidism.

Having type 1 does make you more susceptible to catching the other bugs. It is the result of a compromised immune system. There are ways to reduce the stress on the body and how sick you get, but my experience has been that I catch EVERYTHING around…

I’ve had type 1 for just over a year now. Even before getting it I would take a multivitamin everyday. Now I take a diabetic multivitamin made by Sping Valley. I sit in an office with many people around me. During this last cold season they all have had very bad colds even two or three times. I’ve only had 1 minor cold and that was a mild sore throat that went away after a day or so. I also have had my flu shot and have been lucky so far with that. But - I have only had type 1 for about a year and things may change down the line hopefully for the better and not the worst.

Hope things turn around for you!

Emily just said it all there.

Yikes! Say it ain’t so! I got her MultiBetic vitamins & gave her hand sanitizer to carry. Any other ideas? I think wearing a surgical mask to high school would make her the object of ridicule.

I really can’t think of any other’s here probably can. I’ve been a Type 1 for 37 years and ALWAYS catch what’s going around. Good luck! I also have a Type 1 daughter who is now out of the house w/3 kids bless her she works in a Nursing Home and is constanly sick with something.

I don’t think this is always the case. I’m almost never sick from viruses - I never had sick days before I was diagnosed, and that didn’t change after I was diagnosed (now 36 years later).

I look at it this way. My immune system isn’t compromised - if anything my immune system is an over-achiever. In fact it is so anxious to attack things that it attacked my own beta cells. So bacteria and viruses have no chance at all.

This could just be a bad spell for your daughter - I wouldn’t be too concerned. (BTW, I don’t take vitamins or use hand sanitizer and I certainly don’t wear a surgical mask).

Dear samsmom,
I don’t think there should be any more coughs etc. than there were before she had T1 - if she is in good control. If she isn’t swinging between hypo and hyper.
Get the endo to treat her hypothyroidism well, too, so she’s normal on that.
No the immune system isn’t compromised that way. Hate to tell you to look for something else! And now that I’ve only evened out the replies, I’ll say best of luck with going after whatever is doing it! Exercise might be one place to start to help the body work on building its resources.

DEFEND-2 probably has quite a bit to do with it. i considered enrolling and one of the reasons i didn’t is that monoclonal antibodies regularly generate flu-like symptoms after infusions. from the DEFEND-2 website:

“Otelixizumab has certain potential risks associated with its use and, like any experimental drug, may have unknown risks. Side effects seen in subjects who have received otelixizumab in prior studies have ranged from mild or no side effects to moderate-to-severe flu-like symptoms. The study doctor will discuss potential risks associated with otelixizumab with you, and you will be required to sign an informed consent form before you participate in DEFEND-2. The informed consent form will provide a detailed description of what it would be like to participate in the study and the kinds of side effects that have been experienced to date.”

on the plus side, at least it’s less likely she got the placebo :slight_smile:

those are acute side effects, not after the infusion has been completed for as long as Sam has been done. The flu like reaction is an infusion reaction, common to pretty much any antibody therapy.

If she got the drug remember what otel is targeting, the CD4+ t-cells. These are also the primary drivers of immune reaction to infectious agents. The goal of otel therapy is a resetting of the immune system so that it does not recognize the beta-cells, well in doing that there is also a potential non-specific effect of knocking down the entire immune system for a period of time. It was not uncommon on the phase 2 TTEDD dosing to see people go pan-neutropenic (pretty much complete knockdown of the immune system) in the later stages of dosing and immediately after. This was a transient thing and recovery was faster than a true knockout of the immune system like with anthracycline chemotherapy, more like what is seen in treatment of ITP. So if she got the drug, it would not surprise me, or a lot of other medical people, that she would be getting sick immediately after receiving treatment.

Ok, now I see the connection. I barely have a grasp on the t-cell thing, but I’ve been reading about it. So the dosing could have “restarted” her immune system, in a way. That makes sense. But she did get the flu even before the infusion, even though she got the shot. Hopefully that was just bad luck & we’ll be kicking this stuff out the door. You know it gets depressing to battle one thing after another!

I teach high schoolers. Please don’t send her to school with the mask… We work with students who are willing to work with us! :slight_smile:

I am highly allergic to hand sanitizer (my students are not supposed to use it in my classroom… b/c of my reaction). I have found handwashing helps (and in microbiology we actually proved it killed more germs!). If she has the ability to use a sink with soap/water, that is the better bet.

I think part of the reason that I have such issues with germs is my constant high stress level more so than the diabetes (though that does not help!). The issue isn’t that I get sick more frequently than others, it is that I get sicker than most and I am more aware of a simple cold than I would be if I was not so intune with my body.

Do you have a 504 in place with extended time to get assignments in?

Yes, I finally got the counselor to write out a 504. I had to fight with her about it. She kept telling me Sam didn’t need it unless her grades dropped (which they have now, but thankfully her teachers are working with me). I’ll tell her about handwashing. She does try to avoid the school bathroom though. You could be right that she is feeling stressed and then getting hit with these viruses. I actually get to take her to the endocrinologist this week – for the first time since diagnosis in November – so I’m going to ask him about this too.

One thing I’ve noticed about being sick now versus how it was before diagnosis (closing in on two years now) is that when I do get sick it’s worse usually. Also the whole stress thing. You worry about your bg, about what to eat when you’re sick and your bg is high anyways, and work/school that you miss. It just piles on top of what your body is physically dealing with. Hope she feels better!

Good luck. If you need/want help knowing how to battle to the school system, let me know :wink: