Last week I had a bit of a scare. My neutrophil count (a white blood cell responsible for fighting infection) had dropped to a pretty low level and as a result the doctors at the hospital thought it would be wisest to cancel my monthly infusion. This caught me off guard for a few reasons. Firstly, I don’t fully understand the consequences of a low neutrophil count other than it makes you susceptible to infection and also it makes it harder for your body to fight infection — both of which can lead to complications. Secondly, this will be the first time I have ever missed any infusion for a prolonged period of time. Once again, not fully understanding how the medication works and how susceptible I am to relapse makes the next four weeks a daunting prospect. Having this unsettling experience has awoken a myriad of emotions and questions and I have realised how much I still live in the shadow of the red dragon (Still’s is sometime referred to as the Red Dragon because of its unpredictable nature and devastating effects). If I was to get sick again now, am I ready for the battle? It seems like I have only just begun to get better and I am already starting to feel tired, sore and demotivated. Are these normal feelings, is this how everyone feels when they work full-time? Or am I flaring? What impact would a flare have on my relationships, goals and work? How do I find the balance between working through things and giving my body some rest.
Full-time work and living in the aftermath of Still’s has occurred in my life simultaneously, so separating and distinguishing between the effects of each is near impossible. But I hold onto Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”