Speaking of sleepless nights

You haven’t truly lived until it’s 4am and you can’t sleep because everything hurts so you think hey, I’ll get some… something from… somewhere for this and you go to the kitchen for ibruprofen or maybe a magic drug appeared in your cabinet as quickly and mysteriously as your illness appeared… but then your knees buckle and when you grab the edge of the counter, your thumb joint buckles too. See, I’ve been sick lately and went to the doctor last week and was prescribed an antibiotic called Bactrim. Two days after starting it, I woke up with all of my joints locked up and painful. I spent all day trying to figure out the mystery: arthritis? meningitis? dengue fever? Finally I remembered that once, long-ago, I’d had an auto-immune response to another antibiotic (huge rash everywhere; lots of fun in D.C. in 2003). It turned out that the two antibiotics were chemically related, both called sulfa drugs. And a “lupus-like syndrome” is a rare side effect. Leave it to me to be rare. Basically, my immune system was attacking my own tissue. So I spent much of today angry at Western medicine for poisoning me, drinking water to flush out the drug, and saying random rant-y things to my body like, “stop eating yourself!” Luckily it’s slowly getting better.

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