Oh No, the Immunologist just Called

Annual Confirmation of Primary Immunodeficiency

By all accounts it has been a really good year. My immunologist and I seem to have found a program that works best for me. I have logged more miles in the air than ever before, and minus an infection or two, I am still alive. I managed to run a marathon, get married, and start Immune Competence. I am not sure why though I had a sudden feeling of anxiety when my Immunologist office called the other day.

The Immunologist’s office was calling to see if I could come in for lab checkups. It has been about 9 months since I got everything checked out. In addition to just getting it done, it can help keep the insurance company at bay. I think the anxiety takes a hold as every time the office calls, the numbers are never perfect, which leads to another appointment, which leads to more lab work, which leads to frustration.

I will never forget when I was in college and I got sick after a great year. I went to my Immunologist who also treated me as my Primary Care Physician. I remember frustratingly asking her “why I am getting sick, I have done everything right, and this is unacceptable.”  She laughed at me and said “Colin I am healthy by all accounts and even I get sick 2-3 times a year.” It was a conversation that I always go back to when I get a little frustrated, and I think it is something that we all can use as a reminder.

As I dig deeper into why those calls make me feel anxious, I think it is just the heavy reminder of having Common Variable Immune Deficiency. Maybe I get sick 2-3 times a year like the average person, and then these labs, Ig numbers, and follow-up appointments are reminders that I am not average.  I have a disease called Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID).

I often think about all the things caused by this disease. I have seen other patients pass away due to complications. I wait anxiously every year for labs to see if this is the year I get the next diagnosis. In all of that though, I think about what else CVID gave me. It gave me this unique opportunity to be sharing stories with you. It gave me a very unique career. I have been able to meet thousands of patients with similar diagnosis. I have lifelong friends and a community that gets it and has been there for me when life sucked.

CVID gave me the perseverance to be inspired by what I can accomplish, by what others in the “herd” can accomplish. I see it everyday in wins that range from I got out of bed today, to patients that are completing triathlons. Everything you do to be better than CVID inspires me and I hope I can help inspire you. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes that I read often.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson