The big question: Why are we sick? We all want to know why MCAS is exploding. Is not just that we are understanding more, redefining things we have been aware of for ages. There’s a real increase in inflammatory disorders in humans. Why? There are too many possibilities- toxins, plastics, pollution, mobility, environmental change, use of artificial light… and on and on. It’s almost impossible to know where to start. I think I have found at least one promising direction.
A few months ago one of my Mastie friends blogged about viruses. This lovely woman got sick at the same time I did, has a similar level of severity, and we are close in age, she lives in the PNW, I live in BC, so we bonded right away. As I read her post (here Liz- I can’t find it, could you send me the link and I’ll connect to the right post.), I had a ‘It’s NOT just me!’ moment. She said that she doesn’t seem to be catching any viruses. I had noticed the same, put it down to the fact that I am so much more careful now, we are scrupulous hand washers, etc etc.. I used to get every flu or cold that was out there, half of anything upper respiratory was followed by a secondary infection. I’d need antibiotics, then inhalers for weeks, slowly regain my strength until the next one hit. I know my constant bugs were a challenge a work, I was sick all the time.
So I thought back. Me too. But it looks weirder than I thought… We are getting viruses, but they aren’t making us sick. There seems to be a general pattern- we feel unwell, like we are coming down with something, but it never develops into anything more. We seem to be fighting them incredibly well! A few weeks ago Hubby had a typical winter cold. Both kids got it, had it for a couple of days before I started to feel icky. The next morning I woke up with zero cold symptoms, and a jealous family (we had a good laugh when I asked I feel they wanted to trade- both kids ran out of the room in mock panic. They’re awesome). I used to have antibiotics twice a year, haven’t taken any in years. I thought back. I haven’t been unwell from a single virus in at least three years. (I can’t think of any since 2011, but I wasn’t really paying attention either- I had a few other things on my mind.). Not a single cold, flu, or GI bug. If your children and husband get a Norwalk type bug, not getting it yourself is practically miraculous.
It sounds like fantasy.. but as usual, truth is stranger than fiction. (as Trump often reminds us). That’s a bit of a mindbender, eh? So far I think it may be connected to the group of us who got sick(er) in 2011 (more on that once I have more survey results). Perhaps it is due to a virus of somekind, an immune system on overdrive? When I step back, being able to fight viruses is a pretty amazing thing. The population as a whole could potentially benefit from figuring this out, maybe even find a treatment for viruses. I’ve only connected with a few others who seem to be doing the same thing, it would be a great help if you would answer my recent survey, if you haven’t already. It’s bare bones, but I’m trying to eliminate possibilities at the moment, not prove them.
I’m only just beginning to ponder this question, and I would love to hear your thoughts. Perhaps this is the adaptive side of the genetic code that creates a vulnerability to MCAS? Could it actually be positive in some ways? At the moment, I can only guess, but it’s undoubtedly important. No matter how you look at it, getting viruses and not getting sick from them is pretty damned astonishing.