Brian’s Sick and I’m So Tired

This episode discusses the added workload that was put on Lupe as Brian fought off an illness over the weekend. These little things we didn’t think of, but if we had, we could have planned for an easier experience for Lupe.

Lupe & Brian:     Welcome to another episode of Sjogren’s Strong.

Brian:    This is Brian.

Lupe:     And this is Lupe.

Brian:    And this is your weekly podcast discussing how to live an active and healthy lifestyle despite a diagnosis of Sjogren’s.

Lupe:     How are you feeling, Brian?

Brian:    Um, so I’m sure as, you can all hear I’m a little under the weather, still.


New Speaker:    A lot under the weather.

Brian:    Typically, every two to three years I get sick to the point it puts me down. Friday about noon I started feeling ill and fortunately I had some DayQuil in the office, which was strange. I don’t know why it was here. But I started pounding DayQuil to get me through the day. Finished doing what I had to get done and I went home and you know, curled up in the fetal position and cried like a little baby.

Lupe:     Like a little girl.

Brian:    And my wife stepped up and took awesome care of me. But we’re going to talk more about that.

Brian:    Brian came home, he put on his flannel PJ’s, curled under the blanket and I’m like, what’s going on? We have this awesome four day weekend prepared and he’s like, nope, not happening.

Brian:    Before we get into the meat and potatoes of that, Lupe?

Lupe:     What?

Brian:    Happy birthday.

Lupe:     Oh geez. Happy birthday to me..

Brian:    How old are you?

Lupe:     You’re not supposed to ask the lady that.

Brian:    Okay. How old are you?

Lupe:     Oh! I’m not a lady? Rude. This is what I get at home all the time.

Brian:    Lupe is 21.

Lupe:     Times about three or four.

Brian:    She’s now old enough to drink but doesn’t because of Sjogren’s.

New Speaker:    I’m actually 47.

Lupe:     Yeah. Sorry. I kind of jacked up birthday weekend plans.

Lupe:     We had a four day weekend planned. We were going to go to Twin Lakes. It was, yeah.

Brian:    Yeah.

Lupe:     It’s okay. You’ll make it up to me.

Brian:    I will. I will. So what we were going to be discussing, we are now flipping the script a little bit and we’re going to talk about the impact of me being ill and down for the weekend had on Lupe. What we did right and what we could have done better and will do better next time.

Lupe:     There better not be the next time. You better not get sick like that again.

Brian:    Well, odds are I will get sick again in my lifetime.

Lupe:     Guys, you guys want to know something? I get really stressed out when Brian gets sick because I don’t want to call you a caregiver, but your kind of are, right? He’s the one that steps up and you know, I’m not much of a cook and had to cook and do everything. And I got really stressed out,

Brian:    I know when I’m getting sick and I don’t want to say I muscle through it. I’m a DayQuil guy. If I have to go to work because I have to work. And then when I get home, I take NyQuil and I go to sleep. And when I wake up, I drink water, I take NyQuil and I go back to sleep. And when I wake up, I take NyQuil and I drink some water and I go back to sleep.

Brian:    And if I’m hungry, I eat. Or if food’s prepared, I’ll eat something. But I know my body just needs to rest. And if I’m sleeping, I’m resting. And if it comes Monday, like today, I wake up, I get to work, I started feeling bad again. So I’ve taken some DayQuil, you know, I’ve got to muscle through it. I have work that needs to be done.

Brian:    And that obviously disrupts life at home. Because I do cook, I clean up after the dogs, you know. I do enough around the house to where if I’m down, it severely impacts Lupe. And she has to step up and do things she doesn’t like doing, not comfortable doing.

Brian:    But it also adds exertion into her life and fatigues her. And especially when I’m sick, I don’t want her to get sick. If she does and I am, I step up and I take care of her because of the Sjogren’s. But having Sjogren’s and having that compromised immune system, she is so susceptible to being ill and we do our best not to allow that to happen.

Lupe:     I tell Brian, Brian, stay in the bedroom, do not come out unless absolutely necessary. Thankfully, I’m not sick yet. So I’ve been doing everything I can to avoid Bran and he’s a whiny baby. He was like, oh, but I want to cuddle. And I said, nope.

Brian:    No cuddle for you.

Lupe:     Anyways, so what did I do for Brian? I put on the humidifier, added a little Vicks to it. Um, it helps put moisture in the air. And what does Vicks do?

Brian:    It just opens up your, uh, your airway, allows you to breathe a little easier.

Lupe:     You know, it worked for him and it worked for me, cause I can’t live without the humidifier. So that was awesome.

Lupe:     What did we do right this weekend, while Brian was sick? Um, we always have easy to prepare foods at home. I think that was my main stressor because I don’t cook. So trying to figure out what to cook, to feed Brian, cause I know he’s sick. Uh, really stressed me out. But we had a few things.

Brian:    Yeah, she stepped up. Um, I mean, you know, and it’s nothing, no Michelin star is going to be earned.

Lupe:     What? But I was so proud.

Brian:    Let’s put it that way. But you did an awesome job. You know, cup of noodle soup.

Speaker 2:           Yay. Easy.

Brian:    That broth made me feel better and you know, it gave me some nourishment and life was good. That was one meal.

Lupe:     Oh. Oh. Oh. And what about the cheese and crackers?

Brian:    Saturday she for me, American cheese slices quartered on Saltine cracker, to go with my chicken noodle soup.

Lupe:     That’s awesome. Isn’t it?

Brian:    It was, she plated it beautifully.

Lupe:     I made like little flowers.

Brian:    Um, but no, uh, the next morning, toaster waffles. Again, just basic, simple things. We typically have a gluten free pizza crust from Trader Joe’s, that’s frozen. And then we take our favorite sauces and a little bit of cheese, ah, fresh veg and throw it on it and just throw it in the oven. It’s an easy to make pizza. Uh, very little effort. But she threw one of those together.

Lupe:     And even that stresses me out. I always feel like it’s not going to taste good. You know, you’re always your worst critic.

Brian:    Yeah. But she stepped up and did a great job. So that’s one thing we did right this weekend. What we should have foreseen and didn’t, was the fact that it was flu season.

Lupe:     So, we didn’t have any type of over the counter meds at home. We didn’t have NyQuil, DayQuil, cough drops. We didn’t have any of that stuff. So I had to go to the store by myself, which uh.

Brian:    Is usually bad cause six hours later she comes home showing me new purses.

Lupe:     Oh shoot. Or when I go to the grocery store by myself, I come home with nothing but junk food, Doritos, donuts, crackers. Not good. But, uh, anyways, uh, I went to Walmart, I bought some, some DayQuil he only, he asked me for NyQuil because he wanted to fall asleep, rest his body and but I also got him DayQuil.

Brian:    Which was awesome because I actually brought it to work and I’m consuming that now.

Lupe:     I got cough drops, Ricola.

Brian:    I like Ricola.

Lupe:     I actually wanted to buy some masks and stuff, but I didn’t.

Brian:    Other than that we had a Vicks Vapor rub in the house. We had the Vicks additive for the humidifier in the house. We typically like to keep the house a little cooler. Just I think that’s more of an old school home remedy, if it’s cold germs don’t spread as fast.

Brian:    But, I like the fact that if I get hot underneath blankets, I can peel them off and immediately cool down. Um, and a few times my fever did spike to where I actually went out back and just had the cold air hit me and cool me down quite a bit.

Brian:    Knowing that cold flu season’s coming, having those things in the house wouldn’t have been a huge expense and would have prevented her from having to go to the store to get those things, which adds to her fatigue.

Brian:    You know, we have to think to, when her anxiety goes up because she knows she has cook and take care of me and get me meds and get me orange juice and just cater to me because I’m down, that anxiety tires you out, as well. So it’s kind of a double edged sword.

Brian:    But again, she did an awesome job this weekend and really stepped up and took great care of me and the dogs and you know, I woke up one time and dishes were even done. I was like, what?

Brian:    You know what, my main chore around the house is really just doing laundry. Right? Um, once in a while I’ll do dishes. I mean, you know, other regular chores, but having to do all these things, look after the dogs, feed ’em.

Lupe:     We have what I’m going to call a senior dog because, um, she’s 10 years old and she’s all of a sudden starts whining and gimping. And she’s just old and in pain. So, you know, I had to take care of her. And give her, her pain meds and feed her and pick up after them. I was really stressed out.

Lupe:     On top of Brian, would wake up, give me this, give me that, I’m like, ah, just feel better already. But, uh, I did it. I survived. I don’t feel sick. I haven’t gotten sick. I’ve been doing my best to wash my hands, use sanitizer. So we’ll see how it goes.

Brian:    Yeah. So in addition to doing these things, she normally doesn’t do, around the house, you know. Just all these little added things, they can add up, if you have Sjogren’s. So it’s not a normal day. You’re not going to get up and go through your routine. You’re going to get up, go through your routine, and then take care of that loved one who’s sick and ill.

Brian:    And then the added responsibilities of taking care of the dog and cooking and doing store runs and meds. And I mean, I don’t know how many times she got up to refill my orange juice. I probably drank two gallons of orange juice over the weekend.

Brian:    But it’s all that back and forth that’s added. And for those of you with Sjogren’s, you understand how that can tax the body and then you add on top of that the anxiety of having to do all these things. The anxiety of wanting to stay away because you don’t want to get sick and then washing your hands and sanitizing and doing all this extra stuff. It can be very, very taxing for you.

Brian:    So, the takeaway from this episode is the things we could have done would be to pre-plan a little better. We, again, know cold and flu seasons coming. Get some basic meds in the house, make sure there’s enough easy to prepare foods in the house for somebody who is sick.

Brian:    You know you shouldn’t be eating steak, shouldn’t be eating a lot of dairy. The chicken noodle soup, the broths. The something easy to digest is perfect for anybody when they’re sick. But you consume, as well, so you’re not having to cook two separate things.

Brian:    So, some of the stuff we had, some of this stuff we didn’t but it added store runs and added some more anxiety to the weekend, as well.

Lupe:     And sometime yesterday I sat down and I just crashed, for I want to say several hours. And I don’t know what woke me, maybe it was a dog’s, maybe Brian nudged me cause he needed some more meds. Not sure. But uh, I got really fatigued just doing regular stuff. You know, it kind of amazes me.

Brian:    Yeah. Well I mean you finished up laundry. Yeah. Yesterday you went down for, you had a nice three hour nap or so in the afternoon.

Brian:    But what I tried doing Friday, especially Saturday, cause that’s when he was really down when he was asleep. I just kind of tried napping, as well, because I didn’t know what he was going to need when he was awake. Get me this, get me that, go to the store, you know. So when he was napping, I tried napping too.

Brian:    It was awesome of you Lupe, you stepped up this weekend. You took great care of me. You, if you hadn’t, I wouldn’t be feeling as good as I am right now. So I thank you.

Lupe:     You’re welcome. And on that note, it made me appreciate everything that you do for me even more because that’s pretty much what you do for me every day.

Brian:    I got your back.

Lupe:     Thank you.

Brian:    We have each other’s backs.

Lupe:     We do. And I hope you get better and feel better. And I hope I don’t get sick because guess what? This Saturday is?

Brian:    What?

Lupe:     It’s the LA walk for Sjogren’s.

Lupe:     It is. And this is our very last call to action for the walk this year. Since last episode, we had a few contributions and thank you very, very much to those of you who contributed to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation by supporting Team Living Sjogren’s Strong. We greatly appreciate that.

Brian:    When you’re hearing this episode on Wednesday, if you’re listening to it on drop day, there’s just four short days to help us out. We would appreciate if even a single dollar, we are less than half of our goal and every dollar helps. The money is going straight to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation to further their great efforts in helping all of us dealing with Sjogren’s.

Lupe:     Come out to the walks. If you guys are local to LA, Orange County, San Diego, it’ll be great to meet everybody and uh, it’s going to be tons of fun.

Brian:    And come up and say hi to us and we’ll have a little token of appreciation to give to each and every one of you.

Lupe:     I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fun day.

Brian:    It is going to be a great time. So again, the link is in the show notes below. If you’re driving while to this, when you get home, if you go to, uh, scroll down just a little bit. There was a call to action there. You can click on that link. It’ll take you to the team page that the foundations built for us. You can donate to the team, you can click on Lupe and donate. You can click on Brian and donate, but please click on one of the three and donate if you can. Again, every dollar helps.

Lupe:     We would really appreciate it. And after we’re done here, I’m actually going to go to the store cause you know what? I’ve been wanting to buy the masks. You know what I’m talking about? You might be too late, but, uh, I think you’re going to get worse before you get better cause I could hear it in your voice.

Brian:    No way, man. I’m ready.

Lupe:     Anyways guys, thanks for listening.

Lupe:     Until next time, sip constantly and stay hydrated.


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