It struck me the other day that I couldn’t remember the last time I got real people sick – you know a cough or cold-type situation. Yes, I get a flu shot every year but that doesn’t protect me for 12 months in a row or from some of the most common colds going around. I also work in an industry where I spend the better part of the day in doctor’s offices, sitting in the waiting room with sick people, touching the door handles on the way in and out, and shaking doctor’s hands.
And yet, nary a cold in years. I’ve had the occasional sore throat, but it never lasts longer than a day or so, often quickly cured by a good nights sleep and lots of fluids. It’s truly been too long since I had a real cold that actually knocked me out for even a day that I can remember. I wondered if I had really been that lucky and managed to escape all those germs in my day-to-day atmosphere.
And then I had another thought: if my immune system was strong enough to completely destroy all of my beta cells and render my pancreas useless, maybe I (and we, the Type 1s) also have a super-human defense against regular old colds! Perhaps the one gift of my overzealous immune system is that it can leap over the common cold in a single bound, destroy any germs in its path and zip right through those dirty door handles and handshakes. Could it be that my body’s defense is stronger than average, thanks to diabetes?
Probably not. I’m probably just lucky and practice good hand-washing technique. But wouldn’t that be cool if it was true? Super-human immune systems: bad for your pancreas, great for cold season.