A Minor Setback in the Form of a Virus

Kate Spencer avatar

by Kate Spencer |

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Fall is typically a great time of year for me, despite my sarcoidosis. Mild temperatures and a decrease in humidity usually allow me some much-needed outdoor time. But it’s not working out that way this year.

I came down with a mild cold in September that lasted about a week. I had the typical symptoms — sneezing, slight congestion, fatigue, and a froggy voice. Overall, it turned out to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

The past week has been a different story. I woke up one morning with a severe sore throat, a heavy chest that made it difficult to breathe deeply, congestion, a fever of 101 degrees, and the return of The Cough.

I was discouraged and upset. Everyone gets colds, viruses, and even the flu from time to time, but those of us with fragile immune systems are at higher risk of minor nuisances turning into something severe.

I had two illnesses in just a few weeks. I felt helpless.

After a trip to the local ER, I discovered I did not have strep throat or the flu. That was good news! The doctor diagnosed me with a virus and sent me home with suggestions for over-the-counter remedies. I still felt lousy, but I was relieved, so I did what I always do. I made a list:

  • Get plenty of sleep: Rest is essential!
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Hot water with honey and fresh lemon is a personal favorite.
  • Eat lots of soup: I like to make an easy vegetable soup with a low-sodium broth and every vegetable I can find in the house. It’s delicious.
  • Catch up on sitcoms: Did I mention that rest is important?
  • Spend extra time with my loyal companion: And my husband, too.

So, these haven’t been the most productive weeks. But this virus has reminded me that even when I think I’m taking good care of myself, I can do better. I’ve shelved my “I got this” attitude for now, but hopefully by next week, I’ll feel refreshed enough to pull it back out.

My loyal companion. (Photo by Kate Spencer)


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


Nancy avatar


Hope you get over THE COUGH. Have not had it since my last bout with a bad chest cold. Thank you for not making us feel so alone out here.

Kate Spencer avatar

Kate Spencer

Thank you for your good wishes. You help me not feel so alone in managing sarcoidosis.

Michele Staab avatar

Michele Staab

God Bless each and every one of us with this horrible disease that seems to move through our bodies at will!
Hope you all feel better soon! 💜❄️🙏

Barbara avatar


I was happy to know I’m not alone here. This winter has been rough, I’ve had repeated viruses, and it’s been frustrating. I rise above it get back up just to get knocked down again. Sometimes I feel friends and even family shy away and I guess I can’t blame them. I’ve learned when My symptoms seem to flare up I have to “go with the flow” so I rest . I was always very active, but it seems when I exercise mymuscles become weak, joint pain and muscle tightness . I am a physical therapist assistant so you can imagine the impact that can have .I only work part time to keep busy and I love what I do. I relate sarcoidosis as a step forward and 2 steps back however, there are times when I might have a few months feeling really good then , well you know the rest. Thank you for letting me vent .


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