Monday, October 20, 2008

The appendix is an evil flu giving machine

Last week my good friend Lucy called for aid to assist her in the war against the cold and flu. Of course, I offered my two cents, but she knows she can’t take what I say to heart. Why, you ask? It might be the fact I've had the flu once since 1993. Of course, I do get a 1-2 week cold twice or so every year.

Wow, I must eat great and take excellent care of myself right? Well, no. Her post made me think of what I consume on a daily or nearly daily basis during flu season:

I drink Minute Maid Vitamin enhanced OJ as well as cranberry juice a lot. Of course, I drink both with lots of vodka and wine (mostly red) on days I don't have vodka. Sometimes both in the same day. I also drink coffee and eat meat every day and personally consume about a half gallon of skim milk per week. I don’t really eat veggies, although I try to get them in at least 2-3 times a week. I wish I could say exercise was a regular thing, but its not.

Clearly my diet is not what normal feel is healthy, but Mr. Lush does the same and he's usually not sick much more than I am.

Of course, I must get the flu shot, right? No. In fact, my mother gave me a hard time because I told her I’m not getting it and I don’t every get it.

So, why on earth am I healthier than my friend Lucy who exercises regularly, eats veggies everyday, (or nearly) and takes vitamins? Here’s a couple of theories, knowing that simply putting this in cyberspace means I’ll have the worst sickness of my life this year:

Theory 1: Appendixes make you sick.
In 1993 I had an appendectomy. Does the appendix serve a purpose, positive or negative? Here’s a snippet I found:
Although the study stops short of providing direct proof of this proposed purpose for the appendix, researchers say there's a strong case to be made for the appendix based on new information about the role of bacteria in intestinal health.
Hmm. Well, it stopped short of direct proof, so I can’t put any stock in the fact that appendix have a good purpose, although even if they do, everything I’ve found is digestive health related.
So perhaps having my appendix removed has helped me stave off the flu?

Theory 2: My body is a well conditioned germ fighting machine.
I was sick a lot as a child and frequently am around germs, thus my body is well oiled germ fighting machine. When Mr. Lush is sick, I don’t steer clear. I don’t even avoid kissing him. As Lucy can attest to, when she says she’s sick, I don’t mind. Provided they are up to social visits, I will hang around them anyway, although no, I don’t kiss them. That’s mostly because its not socially appropriate to make out with one’s friend and her husband than the fact I’m scared of their germs.
In short, while I don’t go out of my way to share germs with those who are sick, I don’t avoid my sick friends either. Perhaps this is constant conditioning for my immune system??

Theory 3: I use other people’s illnesses as a quasi flu shot.
The flu shot gives you the flu in small doses, and lets your body build up immunity to it. Perhaps as I’m around other people, I’m slowly building up immunity to their sickness. For example, I don’t get sick when Mr. Lush gets sick. When I was younger, I didn’t get sick when my parents got sick. I don’t get sick when office mates or good friends get sick. Which, sort of goes back to Theory 2 I suppose.

Theory 4: I am a freak of nature.
Perhaps that’s it.

But, just for fun, ask around to your friends and see if you can find anyone else without an appendix who has an oddly lucky immune system and in the meantime, drink liquor, eat meat, and be lazy. But do it on a consistent basis. Who knows, that might be the key.


LucyinStLou said...

I wouldn't say you're a freak of nature, just immunity gifted :)

WineLush said...

Aww, that's a sweet way to put it.