Hypogammaglobinemia, Secondary / Acquired

This is a big word but like many things in life, once you break them into pieces they are easier to understand. So lets start with this word.

Hypo – meaning lack of. Meriam Webster (MW) says that it is : “less then normal”.

Gamma Globin – This is the part of the blood that is dealing with the immune system. MW defines it as: “a protein fraction of the blood rich in antibodies”.

Emia – meaning disease state. MW has two definitions that work 1. “condition of having (such) blood” or 2. “condition of having (a specific thing) in the blood”

Secondary – I think everyone should know what this means. It isn’t primary or first, but it is secondary. I wasn’t born with this condition, I

Acquired it. Acquired sounds like AIDS. I don’t have AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. I just have Hypogammaglobinemia. Sounds similar, but isn’t the same.

In my case this means that I don’t have something in my blood. This is nothing new. I have had it since Larry (my cancer) left (hence secondary or acquired). It could be called his parting gift. However, recently I have a choice to make. I could stay in quarantine the rest of my life, not ideal; or I can get a treatment so that I have a fighting chance when I am out there.

I didn’t take this choice lightly. In fact, one could honestly say I came to this kicking and screaming like a 2 year old. I really didn’t want to go this route (that has been available to me for some time). I thought it would be hard. I thought I would have to go to an infusion center (like chemo). I thought, this would be it. I would be stuck doing this for the rest of my life and that would be it. No traveling, no having fun, no anything. Just put a toe tag on me and help me pick out my funeral arrangements. I am stuck. I am old, and I can’t have a normal life.

And honestly that is how I thought when I agreed to do this. Our foster child is having to go to school, but school equals illness and in my case, illness doesn’t always translate to hospital stays, but often it does. So my choice was to keep doing what I am doing and hope that I don’t end up in the hospital, or to go down this scary path and see what comes. However, I have really liked not being ill for the last few years. It has been great! All but that part when I can’t leave my house. I like waking up and having energy to do whatever the day may bring me.

So I gulped and said yes to this treatment. Since that moment, I have been researching what this will be like for me. I was relieved when I found out this could be done in my home (knew this was possible, just didn’t know how soon I could start that). I will get some training, then I can just go for it. I can also go anywhere I want. This doesn’t have to slow me down (though it likely will at first till I am used to it). I see this much like being a diabetic and needing insulin, only in my case I don’t poke myself before meals, I only need to do this once a week!

So the next post I will have, will be the box that is coming to my house with my supplies. Being immunocompromised is a condition (not just a state of mind). This is a little known area of this condition. I hope to bring some light to this.