By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


(upbeat, optimistic music) – Hi y’all. I’m Jacquie from Chronically Jacquie and this is another video in
my Diagnosis Discussion Series. Due to my genetic mutations, I have several chronic illnesses. And in this video, I’m
going to further discuss my immunodeficiency diagnosis. But, before I continue,
please keep in mind that, everybody’s journey with
chronic illness is different. And, these are my personal experiences, which may vary from yours,
or someone you know. Also, be sure to check out the description for the other videos in my
Diagnosis Discussion Series and some helpful links. I have something called common variable immunodeficiency, or CVID. Basically, it just means my immune system is weaker than the average person, because I don’t produce enough antibodies and the antibodies I do
produce don’t work very well. Antibodies, or immunoglobulins, the names are interchangeable, are part of your body’s defense mechanism. They act like a ball and chain that mark and slow down bad invaders so your immune system can attack them. But I am deficient in
three important ones. Immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin
M and immunoglobulin A, or just IGG, IGM and IGA. This is known as hypogammaglobulinemia, which is a symptom of CVID. CVID specifically means you are deficient in
IGG and also IGM or IGA. Or, you’re deficient in all
three of them, like myself. This leaves me more vulnerable
to sickness and infection and, when I do become ill, it is harder for my body to fight back. As a child I had recurrent ear infections and, as I grew older, I struggled with frequent sinus infections,
bronchitis, pneumonia and more. It always took a heavy toll on my body. It wasn’t until I was 21, that I was tested for immunity issues through extensive blood work. And that’s when I received my diagnosis, which isn’t uncommon because
most people with CVID are diagnosed in their 20s or 30s. My testing revealed, not
only the immunodeficiencies, but also some hyperactivity. An immune cell-function test showed that when my immune system is activated, it, basically, overreacts. And I had other testing
with similar results. The hyperactive parts of my immune system, are what causes my mast
cells to go into overdrive, resulting in my mast
cell activation disorder. So my faulty immune system, does cause quite a few complications. And just to clarify, this not autoimmune where the body attacks itself, but, rather, my immune system
just cannot function properly. So, what are we doing for all of this? My main treatment is something called intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG, where we take healthy
immunoglobulins from plasma donors, and give it to me intravenously. So, thank you so much to
all of the donors out there for helping people like me. The IVIG helps my immune
system become stronger and regulate itself more effectively. But the IVIG really only
targets IGG and not IGA or IGM. After nearly a year on
the IVIG treatments, my IGG has finally come
within normal range, which means I am less susceptible
to sickness and infection and my body can fight a better fight. While this is amazing news, I’m not cured. There’s actually no
cure for CVID right now. And while the IVIG definitely helps, I still have a faulty immune system. I may not be deficient in IGG anymore, but I’m still deficient in IGA and IGM. Plus, the immunoglobulins
my own body produces still have their own issues and I have to continue on the IVIG if I want to keep seeing positive results. Some other things I do
for my immune system include keeping a very clean home, washing my hands and using
hand sanitizer very regularly, taking precautions if
someone I know becomes ill, and using a mask to help filter germs if I’m in a high-risk area such as doctor office
waiting rooms, and hospitals. These are not foolproof, but they are extra precautions we take
to help keep me safe. Being immunocompromised
is different for everyone. While it can be tricky and
I do have to be careful and do things a little differently, I don’t have to be in a bubble. I can still go out and live my life thanks to the help of IVIG
and some other precautions. You know I just manage it the best I can, and find ways to keep moving forward. I hope this video on my
immunodeficiency was helpful, and thank you so much for joining in on my Diagnosis Discussion Series. (upbeat, optimistic music)


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