Anything that begins with “Hypo” and ends with “nemia” can’t be good but fortunately it’s not as bad as it sounds. After months of searching and dozens of tests I’ve finally found the apparent root of my maladies. Test results from the Mayo Clinic revealed an immune deficiency known as Hypogammaglobulinemia:
a disorder caused by a lack of B-lymphocytes and a resulting low level of immunglobulins (antibodies) in the blood. Immunoglobulins play a dual role in the immune response by recognizing foreign antigens and triggering a biological response that eliminates the antigen. Antibody deficiency is associated with recurrent infections.
My immune system doesn’t make enough Immunoglobulin G (IgG), which supplies 85% of the antibodies in the blood. In particular I can’t mount a defense against pneumococcus. This explains my frequent bouts of pneumonia, low-grade infections and lack of energy.
I have to get monthly infusions of IVIG for the rest of my life, which should improve my health and help me stay around awhile longer.
I hope so. I have more wine to make and books to write.