Friday 14 October 2011

Daniel is sick, still

I will be spending another day at home on my couch.

So what is happening inside Daniel's body?

Quite simply I have been invaded by a very small infectious organism.  Very small.  Smaller than a bacterium, smaller than a fungal spore.  I have been invaded by a virus.

In all likelihood the virus running rampantly from cell to cell is a member of the rhinovirus family, aka, the common cold.  This is actually a good thing since the rhinovirus attacks and infects cells solely in the upper respiratory tract, the nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx.  If is was influenza or something more nasty then the lower tract could be attacked as well, my trachea,bronchial, and lungs.

My first indication of the invasion was a scratchy throat, likely the point of the initial breach of my cells, the first ones to be invaded.  The virus may have been breathed in or arrived on some food or hand to mouth or even a glass of water.  Once in my throat and a cell wall breached, the virus would have injected its RNA (for the curious, rhinoviruses have single strand RNA genomes) into my unsuspecting cell which then would take over the inner workings on that cell.

As my cells fall victim to the invading RNA they release "please come help me" proteins known as chemokines which serve as sort of a guiding smoke signal to my immune system which causes the area to be inflamed with white blood cells.  Unfortunately it is likely that my immune system had not had an encounter with this particular virus strain and although I have soldiers in the area, they are not capable of binding to, and rendering the virus immobile.

So we are having a bit of a race right now, the virus's RNA is moving from cell to cell, taking over nasal and throat, and my white blood cells are developing a counter attack.  There is no doubt that my crew will win, the only question is how quick they can adapt and replicate.

Early this morning the infection progressed to my left nasal passages, I had hoped that my Sagittal plane would also serve as sort of a Maginot line and give my defenses time to reinforce but it too failed in hours.

However, moral is still high, I watched Monty Python's The Meaning of Life this morning and all of my white blood cells had a good giggle when the men came for the (still very much alive) fellow's liver, although his screams and spurting blood were a bit gruesome.

Have a good day, wash your hands.