Burns and Autoimmune Crises

For the better part of the last week, I’ve been fighting a nasty cold-with-low-grade-fever-type infection funk replete with not one but now two cold sores accompanying me on my lip and nose. To my mind, I’m in an autoimmune crisis right now. I’ve been to the endocrinologist who asked, “Do you think your thyroid levels might be low?” and to which I replied, “Well, I typically do not get this many cold sores when my thyroid levels are in the right range.” As far as autoimmune strength is concerned, I generally fare much better than others with really serious issues like rheumatoid arthritis (which my sister has) or juvenile diabetes (which my brother has). But look at just about any research and you’ll see that those who have suffered serious burns (like me) tend to have compromised immune systems of varying degrees. Growing up, I had what I considered to be more than my fair share of colds, bronchitis, strep throat and of course, mono (I was quarantined for two weeks) and a little psoriasis here and there (mostly on my elbow). Thyroid came later. All of which means that when I’m run down, I tend to get sick and stay sick longer than seems fair. In fairness, I can’t blame only the burn injury however much I would like to. But it’s another area where I wonder what affect those burns actually have had on me.

Why I Want Those 1965-1966 Medical Records

My research thus far has included requesting medical records (from doctors, hospitals and rehab centers in Green Bay), talking with brothers/sisters/relatives, friends of my parents (who died in the 1990s) and even a smattering my own friends about their thoughts, remembrances, perceptions, misconceptions. “Didn’t you get burned on Halloween when the lantern you were carrying dropped and you caught on fire?” one relative queried. “No, not at all,” I responded. And that is the most exasperating thing — trying to prove out what I thought happened with all the other red herrings. This is why I so want to see the 1965 medical records. In my mind, they will confirm the story imprinted on me since youth or they will enlighten me with new information. Thus far, the most complete written record of the story has been found in my blue baby book when my mother wrote out an account of some of the details she chose to share in an eerily upbeat way. I’d like something a little more evidence-based but I understand that may be something that never comes my way. I also understand that whatever I may find may not answer some of the questions I have — like how did I get from home to the hospital? Or, how many “debridement” procedures (peeling off of the dead, burned skin) did I have before the plastic surgeries? My questions do indeed range from the basic to the macabre. Does anyone out there have additional ideas on who, what or where I should invest some of my research efforts?