I felt GREAT a couple of weeks ago and went for a jaunt in the woods with a friend. The place has 2 ponds, a stream, woods, fields …….. any outdoorsy thing you could want except mountains. But with all that water and marshiness I was eaten ALIVE by mosquitoes. My arms were teaming with itchy pink welts.
Fast forward one week. I felt weak. Tired. Joint pain – a different joint pain. I also felt depressed about it and I cried — and this in itself was unusual. The fatigue wasn’t worse than usual and the joint pain no more severe.
The next morning I had epic diarrhea — and it was undigested. I had tons to do at work and had an intuitive feeling that the diarrhea was a one time thing. My abdomen hurt when I walked. Enough to cause me to bite my lip and try to lumber slowly and purposefully, like I didn’t want to rock the boat. After 2 hours at work, I had to pee. While attempting to do so, my abdomen (lower right) hurt SO bad I thought I was going to faint. I saw swirling black dots and everything seemed to be slipping away. When the clarity returned, I pulled up my pants and was preoccupied with the whole “what if” thing …… particularly what if I fainted with my pants pulled down at work? Then came the fear. No one likes the notion of their internal organs rebelling …. or maybe breaking?
I told my boss matter of factly I needed the ER. He drove me. Long story short?
1. Urine sample – No UTI
2. CAT Scan – No appendicitis & bladder is good
3. Blood samples – Everything good (Liver, Kidneys, Electrolytes, etc.)
Doctor asked if I had had a sore throat. No. He asked where I was in my menstrual cycle. I told him.
My discharge papers proclaimed me a victim of Mittleschmerz. Say it aloud. It’s funnnnnnnnn. And it’s supposedly real. Here’s an article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002472/
Now. It doesn’t explain the diarrhea and it doesn’t explain what happened next.
Next morning? EPIC diarrhea. Liquids, solids, everything came shooting through at warp speed. I developed other symptoms that came and went:
1. Abdominal rash – raised, very clearly a rash
3. Exhaustion – different than my usual. This is more a sleepy feel, like I have been up all day and night and like it should be 4 AM. Sleep relieves this for a short time but doesn’t sustain me long. This is unlike my usual fatigue where it feels like sleep is just a respite from feeling tired and I wake up unrefreshed.
5. Sweating (*I sort of stopped sweating for the past couple of years, so this is odd. Also, I woke up sweating rather profusely*)
6. Fever ? (My baseline temp is like 96.5 F and has been since my thyroid diagnosis in 2007. My temp was up to 99.6F.)
7. Headache — and my nausea & diarrhea made the notion of taking Motrin or something to be off-putting, to say the least.
There were others, but these were the biggies for a few days.
Then – the headaches got more severe. Then …. I was getting ready for bed one night and my throat was swollen kind of below my ears and a little forward and it looked like I had a double chin — that was swollen too, and tender to the touch. Then …. confusion. I went to Cumberland Farms for a coffee. I have been doing this for some years. It looked unfamiliar to me and for a few seconds I couldn’t figure out where the coffee was. There were a few similar instances to this. My knees hurt differently. The joints. They felt hot and like they could “pop” particularly when going down stairs.
In follow up with the doctor, she ran some labs.
Smooth muscle function.
Now this had gone on for more than a week and is still kind of meddling with me, though my stomach is far better. I don’t have an aversion to food like some do when they’re nauseated, but I have the “picky eater” thing that those who are queasy often suffer from.
Somewhere in that flub, a friend on Facebook posted a local article about a mosquito testing positive for West Nile here in our humble hamlet. I couldn’t remember what the symptoms were, so I looked it up. You guessed it. I laughed. I laughed so hard. Wouldn’t it be funny if I was a victim of Lyme AND West Nile?
Just keep me the F**K inside. Ha ha.
Did my doctor test me for it? Nope. I will tell you WHY. 80% of people are asymptomatic when they have WNV. The 20% that ARE have the symptoms I reported – usually cleared up in one week with perhaps lingering fatigue (they say even healthy people may be sick for several weeks). Here’s more info from our favorrrrrrrrrrite government entity, the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/wnv_factsheet.htm
1% will develop BAD WNV – aka: West Nile Encephalitis. This is the one that makes the news. Less than 10% of this 1% die from it. So that’s an astronomically low number.
I don’t KNOW if I have West Nile and from what I’ve heard from medical peeps and from reading is I probably won’t be tested unless I have an alarming fever and forget my name. By the way, I did tell my doctor about my confusion episodes. She stated that people with Sjogren’s sometimes have this. I may push the issue Monday. This “rare” stuff scares me. Chronic Lyme is supposedly rare. Again. I’m not saying I “have” it. Ruling it out might be nice, though. But I think the government’s criteria and methods get in the way and so do insurance companies. Why test for something that would resolve itself? Like … the common cold.
And that bothers me not because I “need” to know – especially since it typically resolves itself – but because the government statistics are grossly inaccurate. Mosquitoes found. Low risk to humans. No human infections. Yayyyyyyy.
So that’s my 2-cents. What cha say we all stay inside? Ticks, mosquitoes, and ……. what else? What can house flies do to us? Tee hee. Of course, then being HOME and INSIDE would be unsafe. Maybe I’ll just live my life in one of these: