I'm not dead yet, I'm getting better!
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Well that was a longer hiatus than originally planned. April and May were pretty much riddled with illness that left me feeling like that one scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The "I'm not dead yet! He says he's not dead! I'm getting better! No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment. I feel happy! I feel happy!" one.
Long story short I came down with Valley Fever, which is apparently an actual thing and not an 1800s pioneer superstition. It's basically a fungal lung infection that's common in the southwest from breathing in the dust. What's next, cholera? dysentery? consumption? Shooting 289 pounds of meat but only being able to carry 162 pounds back to my wagon? (Bonus points if you got the Oregon Trail reference). It's a boatload of fun, let me tell you. I only had it mildly and it was debilitating, I can't imagine what people who get serious cases go through. The last two months have basically looked like this:
- Randomly my left upper back started hurting to the point where I couldn't lay down
- Slept in a recliner in our living room for a week because I couldn't actually make my body go into a lying position
- Finally went to the doctor to get some pain meds. Because I had exercised 2 days prior to the pain starting, everyone though I had just sprained a muscle
- Got a nice shot of something and some muscle relaxers to help with the pain
- Had an allergic reaction to either the shot or the muscle relaxers and was covered in hives and a rash on top of the muscle pain (later discovered I didn't have an allergic reaction, that it was all part of the valley fever. But we didn't know that at the time)
- Went back to the doctor to get treated for the allergic reaction
- Developed a hacking cough which I completely ignored because, hello, other big issues going on here
So that all happened within a week and a half. The next week my back slowly stopped hurting, my cough started going away, and I was able to sleep in my bed again. I thought it was a random but unfortunate series of sicknesses and that I was on the mend.
Then Easter weekend I woke up with little red marks on my knees and ankles that looked like bug bites. So that kicked off the next series of freak outs which takes us through the rest of April and into May:
- spazed out because I thought a bug or spider was in my bed and bit me during the night
- "bites" swelled to the size of golf balls in the next 2 days and more show up going all down my legs
- back to the doctor once again who diagnoses it as erythema nodosum which is apparently Latin for "large red swollen bumps on your legs that we can't do anything about and they'll go away on their own in 4-6 weeks and oh yeah they hurt like the dickens and will probably cause joint point so severe you can't walk. Have fun."
- doctor offhandedly mentions that this can be linked to valley fever and you haven't been coughing recently, have you? Uh yeah, crap.
- Get blood test for valley fever done. Results come back inconclusive
- Get xray done because valley fever shows up as little spots on the lungs
- Stupid knees and ankle joints hurt so bad that I'm basically useless and walk like a zombie for 2 weeks
- Consider trying out as an extra on The Walking Dead because I've got the walk and moaning down
- Have spots on lungs. Make appointment to see pulmonologist
- Go to Disneyland! I put myself essentially on bed rest for 2 weeks whenever I wasn't at work so I could prep my legs for all the walking at Disneyland. Thankfully at this point a few weeks had passed since the leg issue started and they held up just fine! It was awesome.
- Got another blood test and xray done to confirm if I actually do have valley fever since I don't appear to be sick anymore
- At this point I'm pretty much feeling better but I still went to the specialist to check that everything was ok
- Specialist said yes I did have valley fever, but I'm about 80% recovered on my own so thankfully I don't have to get any treatment (nasty anti-fungal meds)
- I check in again in about 6 weeks with them to make sure it's fully in remission
Still with me? So now that you know more than you ever needed to about valley fever (I still think it sounds like something you'd find in Oregon Trail) I hope you'll excuse my absence. I'm still recovering but I feel about 95% better. As soon as I can shake the tiredness I'll be back to normal. Unfortunately I had grand plans for DIY projects and home redo stuff during April and May which obviously didn't happen. However, I did read a bunch of good books, so maybe I'll branch off into some book reviews? Wesley, I might be asking you for advice!