Jason and I have both had bouts of being under the weather in the last few weeks. I was up first and had the oddest symptoms. My symptoms started out mimicing the general crud with a fever and some achiness. This progressed over a couple of days to some of my joints and muscles feeling like they were being constantly seared with a hot poker. My hands and wrists especially were so painful I would literally cry as I was doing chores because it hurt so much. I couldn’t pick Carter up for a week. I just couldn’t do it.
In my typical fashion I refused to go the doctor. After having an extended round of essentially useless doctor visits several years ago for a whole saga I won’t get into, I tend to find reasons to not see a doctor. After a couple of mis-diagnoses in the aforementioned saga I totally revamped my diet and solved my health problems myself. Thus in my stubborn fashion I was in such intense pain in certain parts of my body I felt like I was on fire for about a week. Then one day it started going away, and within a few days I was 97% normal again. My wrists still have some residual achiness but not enough to keep me from doing anything.
Imagine my surprise when Jason began exhibiting the same set of symptoms a few days ago. He started with a fever, progressed to general achiness, and made it all the way to crying in pain while doing chores one morning. In ten years I’ve seen Jason cry exactly once so I knew he was experiencing the exact same thing I had just dealt with. It really is a level of pain that makes grown men cry.
Unlike me Jason wisely went to the doctor after his crying session. As he rattled off his symptoms the doctor went to retrieve a CDC bulletin from his office in regards to chikungunya fever, a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. Originally this was being seen in people who traveled to the Carribean. A few months ago the disease began to be identified in people who had not traveled outside of the continental U.S. As the doctor read off the symptoms, which were a dead ringer for Jason’s (and my) symptoms, we instantly became reportable statistics to the CDC. Bloodwork was sent off for confirmation.
The good news is this a self limiting disease that runs it course and then you are done, with the possible exception of lingering but less intense joint pain. The bad news is there is no treatment except supportive care (thus I pointed out to Jason that in my way I was right not to go to the doctor, they couldn’t do anything anyway. So there!). Hopefully Jason will be on the downhill side of this in another day or two. For his sake I hope so as I know how excruciating the pain is. I will admit that I have enjoyed spending my entire life being statistically unimportant, I find it a much more pleasant way to live!
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