Sunday, a week after returning from a trip to Townsville, (and the weekend before Easter) I woke up with aching joints and thought that I was coming down with the flu. There were no over symptoms, even the fevers weren’t that bad. So off to work I trotted the next day, joints still aching. A visit to the doctor that night meant that I took myself off for blood tests.
By Tuesday afternoon I had a pink rash forming on my forearms. Wednesday saw that rash move to my thighs and then to the lower part of my cheeks. I was initially thinking Dengue fever, and Thursday with the pain in my joints being worse I stayed at home.
After Easter the blood test results were back in and being still off work I went to the doctor to find out that I showed indicatory results for Ross River Virus. Unfortunately, to confirm that it is Ross River, you have to go through another round of blood tests later in the course of the illness. Which I have since done. Also, due to the potential of rheumatoid arthritis hanging around longer than the Ross River Virus, I had to book into see a joint doctor.
While ‘waiting’ for the appointment, I was resting and taking loads of vitamins, immune boosting Olive Leaf Extract & mum’s Astragalus balls. I’ve been including Probiotics, Echinacea, Vitamin C, Magnesium and sometimes a Hairy Lemon (like a Berocca but in my opinion much better tasting,). Hairy Lemon gives you B Complex Forte, Vitamin C, Guarana & Ginseng. Astralgalus is a herb.
I shuffled around the house like an 80 year old woman and had to have help opening jars, doors and anything else that required wrist and finger strength. I would wake up half way through the night – sometimes earlier – and have to shift from my bed to my recliner to be able to get back to sleep.
On the day that I saw him, I also got the results of second blood test and it was positive for Ross River, this was at the end of week 4. The joint doctor has put me on a course of anti-inflammatories with another pill to stop the potential ulcers this may cause.
Yesterday, Wednesday of week 5, I drove for the first time since the Tuesday after Easter (a 30 minute trip, I got a very kind friend to drive home for me) and although my shoulders are not as sore as the last time, on Thursday I was feeling the shoulders again. Mind you, it could have also been the load of washing I did yesterday – I hung it on my airer inside, but again last time I did washing my wrists and finger joints suffered too.
I had thought that I was starting to get a bit better – maybe that is the fallacy of the anti-inflammatories taking away the pain – you feel okay but your body is not really ready to go forth and join the ranks of normality.
Thursday after lunch I took a short walk to the bank and back, ambling very slowly. With the stops at the bank, in the newsagent and the bakery, 1.6km was done in…drum roll…27 minutes. Talk about a tortoise.
Today is Friday, the end of week 5. I’ve got two shoulders that are sorer than yesterday, from my Wednesday drive. Also, Wednesday’s journal writing and yesterday typing this blog, have caused my finger joints to be very tender.
I am finding the decision-making to be difficult. Should I push through the niggles? Will they get worse if I do that? Should I rest more? I hope to make some of the those decisions over the weekend before I go back to work on Monday…if I should even.
If you want to know more about Ross River Virus, try one of these web sites.