On December the 17th I came down with a virus. Curled up on my side shivering for the first night, my arms felt heavy and I felt the restless legs I’d first experienced when I was pregnant, but over my entire body. I ached; I tried to keep working from home but it made me angry as I struggled to cope. I had no cold or flu symptoms except for a sticky throat and headaches. The Sunday before Christmas I came out in a lacy rash over my entire body and by Christmas day my feet, ankles, fingers and wrists were swollen and painful. I could hardly summon the energy to walk and when I did my feet ached. That lasted for 3 days and finally after the public holidays finished, I was able to go to the doctor for a blood test. Two weeks of tiredness, unforgiving rest and swollen hands and feet I was diagnosed with Ross River Virus. Placed on anti-inflammatories, the doctor suggested I see a rheumatologist (first appointment was 6 weeks away) and halve my workload. I didn’t and weeks went by of pins and needles under my skin, itchy legs, burning sensations on the soles of my feet, difficulty sleeping and nightmares. As the anti-inflammatory medicine built up in my system I seemed to be able to rest but 9-10 hours was not enough to refresh me and I woke most days with heavy limbs and a taste of ash in my mouth. The rheumatologist, dubious of the RRV diagnosis in South Australia, re-diagnosed me with Parvovirus B19, but happily advised the end result would most likely be the same and my recovery was a “how long is a piece of string question”.
Inspired by almost 3 months of reduced activity, sleepiness, tiredness without sleepiness, aches, pains, headaches and pins and needles and by the ever-deepening dark circles carving out tracks particularity under my left eye, I decided to start this blog, maybe as a form of therapy or just a way to connect with people who have experienced the same thing. Maybe in a week’s time I’ll shut it down because I’m back to normal.
I can hope!