Monday, July 18, 2011

A Few Days of Sickness

Last Monday I felt awful. Over the weekend I had had little energy, and felt myself going downhill. My neck was stiff, my joints ached, my right shoulder and left knee especially hurt, and my energy level was down. I remembered having this some time ago, and my friend and commenter on this blog, Gary, suggested I might have Lyme disease. I did have three scabs on my back, in a place that I couldn't see them. I had Lynda look at them, and she said they looked more like pimples than bite marks—no concentric rings such as you get with a bad tick bite.

When I went to bed last Monday, my rib cage was hurting, or, to be more specific, it had gone from hurting to having a specific place that hurt, a pin point that felt awful almost no matter how I moved. Before then, every night when I got into bed and my body adjusted from being vertical to being horizontal, my rib cage hurt like the dickens for about thirty seconds. Once the adjustment was over, I was fine. But on Monday night, that small place superseded everything. The minute it hit the mattress the pain was much worse than the dickens. I'm not sure what two pain levels above "the dickens" is, but that's where I was. It felt like a broken bone sticking through my back. I simply could not lay on it.

With some work, I figured out how to get in bed and onto my side without having that spot touch anything. Needless to say sleep wasn't the greatest last Monday. Pain killers and herbal muscle relaxers had no effect. At work on Tuesday I did some investigation, and found that a stiff neck is one of the key symptoms of lyme disease. So I called the doc, he saw me late in the day, said lyme disease was very rare in Arkansas but that three other tick-borne diseases (each with an unpronounceable name that sounded much worse than lyme) were somewhat common. He didn't think I had this, but decided to draw large amounts of blood to test for it and to treat me for it with a tetracycline based antibiotic.

The next day the doctor's office called to say the first tests on my blood showed a high rate of something or other, and he wanted to see me for a follow-up in ten days. Meanwhile, either through natural body healing or the antibiotics I began to feel better—until Friday night. Something hit me then, and lasted all through Saturday and into early Sunday. This was a total loss of energy, an attitude of not wanting to do anything but sit in my reading chair and watch television.

That fog lifted sometime during the day on Sunday, and right now I feel pretty good. My neck is still somewhat stiff, my knee and should still hurt (thought not nearly as much), and my energy level has mostly returned. So hopefully I'll be back posting here at a more regular schedule. And at my writer's blog as well.


Gary said...

Lyme gave me that stabbing pain and no rash. Babesiosis produced a general malaise and fever. Have avoided the third one endemic here (Eherlichiosis). Hate ticks.

David A. Todd said...

That's the one I have, Gary, ehrlichiosis. See my next post.