Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Fever of Unknown Origin

So I'm walking around with this "Fever of Unknown Origin" since about 4am LAST Sunday.
SUNDAY
It woke me from a deep sleep, prompted me to take 2 Tylenol, and bundle up and try to go back to sleep.
MONDAY
I wake up Monday morning. I usually log in and begin my job at about 6am, so that by 1:30 pm I'm done...but I just couldn't get out of bed. I did manage to get the boys up and get them off to school, and then I went down to work. I felt a little funky, but attributed that to the interrupted sleep I'd gotten. I went to work out with my trainer on my lunch hour...and that, in retrospect, probably wasn't too smart. I spent the remainder of the afternoon with such a chill in my bones. I got the boys settled after school, did homework scrapped together some dinner and waited for Anthony to come home and relieve me.

I go upstairs to lay down, take my temperature...103.2 in the left ear, 103.5 in the right ear...now before I panic, I know that the ear one I use with the kids isn't great, so I get the old trusty mercury one and put it under my tongue...103 :-(

now...

In addition to the high fever, I'm having an OB/GYN issue (or so I think), as a result of an elective surgical procedure I had done back in September. So, I start and end there because when my OB called me back he tells me to go straight to the ER. The ER?!?!? I'd never been there...not once in my life, my kids...we've never been to the ER. But I felt so awful I went...alone...left Anthony home with the kids.

Stayed in the ER from 8pm until 2am. Discharged with a "Fever of Unknown Origin." They ran blood work, two sets of blood cultures, chest x-ray, and a GYN exam since my OB was on call in the hospital. They give me a rx for Levaquin (antibiotic) though they don't know what exactly they are treating, and tell me to keep taking 2 Tylenol every 4 hours as needed until the fever subsides.

TUES-WED-THURS
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday...pretty much a blur to me...in bed...alternating stupors (sweating / freezing) and a pounding headache while still with this really high 102/103 fever.

Tuesday, with shakes and all, I somehow manage to get the kids off to school before I get into bed. Wednesday, when normally I'd be at work and Anthony would stay back until 7:30 and my neighbor stays with the kids until their 8:45 bus, she still came over and took over for Anthony while I slept.

Once again, God bless my mother...just back from a 2 week jaunt in Hawaii...exhausted herself from the travel involved, and she drops everything when I call her crying Wednesday morning
after my neighbor left.

Talk to my OB Wednesday and he wants to do a T/V ultrasound Thursday just to make sure that there isn't anything going on inside...Cuginetta takes me so Mom stays with the kids...I had to cancel so many appointments, my work, after school activities, etc...the ultrasound is clean...good news, so I think this truly will be over soon.

FRIDAY
I started out OK in the morning...my mom sent the boys to school, we did some stuff in the house, had lunch and then I went to take a nap and I sent her home, Anthony was going to come home early, and I truly thought I was on the mend.

I go to take a nap, and when I awake, I can't lift my head up off the pillow. Now, I panic. It's not the OB/GYN issue, I still have 103 fever, day 5, and now, my joints are killing me. My ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, all of them. Time to call the MD since the OB says there's no infection and no internal injury.

Call my MD, not in...but he has an answering service...and the DR on call gets back to me in about 10 minutes...I go through my whole spiel with him and he tells me that the good news is that it's most likely the Levaquin that is causing the joint problem and to not take anymore. He wants me to call him Saturday and Sunday and let him know if I'm still in pain, still with the high fever.

I start to feel a little better Saturday...but still a bit achey and slightly feverish....then the unexpected happens.

I go get ready for bed and while I'm undressed...I see them.....on my upper chest, upper back and along the back of my left arm....SHINGLES

I call the doctor (just to confirm my Internet/husband/self diagnosis) and he says that it was exactly what he was thinking it sounded like when we talked Friday, but that none of the lesions had come out yet, so he didn't want to treat it in advance. He knew it was a matter of days and in fact, he asked me to keep a look out for skin irritations or abnormalities on Friday.

So, now armed with the correct diagnosis, it's a whole new ballgame. There's Valtrex for Shingles, since it's the herpes zoster virus. I know it will be painful as the lesions blister, but knowledge is power, and like anything else, it's so much better to know what you're dealing with.
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