that's life (Australia)
MY MOZZIE MISERY
A bite took Shannon o her feet for ve months
They’re having such a great time,’ I smiled to my friend Melissa, 40, as we watched our kids happily splashing around in the pool together.
Every December, we’d take our families to the same caravan park in Anglesea,
Vic, for two weeks of the school holidays.
We each had three young kids, all the same ages, and they got on brilliantly. We’d go to the beach, play cricket, get ice-cream or just relax.
But after returning from a trip, I didn’t feel well. I was tired and my back ached.
‘It must be from sleeping in a caravan for two weeks,’ I said to my husband, Scott.
My right foot was so tender, too, I couldn’t even walk.
‘It’s probably sciatica,’ said my doctor. ‘That’s a nerve pain that travels down your back to your foot.’
So I had an X-ray and MRIs but they came up negative.
Blood tests didn’t indicate anything was wrong either.
By now, I was in such pain I couldn’t even get out of bed, never mind go to my job as a dental nurse.
Thankfully, Melissa, my mum, Kerry, and my mother-in-law, Sandra, all helped look after the kids, Paige, then 10, Harrison, eight, and Jamie, ve.
My hands were so stiff, I couldn’t even brush my daughters’ hair for school.
‘I think you have Ross River virus disease,’ Mum said. ‘I read about it in the paper. It’s spread by mosquitoes.’
I’d never heard of it before so I googled it.
Ross River virus disease can cause joint in ammation and pain, fatigue and muscle aches,
‘This sounds like what I have,’ I told my doctor.
‘It’s a tropical disease. You only get that up north,’ she replied, dismissing the suggestion.
Desperate for answers, I saw a myriad of professionals including holistic doctors, osteopaths and rheumatoid arthritis specialists.
One physio even said it was in my mind.
I also had more MRIs and tests, costing me thousands, all in vain.
I was admitted to hospital twice with severe back pain. I also suffered depression and mind fogginess.
‘How long will this go on for?’ I wept in Scott’s arms.
‘I don’t know,’ he replied, at a loss.
Finally, a neurosurgeon wrote me a referral to have a simple blood test for Ross River virus – and the test came up positive.
Mum was right all along! I couldn’t remember the bite responsible, but it must have been on our holiday.
Unfortunately, there was no cure so all I could take was anti-in ammatories and ibuprofen for the pain.
I was off work for ve months and didn’t feel like myself again for two years.
We’ve been back to the same caravan park each year since but I’m much more vigilant about protecting the family from mosquitoes.
I spray the kids and myself with Bushman Naturals insect repellent as it’s natural and lasts for up to nine hours, cover us all with loose- tting clothes, and make the kids wear anti-mosquito bracelets.
Thankfully, I can’t get the Ross River virus disease again, but I’m determined my family won’t have to suffer as I did. ●
I was in such pain I couldn’t even get out
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