Blame it on the Chikungunya …

Well, it’s been just over 6 weeks since I contracted Chikungunya, the mosquito-borne tropical virus I wrote about here and here. I began taking the papaya leaf juice again last week and have been drinking it for four days, 1-1/2 oz. three times a day, and feel as though I may have turned a corner. I’m sleeping better at night, although I still wake in the morning with cramped hands and have to do a shuffle-walk until my legs and feet become accustomed to moving again. But I can honestly say this time that *fingers-crossed!!!* I think I am getting better.

I still plan on returning to Canada next week for a visit with friends and family. I’m not sure how much travelling I’ll be able to do once I arrive there. It all depends on how much more I am able to recover from this virus while I still have access to fresh papaya leaves.

One of the more frustrating aspects of this virus is the way it has affected my cognitive powers (if I ever actually had “power” in that department at all!) and my memory. This has made doing the editing I had hoped to finish while on Bequia nearly impossible. Not to mention writing my own second novel I wanted to complete during this time. I’m constantly tired and my fingers are either cramped up or in pain so much that even typing on the computer is difficult at times. I am completely unable to write with a pen and paper. I can barely sign my name. I can’t twist off a bottle lid or chop vegetables or even slice into a loaf of bread, and Dennis still has to cut up dinner for me into bite-sized pieces. How humiliating!

So there you have it … and I hope none of you is ever infected with this virus! If you do plan a trip to the Caribbean, it’s important you are aware of the existence of Chikungunya, but I don’t think you need to be scared off by it. Just use greater precaution and bring lots of insect repellant with you. We think it’s because of Dennis’s vigilance in lathering himself up with OFF! Lotion (we bring bottles back from Canada) that he hasn’t caught it yet. I admit, I have been lax when it comes to avoiding mosquito bites … And at least you now know that, if you ever do come down with the virus, that this is what it is and there is hope for recovery from it.

I’m hoping that – soon – I’ll be up singing and dancing again and will not have to blame it on the Chikungunya any longer, but the Bossa Nova, instead. (Not that I’ve ever danced the Bossa Nova before, but the number of syllables in the word “Chikungunya” fit perfectly into this old song title!)

26 responses

  1. […] Chikungunya, 5 days after arriving back on Bequia. (I previously wrote about this here, here, here, here, here and here.) A VERY long 15 weeks!! I can honestly say though that this past week I […]

  2. […] Chikungunya – you cannot begin to imagine …, Papaya Leaf Juice … right under our noses!, Blame it on the Chikungunya …, Stop hiding the problem of […]

  3. […] So far we consider ourselves lucky. Many people have complained of joint pain so bad that they cry out in agony as their elbows, knees and ankles swell to twice their normal size. Some people have had fevers of over 41°C, while others have even died from the virus. Our joint pain, while still prevalent, is definitely subsiding now, but other patients have complained of the aches and swelling carrying on for months or even years! One of our readers sent us some helpful tips on kicking the virus, and she had it far worse than us… just read her account here! […]

  4. Hi,

    I’ve had chikungunya too and blogged about it a while back if you’re interested in reading about my experience

    I have to say it really is the MOST HORRENDOUS virus and even now, 7 months on, my joints are still playing up. However, my brain has definitely switched itself back on which is a huge relief!

    Be positive and rest lots….The tiredness is something else, isn’t it? It seems unbelievable to feel so weak for so long but you will get better!

    1. Thanks for commenting! Your story is the same as all of us, I’m afraid. Glad to hear you are recovering. It truly is a horrible virus!

  5. […] of the Chikungunya virus posted a comment on this blog yesterday on one of the three posts I had written previously. She’s an American who had picked up the virus while on vacation in […]

  6. It sounds totally debilitating. Do hope you feel better and livelier in the cooler climes of Canada.

    1. Thanks, roughseainthemed! I feel as though I’m improving every day.

      1. That’s great news. I feel like one step forward, two back, literally, some days. I’m planning to post about Island this weekend 🙂

      2. Thank you! And I hope that you’re faring better soon, too.

  7. Wishing you better health! What a horrible virus. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through.

    1. Thanks so much, Tricia! It has been an ordeal, but I feel as though I’m finally turning a corner.

  8. So glad you’re feeling somewhat better, or at least heading in a good direction! Be well.

    1. Thanks, Carin! Am feeling better now with every day that passes.

  9. What an ordeal! Maybe the papaya leaf juice would go down better with a little gin…

    Feel better soon!

    1. Thanks, Kevin! The experience will certainly help when writing that new scene I’m adding to the next novel, so I guess there’s something gained from this. But I’m not sure that even gin could mask the foul taste of this stuff. At least it’s only an ounce-and-a-half at a time.

      And, I must say, I’m feeling even better now at the end of the day than I did earlier when I wrote this blog post, so things continue to look up!

    1. Thanks, Editor! I have to beat it – I have a novel to finish writing and publish …

  10. Author Rebecca Heishman

    Just know that all of your friends love you, miss you, and are thinking of you every day. And thank you for making us all aware of this horrible virus.

  11. Sending good thoughts and well wishes your way!

    1. Thank you, Silver Threading!

  12. Susan, I went to Canada at the 2 1/2 month mark of my reluctant relationship with the CHIK. I was very worried before I left that I would have trouble traveling around and following through with my tight schedule of stops. However, I was pleased to discover that the arthritic-like symptoms were better in the cooler climate (It was chilly around Kingston in mid-July!) It was also interesting that when I was in Nova Scotia, my symptoms worsened with the approach of Hurricane Arthur and the tropical-like weather conditions. Go figure!

    I also have a fuzzy brain, and on days when I am more tired, many words escape me. Today is probably one of them, so apart from responding to you, my fingers are quiet. The good reason is my attendance at The Globe Theatre of London’s touring production of Hamlet last night. What a thrill! Despite my extra weariness today, it was well worth it. Is the troupe performing in SVG? And to think that they only performed once in Canada, in Prescott, near Brockville Ontario. I guess there are some blessings about, regardless of other challenges. : )

    Although it seems to be taking a very long time, you will get better. Recovery is so gradual – I still cannot hike, which is one of my passions, but I am able to walk without limping now. I only waddle like a penguin first thing in the morning when I cannot immediately flex my feet!

    Have a wonderful visit up north. I am certain we will meet there, if not down here, at some point soon. Best wishes to you!

    1. Thank you, Gwen! I’ll probably be the only person on that plane next week who is hoping for colder weather!

  13. Oh Susan! I feel for you. And I’m glad to hear that you are being tenacious and pernickety with that stupid virus. That strong will of yours will definitely stand you well as you kick chikungunya butt!

    You don’t usually hear much from me in the way of comments etc. on your posts, but know I am reading them and marvelling at your energy and dedication to craft on multiple levels!

    Anne in the morning snow squall! xo

    1. Thanks for reading and for your comment, Anne! And, knowing I also don’t have to contend with snow alongside this Chikungunya is somewhat … comforting, I must say. Bundle up! Winter is on its way!

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