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!)