Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mystery Illness?

I'm home sick today. That's at home, sick. Not homesick. I hate calling into work. But that's another post for another day. Or actually, probably not. Can't imagine that would be very intersting to read. Anyone have Tor Eckman's number?

When I was but a lad, maybe eight years old, (I called Mom to ask and eight was her guess) I was in the bathtub one evening. All stories have a great opening line, right? It was the best of times... Anyway, I felt my knees lock up. That's the best way I know to describe it. I don't know if I tried to get up. Maybe I did. But I knew I couldn't. I started screaming.

Dad came to see why I was screaming. He thought I was just trying to get out of going to church that evening. So he yelled at me to get up. I still rag him about that to this day. I wasn't that creative. I couldn't walk. I was bedridden. And Mom or Dad had to carry me everywhere. I never remember it being a painful thing so much. Although it may have been and I could have forgotten.

The doctor first told my Mom he thought it was just "growing pains." No lie. What the crap? Finally, he said it might be rheumatic fever, and that it usually lasts around six weeks. Six weeks? Mom called school to tell them that I would be out for awhile.

I don't remember exactly how long I was bedridden. At least a week. No more than two. Then one morning I woke up and just knew that I could walk again. I hopped out of bed and, sure enough, I could. I ran to tell Mom. And I'd never been so happy to go to school.

Looking back, I can't imagine how worried my parents must have been. Not getting a definite diagnosis. Probably wondering if I'd ever be able to walk again. That thought never occurred to my young mind. Today, I can still remember very well that awful feeling of my knees locking up and refusing to move.

Since then, I've always wondered what that was. It didn't last as long as rheumatic fever usually does. And I remember the doctor saying I would probably have a heart murmur. But I never did. So I've never been sure. As I've gotten older, I have read more about it. Two things in this article caught my eye:

An inverse relationship between severity of joint involvement and risk of carditis appears to exist.

Carditis: This occurs in as many as 40% of patients and may include cardiomegaly, new murmur, congestive heart failure, and pericarditis, with or without a rub and valvular disease.

The first would seem to explain why I've never had any heart problems. The "joint" part of my ARF (acute rheumatic fever) was very severe. And the second just indicates that not every ARF patient will have heart problems. From what I understand.

Other things I have read say that patients should be put on continuous antibiotics for ten years or until they are 18. I was never told that. And also that ARF is sometimes difficult to diagnose. And doctors are hesitant to diagnose patients with it. Because it leads to lifelong complications, and can make it difficult for them to get insurance. So maybe he did me a favor.

Also read that ARF patients are more susceptible to future attacks and future bouts of strep throat. I've had strep throat at least a handful of times, although it's almost never accompanied by a fever. My throat started getting scratchy this past Tuesday night. And is much worse today. I hope that's not what it is.

So basically, this whole post was born because I had a sore throat. It reminded me of this childhood story, and I thought I'd share it. Aren't you glad?

So here I sit. Sick. By myself. As I've said before, that's the absolute worst part of being single. When you're sick. No one to bring me juice. No one to make me soup. No one to rub my forehead with a cold washcloth.

Maybe I am homesick :)

"I can't sleep sometimes but I've been told. It's a lonely condition called growing old..."


  1. I do hope you feel better Bone!!! If I was in the same time zone I would be on my way with chicken soup.

    I hate being sick and my mom not being around to take care of me. I remember when I still lived in the same city as my mom a couple of years ago, when I got sick she would still come over and bring me juice and soup, and just be motherly...

    At least when I was in the same state even being single, I had my mom.

    I think I am homesick too...


  2. Always hated calling in sick to work too. Now I have to call myself, and that doesn't work. Though my one unbreakable rule is no computer in the bedroom, I can alway walk out the one foot hallway into the living room.

    You must be really sick because I'm confused by something and I'm never confused by your posts. "continous antibotics or until they're eighteen"?

    Do you mean a person eighteen or older can be on continous antiobitics?

    And yes it's lonely being sick when you're single. Here I have delis I can call for chicken soup and I have a sinus mask that can be frozen or microwaved.
    Also find it good on nights when I have to keep the bedroom bath door open for cross vent;-)

    Hope you feel better really really soon. And while this wasn't one of your best posts it was petty darn good for somebody who is so sick

  3. Poor kid.
    Salt water, I'm telling you.
    Warm salt water.
    Gargle it.
    Your throat will improve.

    As for ARF . . . I think your doctor did the right thing by not diagnosing it.
    It's VERY unlikely that THAT was the problem.
    But, in the absence of anythihng else to explain it, he did what he could.
    Funny how a lot of doctors do that.
    They feel they have to have an answer (and we want to believe they have one) so they find one. However wrong it may be.

    Do you still have any joint stiffness at times??

    And I'm with OC Girl.
    You need someone to bring you chicken soup.
    Or, if you're like me and don't eat the chicken part, just noodle soup.
    Double noodle.

  4. OC Girl: Yes, actually Mom brought some juice by last night. But still. It's not the same. Hate to ask her to do too much. Actually hate to ask anyone to do anything. Would rather them volunteer, and even then, I argue. However, if you do find yourself in the same time zone, please stop by :)

    Pia: Well, I read three different things. One said antibiotics until you're 18, I guess since it mostly affects kids. One said antibiotics for ten years. And one said for the rest of your life. So I was trying to combine two of them, somehow.

    Meghan: No, I don't think I have joint stiffness. He never seemed sure it was ARF. But never suggested anything else. And you're right. We do want answers. I still wonder.

  5. So is that story why you call yourself Bone? Actually the weird thing is I had almost the same thing happen to me...and it was this month. I have decided it was probably a potassium deficiency or was severly dehydrated due to being sick. I'm not sure. But it was creepy. I couldn't do anything.

  6. hope you are feeling better. perhaps you can spend the day thinking about more heart ideas. i also think there should be a line of hearts that go to those who aren't interested in others. such as "just not into you" or "terrible laugh" or "habitually late"..what do you think?
    a white-out is nearly blizzard conditions..when all you can see is white, its both snowing and blowing snow so bad there isn't really anything else. they are already showing school closings for tomorrow on our tv stations. i have no idea how many inches we've actually gotten. and its hard to tell if its still snowing, or just blowing. (this is my interpretation, not a meterological one)

  7. When my ex was a kid, he got stuck behind the couch once. And another friend of mine used to put his legs under the couch and scream for his parents so they though the couch was on his legs.

    Your poor little locked knees...(sniff).

    Hope you're feeling much better and it's not a streptococcal infection.

  8. ((hugs))
    I hope you start to feel better soon.

    At least your mom is in the same time zone as you so if you do want to be taken care of, she could come over. My mom's over 2000 miles away so if I get sick, I have to baby myself.

  9. Being single and sick can be kind of lonely, I agree. Whenever I'm sick I call my best friend and try to sound as pathetic as I can. Then he brings me over OJ or Sprite, Soup and medicine and calls to check in on my from time to time. Or...I just go to my grandparents. They live close by and I know they'll take good care of me. It's the best I can do since my mom is so far away from me.

  10. Audra: That's weird. I'd just like to know what it was. Just for my curiosity. And no, that's not the Bone story. I'll have to tell you that one later.

    Alison: I'd like to see a blizzard. Just one time. OK, since I don't get a day off. How about "bad hair" or "lose the 'stache." Or we could do custom messages for a small extra fee.

    Carnealian and Xinh: I am feeling some better today (Friday). Thanks :)

    Krista: You are lucky to have a friend like that. I just hate asking anyone to do anything really.

  11. I'm sorry to hear that your sick and I hope you're feeling better soon.

    That knee locking up thing sounds really weird. I've never heard of it before.

  12. ccustom sayings..a gold mine! i'm in. lose the 'stache is fabulous! there could be a whole bad hair series..comb-overs, 80's bangs..i like it. we really do need to start this market..can we have it off the ground for VD '07?

  13. Oh dear, feel better! I got sick a few weeks ago and no one was around to make sure I was still alive. Hell, my parents didn't even call. They didn't know, but that's besides the point.

  14. Maybe you have the illness that Heather just blogged about? It sounds scary, although you're out of the age range too.....Hm...curious...

  15. Feel better you big ol' baby. :)
    Just kidding...
    I'm the worst baby ever when i'm sick. Probably because my mom doted on me so when I was growing up. (I gained 10 lbs when I had chicken pox in 7th grade for the love!)
    She still offers to drive to pamper me when I feel bad, even though I'm 8 hours away. And I really think she would if I would let her.

  16. Renee: Thanks. It still befuddles me. Maybe not. But I just wanted to use that word.

    AW: OK. What shall we call our company/product?

    Heather: Thanks ma'am. Just you ending your extended absence from my comments makes me feel a lot better :)

    Mappy: You can see how vexing this would be. Still, to this day.

    Tenacious TLC: I am a bit of a baby when I'm sick. I admit it. But whoever marries me, bless her soul, when she's taking those vows, she better be paying attention to "In sickness and in health." :)

    Just sayin'.

  17. Hope you get to feeling better SOON. Shame to waste a week-end being sick. Take care.

  18. nhmm. hearts for the heartless? something about blunt hearts (though blunt=joints..iffy at best). crass hearts? 'for the things you want to say but just can't' hearts for the weak?
    what about a really great word verification wqnpugxo? or hnifn?

  19. Even when you're not single, there still isn't anybody to bring you juice, rub your forehead, etc. Or maybe I just picked the wrong guy :)

    Sorry you're sick man, hope you feel better soon.

  20. Awww... Bone, I hate to hear your not feeling well.
    I'll hand you a virtul bowl of soup and damp cloth for your head, etc.

    Feel better now?

  21. yeah there's nothing worse than being down with the sickness. At least it's winter time and the weather sucks outside, so you're not missing anything. If it were summer time and 80 degrees and we were heading to the beach... that would be different.

    Here's something that'll cheer you up... today the girl scouts were out delivering their cookies. SAMOA'S!!!!!

    Did you get any cookies this year? I LOVE THE COOKIES!

    Peace out Yo. Oh, I posted some pix that only you could possibly appreciate too. LOL


  22. So I guess you weren't courageous enough to ask someone to the George Strait concert with you, eh? There was a certain someone at my house tonight that would have been THRILLED to go! But you didn't ask. She's moving on.

    Too bad you're sick. I have no sympathy. Sorry.

  23. Patty: Thanks for the well-wishes :) Doing much better.

    Alison: Hearts for the heartless maybe. Cut to the heart? Hard hearts?

    Jen: Oh, I'm sorry dear. But your comment did make me laugh.

    Sherry: Yes. I miss the wet washcloths the most :-\

    Kyle: Glad to see you rode out Ice Storm '06 playing Nintendo.

    Buzz: Yeah. I may have dropped the ball on that one. Oh well. She'll be comin' around the mountain when she comes...