Update: Yesterday ( Wednesday) we couldn’t take the pain anymore. It was our 24th day with our second relapse. All of our local friends told us to get Valerpan injections, a type of steroid. They have been almost pain-free since their injections for months after the injections. I have been nursing my aches with natural teas, vitamins, and Aleve at night…to no avail. Nothing relieved our pains.
So, we sucked it up and went to the pharmacy to buy the Valerpan and the syringes. I laughed at the display case in the front of the pharmacy because it contained every drug known to man that would help to alleviate Chikungunya symptoms.
We purchased two vials of Valerpan, after googling the adverse side-effects, which by the way are few. We also purchased syringes and Meloxicam pills, an effective drug that can enter the small joints where the virus is trapped and release the toxins. For $18 total, we were stocked up and ready to experiment with our new medications. No doctor’s appointment or prescriptions were needed.
Our expat nurse friend, Theresa, administered our injections. She took the Valerpan about a month ago, and is almost symptom-free. She told us to expect relief in 2-4 hours. I was exhausted after our trip into town, so I fell asleep on the couch when we returned home. Three hours later, Ron and I both began to notice less arthritic pain. This morning we are almost pain-free.
I have been born again. Hallelujah! I have so much energy from the steroid, but I’m going to take it easy and not overdo. I decided to take the Valerpan injections during the full moon phase, because that’s when my body rids itself of lots of water. I am a Cancer and greatly affected by the full moon.
So far, so GREAT! I am saving the Meloxicam pills for a time when I may need them to reduce additional inflammation and arthritic pain. I will be sure to keep you updated on our progress.
I feel like my life is spiraling out of control…
and I blame Chikungunya. Ron and I have had extremely painful relapses and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. If you’ve never experienced chronic pain, I will try to describe what it feels like with my pictures of our Chikungunya vacation to Guatemala.
You Know You Have Chikungunya When…
…you can’t brush your teeth because you can’t hold a toothbrush, or any other brush
…you must have help to button clothes or put on a bra
…your tennis shoes don’t fit anymore because your ankles and feet are swollen
…there is an obnoxious metallic taste in your mouth
…it is painful to hug and to clap and you feel like a stiff mannequin
…people laugh when they see you trying to walk because they have been through the same thing
…coffee cups and cell phones slip out of your useless hands
…stairs and hills are taken one excruciating baby step at a time
…the toilet seat is lower than you remember it being
…and you can’t wipe your butt, so you resort to using the shower like a bidet
…new sounds come out of your mouth like UGGGG and HUMPFFFF when you try to move
…you resort to grunting instead of talking
…you have a little chat at the tomb of Saint Pedro the healer about this nasty disease with the weird name
…your life is a tangle of new pains every day
…you cry after reading that symptoms can last over a year
…deep sleep is only a dream of the past
…rest is the only solace and comfort in your day
…a blanket-like fog covers your brain
…it is impossible to sit for more than 10 minutes because of the pain in your hips and upper legs
Yet, Chikungunya has taught me new things and broadened my horizons.
…you can pronounce and spell C-H-I-K-U-N-G-U-N-Y-A like a champ
…you learn to type 30 words a minute with one finger
…you are fascinated by scientific studies of chronic pain and you know every arthritic drug by its Latin name
There is light at the end of the tunnel because
…you begin to understand and empathize with people who endure chronic pain
…you learn patience and to live life one day at a time, always hopeful for a better day tomorrow
The better days will come. I am sure of it.
This is an excellent blog if you are interested in reading about the symptoms of Chikungunya. My Chikungunya Blog
Feel free to add to my list if you have had Chickungunya or are experiencing this debilitating disease now.