my life after west nile virus

I was diagnosed with West Nile Virus in 2003. I did not work for 18 to 20 months. I am a RN. I now have 4 kids and am a Pastor's wife. I currently am on a short medical leave. I worked on an Acute physical Rehab unit. Prior to WNV I was very active and smart. Since then my tolerance for activity has been limited. I began working again full time 2005. I worked 12 hour shifts on Mon, tues, Fri, Sat, Sun of one week then Wed and Thurs on the next rotating. On my days off I mostly was just in bed or on the couch miserable. I would work trying to deny the way I felt and with the mindset of being physically disconnected. I have had a headache since WNV that increase with acute illnesses or fatigue. Mostly the doctors just say that all my symptoms are somehow related to WNV and that I will probably get better. Just keep a positive attitude. Last year, my headache would get so severe during work that my coworkers began to notice splotches of red on my face and neck as the pain increased and my annual eval was the worst I ever had. Not because of my work ability but because of so many sick days due to fever associated minor illnesses. If I had fever I had trouble thinking and couldn't work that way. (as well as the risk of spreading germs)My joints began to hurt me very severely and had decrease in rom to most of them. Also all large muscles had multiple knots. So the Neuro doc suggested dropping the 3 day 12 hour part and only work two 12 hr rotations with 2 to 3 days rest in between and added FM as a diagnosis. I also went to see a doctor that focused on nutrition. I began tons of vitamins and supplements. With the change in schedule and vitamins and supplements I thought things were great. My headache remained but I tolerated work better with rest on my days off. I had less colds and fever symptoms. Joints and muscle hurt less. At the end of Jan. I started trying to exercise and the first week I felt good, then got a cold that lingered for ever, then a spider bite that got infected, then I just couldn't muster the extra energy to exercise. For the past 3 to 4 months my headache had more intense episodes both at work and at home. Also, I would feel horribly drained even on easy days. I didn't tell anyone because I was tired of always having something wrong and everyone that knew would ask how are you today and offer ways that should help me. (which I had usually already tried and it didn't work) So I ignored my symptoms and avoided telling anyone even my husband. Then several weeks ago I got another GI bug, had to miss several days work, then became dehydrated. Once the symptoms decreased and no fever back to work i went. I worked one day, got up the 2nd got dressed and passed out hitting my head. Out for at least an hour. It was ruled I had orthostatic BP due to dehydration and was treated with fluids and sent home. I managed to work I think 4 work days then with nausea, severe headache, occasional dizziness, and feeling "wrong." (I was born a quick thinker, post WNV I became fair thinker, now thinking is difficult. Ex I have been writing this for an our. The last day at work about 30 to 40min into my shift I began to vomit.) My boss had my husband come get me I had difficulty telling him what was wrong, he noticed I was having trouble with my left side so before we left for home he took me to the ER. They checked me and couldn't find anything wrong, except vomiting. They treated with 2 meds before it subsided. I have been home every since. I still have the headache, FM problems but the severe fatigue from walking from one end of my trailer to the other along with slow thought response, poor concentration and difficulty staying orientated to the date with out calenders with occassional dizziness and nausea. Docs say concussion, WNV effects, TIA but all tests have been inconclusive. Just finished a neuropsych evaluation with showed inconsistent problems that showed memory and concentration problem and left side weakness but the side of the brain that each area would indicate damage of opposite. He suggested all my symptoms were due to stress and depression and anxiety. He main thought was that he thought I was subconsciously feeling inadequate at work making my symptoms increase. Before this last episode, I was the mentor for all new employees. I was The best nurse besides my manager. I feel confident in the knowledge I have even now, I just have trouble expressing my knowledge and physically doing activity. I had thought about CFS last year but didn't think it fit me then, but now I think it does. I asked my doctor if he thinks this applies to me and he agreed. I just went to an immunologist. He thinks my problems are just allergy related and not anything to do with WNV. He has had WNV with full recovery and said there is no such thing as long term effects. He did a skin test that showed allergies to dustmites, chocolate, eggs, wheat, and i think peanuts, but no reaction to molds. I wonder at the results because I have always had reactions to molds and dustmites. This past year I have had a rash when I accidently touched mold and had runny nose and swollen watery eyes when mold took over my closet. Those symptoms improved with benedryl and removing the mold. However, I have never noticed a symptom of sensitivity to the foods. Although some of my symptoms could fit. Now, as if I didn't have enough to confuse me, I have to monitor my diet and try to eliminate the above foods from my diet. And it seems everything has eggs and flour in it.

Comments

OK. My friend has west nile virus and has had it for years. It does last for a long time so I think your doc was/is wrong. Did you test positive for it? My friend is extremely sick and can't work. Her pain is not tolerable. She has been on high amounts of major narcotics. She has many of your symptoms. WNV is awful and there is a man I know how has it too. Keep the faith.
 
If you are found to be allergic to eggs and wheat on a legitimate skin prick test, then continuing on such a diet can make you very sick.
 

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