It has been a while

Due to my health issues, sudden requirement to move house, and my wife’s depression it has been a while since my last post. So what has happened – a story in three parts:

Part 1: Recovery from a liver infection

It has been a while since my last blog. This has been due to being very unwell over the last few months.

Prior to September 2016, I was having bouts of headaches, dizziness, sneezing, coughing and severe aching right across the top of my chest. These bouts would last a couple of days then disappear for a few weeks before returning.

However in September, it all came to a head, when I was out bushwalking in Springbrook National Park, in the Gold Coast hinterland. The walk was a 17km walk, which I had done many times.

departing from home, although I was feeling a little ill, I thought a bushwalk always does me good, so why not go and enjoy the day. As well as my usual pack of food, water, glucose test meter, barley sugars and fruit, I also packed some new on the market Nuromol, a combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Once the walk was started, I felt fairly lethargic and foggy, but as the walk progressed, I came out of that fogginess, and improved. However by lunchtime, I was returning to the feeling I had earlier. This is not normal. As the day wore on, I was getting worse, and fatigued greatly. I pushed on as I didn’t want to cause to much grief for the rest of the group, and made it out safely. After the walk, went and had soft drink and a cake, found my blood glucose was low but above the 3.9 mmol/l limit at 4.1. This alleviated my condition, but was only a temporary improvement.

On the way home, (luckily I was driven by a friend), I made a decision to make inquiries about my health. I decided I would contact Qld Health on their 13HEALTH phone number and discuss my next move.

Upon contacting 13HEALTH and describing my symptoms, an ambulance was called and I was transported to Redcliffe Hospital.

MRSA – Golden Staphylococcus?

In Redcliffe Hospital, I was assessed and given blood tests. I was taken to the isolation ward and placed into a room. Every so often different medical personnel visited me dressed in plastic garb covering their body. What have I got?? As the night progressed, and more tests, I was finally released with the diagnosis of it is not MRSA. My symptoms had also faded. As it was very late at night I gained a medical certificate for the next day off and decided to go get some sleep and then see how I was the next day.

Mosquito-borne infection?

The next day I was still suffering from the same symptoms. I made an appointment to see my regular GP. When the time for the appointment arrived I went and laid out all the symptoms to my doctor. The doctor then got me to lay down and upon poking and prodding at my abdomen found my liver to be tender. So, based on my recent movements in the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria, the doctor said it looks like a mosquito-borne virus. So off to get a blood test for Ross River Virus; Barmah Forest Virus; Hepatitis A, B & C virus group; Chikungunya Virus; Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR); C-reactive protein (CRP); bilirubin; and blood count.

I went home and fell asleep and I slept for hours. I awoke for hunger, dealt with it and went back to sleep. I then needed to go to the toilet and the urine was brown. This is not good! Will check next toilet trip and if the same, the doctor will be contacted. For that week, I had that much sleep I could not remember much of the week.

I went back to the doctor a week later for the results of the test. And interesting results they were:
Ross River Virus – immune
Barmah Forest Virus – immune
Hepatitis A, B & C – immune
Chikungunyah Virus – no immunity and not present
ESR – elevated indicating inflammation
CSP – elevated indicating inflammation
Bilirubin – very high – I should be jaundiced!
Blood count – anaemic

Liver function was found to be 20%.

So the result was unknown infection of the liver. Treatment required alcohol abstinence, rest and Nurofen.

Two weeks later I had another blood test and apart from the monitoring of ESR and CSP, I was also tested for brucellosis, mad cow disease and other agricultural type diseases. These also proved negative.

Every two weeks it was the same thing. New round of blood tests to check ESR and CRP and to investigate other viruses that attack the liver. Each result was the same.

After about a month the liver showed signs of recovery but was a slow recovery. The recovery took until just before Christmas as it was exacerbated in early November with the news that my family and I had to find a new place to live, and had two months to vacate, as the owner was going to renovate the property after Christmas. The end result was that it was likely a lesser prevalent form of Hepatitis like Hep-E or Hep-H or one of the other letters of the alphabet.

Since then I have never felt better. I have not had the symptoms which had recurred every few months leading up to this serious bout, so I think that is it!

Part 2: Finding a new residence

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