Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Has it been so long?

I'm going to bring everything up to date with a list, and maybe some pictures.
WARNING: Some graphic pictures, not for the faint of heart...

Came back from Central America in March (yeah!).

rought home cellular parasites (boo!), Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. See Ethan's post for his take on the whole thing.

Spent 5 days in the hospital to treat our tasty parasites, had a severe allergic reaction, tongue swelled up real big.

f they aren't treated there is a 5% chance it will reoccur in my mucus membranes in 2-20 years (don't even google mucosal leishmaniasis unless you're trying to make yourself ill).

lan B: 20 day IV drug (Pentostam) with a Picc Line, Heart monitor and lots of tests.

In the past month I've had over 10 EKG's, an echo cardiogram, 3 chest x-rays, enough blood work to feed an entire family of vampire monkeys, a small camera stuck down my nose to look at my throat, 3 Ultrasounds, a 24 hour heart monitor for all 20 days of treatment, a few hearty panic attacks complete with difficult breathing and skipped heart beats, and more time in the hospital than I ever cared to spend.

he parasites live in my skin, deep in the tissue, which are going to be some killer scars once they've healed.

his whole thing was started by tiny-no-see-ums, or sand flies that feasted on my little legs for months in Bocas Del Toro, Panama.

finished treatment last week with a big fat giant sigh of relief. I'm on my way to being a normal person again.

than and I had tickets to Madagascar to do some more volunteer work for two months this summer.

had to cancel my ticket, since I'm being munched on by cell-sized monsters. I really wanted Ethan to go over still and do some good work, so he's now 34 hours of travel time away from where I'm sitting right now. When I go to sleep at night, he's waking up to his day. What a crazy world this is.

nd now for some disgusting pictures!

First Heart Monitor

Left leg, 2nd day in hospital.

Before 2nd treatment of Pentostam.

Close up of the fabulous open sores...

As I type this my legs are starting to heal wonderfully. They basically scar overnight, which is such a relief after having what you see above for months. I can finally take a shower without pain, walk around without swollen legs, and one day I'll be able to swim and wear skirts and act like a normal person again!

to everyone at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for being wicked friggen' awesome, even though you were pumping heavy metals into my liver, heart and pancreas...

And thanks
to my whole family and fabulous friends for calling me, cooking for me and driving me around to my hundreds of appointments and panics.

And love
to Ethan and the whole team all the way across the world!