Monday, October 09, 2006

giar-DIE!-DIE!-DIE!-asis

Well it's not official but I'm pretty sure I have giardiasis, caused by these little guys:


(picture courtesy of this nice little article about giardia in Yosemite, and shamelessly used without permission)

Why am I pretty sure? Partly because I did in fact ingest untreated water up in Alaska and the Yukon (so the likely cause exists), and because one of my sister's friends who went to the same cabin also got it (suggesting perhaps that it is in the lake water, and I might have ingested it when swimming).

Also, and perhaps more to the point, I have most of the symptoms, including and primarily painful cramping every time I eat, persistent nausea, crushing fatigue, ballistic diarrhea, and some of the smelliest gas that ever singed your nostril hairs. Don't worry kiddo, I've held them in when you were around.

I'm horrified and yet compelled (in equal measure) to report that there have been a few documented instances of accidental "sharting" (well, documented NOW anyway), which when first confessed in an email to a friend earned this response:

"SHARTING?

DOCUMENTED???

AHHHHHHH LA LA LA LA LA I DON'T WANT THESE EYES ANYMORE LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAAA"

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand fair enough. Happily all these "instances" were minor (no mop required) and occurred at home where they could be dealt with hygienically and promptly. (Run to back yard, strip pants off, douse underwear with lighter fluid and ignite.)

Over the last two weeks, things got progressively worse, so that I could no longer say "I think I MIGHT have a problem". (Crapping my pants involuntarily was definitely a clue.) I made an appointment to see a doctor this week, but a sensible friend of mine forced me to go to a walk-in clinic first thing Saturday morning, which was a really smart move. I was prescribed some hard-core antibiotics, and since Saturday at 11 AM the physically palpable battle between the protozoa and the metronidazole has been waging in my intestines.

The little write up that comes with the drug suggests that although the side effects can be harsh (and are alarmingly similar to the symptoms of hosting a parasite, including fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea), "your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects". So far, I've got the continued fatigue and the "metallic taste" (which means that the turkey dinner was ever so slightly like sucking a nail), but the other symptoms have greatly diminished, THANK GOD.

I'll let you know how it goes.

3 Comments:

At October 11, 2006 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hummmmm are you sure some crab did not have a fecal accident in the ocean? Also one can expect "highly offensive flatulence"...any chance I could get some for my next staff meeting?

 
At October 14, 2006 4:35 PM, Anonymous Ms. Glaze said...

Ah yes, I got this when I lived in India – many times! Not fun. Can you imagine living without a flushable toilet for a year and contracting such lovely bacteria? Good to be in Girardia free Paris!

 
At October 31, 2006 11:57 PM, Blogger Hooker said...

A fellow blogger with a penchant for furious whistling diarrhea! I'm in love.

 

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