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Friday, February 20, 2009

Research on my Parasite

Since learning that I have an abdominal parasite, I've done some research on my own and talked to others who've suffered from the same ailment. Right now the parasite is called an "endoparasite" (endo meaning "inside") and at this stage is it already causing some uncomfortable side effects. These are very not-glamorous and include lovely things like indigestion and irritabiliity. Apparently, after the transition to an ectoparasitic instar (ecto meaning "outside"), I can expect some months of sleep disturbance and frequent fatigue, after which things will gradually approach normal.

Recovery from this type of parasite is never really 100%, but after a while the remaining effects become my new "normal" state, so it isn't such a big deal.

The doctor assured me that I can look forwad to drinking wine and beer again in about a year, which is longer than the few months I thought it would be. I had assumed I could drink again once my body purged this thing out of me. The doctor said that I can if I really want to, but it is a good idea to avoid it for a few more months after that. She said that my body will react to the ectoparasite with engorged (and leaky) glands and alcohol will affect the glandular fluid and not allow the glands to drain properly (which can be painful and require manual draining...gross). Sigh. She also warned that if I don't carefully monitor my alcohol consumption, it could lead to starting the whole parasite thing over again.

Dave's parents have been very supportive, even giving him some time off from work to take care of me. He's put some of that time towards working on things around the house that will make it more livable as my condition becomes more advanced, and especially during the time that I have to deal with the ectoparasite. A note to my attached but unmarried friends: this is probably something that you wouldn't want to go through on your own!

Statistics suggest that a surprisingly large number of people don't really understand that this could easily happen to them.

Anyway, I had to reschedule my abdominal scan appointment for next week because I had to give a talk for my graduate group at the last minute. Wish me luck!

6 comments:

Elizabeth M said...

My thoughts are with you right now w/ everything going on in your life. When you need to relax just have some nice hot cocoa like I do. Its cheaper than alcohol anyways.

PS-you need a vacation :-)

The Bowers! said...

Amen to needing a vacation! Hopefully this summer I can take a nice long break. In the mean time cocoa sounds super good...I might go make a mug right now!

MrsTina said...

Woah! I'm lost - how did your heart thing turn into finding a parasite?

No booze for Julie :( So sad.

The Bowers! said...

No--this parasite isn't connected to my heart troubles (as far as we know). I just happened to be inflicted with both problems at once. Lucky me, huh?

I actually knew about the parasite before the heart thing happened. I just didn't post anything about it until right around the time my heart acted up.

Rob said...

Wow.. I hope you feel better! I think you need a nice relaxing vacation -- perhaps Geneva? (You and Dave are always welcome)

Anyway, try to keep the stress in check. I certainly know how hard that can be...

Get well soon!

huntfamily said...

man this parasite thing is quite serious isn't it? glad you realize after you get rid of this thing life will never be the same "normal" again. good luck!