Chikungunya Life

All Trinidadians will know by now the hell that is Chikungunya. It is worse than most mosquito borne viruses. It’s like an irritating ex boyfriend who continues to try  and contact you after you explicitly said you never wanted to see his face again, let alone hear anything that reminds you that he is breathing.

Social Media has been flooded with every possible remedy for the virus. Most popular is the paw paw leaf. That is to be crushed and the juice drank to restore blood platelets.

It works so well, it was a dream come true. In desperation I didn’t even follow the instructions. I blended it with water and ate it by the spoonful. Apparently not very good for you, but within five minutes of taking it I could feel a surge of energy I had not felt in days. 

They say the effects can last from months to years after the virus, but the bonus is once you get it, you will be Chikungunya free for the rest of your life. I never thought I would say it, but I would prefer another Chikv bout again. Six weeks post Chikv and every time I wean myself off of medication thinking I am fine, I wake up two days medication free and can barely walk. My feet cannot fit into my shoes, and heels… HA HA HA they are just there to look pretty, not be worn.

Another Chikv side effect that is severely overlooked and downplayed. Decreased dexterity. Weaning off medication means a return to atrocious handwriting that is equally as painful, almost impossible task and dropping things, and realizing you have dropped them a few moments later. Normally accompanied by stares and remarks, especially when it happens on Independence Square at lunch time. Now when I drop things I just exclaim “OPA!!!” and laugh, isn’t much else that can be done now is there?

Another frustration: I cannot walk at my usual pace. All those people I would mentally blast for walking like they were on a Sunday stroll. Well God really decided to show me. Now I hobble, and when medication is at its best, still walk not even half the pace I was used to. Crossing the roads in Port of Spain is the worst. Drivers “cussin” because I cannot get across the road quickly enough, which has led to many middle fingers and expletives on my part out of sheer frustration and pain.

But, it isn’t all bad. Recently as I walked gingerly across the road a taxi driver poked his head out and said ” Take yuh time dahlin, I know how that Chickv does be”. I slowly retreated , as I had been mentally prepping myself  for another cuss out.

But the frustrations still stand. Not wanting to be dependent on medication but not being able to fully function without them is a hell of a thing.

So here is to a post weaning day, where all my plans have been shot to hell.

 Thank goodness for Netflix.

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