Monday, November 10, 2008

I May Or May Not Have West Nile Virus

A few years ago when Tommy had weaned himself from breastfeeding I was finally able to give blood again. It had been three straight years of being pregnant or breastfeeding and when Good Friday rolled around I happily signed up to donate blood.

I made sure Todd was home for the afternoon and I went to the donation site. I gave blood quickly, got a little light headed, and then went on my way. A couple of weeks later I got a phone call from the Blood Center informing me that they thought perhaps I had West Nile Virus. They wanted me to go to Milwaukee (about an hour from where I live) and do some testing that would take nearly all day and told me that I wouldn't be able to give blood again until the testing was done.

Thankfully I am not a hypochondriac otherwise it would have wreaked havoc on my brain. Nope. Instead I just hung up the phone and laughingly told Todd that I'm diseased. I got a good kick out of calling my friends and letting them know I had the West Nile. They were all freaked out and couldn't understand why I wouldn't just get the testing done. They kept pestering me to do it but I just didn't feel it was necessary. I don't know. Maybe it is my upbringing (as a teenager I once had a temperature of 104.9 and my mom just said, "Eh. You'll be fine.") but I don't go to the doctor unless a body part is missing.

I never did go get the testing done. I knew I obviously didn't have West Nile Virus. I couldn't even remember the last time I was sick. And even if I DID have West Nile Virus (I did my research online after the phone call) it is really just like the flu (what's the big deal?) and then once you have it you build up antibodies that keep you from ever getting it again. There was no way I was going to try and find someone to watch my two little ones while I trekked down to Milwaukee to hear what I already knew.

Fast forward to this past Thursday. The blood drive I told you about here was being done by the Blood Center and I knew I wouldn't be able to donate if I didn't get the testing. I contacted them and asked how I might go about getting tested. It turns out I could just go to the blood drive and they would test me there. So I did.

The phlebotomist drew a few viles of my blood and that was it. Of course they wouldn't let me donate blood that night (but thankfully they had well over 100 donors that evening) but now at least I will be able to give again. I just have to wait for my test results. They should be in within the week.

So do you want to place your bets? I am diseased, or not? Place your bets on my poll in the sidebar.

41 comments:

lime said...

you might be sick in the head (with your sanity being stolen and all) but you aren't diseased. hehehehe

sorry i couldn't resist.

glad this was a fairly quick and simple solution though. wishing you health.

Mel said...

Kat you are one in a million...I can't wait to read your posts!

Brittany said...

Geesh girl, stop frolicking with the mosquitoes!

CC said...

Can't wait to find out!! ;)

I had a friend who got it. While pregnant. She made the textbooks in that state as the 1st west nile patient(s) they'd treated in the maternity ward.

painted maypole said...

oh no... west vile canactually be very serious. a woman in my bible study's son has it, and he's been in the hospital and is having psychiatric problems because it has effected his brain. take it seriously, Kat. please.

I pray you DON'T have it.

scrap chair potato said...

I am like you and I don't worry about things like this too much. Still, I hope you don't have it.

Kristen said...

I too am hoping that you don't have it!!

Too funny about never testing though. Not that I am freaked out by much either, but I would just have loved to know. I guess I am a sucker for suspense!!

Waiting to hear your verdict!!

Beck said...

I hope you do not have West Nile Virus. That would be stinky. I had it once - is that the one you get from ticks? or is that Lyme Disease? Anyhow. I had one of those and I was SO sick.

Kat said...

PM- All the research I've done basically says that it is very much like the flu. It can make some people very sick just like the flu can turn into pneumonia for some people, but there are others that never even know that they had it. It affects everyone differently. I guess I would have taken it more seriously if I had been sick, but I wasn't. And if I had had it, it obviously didn't affect me and now I have the antibodies.
That is super scary about your friend's son though. I send out some prayers.

Beck- WHAT? Lyme Disease is very serious. I didn't think you could get rid of it. I thought it was one of those things that sticks with you forever. I certainly hope you didn't have it. Yipes!!!

wright said...

Here's hoping you're not diseased!

My hubby swears he had WNV and I just laughed it off. But maybe he should get tested.

Janah said...

I just got a letter from the city the other day stating that there is a case of WNV within half a mile of my house. I freaked out! Probably because I had no idea what it was, but thought it was something you could die from...no really, I am educated - I think. Anyway, I told the hubs he needed to climb on a ladder and check the neighbors pool to make sure it didn't have old standing water in it. And now, I will probably worry about every little bite I get!

imbeingheldhostage said...

can I catch west nile by reading your blog?

Hey, I was playing around with new templates and guess what-- this is the one I wanted. Great minds, huh? It's a good thing I'm a freak over young adult fiction or we'd be twins today.

Karen Deborah said...

umm actually West Nile can be very serious, you probably DON'T have it. You haven't ever seen anyone sick. This disease attacks the neuro system and can be devastating. The flu? It can start like the flu. It can end as a total care patient, nothing to be glib about, but I don't think you have it. If you do come back positive take this seriously.

david mcmahon said...

If by any chance it is the virus, I hope you recover quickly, Kat.

Fire Hunt said...

I Can't wait to find out.

4 Little Men and Twins said...

oh my goodness... i can't wait to hear the results! :)

brittany

Kellan said...

I can't believe you aren't worried - I'd be going crazy and believing I was going to die! I hope you don't have it and I'll bet you don't.

Have a good evening, Kat - Kellan

Rima said...

I'm going to say that even if you *did* have it at some point, you don't anymore!

I wish I had your outlook on life, though!

Robyn said...

I would've needed to now pronto. i can't believe you could wait. I also don't know why your local dr. couldn't have done the test.

Kat said...

Hehehe. I knew y'all would get a kick out of this.
Again, I know it can be serious and develop branch into your neuro system but according to all the research I did online that is rare. Most of the time it is like the flu and then that is it. And sometimes you have it, never know it, and develop antibodies. But it has been over three years now and I've had a baby since so I'm pretty sure I'm fine.
Thanks for the concern though. ;)
Robyn- I guess the testing was all new to the Blood Center back when they thought I may have it and all the testing had to be done at their headquarters or something. Now they've streamlined it and it can be done at any site. I thought it was odd I couldn't just go somewhere in my town too. Ah well.
Rima- My outlook can sometimes be a curse too though. Someday I may just overlook something because I am poo-pooing (that's funny) everything.
However my boys are a different story. Anything raises an eyebrow and I call the doc or take them in. But with me? Eh, no big whoop. ;)

Elaine A. said...

I am crackin' up over here at your last option on the poll... "No but I hope you get it!"

How rude! ; )

Kelli @ Gohn Crazy said...

You sound like a mom. Yep I hate going to the dr or taking medicine or any of that, but the slightest with either kid and we're calling/piling in the car. :)

I say no. Like you said maybe you had something and your body dealt with it by itself and you now have the antibodies. But I don't see how after 3 years and children you still "have it". Wouldn't they have said something during all the pregnancy blood work.

Momisodes said...

Oy. Years ago? I'm guessing the chances are low. Either way, I hope you don't have it.

Jewelgirl said...

Geez, hate those mosquitoes! I hope
you're fine. I agree with Kelli, they
do major bloodwork when your pregnant, you'd think they'd find
it then???!!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Girlfriend, do you ever have jsut a regular day? West Nile? Sounds like an eyelash should be batted over this ... but if you're not worried I'll just add a wee prayer and keep smiling alongside you. : )

Chris said...

Well, the vast majority of West Nile Cases hardly produce any symptoms at all, particularly if you are not among the very old or the very young. You obviously are not in this category.
Having said that, I hope everything is okay.
I completely get the staying away from the doctor until a limb falls off -- I'm generally in no position to object when they finally drag me to the doctor.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Well, I certainly hope not.
I'm impressed that you're still doing NaBloPoMo, I blew it this weekend! It wasn't entirely my fault, my poor broken blog was part of the problem.
C'est la vie!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Whoa! I love your attitude. It's true--moms don't have time to get sick!

Cassie said...

Wow. Thank goodness this didn't happen to me because I am a HUGE hypochondriac and probably would have told everyone I was dying. But I'm sure you're fine. You probably would have known by now if something was wrong.

Dawn said...

You're so funny. ;) I might have tried to milk that diagnosis for some extra sympathy from my husband.

Roxy Wishum said...

Kudos on the independent spirit and the courage to include "No, but I hope you get it" in the poll. Do you guys even have mosquitos that far north? Isn't it always below freezing up there?

Elaine A. said...

Just wanted to let you know I've left you a little love over at my place...

Laura said...

YEEEEGAWD...I hope not!

maggies mind said...

I'm thinking you prolly don't have it. :) Good luck. It's not contagious by blog reading, is it?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You're clean...right? I hope!

Kelley said...

I must admit that I've never participated in a poll quite like this before. Very entertaining. I hope you don't have it, though.

Tonya said...

seriously if it is like the flu why does everyone make such a big deal about it?

Bren said...

Did I read that correctly? You gave blood on Good Friday and they just NOW called you to tell you something is wrong?

Kelly said...

I would assume you would have had some symptoms if you had it but then I dont know a whole lot about it. THat's great that you were able to get tested in your town.

Hey, how far from Chicago are you?? It would be awesome if you could meet up with us for a girls weekend!! :) (I saw your post on Dianna's blog)

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

Kudos for getting tested. And, that cracks me up. They through mine out because my totally safe electrolysis was a hazard for getting hiv. Whatever.

kirsty815 said...

OMG I would've passed out on the spot, I'm the hypocondriac (sp?). lol Hope you're disease free! :o)

Kirst

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson