The absolute second I heard about this new Zika virus, I knew I simply HAD to have it! I mean, I’d already had the Chikungunya virus and one simply can not be fashionable without the pair! How. Gauche!
It’s not as if the daily mosquito bites aren’t enough. They seem to love me. When I lived in Sosua I would usually have about eight to ten bites before I even had my coffee made. Sprays, coils, candles, swearing, swatting; Tried them all!
About four months after moving to The Dominican Republic I was having drinks with a friend across the street from my apartment and started to notice a growing ache in my right knee. It continued and we had another drink and by the time we left it was both knees.
I wasn’t sure what it was but the more the day progressed the worse it got. By the time I got home, I was frankly surprised and relieved I had managed to do so. This followed by fever, headache, severe joint pain; mine was knees, ankles, knuckles and just overall bitchiness, although that one was harder to diagnose. For the next few months it was excruciating for me to walk the three flights of stairs to go out and get groceries or get about.
A quick chat with Doctor Internet told me all I needed to know. Damn Mosquitoes! I had had friends down from Toronto for Christmas and every time we had to go up and down the stairs I yelped with pain on every stair, every trip. I’m sure it got very tired very quickly. I remember reading an article about it and a woman from America who was a member of Doctors Without Borders came to Haiti every year for a few months and she was three years strong with the joint pain.
Three Years! Fuck That! I decided then and there I wasn’t made of such resolve and would put on a glitter gown and find the nearest bridge to dive off. Over the counter pain medication wasn’t helping and I just didn’t know how to see the end of it. Then one day in early January I was at the pub (a small building with few walls and thatched roofing) and I got up to go to the ladies room, (One washroom. All Welcome. No one fucked a child. Go figure) and when I came back to my bar stool, it dawned on me there was no pain!
I couldn’t really pinpoint when that all happened, but I could barely breathe from excitement. I was even too scared to mention it to my friend as I might jinx it! It had simply fucked right off. And besides a few flare ups when I’ve had a bit of a flu bug, it has remained completely fucked off.
So last weekend when I was sweating profusely and showering two or three times everyday, I wasn’t terribly surprised to wake up to a full body rash, headache, achy, and over all bitchiness, I knew my Zika package had arrived! I din’t get the joint pain, but I’m putting that down to ‘Been there, done that’ and one week later I’m still not completely right but it’s tolerable. The itchy rash was enough, but when you couple that with a few more mosquito bites on top, plus a thirst like onset diabetes. Well…
So tolerable, in fact, I may hike up the hill for some proper medicine. Wine.
Okay, Zika. Off you Fuck.