Look if this post gets a bit much, and I’m sharing too many details of my new man… I completely understand if you want to stop reading.  But please just give me a few moments…  This is pretty important.

So this man came into my life completely unexpectedly (they say it happens when you least expect it)…

I find myself not thinking straight…

He encourages me stay in bed a lot longer than I normally would…

My body often feels tingly…

And I don’t seem to have as much time for other things in my life at the moment…

I really need to tell you his name… It’s Ross River (virus).
If you are not familiar with Mr River, then please allow me to elaborate.  Ross River Virus (RRV) is passed through a mosquito bite.  Between 3 days and 3 weeks of being infected symptoms such as fever, joint & muscle pain, fatigue and a rash may occur.  Symptoms can last between 6 weeks and 12 months but some people don’t get any symptoms at all.  Once infected with RRV there is no cure as such, just managing the pain and fatigue.

I guess so far I have been fairly lucky.  I’ve had a couple of very bad days where I have been basically bed-ridden with pain and fatigue.  But mostly the main thing I notice is how tired I feel.  So I make sure I have a rest every single day.  I also find my weekly infra-red sauna helps with the pain.  And I’m paying close attention to how things make me feel – for instance red wine tends to make my joints more painful so I am avoiding it for the moment (frankly this is the most devastating thing about RRV for me!!)

How can you avoid getting RRV?
Just avoid being bitten by a mosquito.  It’s as simple (and difficult) as that!  Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing.  Use hard core insect repellant (I hate saying that because I don’t like using harsh chemicals on my skin but it must be better than feeling like this!) and if you need to use mosquito nets at night then do so.  Also check that you don’t have stagnant pools of water around your house as that becomes a breeding ground for mozzies.  The guy in this pic has to be very careful because when the daylight is dusk or dawn, that’s when the mosquitoes come out to play.  I really hope he’s wearing Aeroguard!
What’s the point of this post?
Firstly I want you to know that RRV is out there.  And all it takes is one mosquito bite to make you feel sick for quite some time.  My diagnosis has reminded me how important it is to look after ourselves and to listen in to how our bodies are feeling.  If you are tired, find a way to take a rest or develop strategies to increase your energy levels (i.e. better nutrition, gentle exercise, deep breathing etc).  It’s not normal to feel tired in the middle of the day so if you suddenly start feeling this way get it checked out (or make changes in your life so you don’t!)

Have you or a loved one ever had RRV?  If you’d like to share any tips on how you coped please leave the a comment below!