By Rosely Hodson
Australia, NSW state
I’m 57 years old. I’m Brazilian with 3 children and 4 grandchildren ( they live in Brazil). I found the love of my life and decided to move to Australia in 2011 to marry him.
My first episode was at the end of 2012. I spent the new year in the hospital and it was very difficult to be very far away from my family and I had many problems with the hospital. In LP there wasn’t enough liquid to prove whether it was viral or bacterial, so I was treated as a bacterial infection. It took me 6 months to recover.
In 2016 I had the second episode confirmed with the LP and the doctors didn’t investigate. My GP sent a letter to a neurologist with the hope that he would see me and he scheduled an appointment and I thought things would improve and I wouldn’t have any more episodes, so 4 weeks later I had the third episode. I told my husband that I didn’t want to go to the same hospital and we decided to go to another hospital. Best decision ever. When I was admitted to the hospital and saw the name of the neurologist, I was happy because it was the same neurologist that my GP sent me. He asked for all possible blood tests to find out and unfortunately, HSV1 and 2 and Herpes Zoster tested positive. I never had an outbreak in my body and it was a shock to me and difficult to accept. The infectious disease doctor said that I would have to take Valacyclovir for the rest of my life. The doctor said I have to take 2 tablets (2 of 500mg) a day and I started to have nausea, so he decreased the dose to 1 tablet (1 of 500mg) a day. My recovery was faster despite the 2 episodes and I thought I would never have another episode.
1 year and 8 months later, November 2017 came the fourth episode and my world collapsed again. I was selling my house, my husband was not well and I went to the hospital again and another LP. Thankfully, I had the doctor’s letter with me and it was much easier to attend. I’m still recovering and when I left the hospital, I decided to fight with my body. I have high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, diabetes, gastritis, reflux, and asthma. Before I had the fourth episode I decided to change some things in my life and started hiking and lost 8 kilos in 6 months. I began to feel much better. When I left the hospital, I decided that I had to know more about the disease and found the support group on Facebook, which helped me a lot and I decided that even knowing that I can have another episode again, I will not stop fighting.
I went to the neurologist and he gave MM as a diagnosis and told me that valacyclovir is the best medicine for the acyclovir family and I am determined to continue taking it. Today I feel much better, I still have gastric problems and lack of concentration, but I haven’t let that overwhelm me. I learned to deal with the lack of appetite and didn’t lose more weight (When I left the hospital, I had to take 2 tablets a day and I lost my appetite and in 2 weeks I lost another 2 kilos.), I still struggle with lack of concentration. I play many games and always try to do things that help me. Today my blood tests are all normal, including diabetes (which is more than normal). I have taken Macca powder and Spirulina supplements, which are helping me a lot.
Besides all problems, I feel good and I will not let this disease take over me. A few months ago I felt very much upset and lonely feeling that everything was over, but today I know that I’m not alone anymore and that gives me the strength to continue.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Siddartha Gautama Buddha
Thank you for reading my story.