Getting the odd head cold every now and again can prove a hindrance in our everyday lives.
When you end up with a bad illness, let’s just say it can suck is the understatement of the century.
At the end of April in to the beginning of May, after multiple doctors visits and a rapid decline in my health, I was diagnosed with Scarlet Fever.
I know what you’re thinking. How the hell can someone get Scarlet Fever in the modern day? That was a disease you read about in the history books.
This is true. Scarlet Fever used to be more prevalent in the past. With medical advancements in the modern era, it’s a disease hardly ever mentioned in comparison to other illnesses.
That being said, between 2,000 and 4,000 cases of Scarlet Fever are diagnosed ever year in the UK, most commonly in children, though adults can contract it too.
In my job at the time, I came in to contact with a lot of families, including children at the age most commonly associated with Scarlet Fever, so in hindsight that was probably the most likely cause.
Scarlet Fever is an illness caused by an infection of Group A Streptococcus. It can be passed from person to person through coughing, sneezing or from touching a surface with the infection, similar to how one would pass on a flu.
It’s highly contagious and a notifiable illness in the UK and if gone untreated, could lead to complications such as meningitis, brain abscesses, rheumatic fever just to name a few.
Basically, it’s bad. It might not be as serious as in the past due to medical advancements but it’s still not good by any stretch.
To cut a long story short, over three days after multiple doctors visits, going from feeling relatively ok to strawberry tongued, covered in red rash, feverish and barely able to even stand, I was diagnosed with Scarlet Fever.
The doctor looked just as shocked as I was. It’s not very common and some doctors go their entire careers and never see a case.
I was given a powerful course of antibiotics and followed the doctor’s advice on how to avoid spreading the infection.
24 hours after taking antibiotics, you might not be as contagious but it doesn’t make you any less ill. My lymph nodes were the size of golf balls, I could barely eat a thing and couldn’t talk properly. I was either stuttering or couldn’t speak at all my throat was so sore.
A big shout out to my folks who essentially quarantined themselves along with me, looked after me and monitored me closely as I was getting better. Thanks guys!
In between the medication, bed rest and keeping my fever down, I could only concentrate on what was on the TV, even then it had to be something I didn’t have to focus on. I’ve never felt so ill in my life.
I was grateful I trusted my gut and got treatment when I did. If I hadn’t, being in the back of an ambulance would have been a certainty, but thankfully it didn’t come to that. I gradually began to get better, but it took time. My appetite came back with a ravenous vengeance (much to my joy! Chinese takeout had never tasted so good!) but my strength took the longest.
Two and a bit weeks of solid bed rest and I was up on my feet, but only just. The doctor told me even after the infection had gone, I would feel completely wiped out, that recovery would take weeks and to take it easy and rest.
Boy, were they right. After the infection had been treated, I felt like I had been steamrollered (not a term I use lightly). Getting back to my get-up-and-go line of work wasn’t going to be as simple as 1 2 3.
After being ravaged by one hell of an infection, not being able to do things you love because you don’t have the energy sucks to say the least and can really get you down.
I focused on the things I could do while my energy was still returning. I could focus more on my writing, working on my scripts, short stories etc. and I actually had the energy to read again! I’d never felt so happy to actually be able to read again. Six weeks later, I’m pretty much back to my old self again.
Being able to do those things helped me feel less like garbage and helped raise my confidence again. After feeling like you’ve been wrung and hung out to dry multiple times, focusing on something I love not only as a career but for myself, helped build up my mojo again until I could get fully back to normal.
If you experience any symptoms and suspect you may have Scarlet Fever, get to a doctor or call NHS 111 immediately as you will need antibiotics treatment straight away.
Hope you enjoyed this post guys, take care! 🙂
Happy Thursday! 🙂