When we last left our hero (me), I was recovering from a jaundice of unknown etiology and losing my toenails as the aftermath of some kind of infection. I had been lulled into thinking that since my symptoms were resolving, that I was actually getting better.
I thought it was a little weird when the skin on my hands started to peel off, but figured my skin was just dry.
When PH mentioned that my eyes were looking bloodshot, I shrugged it off.
The next morning, I walked to the bathroom sink, scratching my hands irritably, to look for moisturizer, and glanced at my face in the mirror.
“Oh my GOD,” I said.
“What?” mumbled PH from the bed.
“I told you…”
I looked like a character from a Stephenie Meyer… well, I won’t say novel… collection of pages with words on them.
My eyes were flamingly bloodshot, angrier than the angriest pink eye. But they felt totally normal. No sand in my eyes, no itching, no pain. They felt normal, but looked distinctly scary.
“Well, that’s weird…”
I was also having a lot of weird muscle pains. It felt like I’d spent a day hiking up mountains, instead of two weeks lying around letting other people take care of my three year old. My hands continued to peel, shedding large pieces of parchment-like white flakes all over our house.
I booked a follow up with my useless GP when we arrived home and gave her all my records. She didn’t even shine a light in my eyes. She glanced over the paperwork I brought from Nova Scotia, and ordered repeat blood tests to make sure my liver enzymes continued to improve. She said the same thing all the other doctors had:
“I think this is some kind of a virus. Just rest and it will keep improving.”
“My mother thinks I have leptospirosis, because I work with animals and it can cause red eyes,” I said.
There was some tapping at the computer. I strongly suspect my doctor was googling leptospirosis.
“Well, I can add on a test for it but I think this is viral.”
I tried to go back to work.
It didn’t go well.
I shuffled aroound in my Crocs, alarming clients with my red eyes, routinely sweeping up my skin cells as they littered the floor, and then sinking to said floor to rest in between appointments.
“Go home,” my boss said.
My head was starting to hurt.
Like, really hurt.