HAVE YOU SEEN THESE CRITTERS?
Didn’t see an email for you, so hopefully you’ll get this message. I was down at my lodge in the Peruvian Amazon this past November. At the time, I got chewed up viciously my chiggers. But in retrospect, I suspect it may have been more than just chiggers. Long story short, upon my return to the states, came down with virulent flu-like symptoms including chills which nearly had me in convulsions that hurt my muscles and than an hour later a fever that would drench my blankets. All the other flu-like suspects as well. Even though I had been visiting the jungle for nearly 14 years, I had never been this ill before. Eventually, the symptoms went away and I didn’t give it much more thought. Fast forward. In December, noticed a ringing in my ears. In February, my left arm began to ache and was unable to lift it. At the same a mysterious rash appeared one night on both the left and ride side of my ribs right beneath my arms. No itch or pain, but looked like flea bites. But nowhere else on my body and my wife didn’t have any bites. Seemed odd, but after a few weeks it disappeared. But then the pain in my left arm migrated into my right arm. Also, a slight numbness on the left side of my face. Went to my GP and he told me I had rotator cuff injury and I should see a physical therapist. Wait, I’m not stupid. Where in the medical journals do they talk about rotator cuff injuries traveling from one arm to the other? None-the-less, I’ve since moved onto a neurologist who had had many MRIs performed, blood tests and most recently a spinal tap. Based upon my research, I’m starting to hypothesize that maybe I got bit by a tick in addition to all those chiggers…but I haven’t been able to find much in online literature that indicates there are ticks in the Amazon jungle, and if so, if they would carry lyme disease or a distant cousin of that? I’m at my wit’s end and my symptoms are getting worse. Do you think there’s any merit to my way of thinking? Thanks, ________
Please tell me that your doctor checked for malaria. Any traveler with a fever who is returning from an area known to have malaria needs to be tested. Were you tested for any other diseases? Were you on an anti-malarial? If you had been on a quinine derivative for the malaria, that could be the cause of ringing in the ears.
As far as I can tell, Lyme doesn’t really exist in South America.