In August 2006 I was diagnosed with West Nile Virus.

I hope sharing my experiences with West Nile Virus (WNV) may help others.

August 22nd, 2006
My first symptom was eye pain. My eyes felt like they were strained and swollen. Even a very light touch on
my eyelids hurt. My eyes were very painful, looking anywhere other than straight ahead caused increased
pain.

August 24th, 2006
My next symptom was body pain. My left leg and hip ached. Nothing I did seemed to relieve the pain.

August 25th, 2006
Today my right leg began to ache also. The pain began to travel up into my back.

Next the rash appeared. But it was only obvious when I was wet. Just after a shower I looked like I had
chicken pox on my torso and thighs. After I  dried the rash was very difficult to detect.

At this point Bill insisted that I go to the doctor to be checked for West Nile Virus as there has been
several West Nile Virus cases reported in our area.

I thought he was crazy but went to the doctor. Amazingly enough the doctor thought I had WNV too!  Blood
was drawn and sent off to the state lab for testing. It would take 10 days to get the results.

The doctor prescribed prescription strength Naproxen Sodium (Alieve). This helped immensely with my eye
pain and hip & leg pain.

The doctor also recommended I get lots of sleep, 10 hours minimum every night and nap anytime I felt
tired. No strenuous activities.

August 26th, 2006
Next came the headache and nausea. Just the thought of eating made me nauseous. Ah-ha the silver lining, I
started dropping some of those pounds I'd gained over the last year or two! Just kidding of course. I was
sick and getting sicker by the hour it seemed.

We have a house for sale my neighbor wanted to look at. I met them over there and all I could do was sit in
a chair with cold sweats while they looked around. I was really getting sick and scared.

By chance my neighbor had a friend from Montana with them who had suffered with West Nile Virus in
2004. His experience was the same, he got sicker and sicker until he could no longer even get out of bed.
For a month or so he was just too sick to get up. Even when he started to get better any activity knocked
him right back down. At one point he tried to move a bale of hay for his wife. After the exertion all he could
do was lay on the ground. His wife and son had to carry him back into the house.

August 27th, 2006
I found out about another on-line friend who had West Nile Virus back in 2003. Same thing in bed for over
a month. Just too sick to get out of bed.

August 28th, 2006
On Saturday the guy from Montana, sorry I don't even know his name, had told me the one thing that had
finally helped him start to recover was something called XanGo Juice. I decided what the heck, I'll give it a
try. I had a few errands I planned to try to accomplish and would go to the health food store and try to find
this XanGo stuff.

By the time I got to the health food store I was feeling shaky and exhausted. They didn't have XanGo but
had another brand of juice made from the same fruit, the Mangosteen fruit from Asia, Mango•xan. I bought
a bottle of Mango•xan and the last bottle they had of Mangosteen in the pill form. By the time I got to the
check-out I was feeling confusion and was having difficulty making out the check for the purchase. Thinking
back on it, this definitely shows my level of confusion as I haven't used my check book to pay for things for
years. I always use a card.

The directions indicated a dose of the Mango•xan Juice was one ounce up to 3 times a day. I drank an ounce
and went to bed. Something I'd been doing a lot, which is very unusual for me. I never normally nap!

August 29th, 2006
I believe I'm starting to feel better. I am cautiously optimistic. I continue to get lots of rest and avoid
strenuous activity. Bill is great and is taking care of the things I normally do.

August 30th, 2006
I feel like I'm at least not getting any worse. I've cut back the prescription strength Naproxen Sodium to
once a day. I am taking a regular strength Alieve for the second dose. Still not much of an appetite, but I'm
able to stay awake all day.

September 1st, 2006
Bingham County has been declared a disaster area due to the number of cases of West Nile Virus.  The
county now qualifies for State Funds for spraying in areas that mosquitoes are spreading WNV in epidemic
numbers.

Tonight the spaying starts. We hear the planes flying overhead all night.

The Eastern Idaho State Fair starts tomorrow. I think they are in a race to spray the mosquitoes carrying
the virus before the arrival of hordes of people in Bingham County tomorrow. I believe they even
considered cancelling the fair. They feared so many people arriving at "the epicenter of the worse epidemic
we've ever seen".

September 4th, 2006
The Eastern Idaho State Fair is on! Something I really look forward to. I've been doing pretty well and
decide to give a trip to the fair a go. We only see a fraction of the fair, didn't want to press my luck. I'm a
little tired from the exertion. Some of the leg pain and feelings of confusion return. I guess I over did it.

September 5th, 2006
The doctor finally has my test results back. They've come back negative. The doctor wants to redo them.
They've found that the results are a false negative if the blood sample is taken too early in the illness. Now
they are not even bothering to test until at least a week after symptoms begin.  My WNV test was taken
only three days after my symptoms started. This is all new to the local medical care professionals and
they're learning as they go.

September 6th, 2006
I decide to take my 3 yo granddaughter to the fair and try to see some of the things I missed the first
time. She's feeling left out as her brother & sister have started school. We both tire pretty quickly. The
fair was pretty small this year, normally all the available stalls and cages are full. This year there are lots
of unfilled stalls and cages. I suspect many exhibitors stayed home in fear of the West Nile Virus outbreak
that Bingham County is experiencing.

On the way home from the fair I stopped by the doctor's office and had blood drawn to re-test for West
Nile Virus. Another seven to ten day wait ahead for the results.

In the evening I'm really drained. It took a lot to get up and get the dogs and horses fed so I could go to
bed. Luckily Bill got back from moving the irrigation water and helped out.

My biggest fear at this point is Bill also coming down with West Nile Virus. If we're both sick we will be in
a lot of trouble!

September 7th, 2006
It was difficult to get out of bed today. I didn't even have the energy to open my eyes. I think I have over
done. I hope it doesn't give the virus a chance to knock me down.

September 8th thru 13th, 2006
I am doing pretty well. I still sleep much more than normal. My appetite is good, maybe too good! Ever since
I got over the nausea I am always hungry! Not a good side effect but one I'll take over some of the other
side effects!

September 14th, 2006
It is official, the Doctor's office called today. My West Nile Virus test is positive. I am now one of the 48
confirmed cases of WNV in Bingham County as of 9-13-06.

I know of several people who have symptoms but have not been tested, no doubt the actual figures are
much higher.

I am extremely thankful I am doing as well as I am. I pray my recovery continues.

September 16th, 2006
I continue to do well. My ears are feeling stuffy, making hearing difficult.

September 19th, 2006
Boy, I am sick today. Hopefully it is an unrelated virus. I am very dizzy, nausea, sore throat and headache.
I feel like I could fall off the earth.

October 20th, 2006
I'm doing well, most days I feel good. I'm have regular bouts with dizziness. I am not sure if the dizziness
is related to the WNV or not. Today is another dizzy day, I feel like I'm walking on a slant, like the leaning
tower of Pisa. I feel like I may fall over at any moment.

October 30th, 2006
I am still having bouts of dizziness. They are typically less severe than they have been. I have regular
headaches, unusual for me. And I am having sensitivity to sound. Low frequency sounds seem to really effect
me the most.  Still, I am very happy to be doing as well as I am, not all are as lucky!



Cheryl Shelton
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My Experience with West Nile Virus
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