Blog El Salvador

Why you are not a doctor

I had my University meet and since the team of my school was incomplete, I had 5 events (when the most I do is 2), divided in 2 days. I was under the sun for several hours and even did track events. So, the first day ended and I went to say hello to my first track & field coach ever!

After talking for a bit, he told me I could have this amazing opportunity of training with a specialized coach. We went to talk with him and he told me he was a very demanding coach and that I would not get into the team right away. He needed to test me before he accepted me. He would test me after the second day of my event.

There were like the two days I spent under the sun the most. I was tired but I had only one chance to make it with my new coach, I didn’t want to ruin this. So, I ate and went to my test. I passed most of them, I only failed at some thing with my arms because my shoulders were really weak. But, in general, I was in.

The very next day, I had fever. But not only that, my face looked red, even thought I am a brunette. I thought: maybe is because these last two days I was under the sun most of the day. So, I’ll just lots of water and start using sunscreen. It sounded great and easy to do, so I did.

I went to my second day of training with my new coach, it was a Friday, after I told him my shoulder hurt a little, he told me we were gonna focus in something else. So we did. I remember going home and feeling really tired, like really. My shoulder, my wrist and ankles were in pain. And also, I still had the temperature. I thought: maybe is because I just change my coach and this one is more demanding than the last one and the fever will get better until my sunburns cure. So, I’ll just rest this weekend and keep drinking lots of water. It sounded great and easy to do, so I did.

That night, I was chatting with a friend of mine. We had plans of going to a match on Saturday. I told him I was feeling weird and I didn’t want to ruin his Saturday with my awkwardness. He told me I wouldn’t ruin anything. I warned him my ankles were in pain and I was walking really slow. He accepted.

So, when Saturday came my ankles and wrist were in more pain than the last two days. I cancelled a yoga event I had that morning and wait for an improve on the afternoon. There wasn’t an improve. My friend came and we went to the match. I went wearing anklets. In the middle of the game my eyes were burning I started crying in the middle of the game. He asked me if there was something wrong and told him about my eyes. He bought me some pills and the temperature went down, my ankles and wrists had a bearable pain and my eyes got better.

But here’s a funny thing about me, I’m allergic to aspirin. Funny, huh? I’m allergic to medicine. That is why I don’t like to take pills most of the time. But I did that time because I was feeling awful, I was outside of my house and I was ruining someone’s weekend.

It’s sunday and my fever it’s almost gone. My sunburns are almost gone, as well. But my wrists and ankles still hurt and my eyes were burning also. At least I had no fever. But in the afternoon, my body starts to itch. As I couldn’t see almost anything, I went to sleep.

I woke up in the middle of the night and my eyes were better.  I went to the mirror, I don’t know why I did that. But I noticed my skin had these red dots all over it. First thing I thought: maybe is because I took those pills and who knows if they had something to do with aspirines, as I’m allergic to aspirin, that is why I have these red dots. I should drank a gallon of milk and wait for the best. So I did.

But the very next day these red dots were worst. And sadly, that was not what I fear the most. My biggest challenge was to show I was a committed athlete, and I went to the stadium that day, anyway.

That week, I had to put my hands on the floor for a specific exercise. I noticed I had the red dots even in my palms. The allergie was getting worse. My mom gave an allergie balm, I tried to had herb baths and drinking lots of milk. Also, I was putting ice on my wrists and ankles.

The allergie stopped after 10 days. ThGe eyes got better (sometimes burn but I apply eye drops and I’m ok). The fever was absolutely gone. I only had my wrists and ankles in pain. I thought: maybe is because I didn’t stop training and my body is getting used to train this hard. It will stop hurting soon! 

Guess what? It didn’t stop soon. It got a little better and I used my anklets for a long of time. My wrists got better sooner than my ankles. And I thought: maybe is because my ankles carry my whole weight and I used them even more than my wrists. They will get used to the trainings with the time. I was trying to be patient and careful, since I have had 3 sprains way back to the past.

Since my ankles where the only thing that hurt (until I injured my left shoulder, right wrist and right knee), I thought I have nothing to worry about. If I took care of my ankles with ice and massages and wear anklets when I needed it, sooner or later my ankles were gonna be fine.

But the weeks were passing by and my ankles didn’t got any better. I couldn’t run or jump or throw like I wanted to.

I thought I may be start to realize I would have to live with that specific pain for a lot of time and maybe forever. Until I overheard a conversation between my community coordinator and my mom. I overheard this: yes, the arthritis lasts from like 3 or 4 months to 3 or 5 years. Quickly I invited myself to the conversation and asked them what exactly was arthritis, since I thought it was a pain in the fingers only. And then asked them what they were talking about.

They were talking about a couple of my community coordinator’s coworkes had this new chikungunya thing and the arthritis will last a lot of more days than what the other symptoms last.

When I got home, I went to read everything I could about chikingunya and realized I had chikungunya all the time and didn’t know! I started to counteract all the symptoms because I thought the were isolated but they were a team all of the time: my symptoms were the chikungunya team!

Thank God, this time, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to cure chikingunya, except for counteract the symptoms. But, maybe someday I will suffer something that isn’t chikungunya and make it worst if I don’t check in with my doctor and start to counteract the symptoms by myself.

I was lucky this time, I guess. Since I didn’t suffered chikungunya because I was fighting the symptoms and because fighting the symptoms is the only thing I could do. And I was lucky since if I got chikungunya already, there’s a high possibility my body has developed antybodies and I will never suffer it, again!

Most of my friends took a lot of pills and sedated their bodies to get a cure faster and 2 months later, got chikungunya, again. Since I didn’t know what I was doing, I let the chikungunya develope from the beginning to the end and now I’m happy to let you know my ankles don’t hurt anymore. It took me less than 6 months to get over the arthritis!

But, I’M NOT A DOCTOR. And maybe if I had know what I was suffering, maybe I would have had more care.

Please, promise me if you feel any thing different with you or your body, you will check in with your doctor before doing anything by yourself.

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By Katherine Montero

Civil Engineering Junior. Diploma in Economics and Business. 6th best Discus Thrower in Central America. 5x Discus National Winner (El Salvador). Yogini. Small Product Lab Winner. Author of The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes. 5x Shotput National Winner (El Salvador). Business Management Junior.