Michael is trying really hard to compete with Elizabeth on who has the most obscure disease/health condition. I am not sure why he wouldn’t choose to vie with other people for say…who can earn more money, have the biggest house, or even the strangest pet or biggest pants. But no, he is choosing strange ailments.

It would be impossible to list out all the things that Elizabeth has acquired in her meager 26 years, but if it is something that only old people get or that basically went extinct 100 years ago…she’s had it. Scarlet fever? Check. Shingles? Check. I expect that she’ll be diagnosed with the Black Plague any day now.

So then we have my dear husband Michael. If you were not part of our LA clan, then you may not be aware of his Bell’s Palsy scare a few years back. Bell’s is a temporary paralysis of the facial nerve and comes on very fast. He lost control of one side of his face in a matter of hours. It was horrible as I was in the Philippines and terrified that my husband had somehow suffered a stroke. Nope, just the palsy. Although scary, he recovered and his face won’t make you snicker any longer.

Then last week he came down with a fever. It was bad for about a day and then just seemed to settle in. For days he battled a low-grade temperature and awful aches and pains. We brushed it off as his body attempting to adjust to the running and intense workouts he recently started. But we both knew he was consuming too many ibuprofen in a day, and it is really rare for him to be woken up by pain in the middle of the night. On Friday morning things escalated and he woke up with a bright red rash. Going to the doctor was no longer an option.

When he got there and they heard his symptoms, they immediately put a mask on him. Michael said he was the only person in the waiting room wearing a bright blue mask. The man was marked. After his doctor asked a bunch of symptom questions, drew a ton of blood, and grilled him on his activities, they determined that Michael probably has Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The answer that tipped it? “Yes, I have been around a lot of ticks lately.” Michael’s new found love of trail running/hashing has exposed him to a ton of ticks. And now he has the Mountain Fever. Although his preliminary test results won’t be back until Monday, he was immediately put on Doxycycline. Apparently if they waited until tomorrow for confirmation, he would either have kicked the infection or be in the hospital and seriously sick. Let’s throw caution to the wind and start the meds.

He is feeling better, although his body starts screaming when he hasn’t taken the pain pills fast enough. I would say that his joints need to start screaming louder, because he is actually out hashing as I type this. One tick, two tick, three ticks not enough. Let’s see what fun thing he comes home with next. The Black Plague, anyone?

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