I helped my Mom clean out the garage today, and by dinnertime I could barely breathe. Why do I keep forgetting I’m allergic to dust? So anyway, I got a sore throat (on the left side), laboured breathing, and my left eye turned red. I’m guessing it’s all probably just dust allergy, but…
(… and here’s where you get to shake your head at me…)
I remembered that there used to be mice in the garage at one point. Long, long ago, apparently, and they’re gone all. But you know, I immediately started thinking, Gee, I could have been exposed to hantavirus. After all, it’s something that exists in the mice droppings, and is airbnorne, aerosolized by being kicked up into the air by, say, things like sweeping.
And you know, I guess I could have exposed to it, actually, though there’s really only been 6 recorded cases in Saskatchewan so it’s unlikely.
Nitric Oxide therapy, I’m remembering that. That, and the fact that the Asian form and the North American form differ, though at least the Asian form is known in Korea, according to the same page that discussed the Nitric Oxide therapy. It never struck me how bad it could be to have an illness localized to one place while finding oneself in another place. Or that sweeping out a garage could mess me up that much.
But it’s probably just bad asthma and dust allergy, period, and I’ll believe that unless some mysterious flu kicks in sometime in the next few weeks. After all, my sisters and brother-in-law and Dad once cleaned out the garage, sort-of, and they never got hantavirus, and that was after all the mice died. And only something like 1% of deer mice in Saskatchewan have hantavirus anyway.
The big lesson, though, well, wait… there are a couple.
1. Don’t do work that’s likely to make you sick. I know I’m allergic to dust, so it was stupid to enter a space where dust was being kicked up by sweeping, even if I did wear a filter mask. It’s nice to want to help but I still am breathing like an old man, hours later. Though, yay, my left ear just popped and my sinuses are no longer stuffed.
2. Don’t research illnesses online until after you’ve been diagnosed, unless you REALLY know what you might have. Shots in the dark will only terrify you, and it’s only borrowing trouble. Whereas talking to a trained physician is a good idea. Lime once diagnosed what used to be wrong with my fingernails and toenails with only one simple question, because she knows what she’s talking about… at least to some degree.
3. Not cleaning out garages whilst in a country you’re not currently residing in is probably a good idea for several reasons. And don’t sweep out garages where mice have been found in the past, if you can help it.
4. Worrying helps nothing at all. Even if you’re inclined to worry naturally, the worrying won’t do anything.
5. Despite all the above, diseases like this are nonetheless real, and anyone could die from them. People do.
UPDATE: Sometime the next morning, I’m feeling relatively fine, though the sore throat’s still hanging on…