You ask whether I was exposed to new foods or chemicals. Well, as a journalist I rushed in where wise men feared to tread several times and I wonder if that caused exposure to the original source. For example, I wrote about a neighborhood infested with a swarm of white ibis. The birds come for a few months a year and fly en mass around sundown. I went there one evening and took pictures. Without considering the potential health risk I walked into the cloud of powdery white smoke from three years or bird droppings that covered everything at the end of the cul de sac to take pictures. It was disgusting and everyone came into contact with the bird rockery got sick, including me. Also, I wrote about what is called a "stash house" that the sheriff's department discovered where hundred of people were being held captive by human smugglers. I didn't go into the actual two-bedroom house but I was within arm's length taking pictures of the victims as they were being taken out of the house and transported elsewhere. The house was filthy and the smugglers also ran a makeshift farm with a few of the victims helping to care for the animals.
Then, there was the time my son went with his friends to play paint ball gun wars in a wooded area and later turned up with the alleged "poison ivy" from crawling around on his stomach like a soldier. I washed his clothes and it wasn't long after that the sore started to appear on my forearms. He had a mysterious itchy rash on his stomach, which went away. Mine got worse.
When I've tried to talk to the doctors about these things they insist the risk of getting sick from these exposures is nil. I even went so far as to track down infectious disease researchers and experts to talk to about the people getting sick who live near the bird rockery as part of my research. But, I was told the chance anyone would get sick from a one-time exposure is non-existent.
In other news, the strange thing in my eye is gone today. It was really bothering me. But, now, I worry where it will turn up next :(
I will take my time and self-treat to the best of my abilities. I also intend to seek medical care and as I live near the Houston Medical Center, which is supposed to have some of the best doctors in the world, I'm hopeful I'll find someone who can diagnose what is going on and help me. On the other hand, it's excruciating to talk to anyone about this, especially after having encountered mean doctors, and that's a mental hurdle. Additionally, I think many doctors are not interested in treating something like this and it's easier to deny the symptoms. I also think doctors must not be given accurate or full information about the health threat parasites pose to ordinary Americans, not just those who foolishly rush in where danger lurks or those who travel to third-world countries.
Thank you all so much for talking to me. I am suffering, not dying, but it is awful and scary and I wish it would just go away.