Budster's story on Valley Fever

05/20/08 Another trip to the Dr, X-rays show no arthrititis in the hips but some advanced arthritis in the big toe joints. He tried to inject a steroid into the joint but the pain was too much for me. He gave me a prescription for Ibuprofen 600mg for the pain and also a post-op shoe that doesn't allow the toes to bend while walking. Now the problem with Ibuprofen for me is that my kidneys don't like it so I can only take it for 5 days with a lot of water... Hopefully the pain will subside by then. The radiologist will evaluate my X-rays and see if I need surgery on my big toe joint.

05/13/08 Foot pain back, Dr now thinks it might be my hips causing it. He prescribed Tramadol for pain.

04/30/08 No more foot pain.

04/15/08 Been having problems with foot pain, a trip to the doctor who says I'm having a gout problem. He prescribed Colchicine and seems to work with the side effect of loose bowels.

03/04/08 The cough is subsiding

02/20/08 The cough is back, yikes I hate it when that happens.

01/11/08 Dr visit for bad cough, rest they say, no infections

12/03/07 Kidney function still good, liver function good, chloesterol coming down

09/12/07 Titers steady ar 1:2

05/29/07 No change in my kidney function

03/14/07 Titers steady at 1:2 I guess the 100mg/day of Fluconozole is working.

11/16/06 No change in my kidney function, good news as it is not getting worse!

10/16/06 Titers checked in at 1:2

08/31/06 It seems my cholesterol LDLs are high, more meds.

04/05/06 No change in the kidney function, more foods on my DO NOT eat list. If this keeps up I'll be on a water only diet!

03/01/06 Dr want's me to have my kidney functions checked again

02/14/06 Dr checkup, all's well

02/02/06 I am feeling better on 100mg/day

12/02/05 Visited my infectious disease Dr yesterday, my titers are at 1:4, she recommended that I drop to 100mg/day of Diflucan because of my kidney problems. I sure hope my titers don't raise up. I'll give it a try. My Dr want's to see me in six months to check my progress.

11/05/05 I just had a meeting with the nephrology nutritionist after a visit to the Kidney Dr. I am in stage two of kidney disease with a GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) of 64 which indicates that protein and/or Micro albumin is found in the urine with a slightly rising Serum Creatinine blood test. I am now on a diet with low amounts of potassium and phosphorous and no salt. This is probably caused by my diabetes condition. But then while I was in the hospital for VF my pancreas went into shock due to a gall stone blocking it's tubes resulting in diminished pancreas function causing me to have diabetes.

05/12/05 I just got back from visiting my infectious disease Dr. She wants me to hold off on anti-fungal for three months to see if it's the medication that is making me feel tired/achy/sleepy/tired/etc. I told her that I was very nervous about doing this as the last time I stopped the meds the cocci disseminated into my skin and my titers jumped to 1:32 from 1:2. She put me back on meds 600mg/day for a month then 400 for several months till my titers were back to 1:2. This is where they have been for a year now.

I gave her some printouts on the sulfur cure and included the website for her to check it out, she said she would. I could see a bit of disbelief in her eyes when I told her about the sulfur cure, but she did say she would look into it.

12/07/04 met with my infectious disease Dr again. My titers are still at 1:4. I just got another Diflucan refill today and was surprised by the pharmacist telling me that it is now a generic. I received pills made by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited
07/09/04 met with my infectious disease Dr who told me that I will be on at least 200mg/day of Diflucan indefinitely. My titers have been steady 1:4 and she says that this is the best I will see.

02/22/04 Saw my infectious disease Dr last week. She is satisfied with having me on 200mg/day of Diflucan. My quantitive immunodiffusion went to 1:4 but my other blood tests improved showing that I am getting stronger and hopefully my immune system is also getting stronger! It's been almost 6 months since I quit smoking, I have gained a few pounds and think it is time for me to lose a bunch of weight.

10/22/03 Got the latest blood titer test today. Good news, after lowering my Diflucan dosage to 200mg/day my complement fixation titer was 1:4 and the quantitive immunodiffusion was 1:2 which confirms that the titer of CF (IgG) remains favorably low. I still tire quickly and have night sweats. I am looking forward to the day when I can sleep thru the night. I finally quit smoking (again) and am hoping that will help my stamina.

09/10/03 I visited my Infectious Disease Dr today, since my titers have been steady she is recommending that I use 200mg/day Diflucan. She scheduled me for a follow-up visit in 10 weeks with a full blood panel 2 weeks earlier. I expressed my fears of the cocci disseminating to other organs in my body and was told 'not to worry' at this point. I also expressed my continuing night sweats and lack of energy. She said it's not the cocci but a side effect of the Diflucan. She would like to see if these symptoms lessen by the lower dose of Diflucan. Needless to say I am nervous about this but will give it a try to see what's up.

03/05/03 My titers have been steady @ 1:16 (compliment fixation) and 1:4 (quantitative immunodiffusion) for the last 6 months. I have been on Diflucan since 7/00 now at 400mg/day. unfortunately for me I will be on meds indefinetly and have to have blood tests for titers/liver/kidney functions every 6 weeks.

10/24/02 The skin cancer that was found is called "Squamous Cell" The cancerous skin was removed and the adjacent skin was pulled around the removed area and stitched. It was painless and took less than thirty minutes. I need to really pay attention to any new skin lesions that may show up (as does everyone). Hopefully I will not have another bout with this.

10/18/02 Had the biopsy stitches removed and was given the results of the test. Skin cancer... an appointment was made with a dermatologist for 10/24 to remove the rest of the cancer area.

10/14/02 Had a punch biopsy to check a couple of spots that I developed on my skin that were itchy which worried me as I had cocci on my skin before and the symptoms are the same.

10/10/02 Blood test for liver function is normal, waiting for titer levels

09/27/02 Blood test to check for liver function and cocci titer levels

08/12/02 Had my gallbladder removed 08/08/02, 4 small incisions, the worst part so far is the pumping up of the abdominal cavity to give them room to work. I'm still bloated today and it hurts to bend over. No cocci present in the bladder (good news). I guess the older you are the longer the recovery process takes......

08/04/02 I have been on 400mg/day Diflucan and my titers have been steady at 1:16 for the last blood test. All else is status-quo, short of breath, unable to perform anything for an extended time without resting, hair still falling out, dry skin and lips, joint pain....... Going day by day hoping for the best.

06/11/02 My infectious disease Dr suggests that I start 400mg/day Diflucan as my titers have been steady at 1:16 for the last five blood tests. I hope my body agrees with this, next blood test will tell.......(tested on 7/5/02, waiting for results)

05/23/02 Latest titers as of 04/12/02 are at 1:16 this is now for the last four blood tests. Continuing 600mg/day of Diflucan for a while (forever?), I may have to go to 800mg/day again..... 'Physical Therapy' gave me some exercises to do for more flexibility in my hip joints, I am still experiencing pain when walking more than a city block.

05/07/02 Met with the surgeon about my gallbladder, it has to go........ waiting for a surgery date, if there are no complications then it will be done 'Laparoscopicly' *sigh* life isn't easy anymore, one day at a time now!

03/08/02 Visited my infectious disease doctor. My titers are holding at 1:16 for the last three blood tests. I will be on 600mg/day of Diflucan for a while (forever?). Now I need to get my stamina back. Have an appointment with 'Physical Therapy' on 4/15/02 (TAX DAY)for an evaluation of my condition.

03/08/02 met with Dr for results but not all were in. My PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) were within limits, that is my lungs are functioning, but my shortness of breath is due largely to inactivity, I have not exercised since contracting VF. CAT scan on my lungs still shows a spot on the left side, getting smaller than 5 months ago (this is good news). Cocci test from 03/01 not back yet from UC Davis. Seems the pains that I get in my hips when walking is bursitis. Looks like I will stay on 600mg/day of Diflucan.

03/04/02 UltraSound to check my gallbladder meet with Dr on 03/08 for results

06/11/02 Blood test for cocci and liver function, titers from 04/17/02 are still at 1:16 I am was instructed to drop to 400mg/day Diflucan. We shall see how this goes

03/01/02 Blood test for cocci and liver function, meet with Dr on 03/08 for results. My titers from 1/22/02 were at 1:16 I am on 600mg/day Diflucan, my infectious Dr suggested that since they are ‘steady at 1:16’ to drop to 400mg/day. I am VERY hesitant to do this, I really believe that my immune system can not handle the cocci on it’s own, and am not sure that it can handle it on 400mg/day.

02/21/02 CAT Scan on my lungs, meet with Dr on 03/08 for results

02/18/02 PFT (Pulmonary Function Test), 02/25 report says I'm within 'normal limits' whatever that means, I'll meet with Dr on 03/08 for a better explanation

01/31/02 Started with my new insurance, Kaiser. Alls going well, they have me on a 6 week blood testing schedule to check my titers. I am impressed that they are doing this. They have also sent me to some classes on diabetes as this showed up while I was in the hospital. I am learning to control my blood sugars with diet (also losing weight by eating 'smart')

11/02/01 Got released from my place of employment and I will have to change insurance carriers. Bummer. Now I will have to 'educate' the new Dr on my case and hope they will continue me on meds! Wish me luck.

10/11/01 The Dr sez my titers are 1:2, takes me off Diflucan, 2 weeks later I get the cocci in my skin, I am now back on Diflucan 600mg/day. I just found out that there are two (2) titer readings 'compliment fixation' which was giving me a 1:2 titer, also 'quantitative immunodiffusion'' which is giving me a 1:32 titer. According to my Dr these two readings are normally the same, but since I was down to 1:2 Dr Demosthenes Pappagianis (from UC Davis) decided to run the other test. Well it means I still have the cocci and have to be back on Diflucan.

03/25/01 Another blood test, titers now at 4, there is still a 'spot' on my left lung ( 2mm x 3.5mm), still taking 400mg Diflucan daily, I am still having a hard time doing anything for a long period of time, going up a flight of stairs still leaves me winded, takes 5 minutes to get my breathing back to normal. I am not as irritable as before, guess I'm learning to live with it, because I will probably have this condition till the end. I'm over 60 and find my self asking, 'So if I am cured in 1,2,3-5 years (whatever) I'll be 60+ that number, big deal! I can't afford to retire, so I'll be working and living with VF till the end...

10/05/00 Another blood test, titers now at 8, this makes me feel better (mentally) to know that the Diflucan must be doing it's thing. I just wish that my physical self was feeling that much better. I am still getting tired very easy, winded after one flight of stairs (taken slowly). My level of frustration is very low, I find myself getting angry (at myself) when I can't do things as I used to. I know also that this state of mind is having an effect on my marriage. I need to get over this hurdle and live with myself as I am.

08/02/00 Diflucan reduced to 400mg/day, titers at 16, chest x-rays looking good. I am hoping that this is a good trend and that my titers keep going down.

07/20/00 finally released. Now taking 'oral Diflucan 800mg/day' and also doing a breathing treatment that I haven't seen mentioned before as a treatment.

The breathing treatment was started in the hospital using oxygen, 0.02% Ipratropium, and 0.083% Albuterol Sulfate inhalation solutions. This was administered three times a day. When I got home I got a 'Nebulizer' and continued this treatment once a day. This treatment really helps me get rid of the brain fog. My doctor recently advised me to cut down to 'as needed' well this translates into every other day, but mostly into daily treatments. On the days I don't do it I have a very hard time at work staying awake.

07/09/00 my wife said I was in lala land and took me back to the hospital, blood oxygen level was at 62, had trouble breathing, focusing, dizzy, etc. was admitted and put back on 'intravenous Diflucan 1000mg/day'. Titers now at 128, guess the VF had a chance to really get going in those few days!

07/07/00 I was released. (still wondering why I was released).

07/02/00 After several 1/2 days of work due to this illness my wife took me to my local emergency room and asked the attending doctor to check me for 'VF', yes, my wife suggested it, not the doctors. Test was positive, titers at 64, I was given 'intravenous Diflucan 800mg/day' for the next five days.

6/20/00 I was first hospitalized while on a business trip, had very sharp pains in my lower left lung with each breath, started to pass out, ambulance took me to emergency room, x-rays confirmed I had 'walking pneumonia', was prescribed 'Levaquin' antibiotic, had a bad allergic reaction, came home to my doctor who tried several other antibiotics to no avail.

Links to Valley Fever information;
Valley Fever Message Board, trade stories/info on line! (This message board seems to be unavailable)
Valley Fever Survivor A new web site created to educate people everywhere about the potentially debilitating consequences of a Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) infection.
Valley Fever Center for Excellence
Valley Fever Vaccine Project
Valley Fever Facts
Valley Fever, the Cure?
More info from an on-line Medical Encyclopedia
Doctor Fungus
eMedicine, very informative site!
Read Donna's VF story
Your dog can get VF too!

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updated 05/20/08