Valley Fever

Got cocci? It’s nasty stuff. It’s a fungus infection which the human body has no natural defense to battle against.  Suggestion: If you think you have it, “San Joaquin Valley Fever,” then get your primary physician to prescribe “Diflucan.”  It’s not a cure, but Diflucan, created by Pfizer to help women battle yeast infections, is helpful in providing a quality of life “foundation” so that you can then battle with this next question: “What else can I do?” Or, more simply: “Now what?” Get educated.

Updated: August 27, 2012

Get smart!  Learn about whatever ailment is bothering you so that you can overcome it!  Quite likely, but not necessarily true for you as it is for me, your body became overwhelmed by illness, tired, and your immune system was simply incapable of dealing with the invasion from Valley Fever “spores” when it first occurred.  You get this infection by breathing in fungus spores free-floating in the Pacific Southwest as far east as The Rio Grande, as it becomes disturbed by development in the local region.  It wants to hide in the soil, shaded from the sun; so, when it gets inside of you, it tries to find a place to live undisrupted as well.  But the immune system continually attacks at it, disrupting it.  So, getting rid of it is your best choice.

If getting rid of Valley Fever is what you have as your game plan, I want to share a couple things with you: Diflucan wasn’t an option for me in 1984, created by Pfizer in 1989, and not known to have any value for Valley Fever sufferers until about 1992. But… I know of 2 co-workers who have come down with Valley Fever in recent years and treated with Diflucan from the very beginning of their battle with it were able to be rid of it in less than 6 months (still taking blood tests routinely to make sure it wasn’t acting dormant, hiding until the right moment to begin to grow stronger). If your case is more severe, that may mean tolerating a regimen of Amphyteracin B, which I chose not to complete, over two decades ago, because I felt I would rather die from the original illness and not from the drug-induced, secondary issues I would be accepting in order to fight off the first problem. But that might very well be the right choice for you. Amphyteracin B is a harsh drug, nicknamed “Amphy-terrible” for a reason…

Getting rid of Valley Fever is sometimes “easier said than done.” It may be one of those difficult life choices for you such as: Voting for the next U.S. President! Which will be less bad… By the way, Diflucan is a very safe drug that has very few – if any – known conflicts with any other drugs you might be currently taking. In other words, it’s a very safe drug. My side effects: I was in a relapse condition until April 2011, taking diflucan, and it caused chapped lips.  That’s about it.  I’m still tired, even exhausted at times – on or off the drug - it’s a symptom of the infection.  I’ve learned to adapt to pain as discomfort, considering fatigue as simply tiredness…

If you do have this, or any other infection that has caused you to develop an immuno-compromised state, then fun things like susceptibility to other illnesses becomes possible; for instance, I recently developed a case of “shingles“! Yes, adult “chicken pox” – and I have a conspiracy theory to share with you, if you care to take a tangent (or, stay focused, keep reading for more of my experience with Valley Fever)…

Life goes on. Yes, you can maintain a good quality of life even if Valley Fever is pestering you. I have been battling this illness since 1984. There was very little information about it back in that day (today, 2008). I was hospitalized a number of times, and also suffered the misfortune of it “disseminating” and destroying my right knee – surgeries on my knee in 1984, 85, 86, 1992, and then in 2008 I finally had a total knee replacement performed on that knee. I wish now that I hadn’t waited so long to get the new knee joint done. It’s great! No pain, more confidence – especially when picking up my kids and carrying them… You may get thrown into different choices than the ones I have had to face, but you can live successfully, you can enjoy your life still, as you battle this ilnness. Good luck.

May God’s grace be with you.

Make it a great day!

  1. Sally
    25 December 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I think I have valley fever but nothing shows up but I do have several symptoms so no one will treat me! Help! I live in Michigan and the winters in Arizona.

    • runsvold
      26 December 2012 at 12:42 am

      There is a very simple skin test that a doctor should not be reluctant to utilize in oredr to rule out valley fever. You would know within a day or two. If your physician needs a push to proceed, contact the VFCE in Arizona for a referral. Just “Google” search “VFCE” and you’ll see links for it. The drug of choice is typically “Diflucan,” created by Pfizer in 1989 for use by women for yeast infections. It’s a synthetic drug that has no known adverse side effects, to my knowledge, if taken with other medicatiosn you might have been prescribed (which means it’s a very safe drug). My side effects were/are (when I take it) merely chapped lips. Again, check with a medical professional, which I am not. I will be praying for you, Sally. In the meantime, do whatever you can to relax, and strengthen your immune system by taking a good lulti-vitamin, extra vitamin C. Just suggestions. Fatigue from Valley Fever can be managaed, if long-term like mine. If treated early enough, you should recover fairly well – based on age, overall health. Good luck. God bless, Ron (P.S. It’s common for “snow birds” from northern states who travel to Arizona to bring this home with them to areas where doctors have a misconception fo what it is they are trying to treat. Just be persistent. I’m sure your physician, given your concern, will use their due dilgence to treat you properly. Just don’t let “I don’t know” be a conclusion. Maybe a 2nd opinion is in order?).

  2. Rose
    16 June 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Hi. I’m 18 and just found out I have valley fever. Doctors say it’s no big deal but I’ve heard very differently. I’m only coughing so far, and since taking medication I don’t really cough anymore. I’m still a little scared. Do have any advice?

    • runsvold
      16 June 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Hi, Rose. I’m not sure what else I could tell you beyond what is written here on these pages, without knowing more about your case. And, I’m not a doctor. What “medication” you were prescribed is significant, but moreso if they treated it immediately then your prognosis for a full recovery is good! There is a VFCE information site for researchers, doctors and patients via an Arizona University that has specialists that deal with this: VFCE stands for Valley Fever Center for Excellence. I will be praying for you, Rose. If you live in an area of the desert Southwest, chances are good that doctors know what they are doing these days when it comes to treating paople who stumble upon Valley Fever. I wasn’t so lucky 30 years ago. I have it for the rest of life. Fungus is not easy to get rid of. But friends here in Northern L.A. County who have contracted the disease in recent years have gone on to live normal lives, treated and cured successfully in a very short period of time. Good luck to you. I hope this is found to be encouraging to you. God bless

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