Patient Comments: Valley Fever - Experience

Question:

Please describe your experience with valley fever (coccidioidomycosis). Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Way of life, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

Less than 2 months after moving to Arizona, I started having chest pains, headaches, night sweats, fever, and backaches that I had to crawl on all 4 out of bed. Erythema nodosum was what gave it away. No cough though. Three months after getting several courses of antibiotics because no one could figure it out, I finally got a diagnosis of valley fever. Nothing in my chest in over a year, still on Diflucan, I feel like I have been hit with a sledge hammer and run over with a steam roller. I am still getting the chills, etc.

Comment from: SANTANA, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 16

I got really sick with high fever. A week later I went to the hospital, was told I had pneumonia, and was given lots of antibiotics. A month later I was asked to do a follow up x-ray which still showed something which caused urgency. After more CAT scans it was strongly hinted that I had stage 3 lung cancer and at the last minute valley fever was diagnosed. I was a 1:8 titers now a year later its 1:4. I was given Diflucan for many months. Lung still stings where infection was maybe it always will.

Comment from: Pices64, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I was diagnosed with bronchitis, then pneumonia. I was given antibiotics both oral and injection. I did not get well. I was rushed to the emergency room twice but released with diagnosis of pneumonia. I was very weak and coughing severely that I had to be hospitalized for 5 days. After several blood tests, they found out I had valley fever. I was under fluconazole medication for 7 months starting with 200 mg, then up to 400 mg, then 600 mg, then 800 mg, then lowered to 600, and then 400. On the 7th month, my titer increased to 1:64 so my doctor put me into 800 mg again. I had bouts of weakness, headaches, joints and bone pains all along those months. I had blood tests and x-ray every month which showed the pneumonia was still there. I had to undergo a CT scan, bone scan and scheduled for a head scan. In the past week, there have been some skin pustules and abscess on my face near my nose, on the side of my nose, on my chin and the side of my face. I read from a medical article that this kind of skin lesions is a sign of the infection spreading to the skin. They are itchy and painful. It’s a long weekend holiday so I cannot see my doctor. Meanwhile, I’m putting some medicine on it to subside the itch and pain. I’m very frustrated with this disease. I had been out of work for 7 months now and still not well. I’m scared and frustrated.

Comment from: VF survivor, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

Sixty percent of people don't even know they have had valley fever (VF). However, for those of us that get sick, it is a major illness. In my case, I went to the Instacare, emergency room, and was admitted to the hospital for 3 days for what they called pneumonia. I kind of knew I had VF from the start since I had all the classic symptoms but I had to strongly urge medical staff to do a VF test. You would think that medical facilities in Phoenix would be well prepared but they are not! It took 8 days to get test results while they pumped me full of useless high powered antibiotics. During the initial infection, I had night sweats that were more like 24 hour sweats, low grade fever for weeks, headaches, chest congestion, wheezing, and above all bad coughing! Now that I've been home for a bit more than a month, I'm finally getting better. I feel that I'm getting better and I survived the initial infection because I did my own research and I made doctors, nurses perform like they should. I had to convince them when they should have been treating me for obvious symptoms of VF. I still have some coughing attacks and I have about 10 nodules in my left lung and 4 in my right lung. I have a pulmonary doctor that will be helping me get through the next few months. I'm making it past this. You can too but it will take some perseverance and a tough family to support you. Good Luck.

Comment from: Miakoda, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

If there are any studies or any research programs in Arizona wanting someone that has had valley fever more than once, I would be willing to take any medications and do anything medical. Since I contracted valley fever I have had multiple medical issues occur. The only issues I had before was my head injury and female issues which I had to have endometriosis surgeries 8 times and finally in 2002 I was diagnosed with cysts and a cancerous tumor on my ovary. I had everything removed and I have suffered with ovarian remnant syndrome since then. I hadn't used an asthma inhaler since the late 1980s, then when I contracted valley fever I cannot go 6 hours without using my inhalers and taken nebulizer treatments at the very least two times a day. Note that last time I used a nebulizer I was 10 years old, now after I got valley fever I cannot live without the thing and yes I have the lung nodule. I kept getting sick with bronchitis and I get it now about 6 times a year. I have skin issues and breathing issues since 2006. In 2/2008 they gave me a valley fever test and I was diagnosed at a serious level. Six months of Diflucan and now since 2008 I have been diagnosed with a massive amount of medical issues, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, liver disease with a mass on my liver from the valley fever, thyroid disease, heart issues, type 2 diabetes, kidney issues with a mass attached to my right kidney from the valley fever, had to remove my appendix in 2010, gallbladder in 2012, and my pancreas was affected, fibrosis (scarring) in my lungs, with persistent pulmonary infection, empyema (pus collection), sleep apnea and now I have scars all over my legs from when I had valley fever affect my skin. Now doctors never said this next situation was brought on by valley fever however, it would not surprise me. I am a stroke survivor in 2011 to 2015. I hate it when doctors tell me that valley fever hasn't done this to me; yes it has! I lost my life because of that disease now I am dying a slow agonizing death.

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Comment from: Kuleana, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I was diagnosed with pneumonia almost a year ago. About 4 months after that they decided I had been misdiagnosed and actually had valley fever. I have no symptoms now except for lung nodules. They put me on fluconazole which has been worse than the disease. I have been very tired and then my hair started falling out. The pulmonary doctor said the medicine couldn't cause these symptoms, but I have since read many reports where it did. I took myself off the medication and feel much better. I understand the hair loss could take 2 or 3 months to stop. For now I will just keep getting checked.

Comment from: markie, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 15

My son-in-law was sick with flu like symptoms for a couple months, he lived in Hanford, CA. There it was diagnosed as pneumonia and they kept giving him larger doses of antibiotics. On a Sunday he collapsed and my daughter took him to the emergency room (ER), Monday morning they gave him a valley fever test but it was too late, he passed a few hours later. He also was diabetic which I am sure made him weaker.

Comment from: norma, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

My husband and I were driving home from an outing but almost home, and I asked him to take me to the hospital as I was having chest pains. I was hospitalized for 2 nights and had every test imaginable for possible heart problem. They released me after erroneously diagnosing me with pneumonia. After 2 sedimentation rate tests it was determined I had valley fever. My fever went up and down and I couldn"t do anything without laying down. I had no energy. I also had large welts on my buttocks, knees, elbows, etc., sore to the touch, and feverish. I still have a spot on my lungs but no side effects. I had to take Diflucan for 3 or 4 months. Very painful and debilitating disease.

Comment from: judishia, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

I had valley fever for about a year before I was diagnosed. I was exhausted and coughing. Finally, I had a lung biopsy and was prescribed an antifungal med. I was way sicker on the med than the disease. They took me off, and now I must have a CT scan every six months. Recently, I have developed a dry mouth. Whenever anything happens to me, I now think it has to do with VF. Does anyone know if dry mouth and VF are connected?

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