To cut the story short, I am home in Canada now (since Friday morning) from my beloved new home in China, after a bunch of health issues and scares that started with a rogue UTI. Bacially I wasn't properly taken care of in China, so now I am home in Canada to rest and get proper medical treatment until I can go back.
I live in rural China (in the province of Hunan), where rabies is of high prevalence. As far as I know, though, 95% of human rabies cases in my area result from bites from rabid dogs, and the remainder is from bites/scratches from rabid cats and even though rabies in bats have been discovered, it has only affected a few people to date (and the majority of rabies in bats have been found in fruit bats, not insectivorous bats).
Because I'm out in the rural area, and outside at sunset a lot of the time, there are so, so many insectivorous bats swooping around and flying around to catch all the bugs. One time about 1 month - 1 1/2 months ago, I was walking from my office to my apartment, and a bat swooped around me (it was trying to fly through a part of the building to get to the other side - the stairwells are open-air in my school). I have no real reason to think that it hit me, because I felt absolutely no impact, didn't see an impact, and pretty much saw the bat fly away without any indication that it hit something (ie: me). Even though the bat came so close and stopped me in my tracks, I still don't *think* it came into contact with me.
Of course, I know about bats and rabies and immediately got home and went Googling. You can't feel a bat bite, etc etc etc. Ah! I checked my arms for bit marks and found none. Of course, one of my fingers (I'm pretty sure it was my middle finger on my right hand) started itching afterwards, but after *extreme* close inspection under intense lighting I found 0 scratches and 0 bite marks.
I went on with my life.
2 1/2 weeks ago I got very sick with a UTI, and after medication was given to me, I started getting other weird symptoms like a swollen throat (thought it was allergic reaction), and then since then I've gotten thrush, and have been on approximately 10 different medications, both Western and Chinese Traditional.
I had to fight with the hospitals about my symptoms, and even went down to a more Western part of China to be able to see a Western doctor.
In the end, no one could fix me, so I am home.
This alone, before I even thought of the rabies, gave me extreme, EXTREME stress and health anxiety issues. Sometimes I was dying of fungal meningitis, other times I had heart/chest problems (boy, the flight was fun with the chest pain and palpitations let me tell you). Sometimes I would have sepsis.
Now, I have rabies.
Twitching and spasming legs (started 1.5 weeks ago), slight tension-like headache (started 2 weeks ago - which has gotten better over the past week), difficulty breathing/sometimes difficulty swallowing (but this has happened over the years), extreme anxiety, extreme fatigue, diagnosed thrush, tingling hands (started over a month ago, comes and goes) etc...
ALL OF THESE SYMPTOMS CAN BE EXPLAINED BY ANXIETY and/or running around the country for 2.5 weeks and/or just extreme physical and emotional stress and/or jetlag from a 13 hour time difference. I know this. And none of them have gotten worse (if anything, they have gotten better; mainly the spasms, headache, etc).
I also have OCD and GAD.
I'm just so worried about my near-bat encounter that probably didn't happen because I would have probably felt a bat ram into me at the speed that it was flying - and these bats aren't necessarily small.
Of course, since I've researched symptoms of rabies, I don't want to drink water any more and all of my symptoms from above are attributed with rabies *sigh*.
Please, please help me!
I want to be able to go back to China to continue teaching in a few weeks, but if I let these health anxieties get to me, I will never be able to go back.