Well. It is here, just as I have known it was. It never really left, and I've felt the effects of it since it first arrived just after I returned to Peru from the US at the end of November. At first I thought it was something small and manageable, but then it morphed into more, although I didn't notice it before. I thought it was still small, but then it began to spread. Streptococcus is, luckily, a bacterium that can usually be taken care of by penicillin and its derivatives, provided treatment is early enough and long enough. Mine was neither early enough nor long enough. The doctors here only prescribe 5 days worth of antibiotics, which is not nearly long enough to do away with bacteria. That's only enough for the patient to begin to feel better. Then, usually the ill person runs out of money and can't afford to purchase more doses, so the weakened strain either runs its course or becomes resistent to antibiotics.
So my own little culture of strep migrated through the throat to the left side of my body, and established colonies just above the joints of the elbow, the hip, and the ankle, with the intent of taking over. The 5 day course of antibiotics was enough to get rid of the invaders in all but the ankle...and then 4 days ago, the throat started up again, the ankle flared up and turned a scary color, and I find myself insisting upon 10 full days of antibiotics. Don't hand me something to shut me up and get me out, unless it's a full 10 days worth of antibiotics that can do away with these damned bacterial squatters. After taking the antibiotics for 3 days now, the ankle is reduced in size, with the regular color returning to it, and the nose and throat, although the pain is gone, are producing massive coughing and other nasties that I envision as dead strep bodies being expelled after battle.
I've been tired, cranky, and miserable for the past 2 months, and finally, although I've been coughing my head off for the last couple of days, I can stand being on my feet for extended periods and ride home in the bus without feeling totally crappy. I have 7 days more of antibiotics to take, and by then, I hope that enough strep bacteria will have been thrown into barrels of boiling amoxicillin that the rest will either consent to leave or commit suicide by throwing themselves into the rush of oncoming white blood cells.